Coming Soon: War with Iran?

July 17, 2011


If you don’t think we’re heading towards a military confrontation with Iran, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you. Or even better, would you like to buy my mortgage?

You see, despite the media selling our last disastrous war in Iraq, they haven’t learned anything. They seem to be applying the same low standards of journalism with respect to Iran- just mindlessly repeating every government talking point and hyping up the threat posed by a nation that hasn’t been involved in a war since the Iran-Iraq War, a war which Iraq initiated. A friend of mine, who happens to be a nuclear physicist, goes ballistic whenever he reads the NYT or Haaretz or Washington Post talking about “enriched uranium” and “highly enriched uranium” without the slightest bit of background about what actually is involved in not only creating the necessary components for a nuclear weapon, but actually getting it to work.

That the exact same arguments that were used to mislead us into war with Iraq, are being used to justify a potential war or military strike on Iran is troubling.

Yes, Iran is a problem. Iran has been a problem since the 1970’s after the U.S.-instilled Shah of Iran, who was a tyrannical dictator, was overthrown. Of course, Iran was mostly obsessed with Iraq until we were nice enough to get rid of their public enemy #1 and create a power vacuum in the region that they could simply step into.

Iran uses a lot of obnoxious, offensive and threatening language about Israel, no doubt about that. But what are the chances that Iran is going to attack an advanced nuclear weapons state that has both 1st and 2nd strike capability? And that’s assuming that Iran’s nuclear scientists stay alive long enough to jury-rig some sort of nuclear weapon.

The fact of the matter is, prevention and containment is really the only good way to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We do it with Pakistan-India and we do it with North Korea.

Israel, of course, is the main source of pressure on the U.S. to attack Iran, assuming Israel doesn’t do it first. Jeffrey Goldberg wrote an oft-cited article in the Atlantic to repeat Netanyahu’s talking points map out the dire circumstances faced by Israel and how Israel would likely attack Iran unless the U.S. did so first. For critiques of Goldberg’s piece, check out this article with links to other opinions.

Now, a former CIA veteran says that the Israeli security establishment is increasingly concerned that Israel’s far right-wing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, just might be crazy enough to attack Iran- In September. The logic goes that if Israel attacks Iran, the U.S. gets dragged into it too.

Of course, the consequences of such an attack are rarely, if ever, discussed. In addition to likely destroying the Iranian opposition movement and strengthening Mahmoud Ahmadinjad, Israel and the U.S. would be making the world a great deal more unsafe for U.S. interests in the region and around the world. Seriously, how many countries in the region do we think we can attack? Attacking Iran would likely serve as a recruiting tool for terrorism.

I bring all this up because I read this article over on HuffPo by Dovid Efune, who is the Director of the Algemeiner Journal and Gershon Jacobson Foundation. Because I don’t know anything about Mr. Efune, I did a brief google search and lo and behold, Mr. Efune is a frequent contributor to Fox News, seems to put himself out as an expert on the political wants and needs of the entire Jewish community and seems to never have met a war in the Middle East that he didn’t like. He’s been running around lately joining the chorus of people claiming, without too much actual evidence, that Obama is going to lose a significant portion of the Jewish vote because he’s been mean to Israel. I looked up the Gershon Jacobson Foundation and their most recent press release is entitled ““The Media and the Silencing of Support for Israel.” Right. There simply aren’t enough pro-Israel voices in the media.

Here is an excerpt from his article:

However the developing picture rapidly coming into focus is that there is a bourgeoning case for the expedient invasion of Iran. Never has there been as much to gain — and as much at stake — and never has there been a more opportune moment as now.

A July 2, Wall Street Journal article, entitled “Iran Funnels New Weapons to Iraq and Afghanistan,” asserts that ‘Iraq has in recent years been a proxy battlefield for the U.S. and Iran,’ adding that ‘Military officials and defense analysts cite Iran as a prime justification for extending the U.S. presence’ in Iraq. The author also notes, as has been documented, that ‘Iran has grown increasingly aggressive in trying to influence the political rebellions across the Middle East and North Africa,’ saying that ‘in recent months, according to U.S. officials, Iran has also increased its intelligence and propaganda activities in Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen.’

