Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Insanity Over Iran

We're in recurring nightmare territory here. Today's Zogby poll shows more than half of voters would support a military strike to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon and believe it likely the U.S. will do so before next year's election.

On PBS' News Hour, normally an oasis of rationality in the TV news desert, we have a solemn debate about attacking Iran between Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and Norman Podhoretz, the Neo-Con relic Rudy Giuliani is propping up to prove he is a true conservative.

When Zakaria points out we have used deterrence and containment against nuclear threats from China, the Soviet Union and North Korea, Podhoretz accuses him of "an irresponsible complacency...comparable to the denial in the early '30s of the intentions of Hitler that led to what Churchill called an unnecessary war involving millions and millions of deaths that might have been averted if the West had acted early enough."

If Zakaria's informed rationality and Podhoretz's apocalyptic drool are given equal weight as two sides of the argument, we may be headed for another Iraq, propelled by the same political and media cowardice of five years ago.

The Senate passes the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment designating the Iranian Revolution Guard as a terrorist organization by a vote of 76 to 22, with Hillary Clinton, among other Democrats, failing to see that the Bush-Cheney Administration will surely use it to justify an attack on Iran without seeking Congressional approval.

Such willful blindness now leads to apparent public approval of what would surely be another act of national insanity, putting American troops in harm's way in three Muslim countries based on no compelling national interest beyond the loopy theories of a gaggle of armchair warriors in a discredited lame-duck Administration.

To top it all off, we have Rudy Giuliani war-mongering for votes in New Hampshire by accusing Clinton and Obama of wanting to negotiate with bad people and debating whether to invite Ahmadinejad and Osama to "the inauguration or the inaugural ball."

Why aren't more politicians and media people speaking out about this recurrence of madness?


John said...

Why the insanity? My guess is the administration thinks if they threaten Iran, Iran will "shape up." Yes, it sounds nuts. GWB does not realize he can not win a war on the Eurasian continent without Russia's help.

Why does GWB get away with it? Much of the public support for an attack would dry up if Iran recognized Isreal's right to exist, and take back the remark about how it should be wiped off the map. Is that too much to ask?

john said...

Maybe it's just a tactic to keep oil prices high. Maybe it's vanity. "War presidents get more power and more pages in the history books." - Charles Bukowski.

Maybe it really is insanity. Listening to Kristol on Fox Sunday, he sounds like he'd like nothing better than a glorious global bloodletting on the order of 40-50 million dead to wash the world's evil away forever. I think he is crazy. Didn't Irving at least have a sense of humor?

All the neocons seem to think of war as a policy of strength and moral justification, an abstraction, really. They don't seem to realize it is hell on earth inflicted on the individual body and soul.

By the way, where the hell is Bin Laden? S'pose he's in Iran?