Watching the pundits discuss our historic meeting with Iran, you would have mostly heard despair at the notion that we have no leverage in these talks, and so therefor why would Iran give on anything? Why would they stop waging war against us in iraq if they have nothing to fear? To all the experts in the media, the whole thing seemed like some grand puzzlement. Was it just an attempt to appease the administration’s domestic critics who have been chiding it for not engaging in diplomacy ( a vaguery if there ever was one ) with the world’s top terrorist? No one you heard from could really quite grasp what was going on.
For some reason, no one told you that just 5 days before Monday’s talks, an entire floating army, with nearly 20,000 men, comprising the world’s largest naval strike force, led by the USS Nimitz and the USS Stennis, and also comprising the largest U.S. Naval armada in the Persian Gulf since 2003, came floating up unnanounced through the Straight of Hormuz, and rested right on Iran’s back doorstep, guns pointed at them. The demonstration of leverage was clear. And it also came on the exact date of the expiration of the 60 day grace period the U.N. had granted Iran.
And it came just a few weeks after Vice President Dick Cheney had swept through the region and delivered a very clear and pointed message to the Saudi King Abdullah and others: George Bush has unequivocally decided to attack Iran’s nuclear, military and economic infrastructure if they do not abandon their drive for military nuclear capability. Plain and simple. Iran heard the message as well, and although a lack of leverage may seem clear to America’s retired military tv talking heads, it is not so clear to the government in Tehran.
The message to both Iran and Syria is that if the talks in Baghdad fail, the military option is ready to go.
The administration is almost freakishly confident, in marked contrast to media reports like the one featuring Newt Gingrich’s attack on the President below. The U.S. is in the midst of another dipolomatic surge through the region to bolster allies for the final showdown with Iran. Moqtada Al Sadr has sent signals he may be ready to break with Iran. And, frankly, the military turnaround in Al Anbar province is of greater strategic significance than the increase in U.S. casualties this month. In addition, the surge is still not entirely deployed, and whole key neighborhoods of Baghdad have yet to be entered. While John McCain was being mocked for having to wear a flak jacket in a Baghdad market, the bigger story was that his son, a Marine newly deployed to the Al Anbar province, and a frontline grunt at that, was more likely than not to never see a shot fired in an area that until just weeks ago was called “the most dangerous place on earth”.
Oh, and preparations are under way for the construction of new U.S. airbases in Kurdistan, so we are not, under any circumstances, giving up a firmbase posture throughout Iraq.
And special props to VP Cheney who had nearly been ordered by his doctors to not even make the first trip. A compromise was had and he flew with a physician. He is preparing for a trip to Iran’s various northern neighbors like Uzbekistan and Khazekstan to shore up our position for offensives from the north.
We want to have them entirely surrounded.
Video Of Iran’s Surprise Guests: