You compared that to airstrikes in the leadup to the war in Iraq
The Airstrikes were initially done to have Iraq just give up and hand over their "WMD's". Kinda like coercing Iran into handing over your toy.
You have it wrong on both counts. The goal of the airstrikes during the leadup to the invasion of Iraq was to destroy their air defenses, command and control, and ground forces in preparation of our attack. We had already committed ourselves to invasion before we started the air campaign. We did not bomb them a few times and then demand they turn over WMDs, then attack when they refused. You are just plain wrong.
Similarly, I did not speak of air strikes as a means to force Iran to turn over the drone. I said we should have gone in immediately with sufficient force to recover or destroy the drone. What that force was made up of could be anything from air power alone (destroy the drone), to combined air ground (attempt to recover, destroy if you can't). My comment about airstrikes was to say what we could do *if* Iran decided to take our provocation as an act of war and do something about it.
We don't have to land in Iran or invade them. We can just bomb the hell out of them. My point is that had Obama played this right, he could have used the drone as an excuse to launch an "attack" into Iran to recover/destroy the drone, then challenge Iran to do something about it. If Iran doesn't then they lose face and we win a point in the foreign policy game (and they don't get the drone). If they do, then we can use that as an excuse to escalate into airstrikes against their nuclear program facilities (and they don't get the drone).
I thought I was pretty clear about this when I first wrote it. How the hell did you get things so backwards? Maybe stop smoking pot?
When Iraq said no we are going to fight you, then you occupied the country. When Iran says no we are going to fight you, you going to occupy them too?.
No. We take or destroy the drone without asking their permission. If they do anything tangible about it, we escalate to airstrikes. Why the hell would we invade and occupy Iran? My whole point about air power was that we don't have to get involved in an expensive ground war with Iran. We can, with sufficient provocation/excuse, just bomb the hell out of them with out spending significantly more money than we spent in Libya. Again, how the hell did you misunderstand what I was talking about? Why would you assume any part of the goal here would be to invade Iran?
Like I said your country can't afford an encounter with Iran, so get Israel to do it. Again they are the only country that is really threatened by a Nuclear Iran.
Israel *can't* do it. Not on their own (or without massive military aid from us, at which point the distinction is silly). And if you can't see how more than just Israel are threatened by Iranian nuclear weapons, then I'm not sure how I can lay a string of bread crumbs for you clear enough to see.
Let's apply that critical thinking again, shall we? Let's pretend that since Israel is the only country threatened by a nuclear Iran, no one else steps in and helps. Let's assume that Iran gets the bomb. Let's pretend that Iran hands a bomb to some operatives, who smuggle it into Syria, where it ends out in the hands of a Hezbolla attack group, who detonate it in Tel Aviv. What the hell do you think happens next? How many countries get involved at that point? Do we just continue to sit at home, smoking our pot, and say "sucks to be Israel"?
If you have any answer other than "we'd just sit by and let Iran blow Israel up without acting", then doesn't it make some sense to find a way to do something *now* when nuclear weapons are not on the table, than to wait until then, when anything we do is hindered by the very real fact that we'd be dealing with a nuclear armed state? I honestly didn't think I had to spell this out so clearly for you. I figured most people understood already why "nuclear armed Iran" is a really really really bad thing we need to avoid at all costs. There is no indication that the current leadership and likely future leadership of Iran would think twice about using a nuke on Israel if they had the chance. They wouldn't launch it directly, of course, but you aren't thinking very clearly if you don't see the obvious method they would use.
And btw. Said method works just as well against the US. Actually, it could work *better*. We have a far more porous border and far less stringent import inspection process than Israel does. Israel has been dealing with terrorists attempting to sneak bombs into their country to blow people up for over half a century. We have not.
Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is an absolute necessity for the US. Obama was just handed a perfect opportunity to use this accident to possibly (depending on Iranian response) do something about it. It was a win-win situation. We get away with our provocation (and keep the drone out of their hands) *or* we get the drone out their hands and get an excuse to set their nuclear program back some more. This is why his choice was the wrong one. I'm not sure what the hell he was thinking. Edited, Dec 9th 2011 6:42pm by gbaji