The Last Honest Escalation

Joe Lieberman goes for this full neocon:

While we are naturally focused on Iraq, a larger war is emerging. On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, on the other moderates and democrats supported by the United States. Iraq is the most deadly battlefield on which that conflict is being fought.

And what about al-Qaeda? Lieberman appears to be arguing later in the article that Iran and al-Qaeda are collaborating in Iraq since otherwise it’s hard to make sense of the claim that “If Iraq descends into full-scale civil war, it will be a tremendous battlefield victory for al-Qaeda and Iran. Iraq is the central front in the global and regional war against Islamic extremism.” Needless to say, he’s backing the Bush/McCain escalation plan.

One problem here is that to the extent you see the dark hand of Iran behind all events in Iraq, the situation should logically be viewed as more rather than less hopeless. The reason, of course, is that Iran can escalate every bit as much as we can. Whoever’s equipping, say, the Mahdi Army clearly isn’t equipping them very well — Hezbollah is much better-armed. Suppose we escalate and the Iranians counter-escalate by giving our foes wire-guided anti-tank missiles, katyusha rockets, Iglas and so forth — then you’re talking about a really bad scene. Obviously, though, that’s logic and hawks aren’t into logic.