Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

Gates: War With Iran Would Be ‘Catastrophic’

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Gates: War With Iran Would Be ‘Catastrophic’

Additional thoughts for my last post from the former Secretary of Defense. You really, really, really don’t want this war.

Categories: Foreign Affairs, Iran Tags: , , ,

Three reasons why you don’t want war with Iran

October 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Any sane person today would deny truly desiring war with another country just for the sake of fighting a war, but to hear many people today talk you’d think a strike on Iran was on the top of the nation’s to-do list. The reasons vary but generally adhere to the belief that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses an eminent threat to the good citizens of the world. However, if one was brutally honest with one’s self they would realize just how painful initiating an attack on this country would be and how far it could reach. If these three things are considered, the peaceful, diplomatic option suddenly sounds much more appealing than the otherwise adrenaline inducing drums of war.

Financial Implications

Without question, war with Iran would carry a heavy financial burden. According to the military expenses in the Federal budget for 2013 are penciled in at $661.3 billion. It encompasses 56.94% of our discretionary spending for that year. That’s quite a hefty toll on the taxpayer. The sources vary, but estimates of the total cost of the War on Terror are anywhere between $1-5 Trillion! We simply do not need an increase on our debt.

No doubt an additional war would only add to these figures, but what if the war was even bigger than we anticipated? Countries like Russia, China and Syria have close ties with Iran and have mentioned in recent past that an attack on Iran would warrant their military assistance due to the security threat it poses to them. Now, nothing is guaranteed as these nations would much rather not be involved in a large-scale conflict, but all potential factors must be considered. Best case scenario is that taxpayers shuck a few extra billion dollars out of an already empty wallet. Worst case scenario: We carry the bill for World War III. Better trim that grocery list, taxpayer.

Loss of Liberties

Conventional ideology is that attacking terrorist harboring countries would make us, as a nation, more free. This couldn’t be less true. We are lead to believe that attacking countries that sponsor or house terrorists keeps terror at bay. What we get instead is a growing list of ways our government can impede our natural rights. The unpatriotic PATRIOT Act (which stands for Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) basically erases the entire Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights. You know, the one that requires police to have a warrant before they search your house. We stomach this because we’re told it ‘keeps us safe’ and citizens suddenly decide to trust politicians when they say this. In reality it provides a foot in the door for the government to eavesdrop on your conversations, raid your home and arrest you under the guise of ‘you might be a threat’, all under very loosely defined terminology. I could go on all day about this and the recent passing of the NDAA but you get the idea. More war equals less freedom for you.

Our Founding Fathers had the same belief:

 “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” -James Madison

 “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. ” -James Madison

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” -George Washington

Increased Fatalities

Death. Do I have your attention yet? Somehow we seem to forget that waging war costs lives. Real American lives. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, 5,291 military personnel have died in the middle eastern conflicts between October 7, 2001 and May 29, 2012. (See: WOT Casualties) Of course these brave men and women took that risk voluntarily when they joined our armed forces, but that shouldn’t mean we throw them into any conflict at the drop of a hat. Often the mantra of “support our troops” is equated to “support the war”. I hold that if we really want to support our troops we should bring them home, safe and sound; not send them off to more suffering.

And what of civilian death? It’s easy to forget, because this fight seems so far away from our front lawns, that this struggle affects innocent lives as well. At this point it is unknown exactly how many civilians have been killed accidentally as a result of our aggressive attacks (drones anyone?), but the estimates are into the hundreds of thousands. Isn’t the idea of our fight to be about protecting innocent lives? “But they were fighting terrorists!” So 100,000 people die but it’s all good because they weren’t Americans? No. The means do not justify the ends. The whole point here, is that this trend will only multiply if we initiate another conflict. This should be the most sobering reminder of why we should drop the war rhetoric.

The Case for Peace

In conclusion, whether you believe Iran is a threat or not doesn’t matter. The cost of war is much greater than we realize or think about regularly. We should only consider military action as a last resort, the final option and only when faced with a clear and present danger. Peace is something we all want. Young or old, rich or poor, black, white, hispanic, asian, Christian, Jew, and Muslim. Let’s choose peace while we still can.

What can you do? Discourage war talk amongst peers and politicians. There ARE diplomatic solutions. Write or email your congressman and tell him you don’t want unnecessary war. Write to the President as well, since he apparently is calling the shots these days.

Quote of the day: “Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.” -Thomas Jefferson

Categories: Foreign Affairs, Iran Tags: , ,