If Iran continues to harm Americans in Iraq, we will deal with them “firmly.”
These, or words to that effect, were spoken by the most powerful man in world — our president. Yo, Mr. President, your own intelligence and military community will tell you that Iran has been killing and wounding American soldiers with impunity for quite some time.
For the past three years, we have officially denied Iran's direct involvement with money, training, deadly bombs, intelligence, communications, transportation and leadership inside Iraq. These things have been killing us. We have found documents in Iraq that indicate that Iranian leaders have said, ”We must bleed America anywhere we can.” We have been giving them a pass on this kind of stuff — and today, our president's words gave them a pass again. I mean, we basically just said, “It was OK to kill us yesterday, just don't kill us anymore or else.” What is wrong with this picture and with us?
Part of our problem is Iraq and part of the problem is the intelligence and leadership failures that have put Iraq and us in the chaos we see everyday. Our soldiers have made up for very serious incompetence there, but out leader's credibility may be too far gone to convince the rest of us and the world that we really have the “goods” on Iran.
But for sure, we need to stop threatening and start doing. Deal with Iran directly, indirectly, politically, economically, religiously and as a last resort — militarily. But deal with them we must. Not doing so will only lead to more American and Iraq military and civilian deaths at the hands of Iran.
Iran is controlling and or influencing Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq; they have to be brought under control and I mean now. This will take leadership, and brave and forward thinking leadership — not idle threats.
Col. Hunt responds to some of your questions:
"Last year, during one of your appearances with Bill O'Reilly, you said something about warning Iran for its activities in Iraq. You said that the USG should tell Iran to stop such activities, or pick out some govenmental buildings it was willing to lose. O'Reilly didn't follow up on your comment. I assume you still feel the same way. But how about the DOD and the Administration? Do any of your colleagues feel as you do? How about the DOD and the Administration providing the wherewithal to dissidents in Iran to start setting off bombs im Iran so that the Crazy Iranian President would find out what it feels like?"— Don
Col. Hunt: Bombing has to be the last resort it will make some feel better but only push them back a little or a lot — if a lot, only five years. We do not have the ground forces to invade.
" If there a chance that you and your other military friends might be asked to provide guidance to President Bush and his cabinet regarding Iraq, Iran and Syria; would you do it?" — Ernie
Col. Hunt:Thank God, no. There are buckets of generals in D.C. to advise and tell the politicians what they want to hear.
"Many of us out here in Iowa lost a CSM in the helicopter shot down on Jan 20 outside of Baghdad. We keep hearing back channel whispers that the Afghan Surgeon General was on that flight and that he was the real target? If anyone can find this to be true or not true I believe it to be you. The flight plan was not filed until 30 minutes prior to the flight? Any insight you would have on this shoot down would help us all." — Cavi
Col. Hunt: I am sorry for your loss. Your instincts and sources maybe right. There are rumors to this effect, but they are difficult to confirm.
"Recently, I heard you mention that we were losing soldiers due to a 'rules of engagement' situation. Have the rules been ammended to allow our military to protect themselves? Has anything changed for the better in that regard?" — Ann (Wayne, IL)
Col. Hunt: For this surge, the rules are being changed to allow for more aggressive behavior; I just wish it did not take three years to get there. Our guys deserve better.
"What is going on? Is this president afraid to take on Iran? They have held us hostage since President Jimmy Carter's presidency, if I remember correctly. It is time to do something, we have had our servicemen killed around the world and the Presidents at the time did nothing but sit on their duffs and say the next time. Why won't they draw a line in the sand and say enough and do the job?" — Linda
Col. Hunt: Yes, we are afraid; we seem to be frozen. Someday, our soldiers’ lives might be worth our politicians’ careers.
"You have it together, you seem to be one of the brightest minds on solving the problem with Iraq and Iran. Iraq is not going to go away until Iran is dealt with. My question is this; How do you deal with Iran? The Iranian president seems to be someone who no one can deal with. Would we be better off going direct to the Ayatollah's? Maybe even through the Vatican or some other form of religion?" — Bill
Col. Hunt: We should use any party that will get us and Iran together. Or, get ready for more of our guys getting killed, more bombs being made, and more summers like the last — where proxies for Iran, such as Hezbollah, do their fighting for them, with Israel and others.
"Semper Fi. I agree with everything said in your Colonel's Corner. I believe additional action needs to be taken out of the sight of reporters, etc. Recruitment of trustworthy intel sources inside Iraq (and Iran) and the revitalization of intel sources in Lebanon tops the list for me. Do you see it that way?" — John (Rochester, MN)
Col. Hunt: We need a far more aggressive intelligence approach to this war and we are still recruiting like we were in the Cold War. The FBI still has fewer than 50 Muslim agents.
"If we were to take out al Sadr, wouldn’t that explode into much more violence against our troops?" — Tim
Col. Hunt: We lost 80 soldiers last month, and we did not go after al Sadr. His militia is over 20,000 now — it was at 600 when we invaded, so yeah, we need to do something.
"I understand that most all of the IEDs being used to kill and maim our soldiers are being set off by Cell Phones from a "spotter" whom calls the IED Cell which sets it off when a convoy or foot-patrol of ours is near the kill zone for this cowardly and deadly weapon. I have a few questions for you. (1) Wouldn't it make sense to make the Cell Phone Towers that cover the attack areas inoperable indefinitely to help stop these types of detonations? (2) Would it be feasible to limit traffic to designated vehicles on certain streets so suicide bombers cannot have access to our and the Iraqi troops and police? (3) Why haven't we come up with and deployed an ECM device that could pulse the Cell Phone signals in Iraq in deliberate areas while on patrol to cause IEDs to either detonate or have such as part of ECM equipment on our Helicopters, Humvees, or Strikers to cause the IEDS to detonate early while being manufactured or well ahead of the patrol before they arrive at the kill zone? " — James (Fife Lake, MI)
Col. Hunt: Damn, those are great ideas. Some, we are trying, and some we are not. We have not solved this problem yet.
”Please comment on John Kerry's speech at the recent International World Economic Forum in Switzerland. We watch you on Bill O'Reilly regularly and feel that this comment MUST be addressed nationally. People need to know what is going on and what is being said." — Beverly (Sanford, Maine)
Col. Hunt: Kerry is no longer relevant — the worst thing for a politician.
"Why are we no longer concerned with reporting on what is wrong in the Balkans, Central & South America, South Africa, and the like? Why does the media overlook other 'hot-spots' that have involved the U.S. Military and continue to claim that it is taking too long in Iraq?" — Marc (Michigan)
Col. Hunt: If it bleeds it leads. All those places are important for sure, but Afghanistan and Iraq are the high ground right now for the press. It is not right, but that’s how it works.
"Is it true that China now controls the Panama Canal, are drilling for oil around Cuba, and have secured (cannot be easily checked by our security) shipping ports in California?" — Ernie
Col. Hunt: There are Chinese companies that have a lot more influence than that, and yeah, it’s scary stuff.
Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience, including extensive operational experience in Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Operations. You can read his complete bio here.