Friday, August 11, 2006

Gingrich: be prepared for war with Iran

Newt Gingrich takes a hard look at the future and sees nothing good. Iran, Islamists, and North Korea all stand ready to do harm to America. His conclusion: don't seek only to contain their threat, work to defeat that threat--militarily if necessary.

His goal is to begin a debate over what is to be done about the increasing threats to our way of life. He makes a strong opening statement in that debate:
[...] Iran armed with nuclear weapons is a mortal threat to American, Israeli and European cities. If a nonnuclear Iran is prepared to finance, arm and train Hezbollah, sustain a war against Israel from southern Lebanon and, in Holbrooke's own words, "support actions against U.S. forces in Iraq," then what would a nuclear Iran be likely to do? [...]

It is because the Bush administration has failed to win this argument over the direct threat of Iranian and North Korean nuclear and biological weapons that Americans are divided and uncertain about our national security interests. [...]

Defeating the terrorists and thwarting efforts by Iran and North Korea to gain nuclear and biological weapons must be the first goal of American policy. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if violence is necessary to defeat the terrorists, the Iranians and the North Koreans, then it is regrettably necessary. If they can be disarmed with less violence, then that is desirable. But a nonviolent solution that allows the terrorists to become better trained, better organized, more numerous and better armed is a defeat. A nonviolent solution that leads to North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons threatening us across the planet is a defeat.

This failure to understand the nature of the threat is captured in Holbrooke's [Gingrich refers to an opinion piece in yesterday's WaPo--P] assertion that diplomacy can lead to "finding a stable and secure solution that protects Israel." If Iran gets nuclear weapons, there will be no diplomacy capable of protecting Israel. If Iran continues to fund and equip Hezbollah, there will be no stability or security for Israel. Diplomacy cannot substitute for victory against an opponent who openly states that he wants to eliminate you from the face of the earth.

Our enemies are quite public and repetitive in saying what they want. Not since Adolf Hitler has any group been as bloodthirsty and as open. If Holbrooke really wants a "stable and secure" Israel he will not find it by trying to appease Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

This issue of national security goals will be at the heart of the American dialogue for some time. If our enemies are truly our enemies (and their words and deeds are certainly those of enemies) then victory should be our goal. If nuclear and biological threats are real, then aggressive strategies to disarm them if possible and defeat them if necessary will be required. [...]

The democracies have been talking while the dictators and the terrorists gain strength and move closer to having the weapons necessary for a terrifying assault on America and its allies. The arrests yesterday of British citizens allegedly plotting to blow up American airliners over the Atlantic Ocean are only the latest example of the determination of our enemies. This makes the dialogue on our national security even more important. [....]
The world is entering one of its regular dark periods. Radical Islamists, the spread of nuclear weapon technology, increasing competition for resources, all mean that our safety is threatened.

Rather than allowing unhinged nations like Iran to dictate events and become ever stronger, the US and the West should decide to eliminate these threats. Diplomatically if possible. Militarily if required.

Also, this from the Telegraph: Americans will die for liberty:
To the Americans, the idea that freedom and democracy exact a cost in blood is second nature.
This, in a nutshell, is what separates us from Europe. Or at least did. Politicians continue to quote JFK and FDR, but does the US still have the will to protect its liberties and freedoms? Time most certainly will tell.