The Corner

Rummy and The Bad Guys

From a reader, who, as you will see, pretty much agrees with John:

One thing I’ve noticed about both Rummy and W is that they say the painfully obvious which generally freaks out those who have been saying diplomatically nice lies for years. I don’t think what Rummy has said comes as news to either Iran or Syria. Rummy’s just saying it out in the open now. When Rummy notices you in public like this, you’d better straighten up and fly right. They recently announced that they are going to move all troops out of Germany. Any connection? We’ll see, but as you wrote in your book when Reagan first talked about missile defense, if we were surprised, imagine how that speech went over in Moscow.

Me: Two things, though: 1) Does the military have the capacity right now to make a credible threat against Iran and Syria? You can only rattle your saber when you haven’t already drawn it. I don’t mean this to be tendentious, by the way. I’m genuinely curious. If a military type can tell me whether the Army has enough left to frighten the mullahs in Iran and/or the former optometrist in Damascus, I’d love to hear it. 2) The question of political will is, as John Pod notes, central. My own feeling? That the American people are sick of this war–even those who supported it are now sticking with the president wearily. Am about to go on the air for Day Three of guest-hosting Hugh Hewitt’s radio show (from 3 to 6 Pacific, you can tune in here), but I’ll check back on this happy Corner during breaks.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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