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Not so simple

Reader comment on item: Deterring Tehran
in response to reader comment: The only moral way to deal with Iran

Submitted by Silent Bob (United States), May 11, 2006 at 21:55

Unfortunately for the better part of a century we have been living in what Guy Debord termed The Society of the Spectacle.

The American government is not able to go to the public, tell them the cold truth about Iran as you have outlined, and then attack Iran. A nearly universal distrust for government officials, combined with widespread malaise and apathy makes rallying the nation behind a logical rationale for war a nonstarter.

Popular sentiment is now only mustered through a type of mass shock therapy.

The only way to mobilize the American public behind a war now is in the immediate aftermath of a spectacular catastrophe (Afghanistan) or through the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded movie theater (Iraq).

Only a tiny minority of Americans will ever read a word written by Daniel Pipes or his contemporaries, who candidly elucidate the geopolitical rationale underpinning US military intervention in the Middle East. Thus the run up to the attack on Iran is likely to mirror the run up to the Iraq war: "Bad guys building big bomb."

It's sort of perplexing that even a fair number of people posting here fall for this sort of lowest common denomenator thinking.

And so the likely outcome should be similar to what we have in Iraq: a bunch of US troops trapped in a hostile environment with no hope of understanding their enemy's mindset or motivations, being constantly lied to by their commanders who tell them that they are making progress by building a democracy that will be friendly to the US.

Of course the reality is that the Iraqi Army soldier who G.I. Joe is training and an gives an AK-47 to by day is the same man who turns around and slays the same G.I. Joe by night. Here we are three years later and with nothing to show for it except for a couple thousand newly dug graves.

This is the reason that America is no longer capable of launching a war with "moral confidence and righteous indignation." In case you haven't heard of a place called Vietnam, the US government's ability to wage a war based on an honest reasoning died there.


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