Of course the U.S. and the international community have directed significant resources to all of these vital fronts. But it was an active U.S. serviceman expressing his personal thoughts to me this week who said that “we need to go after the head of the snake, and it’s time we stopped chasing shadows in Afghanistan and fought a real war.”


The weak domestic economy brings possible concern over America’s ability to sustain further military efforts, but as David Broder wrote last year in the Washington Post, “Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.” He continued, ” With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, (President Obama) can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.”

The anti-war movement often uses the slogan ‘bring our troops home,’ insinuating that they may be tired, weary or fed up with the challenges that they have been presented by their country. But they underestimate the mettle of America’s heroes. Soldiers that I have spoken to are insulted by the suggestion, “the U.S. army is all volunteer” one told me, “those who sign up know what they are in for.” Adding regarding Iran, that “a fresh battle against a known enemy would be a good change of pace for us; it’s only the American public that’s tired of the fight for our ideals.”

Make no mistake, it would be a costly battle on many fronts, and possibly the greatest U.S. military challenge since World War II. Consider, however, what is at stake: no less than the future stability of the world order as we know it. The lives, safety, freedom and security of individuals and nations across the globe. If this is indeed the war to end all Middle East wars, we know with certainty that it will not be fought in vain.

I noticed he didn’t mention Israel once, which is a sure sign it’s all about Israel.

But what astonishes me about this article and people like Dovid Efune is the almost lackadaisical disregard they have for American soldiers’ lives and how he minimizes the consequences of such a war with the usual chicken-hawk refrain of “sure, it won’t be easy, blah, blah, blah.” Notice he tries to preempt the charge of being indifferent to the plight of U.S. solders by claiming he has spoken to several who just can’t wait to leave Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq and go to Iran! There certainly may be soldiers who feel this way, but quoting one or two does not an argument make.

I wonder if Mr. Efune will be volunteering his services should we go to war with Iran? I find the coddled, arrogant elitism of these individuals to be beyond offensive. How quaint of them to beat the drums of war from the safe distance of their their think tanks and endowed chairs at places like Yale, Bar Ilan and Harvard. Is the class issue totally lost on these people, or do they just not care?

Who is going to pay for this war? He doesn’t tell us. What will the U.S. do if Iran engages in military retaliation, which they most certainly will? He doesn’t tell us. What happens when Hezbollah and other militant groups in the region join in? He doesn’t tell us. Has Mr. Efune looked at a map of Iran recently? Take a good long look at Iran’s borders and then come back and tell me that war with Iran will work out well for the U.S. and Israel.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road- if you want war with Iran then walk the walk and also call for a draft with no exclusions.

UPDATE: I looked did a little bit of research to see just how many times over the past ten years or so we’ve said Iran is just two years away from a nuclear weapon and here’s what I found:

In 2010 CIA Director Panetta claimed Iran could have a bomb in 2 years?

“In an EXCLUSIVE interview on “This Week,” CIA Director Leon Panetta said if the Iranians chose to pursue making a nuclear weapon, they could have a bomb in two years.

In Iran, “there is a continuing debate right now about whether or not they ought to proceed with a bomb. But they clearly are developing their nuclear capability and that raises concerns,” Panetta said. “Just exactly what are their intentions?”

“We think they have enough low-enriched uranium right now for two weapons,” the CIA Chief said. “They do have to enrich it fully to get there. And we would estimate if they made that decision, it probably would take a year to get there. Probably take another year to develop the kind of weapon delivery system in order to make that viable,” he told host Jake Tapper.”[emphasis added]

Then there is this run-down of all the previous statements by the US and Israel saying exactly the same thing:

[Who said:] “Iran is the center of terrorism, fundamentalism and subversion and is in my view more dangerous than Nazism, because Hitler did not possess a nuclear bomb, whereas the Iranians are trying to perfect a nuclear option.”

Benjamin Netanyahu 2009? Try again. These words were in fact uttered by another Israeli prime minister (and now Israeli president), Shimon Peres, in 1996. Four years earlier, in 1992, he’d predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999.

You can’t accuse the Israelis of not crying wolf. Ehud Barak, now defense minister, said in 1996 that Iran would be producing nuclear weapons by 2004.


The issue today is Iran and, more precisely, what President Barack Obama will make of Netanyahu’s prescription that, the economy aside, Obama’s great mission is “preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons” — an eventuality newly inscribed on Israeli calendars as “months” away.


