Why are we talking about Syria when the real enemy is Iran?
Everyone agrees that a key central consideration behind an attack on Syria is the message it would sent to the mullahs in Iran. The idea is that weakness and fecklessness in the face of Assad’s barbarism du jour will somehow telegraph to the players in Tehran that it’s open season on building nukes.
There’s an easy solution to this quandary, and unlike hand-slapping the degenerates in Damascus it serves a clear American interest. Congress should authorize the use of force to topple the Iranian regime if it doesn’t dismantle its nuclear program.
A few cruise missiles taking out long-abandoned bunkers and empty buildings is not going to “send a message” to Assad, much less the mullahs. We might as well text him – you know the NSA has his number.
The problem with messages is that they are so easily confused. Anyone who has played “Telephone” as a kid knows that by the time it gets to the end, a message that starts out “Johnny has a red hat” will end up something like “Ted Kennedy stole my penguin.”
Now, complicate the natural ambiguity inherent in communication with layers of culture and language and suddenly nuanced, delicate diplomatic signals get wildly misunderstood. Ambassador April Glaspie thought she was subtly communicating to Saddam Hussein that America would be displeased if he violated Kuwaiti sovereignty. He took it as “Go for it” and pretty soon me and half a million other Americans were marooned out in the middle of the desert loading M16 magazines and getting ready to kick his tail back out again.
What message are the mullahs going to take from the President drawing a “red line,” followed by some threats, followed by a lengthy debate, followed by the President’s denial that he drew a “red line” in the first place, followed by close vote in Congress, followed by a few a few cruise? Probably not that screwing around making weapons of mass destruction is going to lead to their certain death.
So, why don’t we make that perfectly clear? Why don’t we authorize the President to go to war with Iran with the express purpose of deposing the sociopaths running the store? It sure beats letting a band of apocalyptic fanatics get nukes and stick them on top of missiles so they can launch the first strike in the final struggle to impose the caliphate with a nuclear detonation over New York City.