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June 15, 2010

Kristol and Fly vs. The World
Posted by Patrick Barry

BillKristol2 Adam Serwer is definitely right to cast doubt on Iraq invasion proponent turned Iran invasion proponent Bill Kristol's credibility. Kristol's vociferous support for what he thought would be a consequence-free war against Iraq pretty seriously undermines Kristol's ability to cheerlead for a consequence-free war against Iran.

But another reason to doubt Kristol's credibiliy is that pretty much everyone and their brother thinks what he's saying goes completely against U.S. interests. I'm not kidding. This literally comes down to Jamie Fly and Bill Kristol versus everyone else:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said in April:  "I worry, on the other hand, about striking Iran. I've been very public about that because of the unintended consequences of that... The diplomatic, the engagement piece, the sanctions piece, all those things, from my perspective, need to be addressed to possibly have Iran change its mind about where it's headed." [Admiral Mullen, via Reuters, 4/18/10]

General David Petraeus, CENTCOM Commander: A military strike "could be used to play to nationalist tendencies...There is certainly a history, in other countries, of fairly autocratic regimes almost creating incidents that inflame nationalist sentiment. So that could be among the many different, second, third, or even fourth order effects (of a strike)." [Gen. David Petraeus, 2/03/10]

Michael O'Hanlon and Bruce Riedel:  "The strike option, however, lacks credibility. America is engaged in two massive and unpopular military campaigns in the region. Given Iran's ability to retaliate against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is simply not credible that we would use force in the foreseeable future." [O'Hanlon & Riedel, 2/28/10]

Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East: "[military action] will have an unpredictable set of consequences for the region but we can imagine a number of destabilizing ones. Depending on how Iran chose to retaliate, whether they chose to retaliate through the use of proxies in places like Iran or in Afghanistan through incitement of Shia communities... They could activate potentially activate or encourage Hizballah and Hamas to engage in reprisals and you can imagine the second and third order consequences of that on the peace process and on our outreach to the Muslim world and all of that.... We don't exactly know how it would unfold you have the prospects for unintended escalation and kind of losing control of what's going on,' Kahl warned, adding that even though any military strike could delay Iran's nuclear program, it could also ‘incentivize the Iranians to go all the way to weaponize.'" [Colin Kahl, via Think Progress, 10/1/09]

General Anthony Zinni, former head of CENTCOM and former Bush Aadministration Envoy to the Middle East:  "The problem with the strike is thinking through the consequences of Iranian reaction.  One mine that hits a tanker, and you can imagine what is going to happen to the price of oil and economies around the world.  One missile into a Gulf oil field or a natural gas processing field, you can imagine what's going to happen.  A missile attack on some of our troop formations in the Gulf or our bases in Iraq, activating sleeper cells, flushing out fast patrol boats and dowels that have mines that can go into the water in the Red Sea and elsewhere. You can see all these reactions that are problematic in so many ways. Economic impact, national security impact -- it will drag us into a conflict.  I think anybody that believes that it would be a clean strike and it would be over and there would be no reaction is foolish." [Anthony Zinni, 8/04/09]

Former Bush administration Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns: "Air strikes would undoubtedly lead Iran to hit back asymmetrically against us in Iraq, Afghanistan and the wider region, especially through its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. This reminds us of Churchill's maxim that, once a war starts, it is impossible to know how it will end." [Nicholas Burns, 5/06/09]

Fareed Zakaria: A military strike "would most likely delay the Iranian program by only a few years," and "The regime would gain support as ordinary Iranians rally around the flag. The opposition would be forced to support a government under attack from abroad."  Additionally, an attack would, result in the Iranian regime "foment[ing] and fund[ing] violence from Afghanistan to Iraq and across the Persian Gulf," severely damaging U.S. interests, with relatively low costs to the Iranians. [Fareed Zakaria, 2/21/10]


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Don't you think Kristol looks so logical.He is writing Israel wishes not what is in interest of US. He behave as Israeli agent.

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The opposition would be forced to support a government under attack from abroad

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