Friday, February 17, 2012

Don't Get Sucked Into War With Iran

The drumbeat for initiating a military campaign against Iran is growing ever louder.  As the Iranians play cat and mouse with the UN, war hawks like Santorum, McCain and McCain’s mini-me Lindsay Graham, argue that a nuclear armed Iran is a serious threat to American security.  They argue that any nuclear device manufactured in Iran will ultimately find its way to our shores; delivered by an Al Qaeda operative hell bent on doing us harm.
They are probably right.  A nuclear armed Iran would pose a serious threat to our national security.  But we are not alone in this regard.  Israel, Europe and a number of Iran’s Middle Eastern neighbors would all find themselves in the Iranian crosshairs.  A nuclear armed Iran poses a security problem to the world community; not just the good old US of A.
And that’s where Santorum and his “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” cronies go off the rails.  Whenever there is a perceived problem in the world these guys want us to go in guns blazing.  They seem to forget that we did that in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan with less than stellar results.  In fact, last time we looked, we were still bogged down in a costly war in Afghanistan.
We are not in the position to engage in another protracted military campaign in the Middle East.  Our military is stretched to its limits and our economy is teetering on the brink.  Not to mention a lack of will on the part of the American people to fire on another country that has not fired on us.
Let’s say we assume the responsibility of removing the current Iranian regime…then what?  Do we prop up another corrupt democratically elected government?  And how long do we stay there to for “security purposes?”  Is there an exit strategy?
No one wants Iran to have access to a nuclear weapon.  Israel doesn’t want it.  Europe doesn’t want it.  Iran’s Middle Eastern neighbors don’t want it.  Even Russia and China would feel threatened by a nuclear armed Iran.  But they are all more than happy to sit back and allow the US to clean up the mess.
Israel has threatened to take military action.  They say that the window of opportunity to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is closing fast.  If Israel wants to be the tip of the spear; more power to them.  But we should not allow ourselves to be drawn into a military conflict just because they have an itchy trigger finger. 
The economic sanctions against Iran are working.  The Iranian people are suffering for lack of services and they are turning their anger against the regime.  We should keep up the pressure and not be swayed by the war mongering of a few hot heads.  If it becomes apparent that military action is necessary, then we should partner with our allies in an organized world response.
The US has spent the past 50 years serving as the world’s policeman.  While we spend our blood and treasure extinguishing the world’s fires the rest of the world spends its resources on infrastructure education and research.
The Iranian situation is not OUR problem.  It is a world problem.  And it is time for us to demand that the rest of the world to pull its weight.           

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