Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Would Obama attack Iran to beat Romney?

I'm not sure what to make of this assertion from Victor Davis Hanson at NRO:
"Suddenly around October the world will become absolutely unsafe. In these dangerous times, Americans must forget their differences, come together, and embrace a bipartisan unity — given that it may be necessary, after all, to hit the Iranian nuclear facilities, since we’ll have learned that the bomb may be a reality by, say, mid-November. Just as we have been reminded that Barack Obama has saved us by his brave decisions to use double agents in Yemen, computer viruses in Iran, Seal Team Six in Pakistan, and philosophically guided Predator assassination hits, so too a strike against Iran may suddenly be of vital national-security interest, though keenly lamented by a Nobel laureate nose-deep in Thomas Aquinas. "
Emphasis added. There is a double-standard at work over the last 30 years or so: When Republican presidents go to war, they're righteously defending the country. When Democratic presidents go to war—and I'm also thinking here of impeachment-era Bill Clinton—it's wag-the-dog pandering designed to distract the country from the president's weaknesses.

It makes you wonder if the Republicans are, well, projecting a bit. Even if not, it's interesting: When Democrats are "tough" by Republican standards, it's additional proof of how weak they really are.

Me? I think we can probably ultimately live with a nuclear Iran, though I'd rather not have to. And I think President Obama—for all his many faults on the topics of war and civil liberties—understands that attacking Iran, no matter the timing, would be hugely destabilizing around the world. He seems to understand (in a way his predecessor didn't) that wars aren't just opportunities to look awesome—they can also create awful unintended consequences. I'm cynical, but I have a hard time envisioning him unleashing death and widespread misery merely for the sake of getting 270 electoral votes.

As for Victor Davis Hanson: He's basically asserting the president is willing to kill to win an election. If November comes without military action, I wonder if he'll apologize for his fact-free speculation of evil on the president's part. I doubt it.

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