23 May 2008

Yelling "Hitler!" in a crowded planet

Both Robert Farley and Eric Martin have been useful dismissing the silliness of this article which, while more on the hysterical side, nonetheless seems to be echoing the broader consensus of the bomb-bomb-Iran chorus line. It's apparently settled truth among the hawks that, as soon as Iran rolls a nuke off the assembly line, it's going to be lobbed at Israel. Even the threat of mutually assured destruction won't stop them, because they're Kah-razy Suicidal Mussel-men!

But even if Iran does pose a serious threat of this variety--and Farley and Martin give good reasons to believe that a "suicidal Arab state" is ahistorical, and Iran has shown no inclination to be the first--why, exactly, should we believe the hawks the benefit this time when they've already botched the "pending nuclear annihilation!" excuse with Iran's next-door neighbor? If I were I hawk, I'd want to carefully ration the nuke fearmongering and, furthermore, actually hit the target when I do. Otherwise, people might start to suspect that I'm just looking for an excuse to bomb Muslims into oblivion.

I am aware of the reports claiming the administration plans to strike Iran in the coming months, and I'm sure such contingency plans exist, but I suppose I'm one of the few who doesn't believe it's going to happen. Oh, I wouldn't doubt that they would like to, but they lack the political capital provided by the groundswell of jingoism that paved the way for the misadventure in Iraq, which also, of course, provides a handy counter-argument for much of the public whose amnesia about the selling of that war hasn't yet set in. You shouldn't necessarily listen to my hunches, though. I was one of those people who couldn't understand how Saddam Hussein could have weapons of mass destruction after his military capacity had been nearly erased by 12 years of war, inspection, and sanctions. Nukes aren't exactly something to cook up in a damp basement after all. And look how that turned out.