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December 28, 2011

Iran Threatens To Close Strait of Hormuz

I often think that conservatives make too big a deal out of strategic clarity. Sometimes (sometimes) clarity isn't such a great thing.

That said, clarity is often the best policy.

Obama has presented himself to the world for three years as a weak man embarrassed and ashamed of America's might, chiefly obsessed with making apologies and insulting old (colonialist) allies, and who flinches from the hard way.

He's been clear on his policy of appeasement towards Iran, which emboldens Iran, and which may cause them to think they really can block traffic in the Strait with impunity.

There is one snag in that chain of reasoning: It's an election year, and Obama is as a weak in the polls as he is in world leadership.

We may wind up exchanging shots precisely because Obama has presented himself as so craven, and now reaches for the military option out of a different sort of craveneness.

This could all just be saber-rattling, and Obama's own rattled saber might induce the Iranians to but their own saber away.

But many times wars erupt due to miscalculation, don't they? Miscalculations about the enemies' capabilities, intentions, and likely responses to provocations.

Do the Iranians understand it's an election year and Obama desperately needs some kind of accomplishment to add to his pile of one?

I don't know.

Iran's navy chief warned Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway through which a sixth of the world's oil flows.

It was the second such warning in two days. On Tuesday, Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments.

In response, the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet's spokeswoman warned that any disruption "will not be tolerated." The spokeswoman, Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, said the U.S. Navy is "always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation."

But I do know what "peace through strength" means. It doesn't just mean winning fights -- that would be a "victory at war through strength." Peace through strength means would-be enemies do not doubt your mettle or your will to carry your national interests forward, so they don't test that mettle.

It's not just the fights you win. It's the fights you win because no one attempts to fight you at all.


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posted by Ace at 06:32 PM

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