Sunday, September 5, 2010

War with Iran? Not so fast War Hawks.

After reading the Leveretts' article debunking the notion of war with Iran, it got me thinking of how short sighted these war hawks actually are. I first want to say that I do not support a nuclear Iran, and I also believe in Israeli security. That being said, the idea of having the United States or Israel make a preemptive air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is ludicrous. As the article points out, there are "roughly 25,000-30,000 Jews continue living in Iran, with civil status equal to other Iranians and a constitutionally guaranteed parliamentary seat." In addition, according to the Reuters report used in the article, an nuclear Iran "'would blunt Israel's military autonomy'". Blunting military autonomy is very different than facing imminent destruction. Israel is already one of the most powerful military forces in the Middle East. Though their power may be "blunted" by a potential nuclear Iran, states like Saudi Arabia and others are sure not to be pleased with Iran's new power.

So lets say that America or Israel makes a preemptive air strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, whats next? I can take a neo-conservative view now, and say that America is supreme and all we need to do is just bomb, bomb, and bomb. No one can stop us, we're America, right? Instead of living in a dream world, I prefer to look at things in reality. Yes, America is the only world superpower and our military is the strongest in the world. However, we still have 50,000 troops in a recent-fragile Iraq and 90,000 troops and service members in a volatile Afghanistan. An air strike on Iran would mean 1) War with Iran 2) We are automatically going to be deemed  the aggressors 3) More money towards a 3rd Middle Eastern war 4) More troops that we don't have (draft?) and 5) The subsequent end of all the public diplomacy/prestige successes and efforts in the Middle East and around the world.

War with Iran would be a political nightmare. A third war in the Middle East would overstretch our resources, put our economy in further debt (funny how its the Republicans/Tea Party-ers aka "massive-war-spenders-turned-deficit-hawks" endorse this, isn't it? More on them later.), and ruin America across the world. Our allies in the E.U., N.A.T.O., and U.N., and others in the world would certainly not send aid without supporting resolutions. I doubt these organizations are going to be blindly led into war again, they probably will experience déjà vu like its 2003. In the largely globalized and interconnected world, we cannot afford to act unilaterally; we need a cadre of backing. We would need to procure support, like Bush did in the first Gulf War. However, it wouldn't be possible to do that for Iran as of now, especially if we are the aggressors. Arab impressions of the United States would plummet, distrust would become rampant again, the young (and liberal might I add) Iranian population would turn against us, and it would just give radical terrorist organizations more incentive to recruit. Israel would never have peace with Palestine, and most likely be at war with other Middle Eastern countries yet again. Essentially, war with Iran would start a possible World War III. Drastic, yes. But also in the realm of possibility.

War with Iran would be a fatal and extremely poor decision. I hope that these War Hawks wake up and open their eyes. America is indeed great and Israeli security is important. However we cant act unilaterally and carelessly waste the live of our brave men and women in uniform. The world is changing, and the attitude that America or Israel can act how they want, especially in attacking a power like Iran is something that should be buried in the past. Neo-conservatives and War Hawks, please, wake up and smell the new way the world works now.

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