Friday, June 01, 2007
Just when it seemed nothing was making sense...
Watching the pundits discuss our historic meeting with Iran, you would have mostly heard despair at the notion that we have no leverage in these talks, and so therefor why would Iran give on anything? Why would they stop waging war against us in iraq if they have nothing to fear? To all the experts in the media, the whole thing seemed like some grand puzzlement. Was it just an attempt to appease the administration’s domestic critics who have been chiding it for not engaging in diplomacy ( a vaguery if there ever was one ) with the world’s top terrorist? No one you heard from could really quite grasp what was going on.(emphasis mine)
For some reason, no one told you that just 5 days before Monday’s talks, an entire floating army, with nearly 20,000 men, comprising the world’s largest naval strike force, led by the USS Nimitz and the USS Stennis, and also comprising the largest U.S. Naval armada in the Persian Gulf since 2003, came floating up unannounced through the Straight of Hormuz, and rested right on Iran’s back doorstep, guns pointed at them. The demonstration of leverage was clear. And it also came on the exact date of the expiration of the 60 day grace period the U.N. had granted Iran.
And it came just a few weeks after Vice President Dick Cheney had swept through the region and delivered a very clear and pointed message to the Saudi King Abdullah and others: George Bush has unequivocally decided to attack Iran’s nuclear, military and economic infrastructure if they do not abandon their drive for military nuclear capability. Plain and simple. Iran heard the message as well, and although a lack of leverage may seem clear to America’s retired military tv talking heads, it is not so clear to the government in Tehran.
The message to both Iran and Syria is that if the talks in Baghdad fail, the military option is ready to go.
I'm not sure whether or not I trust this guy as a source. But I do like what he's saying.
Among other things, he provides video footage of the Naval Strike Force in question. Have a look.
(hat tip: Lileks, who isn't sure whether to give up or not)
UPDATE: Also according to Pat Dollard -- and no doubt to the delight of Star Trek fans everywhere -- the USS Enterprise is on it way to Iran as well:
The message we sent to Iran in Baghdad was significant only to people who don’t know better, like the media and dumb politicians. [. . .] Bush has made it quietly clear to them that we are going to strike.
It's certainly been less than clear to the rest of us. On the other hand, one doesn't send three carrier groups halfway around the world for no reason.
Forget Condi’s for-the-press face today. For many months now, while no one has been able to really see and understand, we have been waging a war of finality against Iran and her ambitions. While everyone in the media, and on the media’s receiving end, have been wringing their hands in anguish at our seeming impotence and inaction, the VP has been functioning as a nearly one man army/terrorist wreaking havoc through the halls of power in Tehran. Why do you think he has been taking all those trips through the region? To discuss the latest trends in couscous recipes? He has been shoring up relationships, building strategy, and waging the necessary war against Iran. Why is he about to visit all of Iran’s northern neighbors? Why has Iran been taking Americans captive in a feverish panic? Coincidence? Why is the architect of Iran’s nuclear program, Vladimir Putin, about to head to a private summit with Bush? Why all the posturing about a missile shield? It’s all about Iran, and Putin is working to get all he can as the price for his blessing.I hope you're right, Mr. Dollard.
No one is asleep at the wheel. Except the media and the Democrats.
Something else I find encouraging, pertaining to President Bush and his motives. He's not running for re-election... nor does he have much of a vested interest in any of the Republican candidates for President. (Sure, he'd no doubt prefer a Republican President in 2009, and not a President Barack Obama or a President Hillary Clinton to undo his policies. But Bush is his own man, not a pawn of the Republican Party... as we see from the many things he's done to tick off the party base, from immigration to Harriet Miers. He'll do what he thinks is right, not what serves the interests of the GOP.)
Bush has already lost the Republican majority in the House and Senate, and he has no other elections to bother with before he leaves office. In other words: he has nothing to lose. If he believes attacking Iran is in the American national interest, he'll do it.
No doubt this is disheartening, if not downright frightening, to many Americans of the Left. Personally, I find it encouraging. And within the next several months, one way or another, we'll know.