Saturday, December 07, 2013


War with Iran?

A few minutes ago I read an alarming e-mail from a member of  Republicans in the House are putting together legislation that would effectively scuttle President Obama's plans to achieve a diplomatic solution to the problem with Iran.  The law would impose conditions on any settlement that Iran would not accept.  These Republicans would prefer a war with Iran rather than a negotiated settlement.

If this proposed law were enacted by the House, even if the Senate did not concur, it would amount to a vote of no confidence in the President.  It would indicate to the Iranian government that the Americans are not serious about achieving an agreement by negotiation and instead want an imposed settlement.  Our experience with the present regime in Iran indicates that they would simply abandon all negotiations and continue their work toward building their own nuclear weapon.

The American public is tired of war.  Our recent wars have mostly not been successful.  We fought in Viet Nam to prevent that country from becoming ruled by communists.  We failed.  We fought a short war with Iraq over Kuwait and oil.  I  guess we had some limited success with that.  We fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and did not achieve our stated objectives in either case.  How can we imagine that we would be successful in Iran?

Realistically the Republican move in the House is not so much a desire to derail any hope of a peaceful settlement with Iran but rather a way of discrediting a President that most Republicans hate with passion.  It's a violation of an ancient rule in American politics: Partisan politics stops at the water's edge.  The Republicans are set on breaking that rule.
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