The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A New Calumny

In a comment thread at Washington Monthly, one "Castor Troy" writes:

Actually, Iran's threat is the one thing which should have western nations considering direct removal of its government.... And, had we not invaded Iraq, we would probably be in an excellent position to make this happen.
"tbrosz" responds:

I hear this a lot from liberals. Of course, if we had not invaded Iraq, most of the people saying "if only" would then be screaming bloody murder about the Cowboy Bush getting ready to invade Iran. And every last anti-war tirade we've been hearing about Iraq, down to the last talking point, would be exactly the same.
This is correct, but in fact understates the case. How could any system of international "law" which did not mandate the forcible deposal of Saddam -- given a record which appeared more dangerous than Iran's does today, and a long history of UN resolutions -- possibly support any action against Iran in 2006?

If America had not invaded Iraq, the option of force against Iran would be completely off the table, and the Iranians would know this with certainty. "Peace" protestors who complain of the present difficulty of military action against Iran should keep that in mind.

Castor Troy's talking point is, in short, a neat reversal of the real truth -- that the invasion of Iraq was an expenditure of blood and treasure not only for its own sake, but to rebuild the credibility which is our only tool for effecting future change without invasions. Mr. Troy and his ilk have so far forgotten this, that they wildly claim that the presence of 150,000 American troops at their border is somehow emboldening Iran's Mullahs.

[This is extended from a comment I made in the above-referenced thread. I have written on this subject before, in my extended post on Will.]