Last Sunday on Face the Nation, Sen. Joe Lieberman said. “If they don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force, and to me that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they’re doing.” He spoke of 200 U.S. soldiers whose deaths, he believes, can be directly attributed to Iranian forces working inside of Iraqi boarders. I won’t examine the validity of this argument but rather deconstruct the neo-liberal thinking which perpetuates violence in our world.
The idea that we can specifically target the camps where these Iranians are training or even that we know where these camps are is preposterous. I recall the use ‘”smart bombs” to target Serbian forces in Kosova during the 1999 NATO attack. These “smart bombs” destroyed civilian bridges, homes, hospitals, and other vital community infrastructures. There is no such thing as a “smart bomb” – it’s an oxymoron. Without doubt any military action in Iran will degrade the livelihoods of innocent Iranian civilians and further the disillusionment of Middle East people with the U.S.
What Lieberman has so critically overlooked is that Iran is a powerful state. Bombing, even specific targets, in that country would be an act of war on our part. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, like Bush, is not one to look for a diplomatic solution first. There is no doubt, in my mind, that U.S. military action within the boarders of Iran will spark a monumental war in the region involving Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and a host of non-state groups. With the U.S., Israel, India, and Pakistan (all nuclear powers) invested in the region, it is not far fetched to assume nuclear weapons could be involved. Attacking Iran will only lead to more civilian and military deaths , high global economic costs, and environmental destruction.
What disturbs me the most is that while the world’s leaders posture to one another, showing military might, citizens beg for a new approach. A recent study by the Arab American Institute (AAI) and Americans for Peace Now (APN) gauged support for Arab-Israeli peace from both Arab and Jewish communities. Approximately three of four Jewish Americans and Arab Americans think that the U.S. should work to avoid military interaction with Iran, even if diplomacy fails. Our future is contingent on letting our leaders know we demand peace.
We send our children to fight. We invest our taxes into the destruction of other nations. We work to support a floundering economy crippled by the expense of the Iraq occupation. Will we let the Bush administration take us further away from our ideals and closer to World War III? Sen. Lieberman seems to believe this is a good idea – let’s tell him it’s not.