Israel’s nuclear warheads, whose function is presumably deterrence of precisely powers like Iran, go unmentioned, of course.


What’s going on here? Israel, as it has for nearly two decades, is trying to lock in American support and avoid any disadvantageous change in the Middle Eastern balance of power, now overwhelmingly tilted in Jerusalem’s favor, by portraying Iran as a monstrous pariah state bent on imminent nuclear war…

So, Iran should have had a bomb about 10 times over by now.


About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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19 Comments on “Coming Soon: War with Iran?”

  1. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Regarding how the troops feel about their mission, I think we can get more accurate information from people with “feet on the ground” — namely, my old and dear friend and fellow psychiatrist Nancy who, in her late 50’s, decided she wanted to give something back to all the servicemen and women putting life and limbs on the line for us every day — so enlisted in the Army Medical Corps. She has just been deployed in Iraq and here’s part of her first letter back home:

    “(It’s really only now that I’m in the Army and have gotten a taste of this life that I can begin to appreciate how really incredible our Army is.  Not “big Army”, which is a frustrating, inefficient and grinding bureaucracy, but the Army of individuals doing their job day in and day out, living and working in difficult circumstances like this, for 12 months or longer at a time, caring about others, putting their assignment, their buddies and friends, and their country ahead of themselves.  For all it’s problems, the Army is pretty amazing.)  


    Anyway, our Combat Stress Control team consists of me and three others.  They arrived a few days ago.  We’ve been learning the ropes from the team that´s been here also almost a year and is leaving tomorrow.  There hasn´t been a psychiatrist, though, for several weeks, so there was a back load of soldiers for me to see, and I´ve been very busy these first few days.  


    Busy is good, since there is not a lot to do at Camp Kalsu, and I´d be really bummed if I was here, of all places, for no reason.  


    In fact, part of what´s so hard on the soldiers here now is feeling they’re not here for a good reason, and haven’t been.  Going forward and for the next group, the mission will be clearer and, hopefully, more compelling:  Provide security for the American troops withdrawing from Iraq. Kalsu is on a main north south thoroughfare, so it will be one of the last bases to close as troops move down from the north, through here and out the southern part of Iraq into Kuwait.”


  2. Stacy Says:

    Good for her, we need more people like her.

    I don’t think anybody really doubts how amazing our troops are and how dedicated they are to accomplishing a mission irrespective of what that mission is. And I think there are many people who truly care about them and are willing to join up for that reason, like your friend. That said, I highlighted the Dovid Efune article because I’ve noticed a tendency of elite neoconservatives at Think Tanks and within government, to be very quick to send American soldiers to their next war almost as if they are merely chess pieces on a board. Even Colin Powell complained bitterly about this. Often times, these hawks are not honest about the real reason they are sending troops to places like Iraq, etc. If we truly cared about our troops we would only go to war as an absolute very, very, very last resort. I know reasonable people can disagree about what equals a last resort, but of late, many of us have become a bit spoiled and respond to almost every perceived threat with the response “but we have to do something about that!” as though “we” will be the ones running around in the sand being shot at.

    I can’t help but think that if there was a draft or if military service were mandatory, we’d be much less likely to be cheer leading for war #3, while we’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a bit too easy to support wars when some of us have no skin in the game. The idea that people are advocating war with Iran because one day they may be able to make nuclear weapons, is truly radical in terms of our foreign policy. That few seem to consider it radical is evidence of just how militaristic we have become after 9/11. Also, it’s sort of ironic that by invading Iraq and totally f*cking it up, we created a situation where Iran would actually become more powerful. Iran now actually has extremist advocates in the Iraqi parliament! But here in the US we have never really had an honest discussion about just how badly we screwed up Iraq, killing possibly 100,000 civilians in the process (I know the numbers are disputed). That the very same people who championed THAT war are now making the same arguments to go to Iran, strikes me as truly depressing.

    The other thing is, how much of our security problems are based on a problematic foreign policy that is still based in a cold war mentality? As Glenn Greenwald likes to note, we seem to be creating more terrorists than they are killing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. At what point do we look inward rather than simply blaming everything on everyone else? I know, it’s not very macho, but I can’t help but wonder.

