Monday, February 26, 2007

Have we lost sight of who the enemy is?

Seymour Hersh published a piece in the weekend alleging that the US is now seeking to undermine Iran by supporting Sunni extremists in Lebanon and in Iran itself. Sunni extremists that are very often aligned or sympathetic with, Al Qaeda.

Now normally I don't believe Hersh. He's been wrong more often than right and there are quite a few media people who suspect he's so gullible he's used as a disinformation source by the Pentagon. But here he has some pretty solid sources, such as a senior House member on a powerful committee.

So what to make of this? It looks like once again Bush is taking his eye off the ball. We were attacked by Al Qaeda on 9/11, invaded Afghanistan, which was a good idea, then took our eye off the ball to attack Iraq. Now I supported that war and still hope for success. I understood the strategy behind invading Iraq. But I also learn from mistakes. We made a major strategic error. We should have concentrated on Al Qaeda before opening up a new front and trying a democratization project.

Now Bush is doing it again, training his guns on Iran. It's unlikely that we'll actually go to war with Iran. Our ground forces are too exhausted. We could do an air war, but what would that accomplish? The military insists that we cannot eliminate Iran's nuclear program with an air war. So what's left is undermining Iran with covert aid to guerillas inside Iran and trying to take apart Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Those objectives are worthy. Iran is an enemy state that has committed numerous acts of aggression since 1979 that are internationally recognized as acts of war. However, fighting that enemy by aiding Al Qaeda doesn't strike me as the right way to go about this, to put it mildly.