Would Huntsman Invade Iran?


Eli Clifton tracks Huntsman’s increasingly hawkish rhetoric on Iran. Larison sighs:

Can we stop pretending that Huntsman is one of the reasonable ones now?

And note that Gingrich now appears to favor an actual land invasion of Iran:

He painted a chain of events in which an Israeli prime minister asked an American president for help with a conventional military invasion of Iran so that Israel would not have to use its nuclear arsenal to defend itself. Mr. Gingrich implied that he would go along. “What I won’t do is allow Israel to be threatened with another Holocaust,” he said. “This is a not-very-far-down-the-road decision.”

Bombing Iranian nuclear sites, as some suggest, is “a fantasy,” he said, because many are underground. Instead, the United States must seek “regime change” in Tehran. He suggested “serious economic steps, serious political and psychological and diplomatic steps,” including an embargo on imported gasoline.

None of this will likely stop Iran’s ability to advance its development of a nuclear capacity. And so the vision that Gingrich offers is a choice: either a nuclear Israeli attack on Iran or a US land invasion of Iran at Israel’s behest. And yes, this decision, like most decisions about Middle East policy under Gingrich or Romney would be governed ultimately by Bibi Netanyahu, backed by the Christianist right. Romney has even explicitly said that decisions in the US-Israel relationship would be governed by Israel’s prime minister, not the US president:

“I don’t seek to take actions independent of what our allies think is best, and if Israel’s leaders thought that a move of that nature would be helpful to their efforts, then that’s something I’ll be inclined to do. … I don’t think America should play the role of the leader of the peace process. Instead, we should stand by our ally.”

Can you imagine any political leader in this country ever saying “I don’t seek to take actions independent of what our allies think is best”? If a Democrat said that about Britain or Germany, he or she would be pilloried for abandoning American sovereignty. But Israel? It passes by without comment.

A vote for Gingrich or Romney is a vote for either a nuclear attack by Israel or another Iraq war in Iran. It would be Bush-Cheney on steroids – but this time, explicitly about directing US foreign policy around the interests of another country. And notice Gingrich’s warning:

“This is a not-very-far-down-the-road decision.”

As one war ends, another beckons. Without permanent warfare, the GOP feels lost.