Whether or not the President acknowledges it, a state of war exists between the United States and the governments of Iran and Syria. The question before us now is whether or not we chose to acknowledge this state of war that our adversaries have instigated, and if we will take the steps needed end this state of conflict with a minimal loss of life on all sides.In Opinion Journal, Daniel Henninger expresses a different kind of frustration.
Victor Hanson suggests the price might be steep to others.
Like the Europeans, we may talk ourselves into a weariness with the world and its various, unremitting violences. No genocide will occur on American soil, but the same information tide that bathes us in Baghdad's horrors ensure that Darfur's genocide will come too near not to notice. Too bad for them, or any aspiring democrats under the thumb of Russia, China, Nigeria, Venezuela or Islam's highly mobile anti-democrats. We've got ours. Let them get theirs.
Does this overstate the buildup of anti-Bush, anti-Iraq sentiment? Will U.S. policy, in the hands of ideologically frictionless bureaucracies, slide forward? Maybe. But even the realists and cynics might concede there has been some benefit, perhaps going back as far as Plymouth Rock, in having one nation standing for the conceit, or even the ideal, that men elsewhere with democratic aspirations could at least count on us for active support. This is the core idea in the Bush Doctrine. If its critics don't start making some distinctions, they may discover that profligacy of opinion in our time carries a very steep price.
Jules Crittenden puts it even more bluntly.
And we all know, for all our self-doubt and self-loathing, that the West really is strong, at least strong enough to smash jihadists and their patrons.
So apparently we are in another Phony War circa October 1939 to May 1940, awaiting the provocation—another 9/11? A nuclear strike on Israel? A full-fledged brazen Syrian invasion of Lebanon? A terrorist killing of the Pope or mass murder in Paris or Berlin?— that sets us off.
And we know that like a Nazi Germany that invaded Russia and declared war on the United States, or a Japan that bombed Pearl Harbor and hoped for our instant surrender, that these jihadists have not a clue about the danger they are courting, apparently thinking that most Americans care only about Mark Foley’s email or Britni Spears’ divorce.
But tragically time will tell for these naïve and self-destructive killers. Their clock is ticking…
Brace yourselves, the next few years could be exciting, not necessarily in a good way.
If we are going to sit down and talk to the Iranians as the Iraq Study Group is expected to recommend, then this is the message that needs to be signalled loud and clear.
It's a policy I call Assured Destruction, because unlike the Cold War, there doesn't have to be anything mutual about it.
At any point along this path, if it turns out that they were just kidding, and it was all a big mistake, that will be too bad. For them.