War with Iran?

Google “World War III” and “the draft”, and you might get the impression that a cataclysmic war with Iran is imminent. A reality check may be in order.

From the American side, Donald Trump doesn’t want a war. There’s not much positive I can say about Trump, and he’s not consistent about much, but on this singular issue he has been reliable. He opposes involvement in the Middle-East. The reason he struck at Soleimani is because (a) Iran burned the American embassy on top of (b) engaging for a full year in other aggressions — attacking ships in the straits of Hormuz, shooting down American drones, firing on American bases, and arming terrorist groups across the Middle-East. The idea that Trump is looking for an excuse to go to war is completely without foundation.

From the Iranian side, things are more murky, but in the last 48 hours (from Jan 5-6) the Iranian strategy has (rather surprisingly) become less bellicose. Instead of pursuing acts of violence, they seem more interested now in inserting themselves into other places, like Iraq, to push American troops out of these places and give themselves a better foothold. [Update: On the evening of January 7, the Iranian strategy escalated into missile strikes into Iraq.]

The appeasement under Barack Obama — in bringing Iran to the table and giving Iran money — has born the expected rotten fruit. I admit that I supported the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 (though with strong reservations), because at the time I thought it was the lesser of two evils, especially in the midst of Obama’s war-mongering in every other corner of the Middle-east. But while negotiating with a terror-sponsored nation may have kept us out of conflict, it increased Iran’s determination to escalate conflict, which is what Soleimani and others had been doing.

Donald Trump’s strike against Soleimani was risky in the manner of most military strikes, but it carried no more or less risk than Obama’s appeasement policy ever did. And on moral grounds, if I had to decide between taking out a threat like Soleimani and bending over backwards for Iran — which allows the ayatollahs to continue being as violent as they want — well, my moral compass aligns with the former.

We’re not on the brink of a war or draft, in any case. That’s pure media scare.

UPDATE (January 8, 1:30 PM): Trump addressed the nation, saying that we are not on the brink of another war in the Middle East.

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