The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Monday, March 20, 2006

War Weary 

I was recently reading this article on News Day talking about how Iran is sounding an awful lot like Iraq did a few years ago:

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan in his 1980 debate with President Jimmy Carter: There they go again.

In this case I'm referring to the Bush administration's just-released update of its National Security Strategy statement. In it, the administration reaffirms its belief in war to stop a nation from acquiring nuclear weapons. The review gives almost no indication that the administration has learned anything from the debacle that has resulted from the invasion of Iraq. There is no recognition of the difficulties that come after the strike - the task of nation building, which has been utterly bungled in Iraq. This is mind-bogglingly bad.

There is also an alarming sense of deja vu in this report when it comes to Iran. Combine the review's defense of preventive war - which it terms "pre-emptive war," though there is an important difference - with the recent warning statement from Vice President Dick Cheney that "we will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," and you can't help but feel that this administration is ready to go to war again, this time against Iran. It was that same combination of a bellicose National Security Review and saber rattling from Cheney that set the stage for the invasion of Iraq.

Should we go into Iran? Can we go into Iran? Do we want to go into Iran? These are very distinct questions, which may have the same answer, and may have very different answers. Don't let anyone try to tell you any different.

It's the last question I want to address briefly here. Do we want to go into Iran? I wonder sometimes if we could take another few years of a war that for good or ill is made unpopular in the media. For as much good as is going on in Iraq, little of that message ever escapes that country to get to us. The majority of Americans aren't being inconvenienced by the war... there is no draft, no rationing... and yet we're still being worn down by it, if only because there is a constant negative drumbeat in the media because of it. Going to Iran would just be a matter of turning right from Iraq and left from Afghanistan, but what would it take to be able to do this here?

If we don't go into Iran, it wouldn't be the first time we avoided an all out war with a country, despite every indication it would be a good idea in the long run, simply because we were tired. The last time we avoided a war out of exhaustion, we ended up in a Cold War for 40 years. Would a Cold War with Iran be better than an all out hot war?

My gut tells me that we're just too weary for another war right now. We need a break. The problem is, we may not be able to afford to take that break. What do we do then? I know... I know. Only questions... no answers.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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