While speaking to the Family Research Council yesterday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) told hate radio host Tony Perkins that a military operation against Iran could be completed in several days.
“Even if military action were required…the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq and that’s simply not the case.”
“It would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox,” he continued. “Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior. For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions. All we’re asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America’s national security interest as Bill Clinton was.”
It would be nothing like Iraq, he says.
I'm old enough to remember when the Bush administration said Iraq would be nothing like Iraq.
It's impossible to know if Tom Cotton is really as clueless as he appears to be or if this is just rhetoric, but the comparison to Operation Desert Fox is telling.
At the time of Operation Desert Fox, Iraq's military had already been decimated during Operation Desert Storm. This would not be the case in Iran. It's not as if Iran is incapable of defending itself just as Iraq was incapable of mounting an effective defense. American forces suffered no casualties during Operation Desert Fox but that would not be the case in Iran.
Whether it's ignorance or political rhetoric, or both, the callousness of Tom Cotton is unmistakable. Cotton would gladly throw away the lives of American servicemembers on a whim while President Obama and other world leaders cross the Ts and dot the Is of a peace agreement.
If Republicans want to make the next election a referendum on war with Iran, I don't think they will like the outcome.