Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Message to Iran

 

If I had my druthers, the U.S. would deliver the following message to Iran, and would back it up with corresponding kinetic engagement:

Dear People of Iran,

We have no dispute with you. We know you are not free, and that your government acts without your direction or consent.

Unfortunately, your government, which is cruel to you, exports that cruelty abroad. We can not tolerate your government and your military projecting violence outside of your borders, hurting the people of your region and of the world. Therefore, we will use our overwhelming power to systematically destroy your military, and when necessary your government, until those who rule you learn that we will not allow them to send their terror abroad.

We will do everything within our power to spare you, the Iranian people, from harm as we do this. We will do our best to avoid damaging your holy places and your civilian infrastructure. We have no quarrel with you. Our goal is to convince your government that its days of inflicting foreign terror are over and to make it pay a very heavy price until it learns that lesson.

America wishes the people of Iran well. We look forward to the day when you are a free people, when we can share our cultures and our commerce with each other.

America

Published in Foreign Policy
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There are 24 comments.

  1. Concretevol Thatcher

    I wish Trump would say that as well. He made what I consider an absolutely justified attack. I could do without the tough guy twitter routine. Ahh well, the dems respond with siding with terrorist Iranians so 2020 is off to a good start. lol

    • #1
    • January 7, 2020, at 7:22 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Samuel Block Member

    [Typing.]

    D-R-U-T-H-E-R-S.

    Awesome! New word.

    • #2
    • January 7, 2020, at 7:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Samuel Block Member

    @peterrobinson! Can you pass this along to your bud, Mad Dog?

    • #3
    • January 7, 2020, at 7:32 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s a fine notion. But there is no way to topple a regime, much less go to war, without hurting the regime’s subjects and risking the nation’s future. Every revolution is a wild gamble. Anything could come out the other end. 

    May the good Lord help Iranians, whatever that means.

    • #4
    • January 7, 2020, at 9:22 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It’s a fine notion. But there is no way to topple a regime, much less go to war, without hurting the regime’s subjects and risking the nation’s future. Every revolution is a wild gamble. Anything could come out the other end.

    May the good Lord help Iranians, whatever that means.

    I want neither to topple the regime nor to go to war.

    I simply want to contain it.

    • #5
    • January 7, 2020, at 9:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Those are my sentiments, too, Hank. Unlike other dictatorships, this regime wasn’t elected. So the people must suffer. And every time they make an effort to break free, they die.

    • #6
    • January 8, 2020, at 5:57 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    [Typing.]

    D-R-U-T-H-E-R-S.

    Awesome! New word.

    I’ve been using that my whole life. 

    • #7
    • January 8, 2020, at 9:30 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am ready to destroy it. Destroy their based, their headquarters. Wipe out their ability to keep their foot on their people. Then we can see if the people of Iran really want freedom

    • #8
    • January 8, 2020, at 9:31 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am ready to destroy it. Destroy their based, their headquarters. Wipe out their ability to keep their foot on their people. Then we can see if the people of Iran really want freedom

    If that were practical, I might agree. But I think it would be hard to attack their government without acting in a way that could too easily be portrayed as attacking Iran itself and the Iranian people. So I’ll continue to favor a low profile, measured, precise response, one that’s much harder to portray as a huge act of American aggression.

    • #9
    • January 8, 2020, at 9:52 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am ready to destroy it. Destroy their based, their headquarters. Wipe out their ability to keep their foot on their people. Then we can see if the people of Iran really want freedom

    If that were practical, I might agree. But I think it would be hard to attack their government without acting in a way that could too easily be portrayed as attacking Iran itself and the Iranian people. So I’ll continue to favor a low profile, measured, precise response, one that’s much harder to portray as a huge act of American aggression.

    Too bad.

    I don’t care how they portray us. We will be the bad guy no matter what we do. We will always be portrayed as the bad guy. There is no way we will ever  be considered the “good guy” by anyone one in the world, or by 40% of our own citizens. America is bad to these people, has always been bad, and will always be bad. They cannot have their minds changed. 

    That is liberating. It means we can do the hard things that need to be done, and we don’t have to worry what anyone thinks, because they hate us now, they hated us my whole life, and they will hate us in the future. 

    • #10
    • January 8, 2020, at 9:55 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am ready to destroy it. Destroy their based, their headquarters. Wipe out their ability to keep their foot on their people. Then we can see if the people of Iran really want freedom

    If that were practical, I might agree. But I think it would be hard to attack their government without acting in a way that could too easily be portrayed as attacking Iran itself and the Iranian people. So I’ll continue to favor a low profile, measured, precise response, one that’s much harder to portray as a huge act of American aggression.