    Also, our military spending is totally out of control and if people think we can keep fighting and paying for all these wars, they are insane. It’s interesting that it’s almost impossible to get meaningful monetary support for things like healthcare, education, fighting poverty, promoting peace and non-violence but boy, when it comes to wars and tanks and missiles, money is no object! Says a lot about our priorities and perhaps maybe even about how the U.S. may not do so well long-term. We seem totally obsessed with tearing things down rather than building things up.


  3. Stacy Says:

    The drone strikes and civilian deaths are “radicalizing locals.”

    Creating the next round of suicide bombers to attack the US so we can go to war again in the name of security?


  4. SpfcMarcus Says:

    We do the job whether we agree with why we are there or not but Stacey is right that people are starting to think that whenever there’s a problem just go bomb it. I can tell you a lot of us don’t want to go to Iran. Sure, you’ll find some grunts who believe that Iran’s president us the reincarnation of hitler but that is only because that’s what they’ve been told to believe. It would really help if you civilians didn’t buy into all the bullshit that the politicians are selling you. War is big business and nobody talks about how when Obama was deciding to send us back to Afghanistan, the big defense companies were lobbying hard.

    Mist people don’t realize most members of Congress didn’t even read the National Intelligence Estimate b4 voting for the Iraq War. Not even Hillary.If they had read it they wouldn’t have been able to justify their vote to authorize the war. I think of the 15 or so members that did read it, almost all of them voted against the war.

    I go wherever they tell me to go and I don’t do much bit hung once I get there b/c there is no point. I’ll tell you this though- if my sorry ass gets sent to Iran b/c Bibi Netanyahu wants to distract people from his own demented policies and land grabs, I’ll be pissed.

    If you want to see how little politicians actually care about us go watch the Pat Tillman Story- the one that was released last year I think. I think the guy who did the films last name is Bar Lev or something. While you are at it rent “Iraq for Sale” too.

    Watch that and then get back to me.


  5. SpfcMarcus Says:

    Sorry for all the typos. Towards the end- second to last paragraph I meant to write:

    I go wherever they tell me to go and I don’t do much bitching once I get there b/c there is no point.


  6. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Stacy, I think you may have misunderstood why I posted my friend’s letter. It wasn’t to say we should be supporting our troops no matter what the mission (though I do believe that — they’re just following orders). It was to highlight the fact that — contrary to what Efune suggests
    — the troops (at least the ones my friend is seeing) are demoralized by the lack of any clear rationale that makes sense to them for why they’re fighting in Iraq. I was basically agreeing with you, stacy (or thought I was)! Just to highlight that part of her letter:

    “In fact, part of what´s so hard on the soldiers here now is feeling they’re not here for a good reason, and haven’t been.  Going forward and for the next group, the mission will be clearer and, hopefully, more compelling:  Provide security for the American troops withdrawing from Iraq.”


    • Stacy Says:

      Oh, no, I know what you meant. I just think there is a difference between supporting the troops and questioning why we go to war in the first place. The hawks like to claim that if we don’t support every war they dream up then we don’t support the troops, which of course is ridiculous.

      I wasn’t disagreeing with anything you or your friend said.

      My comment was more about my general amazement/frustration that after the revelation that we were lied to about Iraq, after all the monumental screw ups with that country, the media, politicians and even the electorate don’t seem to question the fact that the very same people that sold us Iraq are now making the EXACT same arguments about Iran. The media isn’t asking any questions, just repeating the same fear-mongering that they did prior to the Iraq War. There’s no discussion of the legality of attacking Iran, of the consequences of attacking Iran and there’s no discussion of the fact that the only evidence we are getting of an active nuclear program is politicized.

      Out of all the countries that engage in horrible human rights abuses, who does the State Dept focus on? Iran. I get stuff in my inbox about 3 times a week condemning Iran for this or that. Why? Why not China or Bahrain or Saudi Arabia or Honduras or Cuba? Because they are trying to convince We the People that in the absence of other concrete evidence, Iran is a Really, Really Bad Country and therefore if we decide to attack them it’s the right thing to do. They are laying the foundation in case Israel attacks or in case we decide to. This is exactly what they did with Iraq.

      Did you know our government is re-writing the last National Intelligence Estimate on Iran because Israel and the neocons in this country were so pissed that all of our intelligence agencies didn’t reach the conclusion they wanted? The agencies determined that Iran’s nuclear program had been largely thwarted by years of sanctions, sabotage etc. They think Iran wants an active nuclear weapons program but there really wasn’t anything that would justify a preemptive attack against a sovereign country that hadn’t attacked us. So the Obama admin. is rewriting it. Incredible.

