In an OpEd today on National Review Online Rick Santorum says that our leaders have failed us with respect to Iran. Iran, says Santorum, must be confronted if the war against Islamic fascism is to be won. According to Santorum, the Gates nomination signals an unwillingness on the part of the Administration and Congress to address the growing threat:
The president is not unaware of the situation in Iran, but his view of the country is informed by the advisers who surround him, a collection of people from the various sectors of the foreign-policy establishment. His intelligence team, led by the director of National Intelligence, will advise him that the opposition in Iran is weak and divided and that there is no legitimate exile community; thus we have no real alternative to either bombing the country or establishing by diplomacy a modus vivendi. The Pentagon will advise the president that our already stretched forces are unable to engage in another conflict. The State Department and our new secretary of Defense do not think that there is a casus belli and that our best hope for mitigating the many crises of that region is to negotiate with Iran.
So, if we should not expect the president to explain why we must confront Iran, what of the Congress?
The Democrats of course would never confront Iran because they attribute their wins in November to America’s growing dissatisfaction with Iraq. If continued instability in Iraq works to their political benefit, why would they change the subject to Iran, particularly when they have no solution to propose and have always been skeptical that military force will do anything to stop Islamic terrorism?
Many Republicans understand the problems that Iran is causing in Iraq, but they have no wish to be portrayed as warmongers by the media and the Democratic party. If Americans have had enough with Iraq, it would be only too easy to characterize any confrontation with Iran as the United States becoming hopelessly and dangerously entangled in a region whose ills defy remedy.