Foolishness On War With Iran

In the wake of a remarkably foolish Washingon Post op-ed explaining that war is our best best option on dealing with Iran, Adam L. Silverman writes at Sic Semper Tyrannis:

One of the most important thing that those who develop policy and strategy need is an understanding of the human geography of the problem sets they are looking at in order to establish more fully informed objectives and develop the ways and means to achieve them. An understanding of the socio-cultural context that shows the interaction of people, places, and things (both natural and man made) is always illuminating when trying to explain this type of context in support of policy formation, strategic development, and planning. Using annotated maps is especially helpful. There are three maps that demonstrate why Dr. Muravchik’s thesis is not the best option.

I covered very similar territory for a very similar reason (in somewhat greater detail) more than ten years ago here. Col. Lang’s observation from the comments to Dr. Silverman’s post is also worth noting:

The Iranians are informed, well educated people in spite of the wild-eyed claims of Bibi and his ignorant friends in the US Senate. The Iranians have no intention of getting into war with the US. As someone wrote here, this silliness is about the at least theoretical threat to Israel, not the unreal threat to the US from Iran. BTW, the US would not care at all about “world opinion” in this. My friend Walrus consistently underestimates the amount of damage the US can do but then, he has never seen a B-52 strike close up. Once Iranian air defenses were eliminated the US could roam the skies over Iran, “bombing tha back to the stone age.”

Just as reminders

  1. Preventive war against Iran would be illegal. We are a signatory to treaties that commit us to eschew war in the absence of Security Council approval.
  2. Preventive war against Iran would be immoral. It would not meet the standards of a just war
  3. Preventive war against Iran would in all likelihood kill millions of people and anything short of a war of extermination would be ineffective in achieving its goals.
  4. Preventive war against Iran might just provoke what it would presumably be intended to prevent, i.e. an attack on the U. S.

War should never be viewed as the “best option”. Thinking that is loathsome. It should only be the last remaining option.

6 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    It should only be the last remaining option.

    I don’t think you’ve said what you mean here. “Least bad option” “last remaining option”. There’s always either surrender or excepting mass extermination as an option.

  • ... Link

    “accepting mass extermination”

  • I would have thought that we might have ruled out mass extermination as an acceptable alternative. The usual diction is that war should be a last resort. I was trying to avoid the word “acceptable” because it’s slippery and has fallen into disrepute laterly, cf. the two consecutive administrations that have characterized the Iranian regime’s possession of nuclear weapons as “unacceptable” when what they meant was “bad”.

  • jan Link

    Here’s an interesting (even impressive) exchange between Senator Tom Cotton and Bob Schieffer on this morning’s Face the Nation.

  • ... Link

    Okay, but what about surrender? That was the position of a lot of Americ and When I was younger. (“Better Red than dead!”) And the Brita & French were quite willing to let some nations be swallowed whole by the Nazis.

    As for corruption of the language – well, that’s what our leaders do, isn’t it?

  • steve Link

    What a doofus. Is this guy really as stupid as he sounds? Does he really think that the Iranian leaders, many educated in the US, don’t understand what is going on? I guess someone needs to appeal to the low IQ voters.


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