      I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s mainly Israel that wants us to attack Iran. Iran poses no direct threat to the US and therefore it raises serious questions about whether was is justified on behalf of Israel. Of course, since we’re not allowed to talk about Israel in any critical way, those questions won’t be asked.

      Ever notice that NO ONE- not our politicians, not our media, not commentators- discusses the very important fact that Israel has over 200 nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of preventing a nuclear attack from someone like Iran. That’s why it’s called “nuclear deterrence.” How on earth can we have an honest discussion about the threat Iran poses if we aren’t willing to discuss the fact that the supposed target of Iran, ie. Israel, has both first and second nuclear strike capability and thus Iran would be insane to attack Israel- Israeli officials have admitted as much.

      BTW, Israel has signed no nuclear treaties, refuses to sign on to any international nonproliferation agreements, refuses to allow the IAEA to have access to its nuclear site and yet they are pointing fingers at others for noncompliance. And then of course Israel stole our nuclear secrets, technology etc. by using members of the American Jewish community to engage in espionage. But that’s water under the bridge I guess.

      Ok, rant over. For now. 🙂


      • Steve Says:

        I agree that there would be much less fear-mongering were it not for the fact that Iran is Israel’s primary concern. The thing is, aren’t our NATO defense shields and missiles that we have dotted all over Europe primarily to intercept/prevent any attack by Iran?

        I think that the focus on Iran is part of the neoconservative plan- one they have had for years and years, to remake the map of the Middle East to open it up to US corporate interests, control the oil and make the neighborhood safe for Israel. They used to say they wanted to “democratize” the ME but now that we have seen their reaction to the Arab Spring, we know they are full of sh*t on that front. When they say democracy they really mean US puppet as opposed to someone of the people’s own choosing. Hence the fear mongering about the Muslim Brotherhood.

        That website you have in your blogroll, Race for Iran, is an excellent resource- the Leavett’s both worked in US intelligence agencies and they know their stuff. They clearly oppose military intervention in Iran.

        Remember when Bibi initially said any negotiations with the palestinians should take place only after we dealt with Iran? He keeps saying that sanctions are nice but he’d really like something more. Lieberman, Graham, McCain, Berman, Ros-Lehtinen, WINEP, AIPAC think sanctions are just foreplay to their real goal- war and regime change in Iran. It remains to be seen if Americans by into that.


      • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

        I have one more naive question: If Israel wants Iran invaded, why don’t they do it themselves? They built the Stuxnet worm. Mossad agents assasinated Iranian nuclear scientists. Why do we have to do the heavy lifting?


        • Stacy Says:

          It’s not a naive question.

          I guess you could ask why do we do all the stuff we do for Israel when they could do some of it for themselves?

          Part of the problem is that politicians and interest groups have successfully convinced the American people that Israel’s interests and US interests are exactly the same ALL the time, even though that is unrealistic. No two countries have identical interests all of the time. Some of the time? Yes? Always? No.

          Some of Iran’s regional enemies like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain etc. would probably prefer the U.S. attack Iran rather than Israel because they won’t want to publicly get behind Israel. But Israel would probably prefer we do it in case there is a backlash- that way they won’t be the only target. Also, there are economic and strategic factors to consider. Israel wouldn’t want to get into a situation like we got into with Iraq. They want someone to help carry the brunt of the cost, the consequences etc. Israel might be willing to do a surgical strike on Iran’s purported nuclear facilities, like they did with Syria a while back, but Iran is more complicated and there is the issue of air space- they need permission from the U.S., although obviously if they didn’t get it we wouldn’t shoot them down. I don’t know if Israel’s missiles that they have on submarines can reach Iran- I don’t think so because everyone always talks about Israeli warplanes doing the brunt of it and getting fly-over permission. But if Iran retaliates in a major way it could turn into a major regional conflict that includes Syria and Lebanon. Even Israel’s outgoing security chief said it would be a disaster- after Goldberg said that Bibi and the US were apparently outraged that he went public with those comments. Jeffrey Goldberg reported that there is a growing division between Bibi and the military- the military thinks Bibi is a loose cannon and might attack Iran for the wrong reasons, consequences be damned.

