Today's news was that someone had blown up (yet another) Iranian nuclear scientist in his home city. Iran blames Israel and the United States. The U.S. State Department says the equivalent of "not us." But it's an open secret that we're involved, along with Israel, in secret hostilities, trying to force Iran's rulers to back off nuclear development.
Well, yeah -- how would we like it if a foreign government was assassinating U.S. scientists with only the most minimal pretense of denial? Somehow I think we'd scream bloody murder about "terrorism" -- and most likely retaliate.
It's seldom mentioned that our own spooks don't believe that Iran is committed to a bomb. Just last week the Secretary of Defense said as much.
Iran's rulers believe, realistically, that they are under permanent threat from aggressive enemies who employ terrorism against them. It shouldn't be surprising that they want the option of building a weapon that seemingly automatically makes the impoverished and dysfunctional (think North Korea and Pakistan) able to thumb their noses at real powers. Here's Tony Karon blogging for Time on what drives Iranian decisions:
Yet our rulers slouch toward war. Republicans posture, ignoring the lessons of their last set of failed Middle Eastern adventures and trying to force the administration into an ever more bellicose posture. The administration seems to have allowed itself to be boxed in by its domestic enemies and the Israel lobby into proving, again, that it can be tough. A couple of seasoned diplomats, William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering, recently described what passes for "thinking" in Washington.
This failure of insight would be pathetic if it weren't literally murderous. Our rulers seem to believe they can play at bluster but risk no actual consequences. But do they really have that sort of control over their adversary's reactions? Do they share their "allies" objectives? (They may not entirely; see Atlantic editor Robert Wright on why Israel wants a war.)
Do the people of the U.S. get any say in all this or will our military rain destruction on another country without any meaningful input from us? Once again, will we have to pay for our rulers' misjudgements? It's time for some citizen input on war, peace and where we are going.