2/4/2015—The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle reported last week on efforts to build a veto-proof majority to back more sanctions against Iran. Iran has warned that such a bill would end efforts to reach a deal with the Obama administration and an international coalition to reduce the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
I disagree strongly with the sanctions crowd, but isn’t it irresponsible to say the “want war” with Iran? Isn’t that kind of rhetoric what’s wrong with American politics?
But it isn’t always wicked to want war. Churchill would have preferred an early war with Hitler, before Germany could complete its rearmament. If you believe, as the columnist Charles Krauthammer does, that Iran would use a bomb against Israel out of religious anti-Semitism despite the losses that use would cost Iran, then of course you prefer war with Iran over any feigned negotiations. The government of Iran must be just playing for time, as Hitler was doing.
Actually, I should say, this crowd does not want war. They want to perform an act of war against Iran—-bombing its production facilities—-to which they believe Iran will be unable to respond. Well, who says Iran will be unable to respond? To me, that is war.
These people do not realize that they just demonstrate the need for Iran—-or any other State—-to have a bomb and a delivery system. No one is suggesting bombing North Korea.
But more to the point, the fanatics here are the crowd itself. To them, the Iranian leadership is not fully human. And it is the same paranoia that used to say that the Soviet Union would be willing to absorb the losses of nuclear war.
We now know that the Soviets, having suffered so much in WWII, abhorred the idea of world war. They never intended to attack the West. That was a psychological projection by some officials in the United States.
Similarly, Iran lost heavily in the eight years of war, from 1980 to 1988, against Iraq. Those who say Iran would just attack Israel notwithstanding the certain Israeli retaliation, are making the same mistake we made with the Soviet Union.
The idea that bombing Iran would do much to stop the march to a bomb is another fantasy. The sanctions are working. They have certainly helped drive Iran to the table. If negotiations fail, there is plenty of time to increase them. I believe the real fear of the sanctions crowd is that a deal will be reached. Since they believe peace is impossible, any deal will just aid Iran in its drive to genocide against Israel. If you believe that, you prefer war.