Even the Establishment Doesn’t Want War With Iran

John Glaser, January 18, 2012

Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has a piece at the Daily Beast which warns not just against starting a war with Iran, but against “letting a bunch of ignorant, sloppy-thinking politicians and politicized foreign-policy experts draw ‘red line’ ultimatums” and march us hyperventilating into an unprovoked preemptive strike on Iran.

His key point: in the past, Americans have had faith that their leaders knew what they were doing getting us into war, but history tells us they don’t know shit.

Except for those who would bless the sound of the cannon wherever it led, everyone soon realized the terrible truth: that government leaders had little or no idea what they were doing, what the invaded country was really like, and what could and could not be accomplished at what cost. By then, it was too late.

The whole thing is worth a read. I think it’s noteworthy because it illustrates that even many of those firmly within the foreign policy establishment of imperial forever war are cautioning against the psychotic babble of warmongering politicians. Here is Paul Pillar’s comments on Gelb’s piece.




8 Responses to “Even the Establishment Doesn’t Want War With Iran”

  1. It’s interesting how this has played out. What has happened, from my perspective, is the public domestic political discourse within the US, at least, has accepted the premise that: a nuclear armed Iran is “unacceptable”—tantamount to “the end of the world”. This is now ‘common knowledge’ and goes without saying. Even adamant opponents to a military strike, in one form or another, on Iran have played into, and reinforced, this premise for a variety of reasons (most likely unintentionally)—ultimately giving this hypothetical scenario more apocalyptic credibility than it warrants. Where we are today, in tone at least, may have occurred by design of certain interests outsmarting and baiting others in a calculated rhetorical game, or it may have occurred randomly. My guess is that it’s likely a combination of both; however, how we got here seems unimportant now other than understanding and acknowledging the reality of where ‘we’ are today—like it or not.

  2. (…)
    There is another aspect to this whole ‘situation’ many seem to overlook, which is: the geopolitical “conditions” have now been set so that ‘Iran’ (more specifically the incumbent Iranian regime) not pursuing nuclear weapons is “irrational” from any sober external analysis absent ‘new’ inside information coming from within the Iranian regime itself indicating the domestic practical and/or political conditions inside Iran make pursing an actual nuclear weapon impossible—information which will not be forthcoming. Even in the unlikely event such information were somehow obtained and ‘known’, it seems extremely unlikely the information would be widely understood by foreign observers, much less deemed credible by decision makers. Taking this further, suspending disbelief for a second and assuming such information were ‘known’ and ‘accepted’ by various ‘decision makers’ to be true, the information would ultimately be politically worthless given today’s conditions.

  3. (…)
    So, simply put, the situation seems to be framed as:

    1. Iran obtaining nuclear weapons would essentially be “the end of the world”.

    2. ‘Iran’ not pursuing nuclear weapons is “irrational”, and any ‘actions’ or ‘assurances’ to the contrary from Iran simply cannot be credible—since it would be “irrational” not to do so, assuming the incumbent Iranian regime was concerned primarily with self-preservation.

  4. (…)
    This is an impossible ‘situation’ to reconcile if the desired ‘end game’ is to eliminate “Iran’s” alleged (possibly non-existent) nuclear weapons program/ambition. Even ‘if’ an unlikely organic ‘bottom up’ “regime change” inside Iran were to take place, this paradox will not change—as the new Iranian regime would need to pursue nuclear weapons to preserve itself; despite rhetorical, and even verifiable and substantive efforts to the contrary. The only way to satisfy the foreign “interests” at work, based on the way the situation has been framed, is to destabilize and decimate Iran to the point where an organized, successful, nuclear program is simply not credibly feasible.

  5. The U.S. foreign policy 'establishment' hasn't been relevant for decades. No one cares what they think.

  6. This "Bomb, Bomb Iran" business is comical in its stupidity. In threatening Iran, we are doing all of the following and all at the same time: choking off a lot of the world's oil supply thereby goosing up the price of oil, convincing the World that using the dollar as a standard for oil transactions can no longer be trusted, boosting up the expectations of the racist Israeli Government already rendered insane by our adoring kissing of their asses, and finally convincing 1 billion Muslims that the USA seeks their destruction. As they used to say years ago, "Smooth move, there, EX-LAX".

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