Monday, February 06, 2012

Your Mouth Says No But Your Name Says Yes

In the course of discussing how it is that tensions between Iran and Israel have escalated so much, Jeffrey Goldberg remarks off hand that "I'm opposed to an Israeli strike on Iran; I'm also opposed to an American strike on Iran." Who wants to bet this will have precisely zero impact on the constant stream of articles insisting that Goldberg actually desires the exact opposite? I mean, come on, he's Jeffrey Goldberg. Who could possibly be so naive as to presume his policy preferences bear a relationship to what he publicly states them to be? Come on.

In other news, about six people were protesting near my apartment in favor of world peace and against war with Iran. One poster said "Not to war with Iraq/n", with the "q" turning over to an "n" like an odometer, which I thought was clever. Another said "no war for Israel", which was decidedly less so. It just made me wonder who we should go to war for? The U.S.? Well that just raises the question of what our "interests" are, and whether protecting a friend can count as one. Actually, I imagine the protesters just think we shouldn't go to war at all, but then why is it particularly distressing if we go to war "for Israel" as opposed to "for Kurds" or "for oil" or "for America" or "for freedom"?

In any event, I am in agreement with Goldberg that I'm not particularly keen on American or Israeli military action towards Iran (though I'd note that the odds either party would launch any sort of Iraq-style ground invasion, as opposed to airstrikes akin to what NATO did in Libya, are virtually non-existent, and that the latter has a very different calculus -- moral, strategic, diplomatic, logistical -- attached to it from the former).


Rebecca said...

From what I've read, either the US or Israel bombing Iranian nuclear sites would result in Iranian missile strikes on Israel, as well as attacks by Hezbollah and Hamas and/or Islamic Jihad (from Gaza). These missiles/rockets could cause hundreds of Israeli casualties and extensive damage. That in turn might lead to Israeli retaliation upon Iran. I'm not particularly sanguine about what could happen if Israel or the US bombs Iran, particularly since I'm in Israel right now, and until the end of July, and I have lots of friends here whom I'd like to remain alive and well.

PG said...

I'm pretty sure those same folks were protesting in that same location exactly 9 years ago with signs that said "No War for Oil," so I wouldn't use that example.