The next stage of war
Another suggestion comes from former Reagan administration National Security Council staffer Michael Ledeen. And that is to aid the overwhelming majority of Iranians who want to oust the ruling mullahs. George W. Bush has spoken clearly about the need for freedom in Iran. But his government, so far as I can determine, has done little to bring it about. Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest the regime, at great risk. We should be getting in touch with those who are fighting for freedom in Iran, and aid and encourage them overtly or covertly in any useful way we can. The goal should be to bring the mullahs down peacefully, through something on the order of a broad-based general strike. As Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall point out in A Force More Powerful, concerted nonviolent action can often topple evil regimes--like those of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania or Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. With American forces in Baghdad, we can assist such action and help convince the mullahs that their days are numbered.
It is important to act fast. There have been benefits from going through the United Nations on Iraq, but there have also been costs. One of those is time--time enough for North Korea to make trouble while we are preparing for major military action thousands of miles away. Now North Korea is threatening to manufacture and spread nuclear weapons. Quick success in Iraq, followed by success as soon as possible in Syria and Iran, will help us deal with that threat too, as soon we must.