Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Day After

Opponents of a strike to take out Iran's nuclear program argue that a strike would turn the pro-American population against us and cause them to rally to the mullah regime.

I've argued that I would not take much comfort if the Iranians nuke Charleston and find that the Iranian people are really sad and horrified that their nutball rulers nuked our city.

Plus, I don't assume that the people of Iran will rally to the regime if we attack. Oh sure, at first we'll have video of angry mobs shaking their fists and doing the whole "death to America" shtick. But later, when the fires die down and the chanting gets stale, the people will notice that they still have a horrible regime. And perhaps blame will be directed to their own for bringing yet more misery to their country.

Far-fetched, you say? Well read this from Strategypage about Lebanon:

In Lebanon, Hizbollah is increasingly criticized for getting into a war with Israel, that resulted in doing great damage to Lebanon, and Hizbollah, while actually making Israel stronger. Even Hizbollah's leader has openly admired how the Israelis learn from their mistakes, while such a thing is unknown in the Arab world.

Israel surely has more baggage than we do, and not even a year after the war in southern Lebanon, some Lebanese are focusing anger at Hizbollah for provoking that war.

Not that I am backing away from my early contention that Israel screwed the pooch in their war. They did. But in time, that loss of a battle (despite tactical success I think Israel lost) could be nullified by a victory in the war. And Israel is learning from their defeat.

Recall that Saddam believed he won the Persian Gulf War. I disagree that survival can be equated to victory, but even by Saddam's terms that victory is now moot--he's quite dead and his regime defeated.

So as we weigh the pros and cons of striking Iran's nuclear programs, let's not worry too much about alienating Iranians who currently hate their regime and think well of us.