I recall the admirable General Colin Powell, the general who use to say that the U.S. military was meant to completely defeat America’s enemies when war begins so that the same war would not have to be re-fought. The media certainly did not like his attitude, but before the 1990-91 Iraq war he stood by his position that the U.S. military’s job was to “surround and kill” the Iraqi army and then come home. His advice was ignored and look where we are today.
Fox News this morning (24 Feb. 10) showed a film clip of the Israeli ambassador to the United States being shouted down by Muslim students during a speech he was invited to make at a university in California. Fox’s announcers took the ambassador’s side in the name of free speech and the fact that he had been formally invited to give the talk. I agree with that argument, and believe that almost any suppression of free speech is a sure road to civil violence over the long term.
There has been much discussion about what President Obama and his administration should do about Iran. I participated this week in a discussion on the National Journal’s national security blog on this issue, which included two questions: