The Wall Street Journal reports that Defense Secretary Gates and even the State Department (at least in the person of Amb. Ryan Crocker) have come around to the view — contrary to the conclusions of Barack Obama, the Iraq Study Group (of which Gates was once a member), and some of State’s prior meanderings — that Iran really doesn’t want a stable Iraq after all.
Sec’y Gates — be still my heart! – now even admits that Mahmoud “World Without America and Zionism” Ahmadinejad probably knows about the shipments of sophisticated explosives and other weapons his own government forces have been shipping to Shiite militias throughout Iraq … the better to kill Americans.
And Crocker, who last year parroted the party line of State and the Intelligence Community accomodationists that “the Iranians are using some influence to bring down violence from extremist Shia militias,” now concedes, as the Journal puts it, “that Tehran [is] pursuing a ‘Lebanonization strategy’ inside Iraq by backing militias and other proxy groups there.” That the mullahs, through their Quds (Jerusalem) Forces, have been employing their Hezbollah model in Iraq to a fare thee well since 2003 has long been clear to those with eyes willing to see, but it’s still nice to hear State’s most knowledgeable official say so.
The only solution to stability in Iraq and the region is and has always been regime change in Iran. We can avoid acknowledging that fact, but we cannot change it. We can quake in the face of the Left’s war-mongering allegations, but that won’t alter the reality that Iran is aleady at war with us. General Petraeus’s clear-eyed testimony this week underscores it.
None of that means we necessarily have to invade Iran, much less occupy and turn it into our latest Wilsonian laboratory. But it does mean we need to stop kidding ourselves about changing this leopard’s spots and have an unambiguous, unapologetic U.S. policy of regime change in which, at every turn and in every way, we regard this America-hating, American-killing government as the incorrigible enemy that it is. And for starters, we need to make the mullahs understand that their own territory is not immune from retaliation for the murders of our men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a good friend of mine sagely says, faster please.