Our objective there should be to tie down Iran and poison its (and its proxies’) relations with the Arab public, the larger Islamic world, and nations in general. We want Syria to become Iran’s Vietnam, a conflict causing it no end of headaches but one it can’t easily get out of.
Bolton offers a “nightmare scenario” wherein “Iran would allow Assad to fall, losing its pawn, and in exchange Obama would agree to do even less than he is doing now to stop Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, allowing Iran to protect its queen.” Hey, anything’s possible, but the mullahs have an extremely strong interest in keeping Assad in charge at almost any price, as evidenced by their assignment of SS troops (a.k.a. Revolutionary Guard) to help crush the uprising in Syria. Instead of dithering, the administration should be pinning everything that happens in Syria on Iran: If there’s a civilian massacre, we need to demand an investigation into whether Iranian forces participated in it; if residential areas are shelled, we must demand to know whether the weaponry was shipped from Iran. The return address of every artillery shell is Tehran; the mullahs are responsible for every dead Syrian child.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Strategic advice on Syria: