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Romney and the Dogs of War

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Posted on Nov 5, 2012
BriannaCK (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Jeremiah Goulka, TomDispatch

(Page 5)

In a Romney administration, expect this gang to lobby him hard to finish the job and take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, or at least to give Israel the green light to do so.  Expect them to close their eyes to what we have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan when it comes to “blood and treasure.”  Expect them to say that bombing alone will do the trick “surgically.”  Expect them to claim that the military high command is “soft,” “bureaucratic,” and “risk-averse” when it hesitates to get involved in what will inevitably become a regional nightmare.  Expect the message to be: this time we’ll get it right.

Kenneling the Dogs of War

No one likes the idea of Iran getting nukes, but should the regime decide to pursue them, they don’t present an existential threat to anyone.  Tehran’s leaders know that a mushroom cloud in Tel Aviv, no less Washington, would turn their country into a parking lot.

Should the mullahs ever pursue nuclear weapons again, it would be for deterrence, for the ability to stand up to the United States and say, “Piss off.”  While that might present a challenge for American foreign policy interests—especially those related to oil—it has nothing to do with the physical safety of Israel or the United States.

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War with Iran is an incredibly bad idea, yet it’s a real threat.  President Obama has come close to teeing it up.  Even talk of a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is delusional, because, as just about every analyst points out, we wouldn’t know if it had worked (which it probably wouldn’t) and it would be an act of war that Iran wouldn’t absorb with a smile.  In its wake, a lot of people would be likely to die.

But Romney’s guys don’t think it’s a bad idea.  They think it’s a good one, and they are ready to take a swing.

Jeremiah Goulka, a TomDispatch regular, writes about American politics and culture, focusing on security, race, and the Republican Party.  He was formerly an analyst at the RAND Corporation, a Hurricane Katrina recovery worker, and an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahgoulka or contact him through his website jeremiahgoulka.com.

Copyright 2012 Jeremiah Goulka


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