In October of 2001 the United States infiltrated a handful of Special Forces teams into Afghanistan. They teamed up with a much fractured and strategically stalled Northern Alliance and in less than 90 days we had control of the country and our enemy was forced into hiding, isolated pockets, or escaping into neighboring countries.
Pakistan, neighboring Afghanistan to the south and east, may not have sealed its border nearly as well as we may have liked (has anyone seen our southern border?) but they have played an active roll in helping us capture and prosecute our enemy. To the west Afghanistan is bordered by Iran. Iran has made public statements claiming to be on our side against terrorism however a quick count of the number of terrorists captured in Iran stands at zero. On the positive side, at least they do not want them in Iran since they have been gracious enough to buy them tickets back to their respective countries.
After spending more than six months traveling along the Iran-Afghanistan border and talking with several Iranians I learned that the Iranians I talked with wanted the same thing we gave the Afghanis – Freedom. Then hearing the last president of Iran spit anti-American garbage, I came to the conclusion that we should have started in Afghanistan and continued west until we shook hands in Jerusalem. For those of you not geographically inclined, that means Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Golan Heights. This would have been more than President Bush could have survived politically, but it would have been more strategically sound since no insurgency has ever succeeded without external support and Afghanistan and Iraq would not have Iran and Syria to import foreign terrorists and hide WMD’s.
Now, with some history and my opinions well established (after all, this is Where I Stand), I will expound on Iran’s position with their current presidents threats.
Last week we marked the 25th anniversary of the release of the American hostages from Iran after being confined for 444 days. In those 25 years Iran has made countless threats and has defended itself in a war against Iraq. Apart from condoning, endorsing, and supporting terrorists, all they did was make idle threats. Compare that with Iraq which attacked Iran, annexed Kuwait, and exterminated some of its own people. We do not have the political capitol to attack Iran since they have never shown any overt aggression; however, we do have a moral responsibility to encourage freedom.
We should not openly attack Iran but should covertly encourage and support dissident groups within Iran.