Friday, January 03, 2020

killing an Iranian general: necessary, yet not

Styx takes a nuanced position:

To sum up Styx's point of view: America's current role in the Middle East is regrettable, unprofitable, and absent of results. Killing a general only insures that another will rise in his place. But since we're in the Middle East now, and have been for years, Trump's response to the attack on the US embassy makes sense. (I should add that Trump isn't being limp-wristed like Jimmy Carter, nor is he leaving our people to die like Hillary Clinton with Benghazi.) Ultimately, for Styx, we should just bugger out of the Middle East entirely. I agree, and I've been thinking much the same thing about East Asia. I don't buy the notion that America's presence is the only thing keeping Asian countries from obliterating each other. Pax Americana is a pious fiction among neocons.

There will, of course, be wild-eyed accusations that Trump is a warmonger—a notion that, up to now, is completely without evidence. From the beginning of Trump's presidency, people have been predicting that our leader would get us into a nuclear war or some such nonsense; instead, Trump has instigated no new wars at all, and he's currently contemplating a draw-down in Afghanistan (he should do Syria next). Will Trump escalate the current conflict to the point of war? I seriously doubt it.

It's not a pleasant analogy, but I think Trump is doing something similar to what North Korea does when it provokes the South by tossing over some rockets and killing some random citizens or military folks: the North knows full well that the South won't retaliate because that would be disastrous for the entire peninsula. By the same token, Trump can afford to bloody Iran's nose, then back off, because he knows Iran knows that, if it were to strike at the US, it would be utterly flattened. Trump is assuming Iran, as a state, is a rational actor. The problem, though, is that if Iran is quietly sponsoring international terrorists who are less-than-rational actors, things could get bad for overseas Americans over the next few years, or things could get bad for certain American cities. Of course, assuming Trump gets a second term, he could cut terrorist activity off at the root by threatening Iran with the deadly consequences of state-sponsored terrorism. Few terrorists these days are actually stateless.

We'll see, soon enough, how all this plays out. But if I were a betting man, I'd bet that Trump has no plans to escalate this any further. Cynically speaking, he knows that a war with Iran would probably doom his chances during an election year.

ADDENDUM: quote seen on Instapundit:
“There isn’t a lot of ‘Thank Allah It’s Friday’ going around in Terroristland today. Several players from the terrorist game were removed from the board in rather swift fashion[,] and the world is a better place because of it. OK, maybe Democrats don’t think that.”


American leftists are forever playing a most dangerous game of moral equivalence when it comes to Islamic terrorists. Their warped theorizing tells us that killing people who very long ago decided that they want to kill us will make them want to kill us even more.

Note to lefties: they want to kill you because you woke up today.

The argument that we should treat the dangerous players in the Middle East with kid gloves because we might provoke them if we don’t is not only tedious, but dangerous as well. There is no gray area to be found in this particular ideological battle. A handshake is not the order of the day when the enemy seeks your annihilation.

ADDENDUM 2: Tim Pool says "Chillax, dumbasses":

1 comment:

John Mac said...

Wasn't only yesterday that the Dems were calling the embassy attack "Trump's Benghazi?" It turns out it was the exact opposite of that and now the left's heads are exploding like, well, an Iranian General's...