Cheerleaders of War with Iraq Now Boosting War with Iran

News & Politics

Why yes, I have noticed that the people most eager to something-something-bomb-Iran were not all that long ago the biggest cheerleaders for the Iraq War. What an odd coincidence.

One of the most credible, effective proponents of war in 2002 was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the former Vietnam prisoner of war who lost to President George W. Bush in the 2000 Republican primaries.

McCain argued that continuing a policy of deterrence against Iraq “would condemn Saddam's neighbors to perpetual instability. And once Iraq's nuclear ambitions are realized, no serious person could expect the Iraqi threat to diminish.”

He also confidently predicted: “I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult.”

McCain’s longtime ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), then a member of the House, declared that attacking Iraq was “long overdue” and that “when the smoke clears, the Iraqi people will taste freedom for the first time in decades.”

“Evil is about to face the forces of good,” Graham added. “One more domino will soon fall in the war on terrorism.”

A true pair of Nostradumbasses. It's not all members of the old guard, of course; the cheerleaders this time around are joined by new, fresh faces like Tom Cotton (R-AR), who believes the whole Iran situation can be taken care of in a mere four days of bombing. And then there's now-presidential-candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL), whose introductory campaign slogan, "A New American Century," is about as clear a shout-out to the architects of perpetual war as could be mustered. It didn't take long at all to fall back into the same patterns. Being "serious" about foreign policy once again means demanding we bomb something. Pointing out the destabilizing impact of such actions is again treated as deeply unserious or the ravings of a peacenik. Dick Fucking Cheney is allowed out in public again. Whatever it was that compelled us to think up the notion of invading Iraq as a response to 9/11 hasn't worked its way out of the foreign policy system, and the reason might be as simple as there is an election coming up.

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