The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Instapundit has a question regarding news that the 9/11 Commission will report that Iran not only has connections to Al Qaeda, but harbored many of the hijackers for a time:
Will those who said that it was wrong to invade Iraq because there wasn't enough evidence of such a connection now weigh in in favor of invading Iran?
Kevin Drum has an interesting response, but there are some issues he doesn't touch on. Here's the thing: Those people Glenn mentions who said it was "wrong to invade Iraq because there wasn't enough evidence of such a connection" have a very large overlap with the people who said we shouldn't invade Iraq because the Bushies would botch it, it would turn into a messy quagmire, and would certainly help Al Qaeda's recruitment pitch.

Hell, take it to the public. Gallup's latest round of Iraq polling shows that a majority of the country thinks invading Iraq was a mistake. So with that in mind, here's a question I'd like to see the American people answer:

"Given the 9/11 Commission's report, would you support an invasion to topple the government of Iran, knowing that resistance to our occupation of Iran would be analagous to that of Iraqis, and that the invasion would be carried out by the same administration that invaded Iraq?"

Guess what: The results would be mixed . . . at best. Then there are other factors. Because the evidence is more solid with Iran, there's the possibility that a larger coalition could be formed. However, the unilateralist Rumsfeld Doctrine manner in which the Iraq war came to be (and the loss of international goodwill therein), coupled with the massive unpopularity of the Iraq war in virtually every major European country, as well as the mess it's been in the past several months, could still hamper any effort to form a large 1991-style coalition.

If the US invades a second Middle Eastern country, it will be ever so much harder to convince the people of the region that this isn't a crusade. If we invade Iran in 05 or 06, Iraq will not be stable by then, and the example of Iraq will not provide us with any sort of mandate to do it.

And should we really be further destabilizing the region by invading a Muslim country right next to an even larger Muslim country (Pakistan) with a secular government that has 1) a tenuous grasp on power and 2) nuclear weapons?

And of course, that last puppet regime we set up in Iran sure worked out well, didn't it?

So, to answer Glenn's question: No, I did not support the invasion of Iraq, for a variety of reasons including their lack of meaningful connections to Al Qaeda. But no, I would not support the invasion of Iran either, for many of the same reasons I did not support the invasion of Iraq.

I'm sure the military is up for it! Surely they're not overextended right now! I dunno, asking them to invade Iran is tantamount to a 21-year-old intern telling the 62-year-old Congressman she's sleeping with "let's do it again!"

And I'm sure Kim Jong Il loves all this.


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