Pat Buchanan

Now that Congress is back from spring break and looking ahead to Memorial Day, July 4th, the August recess and adjournment early in October for elections, perhaps it can take up this question.

Does President Bush have, or not have, the authority to take us to war with Iran? Because Bush and the War Party are surely behaving as though this were an executive decision alone.

No sooner had President Ahmadinejad declared that his country had enriched a speck of uranium than the war drums began again.

Bush has said of Iran that even "a process which would enable Iran to develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable." John McCain has said too many times to count, "The military option is on the table." The 2006 National Security Strategy re-endorses preventive war and elevates Iran to the No. 1 threat to the United States.

This is not enough for The Weekly Standard, which equates our situation with that of France in 1936, when Paris sat immobile while Hitler marched three lightly armed battalions back into the German Rhineland, which had been demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty.

"To Bomb or Not to Bomb, That Is the Iran Question," is the title of an extended piece in the Standard, whose editorial calls for "urgent operational planning for bombing strikes." As that would likely ignite Shia and Revolutionary Guard terror attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, the Standard wants Bush to send more troops.

In an editorial "Iran Now," National Review is already into target acquisition. It calls for plans for a massive bombing campaign "coupled with an aggressive and persistent efforts to topple the regime from within." Ideally, U.S. bombs "should hit not just the nuclear facilities, but also the symbols of state oppression: the intelligence ministry, the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guard, the guard towers of the notorious Evin Prison."

In The Washington Post, Mark Helprin, who is identified as having "served in the Israeli army and air force," says "the obvious option is an aerial campaign to divest Iran of its nuclear potential: i.e., clear the Persian Gulf of Iranian naval forces, scrub anti-ship missiles from the shore and lay open antiaircraft-free corridors to each target. ... Were the targets effectively hidden or buried, Iran could be shut down, coerced and perhaps revolutionized by the simple and rapid destruction of its oil production and transport."

Since Muslims may not like what we are up to, Helprin cautions, we should prepare "for a land route from the Mediterranean across Israel and Jordan to the Tigris and Euphrates," and, presumably, from there the final push on to Tehran.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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