In reading the comments to my post yesterday, I see that many of you were confused about my positions. Evidently all of you are brilliant, so I assume the problem is on my end. With your indulgence, allow me to clarify.
1. I am not happy that Hitler killed your relatives.
2. I do not support the killing of Americans
3. I do not support nuclear annihilation of Israel
4. I do not support the stoning of virgins in Iran
5. I believe the holocaust happened
I also don’t argue there’s a moral equivalence between Iran and the United States, or Israel and the Palestinians, or anyone and anyone else. Groups pursue their own perceived self interest. Arguing relative morality is an idiot’s game. Pointing out similarities in policies, and shaking the box, is good clean fun.
Next, I believe that if Iran is in fact helping Iraqi insurgents harm Americans, it’s an act of war, and a legitimate reason for attacking Iran in some fashion. That doesn’t mean it’s in the best interests of the United States to do so, but I would view it as legitimate.
Likewise, if the Iranians really are developing a nuclear weapon with the intent of using it on Israel, and there was some way to confirm that other than suspicious translations of speeches, then attacking Iran makes perfect sense, and I would support it completely. My problem is that I keep seeing patterns:
1. Iraq is helping Al-Qaeda
2. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction
3. Al-Qaeda is operationally non-functional
4. The surge is working
5. Iran is helping Iraqi insurgents kill Americans
I believe there’s a good chance Iran is helping Iraqi insurgents kill Americans, simply because it might be in their perceived best interest to do that. But I’d be an idiot to believe it simply because the government told the media it was true and the media told me. You can only fool me five or six dozen times before I start getting suspicious.
I think Iran would be foolish to let matters in Iraq unfold without trying to influence it. It’s in their best interest to meddle. That doesn’t mean I support it. I prefer they didn’t. But it’s not a realistic option. I presume the dark forces on our side are making sure any Iranian offenses are being met with consequences, and I’m all for that.
I also support Israel’s actions in pursuit of its self-interest. I’d be a hypocrite to do otherwise, since I also support the United States, despite what it did to the Native Americans a few hundred years ago. At some point you have to release on the past and accept the present realities. Israel won. It isn’t going anywhere.
If Israel had an enemy that it could make peace with, then I might feel different. But it doesn’t, so Israel’s best interests dictate keeping the neighbors too economically weak to purchase expensive weapons, and to control as much territory as possible. I don’t begrudge any country that makes rational decisions in support of its own safety. I don’t even begrudge Israel’s influence on American foreign policy. I respect them for how well they do it.
Still, the bulk of my sympathies are with whatever group suffers the most, regardless of how much of the problem is their own damned fault. To feel otherwise would be inhuman. Sometimes it feels as if the Palestinians are only one Gandhi away from fixing their problems. But he’d need to be bulletproof.
Here’s your hypothetical question of the day: If it ever happened that America attacked Iran because of alleged nukes, and later confirmed it had no nuclear weapons program, and we discovered that the administration knew it all along, would it be in the best interest of the citizens of the United States to overthrow their government?