Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Magic Potion

By William S. Lind

".....In such an environment, elections do not substitute for war but rather prepare the way for it. They exacerbate differences, heighten local conflicts, and lengthen the lists of "injustices" each party uses to justify fighting.

This unfortunate reality points again to what America needs to do in Iraq: get out now, fast, while it can. If we are lucky, history will grant us a "decent interval" between our departure and the next round of 4GW in Iraq. If we dawdle until the fighting ramps up again, we may find it difficult, politically if not militarily, to leave at all.

This brings us to another election, that in Israel. It is not clear what government will emerge from Israel's vote. It is clear the Knesset has shifted to the right. From the standpoint of America's interests, that is a negative outcome.

The danger is not only to prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which are probably small in any event. The danger is that a new Israeli government in which Likud and voices to Likud's right are stronger is more likely to attack Iran.

As I have said repeatedly in past columns, an attack on Iran by the U.S. or Israel threatens consequences disastrous to America. The worst potential consequence is the possibility of the destruction of the army the U.S. now has in Iraq. As almost no one in Washington seems to realize – thanks, as usual, to hubris – that possibility is all too real. All one need do to see it is look at a map. Iran sits alongside our main line of communications, supply, and retreat all the way from Baghdad to the straits of Hormuz. Add in the probability that various Shi'ite militias and perhaps much of the new Iraqi army as well would join with the Iranians in attacking us, and the possibility of finding 100,000 American troops in an operational Kessel is frighteningly evident......"

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