New York Sun: Senator Webb of Virginia is arguing that if America avoids a military confrontation with Iran, the Islamic regime could follow China’s path and become a more responsible nation.
The New York Sun
BY Staff Reporter of the Sun
Senator Webb of Virginia is arguing that if America avoids a military confrontation with Iran, the Islamic regime could follow China’s path and become a more responsible nation.
“When I fought in Vietnam, there was hardly a weapon that was used against me that hadn’t been made in either China or Eastern Europe. That doesn’t mean that we should take military action against China based purely on that fact. We developed a diplomatic relationship with China that over the years paid out,” Mr. Webb, a Democrat, said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“With respect to Iran, we need to look at what good national leadership can do, as we did with China, which was a nuclear power, a rogue nation, et cetera, back in the ’70s, and we were able, through aggressive leadership, to address that,” Mr. Webb said. He said America’s “greatest mistake” in Iraq has been the failure “to aggressively engage Iran, without taking other options off the table.”
“Iran is a cancer in the Mideast. It must be confronted,” Senator Graham, a Republican of South Carolina, responded on the same program. “I’d love to do it diplomatically, but I think the biggest mistake we made is that when we went in after the fall of Baghdad, everybody in the Rumsfeld camp assumed we wouldn’t be there long. … We didn’t have to have enough troops for it all to come together.”
Despite his praise for American diplomacy in Chinese development, Mr. Webb made clear that he still views China as at odds with America. He referred to China as America’s “main strategic adversary around the world” and said the Asian power has benefited from American involvement in Iraq.