|Chris, it is not just "some Iranians" who chant "Death to America"; such chanting is demanded by those in power. Their explicit goal is our destruction and the establishment of an Islamic International Civilization. Please watch these three videos and then tell me you honestly believe 1) that these Iranian leaders are not a threat to America, and 2) that the people they are preaching to are likely to rebel anytime soon:|
5 years ago Iran did not have access to uranium. Now, they do.
3 years ago they did not have the ability to enrich that uranium to weapons grade material. Now they do.
2 years ago they did not have a missile that could reach Israel. Then last year, they announced the development of the Shehab-3 missile that has the range to reach Israel. Now, they do.
Recently they announced the development if the Shahab-5, which has the range to reach Europe.
Does anyone see a pattern here? No, the Iranians do not have missiles that can reach America, YET. But why should we assume that they will not seek to develop them? Is that the prudent assumption?
This is what containment has achieved so far.
You favor containment because you believe that Iran is going to self-reform. Is there a single example in middle east history of such self-reform? Is there one example of a Muslim population rising up, overthrowing a dictator, and then establishing a western-friendly government? I am not aware of a single one. What makes you think it will occur in Iran?
Granted, there are students dissatisfied with the mullahs. I'm sure there are millions dissatisfied with the mullahs. But there were millions dissatisfied with Hussein, who with a percentage of the minority Sunni population managed to maintain a brutal rule over the rest of the population for decades. Had we not invaded, do you really think the Iraqi people would have ever overthrown Hussein?
And why is it that an attack will "embolden" the mullahs? In the first place, many of them will be killed. In the second place, why do you operate from the premise that the use of American power encourages our enemies? History refutes this premise. Time and time again we have seen that it is appeasement that emboldens the enemy, not the use of force against him.
If appeasement were the best policy, and this is what Pete is claiming, then our invasion of Iraq should have left the Iranian mullahs more emboldened than ever. By this logic, if we turn tail, abandon Iraq and leave the middle east, this will discourage the mullahs and encourage the students?
By this logic, our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq should have "further radicalized" the Arab street, there should be many more terrorists and the attacks on America should have increased. Have they?
By this logic, America's failure to respond to two decades of terrorist attacks should have gradually "de-radicalized" the terrorists and their attacks should have slowed. Did they, or did they simply stage bigger and bigger and bigger attacks until 9/11 happened and we finally responded?
By this logic, Spain's withdrawal from Iraq after the Madrid bombings should have put it in good standing with the Islamic terrorists. Did it, or did the Spanish just recently break-up an Islamist plot to kill their supreme court: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3981061.stm
By this logic, Turkey's refusal to help with the invasion of Iraq, should have put it in good standing with Islamic terrorists. Did it, or did the Istanbul banks get bombed?
By this logic, Osama bin Laden should be "further radicalized" by the American response to 9/11, and he should be calling for our destruction with even greater vehemence. Is he making such a call, or in his latest video, released right before the election, did he not essentially ask for a truce and promise not to harm any state that voted for Kerry?
The reality is, you have got it exactly backwards.