Friday, January 26, 2007

Fighting all the enemies

From The Washington Post:

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The "catch and release" policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.

Last summer, however, senior administration officials decided that a more confrontational approach was necessary, as Iran's regional influence grew and U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran appeared to be failing. The country's nuclear work was advancing, U.S. allies were resisting robust sanctions against the Tehran government, and Iran was aggravating sectarian violence in Iraq.

"There were no costs for the Iranians," said one senior administration official. "They are hurting our mission in Iraq, and we were bending over backwards not to fight back."

Three officials said that about 150 Iranian intelligence officers, plus members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Command, are believed to be active inside Iraq at any given time. There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.

But, for three years, the Iranians have operated an embedding program there, offering operational training, intelligence and weaponry to several Shiite militias connected to the Iraqi government, to the insurgency and to the violence against Sunni factions. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the CIA, told the Senate recently that the amount of Iranian-supplied materiel used against U.S. troops in Iraq "has been quite striking."

"Iran seems to be conducting a foreign policy with a sense of dangerous triumphalism," Hayden said.

This has been going on for years and we are just now beginning to do something about it. A major cause of the problems we are having in Iraq is our reluctance to fight all the enemies we have in the region. The Shiite militias would not be a problem now if we had stepped on the Iranians and Syrians at the first sign that they were interfering in Iraq.

I believe that the Administration's unwillingness to broaden the conflict in the Middle East is rooted in his reluctance to broaden the war at home. No commander wishes to fight a war on two fronts and almost from the beginning of the Iraq war Mr. Bush has found himself in a brutal war against the Islamofascists domestic allies, otherwise known as the Democrat Party and the mainstream media.

This is another reason why the left is such a malignancy. If you look at the results of elections you will see that the nation is about evenly divided between Democrat and Republican. This means that before conservatives can do anything to move the country forward in any signifigant way they must overcome a retrograde force which is almost as powerful as their forward impulse. Imagine a healthy and strong 200 pound man who must do everything with a 199 pound dead body strapped to his back. Or an airliner which can go 350 MPH constantly having to fly into a 345 MPH headwind.