Friday, April 11, 2008

President Bush: Unequivocal on Iran and Iraq

It is too tempting to focus on the Iraq war as a mistake as Senator Obama likes to do.
The war happened.

The aftermath of the war is a reality that imposes itself on the US and the world.
President Bush’s Iraq speech summarized the reality that the world faces in Iraq, succinctly and clearly, in ways better than any of three candidates so far have.

The quotes below are from President Bush’s speech quoted in The New York Times.

“Iraq is the convergence point for two of the greatest threats to America in this new century: Al Qaeda and Iran”

“If we fail there, Al Qaeda would claim a propaganda victory of colossal proportions, and they could gain safe havens in Iraq from which to attack the United States, our friends and our allies,” “Iran would work to fill the vacuum in Iraq, and our failure would embolden its radical leaders and fuel their ambitions to dominate the region.”
President Bush is right on point.

If the US leaves Iraq, Al Qaeda would claim credit for “liberating Iraq,” just like they claimed it for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan.

The claim of the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan emboldened al Qaeda to target the US; another claim in Iraq would be a powerful recruitment tool for the al Qaeda and only increase the world’s vulnerability to its terrorism.

On Iran- unlike the now retired Admiral Fallon- President Bush laid out to the Mullah regime clear choices and consequences for Iran.

“If Iran makes the right choice, America will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq”

“If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners.”

Clear unequivocal language is what the Iranians need to hear from the US. This is what
President Bush served the Mullah regime.

Mixed signals would propbably have Iran make the same mistake of Saddam’s Iraq- doubting whether the US would resort to war for Kuwait. Iran should have no doubt now where the US stands on its role in Iraq.

Clarity on Iraq and Iran reduces the chance of another war. Those who are in the peace camp should be rejoicing that Mr. Bush was this clear.

Despite its rhetoric, the Mullah regime is a scheming and calculating regime that given its internal weaknesses is definitely not looking for a fatal confrontation with the US. Clarity in outcomes helps one calculate risk. One only hopes for the sake of peace that the mullahs in Tehran have good English interpreters.

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