Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Will the Call to Arms Prevail?

[Note: This post was written by Katie Mounts]

The "War is Peace, Sanctions are Diplomacy" approach of the Bush administration received a rhetorical round of support last Wednesday in an editorial published by the Washington Times. Though printed before the release of the National Intelligence Estimate, in light of the Bush administration's refusal to alter its policy of diplomatic isolation, sanctions, and threats of military action in response to the new intelligence findings, this appeal for military action is still extremely relevant to the Iran policy debate. If the administration's seemingly solidified position is an accurate indication of the neo-conservative reaction in general, authors Paul E. Vallely and Fred Gedri would likely still advocate their call to arms.

Vallely and Gedrich state that the IRGC and the Iranian regime "have been engaged in a one-sided 'Death to America' campaign for 28 years." Rather than acknowledge the true negative impact of the recent designation of the Quds force of the IRGC as a terrorist organization, they argue that it is a step in the right direction, just not big enough. Rather, "If the United States truly seeks to achieve greater Middle East peace and stability it should incorporate military measures into the current Iranian policy."

If Iran is unresponsive to their list of recommended demands, their policy recommendations range from "limited and selective military air strikes" to "obtain[ing] approval from Congress to use military force in Iran or, if circumstances demand, use existing constitutional war power authorities to neutralize the security threat."

Ironically, they use a quote from Henry Kissinger to support their position. "Diplomacy not backed by the potential use of force equates to impotency." The glaring discrepancy, however, between this statement and their policy recommendation is the absence of diplomacy in their proposal. Note to Vallely and Gedrich: covert efforts at regime change, sanctions, and threats of military action, hardly equate to any sort of serious diplomatic effort.

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