Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What do the Fox News All-stars and Iranian Mullahs have in common?

Once again, the pundits on Brit Hume's show on Fox, ironically called "The Fox All-stars" fired blanks when opining ignorantly about Iran. "Nothing we can do militarily," "pray that diplomacy can make a difference," and "blah blah blah, with a further blah."

Iran is building nuclear weapons. They have had Pakistan's help in this endeavor, and they probably have some of Saddam's gear that he spirited out of the country in the run-up to the war. President Bush has made it pretty clear that he will not countenance a nuclear armed Iran with the mullahs in power. And SecState Rice said "The question is simply not on the agenda at this point" in reply to a question after having listed U.S. criticisms of Iranian policy.Link That reminds me of President Bush's assurance that the plans to invade Iraq were "not on my desk."

Iran seems pretty smug that America can't strike their nuclear facilities, and to that, as a targeter, I say, not so fast. We have nuclear weapons, we COULD strike their facilities, pretty effectively. Israel has nuclear weapons, and submarine launched cruise missiles to deliver them. Anything that blows up could be called a internal nuclear accident.

But if you want a low risk, high return miliary strategy, it is time to turn to the Navy. To now, the Navy has pretty been sitting out the war. But we have the largest Naval fleet in the world. We could blockade the Strait of Hormuz. Or, more effectively, we could declare any tanker laden with oil from Iran to be contraban, and seize or sink them as we find them. We could shut down the Iranian economy which should cause enough internal pressure to start that wide-spread uprising in Iran that has been long anticipated but slow to materialize.

Iran can't imagine this, and neither can the "All-stars" but it doesn't mean the imaginative planners in the Pentagon are similarly stumped.