You know we’re following the wrong game plan when the threats of Iran’s rulers are more credible than the response of our own politicians. Tehran is racing ahead with its illicit nuclear bomb program; training, funding and backing terrorists; subverting with mayhem and murder the dearly won openings for democracy in Lebanon and Iraq; and has been advertising its aims of annihilating Israel and destroying the United States. To all this, we have replied with words, words, words.
It’s now 10 days since Iran seized 15 British hostages at gunpoint, and to this latest act of war, we have replied with “disgust” (Tony Blair), “grave concern” (UN Security Council) and by scolding Iran’s regime for “inexcusable behavior” (George Bush). The European Union probably said something as well, but it was not audible over the ka-ching of cash registers as the EU refused to back Britain’s call to freeze its $28 billion export trade with Iran.
Our politicians have spent so much time arguing themselves into the absurd and dangerous position that there can be no military response to Iran that by now — despite the trillions spent on our military and munitions — they seem to believe it. Tehran’s rulers have every reason to believe that they face enemies who for all practical purposes, and despite any number of maneuvers in the Gulf, field no force that will strike Iran itself.
Forgotten in all this is yet another hostage crisis — one that has now stretched on for more than eight months, involving the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped last July by the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah. They are still missing, and despite a UN Security Council resolution requiring their unconditional return, no one has called Hezbollah’s terror-masters in Iran to account.
We are left with such joke measures as watered-down UN “sanctions” on Iran. We are left with the U.S. Treasury trying gamely to track down and stop the flow of Iranian terror and WMD money, even as State undercuts even this by staging a preemptive grand giveaway of crime-tainted millions to North Korea’s bomb-testing Kim Jong Il — who while tallying his income from missile sales to Tehran must be watching Iran’s latest hostage parade with bemusement.
If this is the most the Free World will do in its own defense, then there is perhaps one measure more useful than spouting more words, words, words. Tehran is already more than familiar with the usual hostage-crisis script, as first played out on Jimmy Carter’s watch. Our politicians, if they truly have no will to act, should have the wisdom to shut up. In silence, Iran’s rulers might to our own advantage at least read the possibility –however misleading — that we are done with talk, and instead considering a real response.