Blogs > Cliopatria > A Lack of Imagination

Dec 7, 2004 12:19 am


A Lack of Imagination



I keep hearing that the neo-con noises about Iran shouldn't be taken seriously. Even if we wanted to go into Iran, we couldn't, sensible people say, because we have run out of soldiers. Iraq is like some giant Middle East quicksand pit into which our soldiers keep falling.

This sounds reasonable, I confess. We are out of soldiers. 60 Minutes last night had a story about a gray-haired woman in her fifties -- barely 4 feet tall -- who left the military years ago and is now being sent to Iraq.

But we don't need to invade Iran. The neo-cons could achieve many of their goals by dropping bombs from the air as we did in Kosovo. If you were Paul Wolfowitz wouldn't you be thinking about a bombing campaign in Iran?

While we can't bomb the Iranians to accept democracy, we could: 1. show we can't be pushed around, 2. show that even with Iraq we are still a super-superpower, and 3. maybe, just maybe, teach nuclear wanabees that we are looking over their shoulder.

Dropping bombs on Iran might even go far in addressing the single most disastrous lesson the Iraq war seems to have taught: that if you have nukes, like North Korea, we won't touch you, but if you don't, like Saddam's Iraq, we may well invade and take over.

This dangerous lesson needs to be unlearned. One way to achieve that, the neo-cons must be thinking, would be to attack Iran.

Much as I don't approve of the neo-con agenda, I am afraid this thinking has logic behind it. 30 years from now, no matter how Iraq turns out, if it leads to nuclear proliferation among our enemies it will be regarded as the most disastrous war in our history.

Politically, a little war with Iran would probably work to Bush's advantage. The country would rally around him and in the end, even if we didn’t destroy every one of Iran's alleged bomb-making labs, we could say that we taught them not to tangle with us.

The anti-war crowd would jeer and moan, and Bush would have higher ratings than ever.

Maybe I am getting carried away with this, but looking back over the past 4 years it's no crazier a scenario than what we have already experienced. Imagine if 4 years ago you had been told we would invade and take over Iraq to demonstrate that terrorists based in Afghanistan needed to be taught a lesson.



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