Spengler: The Bill for our Iranian Blunder

In the past I have outraged some of my conservative friends by insisting that nation-building in Iraq was a dreadful idea, for two reasons. The first is that it wasted American lives, treasure, and political capital (it certainly helped elect the odious Barack Obama) on a Quixotic commitment to social engineering; the second (and more important) is that it made American forces de facto hostages of Iran, and blocked us from confronting our most urgent enemy. Unpopular as this view was in some parts of the conservative spectrum, it was shared by many senior American officers.

Now Iran feels emboldened to make its move in Iraq. We hear today from AP:


This entry was posted in Web Logs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • nomdeblog

    Goldman can argue that Iran should have been the priority over Iraq. Some argue that Saudi should have been. No doubt all were considered but the fact is that Iraq is a lot smaller population-wise, thus more manageable than Iran. Moreover there were already 17 UN resolutions against Iraq and Saddam was breaking the ceasefire, had a record of using WMD on his own people (chemicals killed 5000 in one whack) thus the legalities were in place if cover was needed and Tony Blair certainly insisted on that.

    Be that as it may, something had to be done; the jaw jaw wasn’t working. There had to be a military starting point somewhere to break the logjam. At least now the ordinary people of the ME can point to Iraq the only quasi democracy created in the region other than Israel and say: we’d like to try that too.

    That comes back to Iran. When uprisings occur in Iran the West, with America’s lead, should have been providing at a minimum some moral support for the Iranian people. But as we saw, Obama went on vacation whenever that opportunity happened. It isn’t because Iraq “made American forces de facto hostages of Iran, and blocked us from confronting (Iran) our most urgent enemy” as Spengler says. We don’t have to nation build in the whole region, we only needed to help set up an example. The ME can nation build themselves from now on and they can also deal with their own tribalism; i.e. Iran is Persian not Arab and the tension between the 2 is enormous. Let them sort it out, blow each other up if they must. Maybe Iran will indeed invade Iraq and maybe there will be some kind of winner take all. So be it. The winner will eventually need the proceeds of oil sales to the West. All we care about it at this point is that the oil keeps flowing. So in that regard the US should “drill baby drill” instead of Obama handing more power to the EPA and McGuinty handing $10 billion to Samsung to tilt at windmills.

    Another complication is Russia which is an oil power and wants to see the price up and will do anything to make that happen. China is also in the mix.

    But we are where we are and Euroweenies without US leadership can’t even remove Daffy Duck in Libya. So the reality is we’ll have to stand back and watch what Iran does next, probably with them getting help from Russia and maybe China. So be it, the region is going to blow up and start over one way or another. We’ve done our bit to prove Arabs are capable of democracy so now it is up to them to determine their own fate.

    Goldman at a minimum certainly makes you think about the long list of variables going on in the region; it’s a big chess game. Eisenhower and Patton didn’t agree on much during WWII. It’s normal to have lots of dissenting opinions on what to do. The trick is to take a stand and do something instead of going to Martha’s Vineyard.