The US should focus on Iran and not Iraq. Total war not limited war .

Limited war gives us nothing
By Diana West

[..] When will it become clear that even if everything goes as planned in Iraq (or doesn’t), the United States will only have succeeded in securing a Hezbollah-supporting, Shiite-majority state that is a natural ally of Iran? And how great is that for America’s national security?

Not so great. But it’s a shockingly likely outcome. This realization should make us question whether securing Iraq, a potential client-state of Iran, is really key to American national security. In fact, it is Iran’s terror exports to the entire Middle East and beyond, along with its genocidal nuclear ambitions, that threaten us, not Iraq’s domestic violence. If we want to quell global jihad — and we must — it is Iran that should become the target for our military minds, not Iraq. Far from handing jihadists a win, this new course, which would likely rely more on Air Force and Navy than ground troops, would put them on the defensive.

At this point, my conservative friends will remind me that we must destroy Al Qaeda in Iraq. And I couldn’t agree more. So let’s destroy Al Qaeda in Iraq — a neat name for an amorphous network — and any other threats including Iranian-supported Iraqi Shiite forces. The Washington Times’ Sharon Behn recently asked Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger why the world’s most powerful army hadn’t yet accomplished this mission. He replied: “We could absolutely crush every one of them, but would you be happy with what is left?”

He’s referring to the catastrophic destruction that is, and has always been, the price of total victory. It’s something that never makes anyone “happy,” but previous generations have found it necessary. Not ours. Postmodern man prefers a kind of limited warfare, fighting with one hand tied behind his back as a matter of choice — a moral choice that lends even a superpower the humanizing aura of victim-hood.

Presumably, the U.S. military could destroy Iraqi terror-towns and strongholds with a well-guided aerial bombing campaign, and thus go a long way toward bringing this whole war to an end; instead, we opt to send our young men to fight precisely as the terrorist wants them to fight — in booby-trapped towns, among duplicitous peoples. Lately, we even argue that these same soldiers should stay in those towns among those peoples to prevent the “bloodletting” to follow an American exit. But for how long? One year? Ten years? Until Iraqis learn to sing “Kumbaya”?

Maybe until we, as a society, learn how to prize total victory over limited war.

July 13, 2007 | Comments Off on The US should focus on Iran and not Iraq. Total war not limited war .

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