It speaks volumes about Fox News and its leading show, The O’Reilly Factor, that it discussed a potential military conflict with Iran with political pundit Charles Krauthammer rather than a military expert on Monday night (1/2/12). I’ve got a lot of respect for Krauthammer who, admittedly, has a lot of foreign policy cred. But neither he nor Bill O’Reilly have ever served in the military. And they were each cheerleaders for the Iraq war. So I got more than a little queasy watching these two argue that the U.S. should up its bellicosity with Iran because even if it does lead to war, we win.
O’Reilly said, “It would be to America’s advantage if (Iran) did try to close the Straits of Hormuz because then the U.S.A. would be justified, as would NATO, in taking out their entire Navy and Air Force, which they could do, we could do, in a week.”
O’Reilly’s voice rose with disturbing enthusiasm as he added, “We could obliterate every plane they have, every ship they have!”
Krauthammer said, “And that could even expand and extend to attacking other facilities, the missile facilities or even the nuclear facilities.”
According to these two, this kind of likely retaliation is why Iran will not close the Straits of Hormuz and why Obama should therefore draw a harder line.
Krauthammer and O’Reilly may be right that Iran is bluffing. But playing a game of brinksmanship has its own risks and is the kind of thing that could inadvertently lead to war.
One gets the distinct impression that while each claims that’s not likely to ensue, they won’t mind a bit if it should happen to come to pass.
Tell me that isn’t the perfect deal.
Killer O’Reilly would say
We stopped the Devil in the ME with our Devil in the WH. Oh dear…