    Too bad.

    I don’t care how they portray us. We will be the bad guy no matter what we do. We will always be portrayed as the bad guy. There is no way we will ever be considered the “good guy” by anyone one in the world, or by 40% of our own citizens. America is bad to these people, has always been bad, and will always be bad. They cannot have their minds changed.

    That is liberating. It means we can do the hard things that need to be done, and we don’t have to worry what anyone thinks, because they hate us now, they hated us my whole life, and they will hate us in the future.

    I’m a little more optimistic than that. So we can just disagree on this one narrow point, Bryan, while we probably agree about most other things.

    • #11
    • January 8, 2020, at 9:57 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Manny Member

    ^ Like!

    • #12
    • January 8, 2020, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Unsk Member

    Nice Henry.

    “But there is no way to topple a regime, much less go to war, without hurting the regime’s subjects and risking the nation’s future”

    We have been successfully squeezing Iran for a while now and that is why they attacked the American contractors and the embassy. The Regime is hurting badly. The big K is very old and there is no peaceful means to replace him without considerable political turmoil. The demonstrations against the regime in Iran are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Demonstrators are dying in the streets. Regime change may happen on Iran’s current course in the near future. I for one would like more pressure applied to see that it does. 

    • #13
    • January 8, 2020, at 10:40 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Nice Henry.

    “But there is no way to topple a regime, much less go to war, without hurting the regime’s subjects and risking the nation’s future”

    We have been successfully squeezing Iran for a while now and that is why they attacked the American contractors and the embassy. The Regime is hurting badly. The big K is very old and there is no peaceful means to replace him without considerable political turmoil. The demonstrations against the regime in Iran are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Demonstrators are dying in the streets. Regime change may happen on Iran’s current course in the near future. I for one would like more pressure applied to see that it does.

     The President said that the current sanctions would be maintained. I think that is exactly the right course. I believe that we want to avoid drama and the risk that comes with it, and just maintain a steady pressure.

    • #14
    • January 8, 2020, at 10:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    Baseball analogy: Iran gets on base with a single to the embassy, hits into a double play at the airport, pop fly caught in foul territory, side out.

    • #15
    • January 8, 2020, at 11:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Bill Nelson Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I simply want to contain it.

    This is were most Americans will disagree. The Declaration states:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The right is not constrained to the Colonies, or even Europeans.

    Evil cannot be contained.

     

    • #16
    • January 8, 2020, at 11:41 AM PST
    • Like
  17. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I simply want to contain it.

    This is were most Americans will disagree. The Declaration states:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    The right is not constrained to the Colonies, or even Europeans.

    Evil cannot be contained.

     

    Neither can evil be eradicated. Let’s not get all philosophical.

     I want to discourage Iran from being willing to engage in foreign adventures. I want to make it so costly for them to blow up or take over something we like that they stop doing it.

    Then let the sanctions work, and the people eventually bring their government to heel. 

    • #17
    • January 8, 2020, at 11:59 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have no faith in economic sanctions to effect regime change. The USSR endured for decades despite the economic stupidity of communism. So did Cuba. At best, economic sanctions limit the resources of evil leaders. But then how has Iran remained a thorn in Syria-Iraq and threatened Saudi Arabia enough to foster relations with Israel?

    • #18
    • January 8, 2020, at 12:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Jim Beck Member

    Evening Henry,

    It is hard to get rid of bad actors, from Madura to Nasrallah, they are quite willing to let their populations suffer in the extreme. And when we off a bad guy, like Gaddafi, we get a failed state. I would prefer that we try to replicate the fall of Jaruzelski. When the Catholic church, labor (Solidarity), donated mimeograph machines and money and outside propaganda worked in a coordinated fashion, they helped topple Communism in Poland. If we could get Ayatollah Sistani and Iranian dissidents to work together to sabotage Iran from within, I think we would be more successful and less likely to end up with Libya. There are over 70 sheikdoms in Iraq, and I assume there is a similar number in Iran. Each individual sheik has a mayor Daley type of power, that is these local heads are the real power at street level, if one can turn them like we in the Surge, we might have some success. Do you have some specific ideas on how you would like to deter Iran with military actions. I think bombing, like in Serbia, might not succeed, especially as embedding military installations within populations has been a ME tactic for years. Also I do not think there is any likelihood that we will use troops to occupy Iranian territory and disable the military assets on the ground. Would you disable the oil fields, and the power grid?

