Saturday, June 10, 2006

Double Exposure

Ten days ago, I opined that Jack Murtha's grandstanding for the cameras lately was likely an opportunistic bid to position himself for a larger role in a hoped-for Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. I didn't believe at the time that he would make his intentions known so soon, however. I thought he would lead the lynch mob down to the jail a few more times and give a few more inflammatory speeches to establish his neo-liberal bomb-throwing leadership bonifides, before leveraging his new-found notoriety for personal power gain.

But the military that he claims is "worn-out" put a monkey wrench in his plans this week with the extermination of the verminous and villainous Zarqawi. He couldn't very well regain the cameras' attention by identifying himself with the left-wing conspiracy theorists who claimed that we had timed that punk Zarqawi's killing to take the heat off other issues, so Murtha, instead, advanced the timetable on his bid for more power and announced that he wanted to be Majority Leader if and when Pelosi becomes Speaker. He knew that the media would immediately turn to him for reaction to the good news out of Iraq and he took advantage. He may not have learned loyalty as a Marine, but ole Jack knows how to build a flexible strategic plan. Hope he is ready for a fight--the current number 2 Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, immediately announced that he had no intention of surrendering the key terrain to Murtha's offensive.

On the subject of the timing of Zarqawi's demise, it is clear that the US military decision-makers in Iraq had been putting the pieces of the puzzle together for quite some time and had been waiting for a recurring pattern to emerge and expose Zarqawi. The media got it backwards when they claimed that the 17 subsequent raids the night of the Zarqawi hit were as a result of intelligence gathered at the site of the latest USAF urban renewal project. The 17 subsequent raids that night, and the 39 the following night, were against the other pieces of the puzzle through which our forces knew Zarqawi had been rotating.

Our intelligence effort on the ground in Iraq is good and getting better. Despite the obvious danger to Iraqis who assist the anti-insurgency effort, the number of tips to the authorities has increased significantly over the past year. That in itself is probably the best sign of all coming out of Iraq at the moment. But, we should remain clear-eyed about the situation in that neighborhood. Until we effectively restrict the insurgency's financial support from Syria and Iran, we will not gain enough security traction to make real progress.

Listen, I am not advocating immediately attacking Syria and Iran. Just Iran. Once we change the regime there, Syria will see the light that our old nemesis in Libya has already seen, and start dancing more to our tune. We need to take down Iran, now, while lessons-learned in Iraq are still fresh. The biggest lesson we have learned was to not disband the existing security system, no matter how corrupt. Much of the insurgency we are fighting in Iraq at present is former Iraqi security forces who we fired immediately after the invasion. No, in a post-invasion Iran, we need to keep the majority of the Iranian military and police in place. If we pay them well enough, they will become good defenders of democracy, despite twenty-five years of mullah brainwashing. The power of the dollar is an amazing thing.

I will admit that my pronouncements above are frightening stuff. Most Americans don't have the stomach for the expansion of combat operations I'm calling for. And that is exactly why we need to do it. Our enemies need to be convinced that America, even when wearied by a demoralizing war, can still muster the will to fight on and win. Let's please understand that we are already at war with Iran. The radical Islamic clerics that rule Iran declared war on these re-United States when they overran our embassy in Teheran 27 years ago, just as Usama declared war on us when he blew up our embassies and one of our warships prior to the 9/11 attacks.

And, just so all of you chicken-track wearing neo-hippies out there can relax your sphincters and go back to enjoying the gangsta rap on your iPods, we won't need to draft your sorry butts to fill the ranks. Enough real Americans are still volunteering, despite the media's and Murtha's best efforts.
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