The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend; Etc. (Re: War With Iran?)

I really didn’t want to spend much time on this blog talking about current affairs.

But it’s becoming inescapable. And one topic that requires mention is an ongoing story that only fitfully pops up on the radar screen, but which is a BIG ongoing deal. And the Big Deal is the answer to this question:

Will we go to war with Iran??

Today the answer to the question is: NO.

Tomorrow, however, is another day. And the effort to push the US into a war with Iran goes on day after day.

On one side: US Neo-cons, the Republican leadership, and of course, the Israeli government. These folks are pushing hard and continuously for war.

On the other (”antiwar”) side: Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and most serious military strategists.

Secretary Gates is not necessarily tops of my nice guy list, seeing as how he’s running two nasty wars and planning many more.

Robert Gates, part-time peacenik
Robert Gates, part-time Peacenik

BUT credit where it is due: He’s being a good point man for the administration’s apparently determined effort to PREVENT a war with Iran.

This report just out from Reuters quotes him saying the right things:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ratcheted up [pro- Iran war] rhetoric last week by calling on the West to convince Iran that it would be willing to take military action to prevent Tehran from producing nuclear weapons. He said economic sanctions had so far failed to do the job.

Gates has publicly disagreed with Netanyahu about the need to put forward a military threat.
Although he acknowledged on Tuesday that Iranian leaders “are still intent on acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said military action was not a long-term answer.

“A military solution, as far as I’m concerned … it will bring together a divided nation. It will make them absolutely committed to obtaining nuclear weapons. And they will just go deeper and more covert,” Gates said.

“The only long-term solution in avoiding an Iranian nuclear weapons capability is for the Iranians to decide it’s not in their interest. Everything else is a short-term solution.”

Iran: twice as big as Iraq, square the trouble
Iran: twice as big as Iraq, square the trouble.

I don’t know how this tug-of-war will turn out. But it will continue as long as Obama is in office, that seems clear. After all, the best strategic experts outside the Pro-Iran war circle (including the Joint Chiefs of Staff) seem to agree that a war would be disastrous for all concerned, including the US. But the war lobby is not going away.

Another Iran Peacenik: Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen
Another Iran Peacenik: Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen

Most of this struggle will go on behind the scenes. But if you wake up one morning to find gasoline is about $15 a gallon, you’ll know what happened.

And that may be the up-side. When the army drafts the kid next door, we’ll really start to feel the costs. Then it’s all downhill from there.

One thought on “The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend; Etc. (Re: War With Iran?)”

  1. Hey, sorry to bug you but Bradley Manning the kid who leaked to wikileaks is being held at Quantico Virginia in conditions approaching torture. He is kept in isolation for 23 hours a day with no exercise allowed in the other hours. This is considered torture by people who deal with such things.
    I was wondering if you knew anyone in the Quantico area who might be able to make some noise outside his prison to let him know that lots and lots of people are thinking of him and will try to help him, or some other way of letting him know that we are trying to help him, which might help him survive this without losing his mind. There is a Glenn Greenwald article up now on salon about all this.

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