Tougher on Iran: The Revolutionary Guard Is at War with the United States. Why Not Fight Back?

[Washington Post] Editorial - Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps is a sprawling organization involved in myriad activities, including guarding borders, pumping oil, operating ports, smuggling, manufacturing pharmaceuticals, building Iran's nuclear program - and supplying the weapons that are killing a growing number of American soldiers in Iraq. Iran also delivers rockets and other weapons to Shiite militias. In effect, the Revolutionary Guard, a radical state within Iran's Islamic state, is waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible. In response, the Bush administration is considering categorizing the Guard as a "specially designated global terrorist" organization under a post-Sept. 11 executive order aimed at blocking terrorists' access to their assets. This seems to be the least the U.S. should be doing, given the soaring number of Iranian-sponsored bomb attacks in Iraq. What's puzzling are the murmurs of disapproval from European diplomats and others who say they favor using diplomacy and economic pressure, rather than military action, to rein in Iran. So far, the diplomacy and sanctions haven't been working and tougher measures are being blocked in the UN Security Council by China and Russia. Designating the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization could cause banks and exporters in Europe and Asia that do business with Guard affiliates to pull back. So what's the objection? Some European diplomats say they fear that an escalating confrontation between the U.S. and Iran will end in war. But sanctions are the alternative to war - Iran already rejected initiatives aimed at ending its nuclear program by offering economic concessions and other carrots. Others suggest that the administration's labeling of a principal arm of the Iranian regime as a terrorist group would contradict its recent embrace of bilateral talks with Tehran about Iraq. Yet that regime participates in those discussions while escalating its surrogate war against American troops. If Iran chooses to fight as well as talk, the U.S. should not shrink from fighting back with all the economic weapons it can muster.

2007-08-22 01:00:00

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