Every day the front page of the newspaper is dominated by campaign news or Iran/War news or both – and the election is still 8 months away! I don’t know who I am voting for yet. You may recall that Obama was the first Democrat I ever voted for. I can say that a very large part of my decision, possibly the entire decision, will be based on the chances that the candidate will be able to keep us from entering yet another war. Just about everyone seems to want to start another war in the middle east – so it is going to take some kind of a (enter favorite adjective here – strong, smart, resolute…) president to keep us out of the war. It seems silly to make an argument against war, but if I have to I would say war is bad because people die and we spend our time and energy focused on the war and not on other problems at home – oh yeah, and it makes most everyone in the world hate us.
There are plenty of ‘people’ (I use the air quotes here because we now consider corporations as people) that feel it is in their best interest to start another war. Here is my list of those beating the war drum:
- Politicians: Sure seems patriotic to be over the top for the war
- Israelis: It is clearly in their interest for the USA to fight the war for them
- Bomb Makers: Anyone who makes a profit from war would clearly want war
- Newspapers: Nothing like a good war to drive up interest in the news
- Anyone who hates the USA: What better way to drive support for your anti USA organization (al-Qaeda) than to get the USA to drop a bunch of bombs (hopefully on the neighbors, but really, anywhere will do)
In what is a historic irony, our military is not all that wild about starting another war. Normally, the US military would be leading the charge for war, but maybe lately those guys have seen too many brave young people march to their death for no reason and they now think the promotions and unlimited budgets are being paid for with too precious a currency.
So that is my measure. The candidate that convinces me that he will do his best to keep us out of war will win my vote.
For those of you that think the threat of Iran getting nukes justifies war, The Economist recently did this piece that does a very good job of outlining the argument against going to war to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.
For those of you that think we should pre-emptively defend Israel, try this one from CNN.
For those of you that want a general background, try this one from The American Interest.