It's really difficult to respond to a headline like that of the WaPo op-ed by one Joshua Muravchik (who?) that "War with Iran is probably our best option." I'll yield to my friend Scott for some of what's wrong here... aside from the obvious refusal to recognize that the United States military has not actually had a definitive military success against an opponent larger than Panama in seventy years... the question, of course, is exactly "what policy" is being served here? I submit it's the policy of American empire-- the desire of our ruling class to be able to pressure anyone on Earth to go along with our economic empire program (that is, enter an economic relationship favorable to American industrial and financial corporations)... or face... trouble... up to and including American military assaults that won't exactly result in American "victory"... but will kill a lot of people, make a huge mess, and... well... generally be in everyone's interest... to avoid.
Here's the thing with nuclear weapons: they can't be used. In today's world, they serve precisely one purpose-- but it's an important purpose. That, of course, is that possessing nuclear weapons means you are military inviolate against direct American invasion. You see, that is why we are so opposed to Iranian nuclear weapons. It's why all three members of the "Axis of Evil[TM]" rushed to develop nuclear programs-- North Korea successfully [and hence, it is beyond our reach], Iraq bluffed success and Saddam paid with his head [and those of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of his countrymen], and Iran... isn't quite there, and has to rely on a close relationship with club members Russia and China and a rather large conventional military. Having a nuclear weapon would put Iran in the same position as Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, yes, Israel, and to an extent, Britain and France, as countries utterly immune to direct American (or for that matter, Israeli) military assault.
Meanwhile... Mr. Benjamin "Compulsive Liar" Netanyahu can tell us that Iran's leaders vow to "wipe Israel off the map" (a lie, of course, just like Netanyahu's claims of Hamas involvement in the deaths of three Israeli teenagers in his rush to attack Gaza last year was based on lies... the reality is, Israel's own intelligence services tell us Iran is nowhere near ready to produce a nuclear weapon... oh... and an Islamic country extraordinarily hostile to Israel (that would be "Pakistan"... former host of Osama bin Laden) already has nuclear weapons. In the event Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, it could not use them on Israel, because once anyone besides the attacker has nuclear weapons... no one can use them, without risking (or assuring) their own destruction. And in this case, Israel... holder of around 80 nuclear warheads... would not be shy about so responding. Netanyahu should stfu... and confine himself to talking about the evils of Obamacare. Because... he's having problems in his own country's election (coming up, amusingly, on St. Patrick's Day).
I really do wonder exactly who "The Beltway[TM]" is even talking to anymore... I know of no one under eighty years of age who takes anything that comes out of
Moscow Beijing Washington as anything other than irrelevant propaganda... but they keep putting it out. And crap like Muravchik's verbal upchuck there doesn't even cause eyebrows to be raised anymore: the business of the United States is the Pentagon, and its contractors, period. All other businesses suffer from "supply and demand"... and, in a worldwide depression soon entering its seventh year, the military-industrial-financial complex and its immense sucking sound of all other economic (and other) activity on this planet is the only game in town, and its life blood is some war, somewhere.
So yeah... let's start a war, somewhere. Anywhere. Who cares why? We'll just bomb away... "as needed." Sure... wtf... why not?