    • #19
    • January 8, 2020, at 2:29 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Evening Henry,

    It is hard to get rid of bad actors, from Madura to Nasrallah, they are quite willing to let their populations suffer in the extreme. And when we off a bad guy, like Gaddafi, we get a failed state. I would prefer that we try to replicate the fall of Jaruzelski. When the Catholic church, labor (Solidarity), donated mimeograph machines and money and outside propaganda worked in a coordinated fashion, they helped topple Communism in Poland. If we could get Ayatollah Sistani and Iranian dissidents to work together to sabotage Iran from within, I think we would be more successful and less likely to end up with Libya. There are over 70 sheikdoms in Iraq, and I assume there is a similar number in Iran. Each individual sheik has a mayor Daley type of power, that is these local heads are the real power at street level, if one can turn them like we in the Surge, we might have some success. Do you have some specific ideas on how you would like to deter Iran with military actions. I think bombing, like in Serbia, might not succeed, especially as embedding military installations within populations has been a ME tactic for years. Also I do not think there is any likelihood that we will use troops to occupy Iranian territory and disable the military assets on the ground. Would you disable the oil fields, and the power grid?

    Jim,

    I don’t know how best to nudge revolution along. But I do think unpredictable and disproportionate responses to their terrorist activities would be a good idea, because I think they’re clever enough to perform a simple cost-benefit analysis and conclude that it doesn’t make sense antagonizing us and our allies.

    Beyond that, sanctions and quiet, clandestine undermining of their government seem sensible. And a stealthy war against their nuclear weapons development would be good.

    I wouldn’t do things that would be likely to lead to large numbers of civilian casualties, unless it had a compelling defensive purpose. Destroying their infrastructure would be the kind of thing I think we should avoid, because it leads to widespread suffering and death. I think we’re doing a good job right now, and should continue.

    H.

    • #20
    • January 8, 2020, at 8:54 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Bill Nelson Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Neither can evil be eradicated. Let’s not get all philosophical.

    It is philosophical. Evil doesn’t go away, it has to be destroyed. That is why the allies went to unconditional surrender in WWII, to eradicate the evil of Nazism and Japanese militarism (did a fairly good job).

    And let’s not kid ourselves. We can’t contain it. Afghanistan was one of the most isolated nations in the world in 2000, and look what happened on 9/11. Consider the state of the world if Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait would have been allowed to stand? Saudi Arabia was next, then what?

    Consider Turkey. For many years a secular state, constitutionally. Now Erdogan is turning it into an autocracy and soon an Islamist state. What then?

    After WWI the US went somewhat isolationist. Leave the Europeans alone and let them have their wars. Didn’t work.

     

    • #21
    • January 9, 2020, at 12:54 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Bill Nelson Member

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Evening Henry,

    It is hard to get rid of bad actors, from Madura to Nasrallah, they are quite willing to let their populations suffer in the extreme. And when we off a bad guy, like Gaddafi, we get a failed state. I would prefer that we try to replicate the fall of Jaruzelski. When the Catholic church, labor (Solidarity), donated mimeograph machines and money and outside propaganda worked in a coordinated fashion, they helped topple Communism in Poland. If we could get Ayatollah Sistani and Iranian dissidents to work together to sabotage Iran from within, I think we would be more successful and less likely to end up with Libya. There are over 70 sheikdoms in Iraq, and I assume there is a similar number in Iran. Each individual sheik has a mayor Daley type of power, that is these local heads are the real power at street level, if one can turn them like we in the Surge, we might have some success. Do you have some specific ideas on how you would like to deter Iran with military actions. I think bombing, like in Serbia, might not succeed, especially as embedding military installations within populations has been a ME tactic for years. Also I do not think there is any likelihood that we will use troops to occupy Iranian territory and disable the military assets on the ground. Would you disable the oil fields, and the power grid?

    One comment: not all problems are nails.

    During the height of the Arab spring in the early to mid-2000s, it was believed that Pres. Bush was the most popular politician in Iran.

     

    • #22
    • January 9, 2020, at 12:57 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    [Typing.]

    D-R-U-T-H-E-R-S.

    Awesome! New word.

    I hope you clocked the derivation. 

    • #23
    • January 9, 2020, at 5:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Samuel Block Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    [Typing.]

    D-R-U-T-H-E-R-S.

    Awesome! New word.

    I hope you clocked the derivation.

    🤯

    Thank you!

    • #24
    • January 9, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 1 like