Shall We Have Another War…This Time, Iran?

No one did much thinking in early 2003; everyone was “in shock,” you see. That excuse cannot be used this time. So…has the U.S. public learned anything in the interim?

Polling suggests most Americans in both major parties oppose Israeli aggression against Iran. As summarized by Just Foreign Policy:

If Israel goes ahead with a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program and Iran retaliates, but not against American targets, only 25% favor the US providing military forces if Israel requests them (though support is a bit higher among Republicans at 41%. Another 14% favors the US providing diplomatic support only. Few would support open opposition. The most popular position is for the US to take a neutral stance, which is supported by 49%.

So half of Americans claim to support neutrality, completely ignoring the fact that Israel’s military power is a U.S. gift. Handing a mugger a gun and then closing your eyes while he uses it is not “neutrality.”  

More interesting than the highly superficial and biased polling would have been such questions as:

1. Should the U.S. Persian Gulf fleet attack any air force that crosses the Gulf with aggressive intent?

2. Is the U.S. morally culpable if another country armed with U.S. weapons uses those weapons to launch a war when itself not under attack or under the immediate and direct threat of attack?

3. If Israel uses aircraft provided to it by the U.S. to start a war with Iran, would Iran be justified in sinking U.S. aircraft carriers in retaliation?

4. Given that Iran has no nuclear weapons and that Israel reputedly has several hundred, which state do you think is a rogue state that is endangering global security?

5. Given the characterization by recently retired Mossad chief Meir Dagan of an Israeli attack on Iran as the “stupidest” idea he ever heard, do you think Netanyahu–who is campaigning for either a U.S. or Israeli attack–is an international criminal?

6. If Israel starts a war against Iran with the justification that Iran might otherwise someday possess a couple of those dangerous weapons, should the U.S. demand regime change in Israel and, if necessary, attack Israel to enforce this demand?

7. What kind of behavior by another state should be considered harmful to U.S. national security?

That would be a poll worth conducting. If the questions above were instead a final exam, then the instructions would include the following directions:

Along with your answer, provide justification focusing on the state of the world ten years hence.


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