Everyone from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the 2012 GOP presidential candidates now seems to be preparing for war with Iran. Iran, we are told, might be, could be, may be thinking about developing nuclear weapons. Iranian leaders say they are not. Our leaders say they are lying. The number of shady characters on both sides guarantees that someone is lying.
It would be fair to say that Iran possessing nuclear weapons is a concern of mine. Many Americans share this concern. Many people around the world do as well. Such a development carries with it negative ramifications that are certainly worth considering. But what I actually fear most — the kind of stuff that actually makes me fret for the future — is not a nuclear Iran. What I fear most are the people who fear a nuclear Iran.
Consider the last time we went through this. Who, in retrospect, posed a greater threat to the United States circa 2003, Saddam Hussein or the U.S. leaders who feared Hussein? We never found any of the WMDs Bush officials warned might be used to create a “mushroom cloud” over an American city, but we did find ourselves in a nearly decade-long war that cost thousands of American lives, the lives of many more innocent Iraqi civilians, and trillions of dollars that have contributed greatly to our debt problem. When the smoke settled, we discovered that Hussein posed no credible threat to the United States. The tragedy for so many American soldiers and their families was that we had to learn this the hard way.
Today, those who caution against overreacting toward Iran are called isolationists or worse. Meanwhile, most neoconservatives believe the Iraq War was worth all the lives that were lost and that cost/benefit analyses simply do not apply to this war or any other. Which is precisely what scares me about these people. It is one thing to admit that foreign policy mistakes were made in the past and to consider them moving forward. It is quite another to never admit any mistakes. Ever. Some of these neoconservatives are borderline insane in their lust for war. While half the neoconservatives are now saying a nuclear Iran will amount to a second Holocaust — a far-fetched assertion itself — the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka says the greatest fear is that it won’t. Confused?
READ THE REST HERE