September 30, 2007

Attack the Iranians? It's about time!

According to an article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine, the U.S. military is planning air strikes on Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) facilities. This article, if true – consider the source – purports that the planning, being done by the Air Force planners at the Pentagon, has shifted from strikes on key facilities of the Iranian nuclear program to strikes on IRGC Qods Force installations.

These people have been killing our troops – it’s time to hit back.

The Qods Force is the elite special operations unit of the IRGC. They have been sent into action in Lebanon, Bosnia, Chechnya and Iraq, and probably as of late, Afghanistan. They have American blood on their hands in Lebanon and Iraq for sure, and possibly recently in Afghanistan. It is the Qods Force that is providing the Iranian-made weapons components – explosively formed projectiles - being used in roadside bombs that have killed over a hundred American troops in Iraq.

It goes back for decades. In Lebanon, the IRGC was directly involved in the 1983 attack on the Marine barracks at Beirut airport, complicit in the kidnappings, torture and murders of CIA Beirut station chief Bill Buckley in 1984 and U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Rich Higgins (serving with the United Nations) in 1989.

The Qods Force has been involved in other Iranian special operations in Europe, Asia and Africa. It was members of the Qods Force who were dispatched into southern Iraq in 1991 to foment the failed uprising against Saddam Husayn. They provided weapons to fundamentalist Islamic groups in Algeria in the early 1990's. In 1995, the Qods Force was involved in smuggling weapons to Bosnia's mostly Muslim army.

Of course, there are those who fear that any strike into Iran will cause the Iranians to unleash a wave of terrorism against U.S. interests in the region or elsewhere in the world. Maybe, but we cannot hold our foreign policy hostage to what the Iranians might do. Those who counsel against military action also have no alternative plan to deal with the problem. Diplomacy? Has that in any measure slowed the Iranian nuclear program?

The Iranians have attacked our troops - we owe it to them to hit back. At some point, we are going to have to address the growing Iranian threat – terrorism, nuclear, or both. Hurting the IRGC is a good place to start.