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"America the frightened" by
My piece, I thought, amounted to a reasonably nuanced argument against initiating military action, even a bombing campaign against suspected nuclear sites, against Iran. Not only is U.S. intelligence about Iran even less reliable than intelligence on Iraq was prior to the decision to wage war, but a bombing campaign would almost certainly only delay Iran’s acquisition of the capacity to build a nuclear weapon rather than prevent it, and might even reinforce determination to get one eventually. And there would be other repercussions. I noted that if bombs fell Iran would almost certainly ramp up activities against U.S. troops in Iraq, which it could certainly do, and that "Hoover Institution scholar Abbas Milani, who founded the Iran Democracy Project, believes a U.S. attack would cripple the burgeoning democracy movement and unite Iranians in support (at least for a while) of the mullahs." Furthermore Iran could mess with oil shipments through the Persian Gulf and increase support to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. Not to mention that such an attack would play like a recruiting poster for al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremists and terrorists. Well! A few readers called or wrote to say they appreciated my measured analysis, but most were almost apoplectic. How could I not see the grave threat that the Iranian regime poses to America and our way of life, and how could I be so shortsighted as not to understand that it was imperative that we take the regime out, preferably with as much force as possible
This tendency toward fear and trembling is often accompanied by an almost childlike faith in the ability of military force to erase any and every threat. All we have to do is bomb them back to the stone age – I’ve heard this phrase at least since the early days of Vietnam – and they’ll stop bothering us – until we discover some other tin pot tyrant who poses yet another threat to our sacred way of life.
Curiously, this touching faith in overwhelming military force is often accompanied by a conception of military force that seeks to divorce it from political objectives or any consideration of political consequences at all. Clausewitz famously taught that war is simply politics by other means, implying that it should be undertaken when it is undertaken with political objectives uppermost in leaders’ minds. (He didn’t seem to consider the corollary, that politics is war by other means, but nobody’s perfect.) Yet Americans want war to be apolitical. Many Americans still believe that if the politicians had only unleashed the military and not kept it in check with political considerations that winning the Vietnam war would have been a slam-dunk. We’re already hearing a similar justificatory incantation regarding Iraq – if only the politicians would take the shackles off and let the military operate unencumbered, we’d soon show those insurgents/terrorists/whatever what-for. This is magical thinking.
Originally posted by gray01
As long as we live in fear of terrorism, terrorism wins. The object of terrorism is to spread fear so even if the never attack inside the united states again they created fear.
Originally posted by XphilesPhan
Its not the fear of terrorism. Its the want to live without this kind of thing. I am glad that we are taking the fight to the terrorists, at least they arent being given time to orchestrate attacks within the US. They are busy with the US in their backyard.