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A featured op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post is entitled in the printed edition “A Nuclear Iran. Would America Strike to Prevent it?” with the subtitle “Imagining Obama’s response to an Iranian missile crisis.” The authors are Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh, both fellows of the Council on Foreign relations, where leading neocon Max Boot also hangs his hat. The lengthy article explores the ins and outs of building an international consensus and actually taking military action against Iran but it never answers the question “Why?” It does not even attempt to make any case whatsoever that Iran poses a threat against the United States given the fact that Tehran does not appear to have a nuclear weapons program, has agreed to renegotiate a plan to export its uranium for enrichment, and has no track record of attacking any of its neighbors. Where’s the threat, guys, particularly as you’re talking about a war that even you concede might well be prolonged against a “damaged but dangerous adversary.”

It’s truly amazing how people who sit behind a desk at some think tank can contemplate war as if it is some kind of a board game. The scary thing about this type of pseudo-intellectual nonsense is that it builds a consensus that war with Iran is a natural development because it is the right and sensible thing to do. The authors, who, in other circumstances, might reasonably be regarded as knowledgeable, also seem disconnected from reality. At one point they suggest that Obama would have to “connect” with a number of groups to try to sell a policy embracing a new war. One of the groups they identify is Congress, as if America’s legislators would boldly take a stand to resist the rush to war. Presumably Takeyh and Simon have not read current HR 1553, which green lights an Israeli attack on Iran, or any of the other resolutions and legislation that have come out of Congress over the past three years excoriating the Mullahs. Or they could listen to some of the speeches being made by Senators Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and John Kyl. The fact is that there are a lot of very loud and strident voices calling for war with Iran and very few saner folks who are saying “Wait a minute.” I sometimes wonder how the Washington Post and pundits like Takeyh and Simon will explain it if they do get their war and it turns out to be a God-awful disaster for the United States which, predictably, will be the case.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran 
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  1. Bob Weber says:


    This quote from Adam Smith’s seemed too good to be true so I got my copy of Wealth of Nations off the bookshelf, and yes, there it is::

    In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.

  2. Mr. Giraldi:

    The missing piece in drum beating rush for a war with Iran.

    This is a sobering reminder and critical times for American people to ask all sorts of whys in order to prevent another catastrophic Iraq replica.
    But if history has anything to tell us that is the American people are too inclined to let the neocons and Zionists lead them to another disastrous war but this one far more consequential and no guaranty with an end in sight.

    The Iranians are entirely different from Iraqis. they are too resolute to stand by in event of an attack on them and with many options and weapons to hit back instantly and at their leisure thereafter.

    Faramarz Fathi

  3. HateHacks says:

    Quoting Mr. Giraldi: “The lengthy article explores the ins and outs of building an international consensus and actually taking military action against Iran but it never answers the question “Why?” ”

    Yours is not to reason “why?” Mr. Giraldi – yours is but to send your young men and women off to die (or be maimed, or…you get the drift…).

    Self-styled “revolutionary” Abbie Hoffman published a book over 40 years ago called “Revolution for the Hell of It.”

    The motto of his neo-conservative cousins seems to be: “WAR for the Hell of It.”

  4. […] enemies.” (She has not “refudiated” them.) Her political allies compare Muslims to Nazis and ache to imprint a few Ground Zeroes of their own in even more Muslim countries. Her admirers now inveigh […]

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