Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Mark Shields: Iraq war a gift to Iran

Columnist Mark Shields on Friday's Newshour with Jim Lehrer had this to say during a discussion with David Brooks on the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and how the Iraq war has helped Iran increase its influence in the Middle East:

MARK SHIELDS: They are not unrelated. I mean, the United States' war against Iraq has been an undiluted gift to Iran.

We removed from the scene Saddam Hussein, their nemesis, the man who had waged war against them. We destroyed his army. There's a Shia government now friendly to Iran in power in Iraq. Now, I mean, these are not unrelated.

If they're on the march, I mean, they were given their marching orders. I mean, their position has been strengthened and enhanced by the United States' actions and policies.

We are in a position right now, Jim, as the Israelis are finding out, much to their pain, that when you have military power, there are limitations on what you can to in responding to asymmetrical terrorist attacks.

I mean, all of the military power in the world, we could win the war in Iraq militarily. We could do it the same way we won World War II, go in and level the cities, destroy Fallujah, drive them out, kill them. And that would be a political disaster, and the recriminations and the retaliation would be felt for generations and centuries.

So we have achieved everything we can do militarily, everything we can do with the military. The rest of it is political, and it's not working.


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