War with Iran?

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Seymour Hersh has got the left-wing world of journalism abuzz with his story charging that the Bush administration is planning military action against the mullahs' regime in Iran. But what if it's the other way around? What if Iran attacks the United States? Ralph Peters contemplates the possibilities, by no means all of which are pleasant.

Iran's show-off highlighting of its missiles suggests it is ready to cut off oil shipments or attack the U.S. Navy in the Gulf. We can respond, Peters argues, with air attacks, but no land war. This might, he says, topple the mullah regime, or it might rally the Iranian people around it—possible good news and possible bad news: pretty scary stuff. Here's his very Jacksonian conclusion:

But a half-hearted military response to Iranian aggression would only strengthen the confidence of our enemies and invite future confrontations.

We pulled too many punches in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now we're paying the price. If Tehran drags us into war, we should make the conflict so devastating and painful that even our allies are stunned.