[Update: Palin wants war with Iran, but if Obama does it he’s “playing the war card.” She’s not even aware of the “____ card” reference resonating with “race card,” which of course reminds us Obama is black. It’s funny, usually when Republicans use dog whistle language they’re doing it on purpose. This is her answer to problem #1 below: make IOKIYAR: It’s OK If You’re A Republican.]
I do have a comment about a military attack on Iran, but first I want to comment on two ways in which Sarah Palin’s comments about this are evidence of her stupidity, and it’s not the way you think. I’m not suggesting this because I believe attacking Iran is per se a bad idea.
I’m saying it because (1) why would Palin want President Obama to launch a war that would rally the American people behind him, and (2) why do we have to “declare war on them” when what is really at question is a discrete military strike to disable their nuclear weapons production capability.
It’s been over 7 years since I first worried that invading Iraq would defang our military’s ability to deal with a more bona fide nuclear proliferation threat: Iran. I think it was pretty apparent that nuclear proliferation was not a genuine concern of the Bush administration. If it had been, we would have not invaded Iraq, which demonstrably did not have any nuclear weapons before we invaded (after the standards were lowered to a few chemical weapons left over from the 80s we invaded) and they would have been much more engaged with Pakistan once we were in Afghanistan anyway and would have dealt differently with North Korea, which developed a rocket capable of striking Hawaii all while Iraq was being run over by our military.
Since that time, America has grown weary of our interventions in the Middle East, but has also demonstrated popular support for the Iranian opposition since the stolen election there last year.
I can’t imagine that we have the capability to enact a regime change directly in Iran. It’s possible that a strike against them would trigger such a change, but it wouldn’t be like Iraq or Afghanistan.
And the other near certainty is that the Iranian regime will only be bolstered if it is the Israelis that attack, and they will. Make no mistake. They did not tolerate Syria’s program in 2007, nor Iraq’s in 1981. So that puts the United States in the position of dealing with the fallout on the ground in our empire if the Israelis strike Iran. Boy oh boy.
From what I’ve read, it isn’t even clear that the Israelis would be able to pull the mission off, at least not without risking their own homeland air defenses and requiring a probably suicide mission from some of the pilots.
So we can’t change the regime in Iran, but the Israelis probably can’t take out the nuke program… but we can.
Even if it was just a gambit to make them look bad to the world, Iran made Obama look foolish last year when it held a fraudulent election after Obama promised to engage them. Hillary is rattling sabres too.
I don’t think there’s much reason to think Obama wouldn’t go for it in 2011 or later this year.
So, for those of you that have been disappointed by this President’s lack of leftiness, be ready for a bigger disappointment, if that’s what it is to you. Personally, stopping nuclear proliferation is one area where I don’t mind the use of force at all.