GOP's unending wars
If the sadists of ISIS are seeking — with their mass executions, child rapes, immolations and beheadings of Christians — to stampede us into a new war in the Middle East, they are succeeding.
“Nearly three-quarters of Republicans now favor sending ground troops into combat against (ISIS),” says a CBS News poll. The poll was cited in a New York Times story about how the voice of the hawk is ascendant again in the GOP.
In April or May, according to a Pentagon briefer last week, the Iraqi army will march north to recapture Mosul from ISIS. According to Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, the U.S. general who trained the Iraqi army says Mosul is a mined, booby-trapped city, infested with thousands of suicide fighters.
Any Iraqi army attack this spring would be “doomed.” Translation: Either U.S. troops lead or Mosul remains in ISIS' hands.
But taking Mosul is only the beginning. Scores of thousands of troops will be needed to defeat and destroy ISIS in Syria. And eradicating ISIS is but the first of the wars Republicans have in mind.
This coming week, at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, Bibi Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress. His message: Obama and John Kerry are bringing back a rotten deal that will ensure Iran acquires nuclear weapons and becomes an existential threat to Israel. Congress must repudiate Obama's deal, impose new sanctions on Iran and terminate the appeasement talks.
Should Netanyahu and his Republican allies succeed in closing the ramp to a diplomatic solution, we will be on the road to war.
With its anti-ship missiles and hundreds of missile boats, Iran could imperil our fleet in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. The Gulf could be closed to commercial shipping by a sinking or two.
Hezbollah could go after the U.S. embassy in Beirut. The Green Zone in Baghdad could come under attack by Shiite militias loyal to Iran.
Would Syria's army join Iran's fight against America? It surely would if America listened to those Republicans who now say we must bring down Bashar Assad to convince Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arabs to join the fight against ISIS.
By clashing with Iran, we would make enemies of Damascus and Baghdad and the Shiite militias in Iraq and Beirut battling ISIS today — in the hope that, tomorrow, the conscientious objectors of the Sunni world (Turks, Saudis and Gulf Arabs) might come and fight beside us.
Listen long to GOP foreign policy voices, and you can hear calls for war on ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, the Assad regime and the Islamic Republic of Iran, to name but a few.
Says John Bolton, looking at a presidential run, “Most of the Republican candidates or prospective candidates are heading in the right direction; there's one who's headed in the wrong direction.” That would be Rand Paul — who prefers “Arab boots on the ground.”
Pat Buchanan is the author of “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”