          One of the problems for us in the US is some of the neocons/hawks like McCain, Lieberman etc. don’t want to just take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities, they want a war to bring about regime change. That would be a disaster and just fuel terrorism against the US and Israel.


          • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

            At the very least, you’d think they’d hold off until we see the outcome of the internal feud between Ahmadinejad and the mullahs.

  7. Stacy Says:

    Totally off topic but I just read something about this guy, Andrew Shapiro and looked him up on Wiki. I had remembered hearing about him off and on while Hillary was Senator and then during her 2008 campaign. He was very hawkish on Iran.

    Shapiro was hugely influential when Hillary was Senator- he had worked at AIPAC’s sister org., WINEP, way back when. Unfortunately, she brought him along to the State Dept. as Under Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs. I had heard that he played a big role in her lurch to the right on foreign policy/defense and Israel while Senator although I am sure she may not have needed too much prodding given she was a Senator in NY. I don’t think he helped her too much in 2008 b/c she was seen as being too much like Bush on foreign policy, although I realize that’s very debatable. That said, I think people like Shapiro are why things never change. I bet he’s still giving her bad advice at State with respect to Iran and Israel:

    She needs some advisers (as does Obama) who think outside the box and who aren’t beholden to these big lobbies. Someone like Steve Clemmons or Daniel Levy or God forbid, someone who maybe has a different, umm, how should I say this….religious background that might inform their policies (*cough* Arab *cough*) and bring a new perspective to the table? Everyone who works in that damn state dept. seems to be someone who has been pre-approved by the Israel Lobby. I bet these people haven’t had an original thought about the Middle East in 20 years.


  8. Steve Says:

    Andrew Shapiro is an ass. He’s a classic Israel-Firster and Israel lobby hack.


  9. thainjacobs Says:

    @Carolyn- I think the point is that they don’t want to wait for the outcome because they want total regime change. In other words, Israel/U.S. want to prop a leader up, kind of like we did in Afghanistan and tried to do in Iraq (that worked out well, didn’t it?)

    I think Stacy is right about Iraq. If people don’t see the connection and see how royally we screwed up that country then there’s no hope. Our govt tries to make it sound like we are doing well in Iraq but the violence, terrorism, corruption and ethnic strife is in some ways worse than when Saddam was in power. Iran is a major player in Iraq thanks to us but now the neocons have the nerve to say “war with Iran!” as though they aren’t responsible for the disaster in Iraq. The media never talks about this stuff and you have to wonder why? People just aren’t interested in it because we aren’t the ones dying? It’s really rather twisted how we can have multiple wars going on- including secret ones in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia- and we hardly talk about it- just go on with life as usual! A bit too easy if you ask me which I think was Stacy’s point.


    • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

      One thing that has always surprised me: where is the youth anti-war movement? When I was in high school and college (late 60’s to early 70’s) we had marches on Washington, protests on campus, riots in Chicago, heck I was even arrested! Thain, you’re closer to this than I am, age-wise. Why the apathy? They came out for Obama but have never mobilized to protest a senseless war (or two). Why not?


      • thainjacobs Says:

        @Carolyn- because we’re spoiled, entitled brats. I’m not being sarcastic btw.

        Keep in mind most of us who are in college right now were pretty young when 9/11 happened and then still very young when the Afghanistan War and even the Iraq War started. We grew up against a backdrop of foreign wars that no one questioned- not our parents not the media, no one because after 9/11 it was the patriotic thing to do. Also, there’s no draft, if there was you can be damn sure the trust fund babies I go to school with would suddenly give a damn about wars on the opposite side of the earth.

        I’m a member of progressive groups on campus and a lot of the activism has been focused on gay rights, pro-choice and the BDS (boycott) movement. There is some anti-war activism but not a lot. Probably the most defining movement since I’ve been in college (and High School) is gay rights.

        A lot of my friends who voted for Obama were pumped up for him because he seemed to be the anti-Bush. They thought he would be anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-gay rights, get serious about mideast peace etc. etc. They didn’t believe me when I told them there was no track record for him for any of that. Now that he’s POTUS and pretty much turned out to be a Republican on a lot of issues they just keep their mouths shut. I think they are embarrassed to protest him like some of them did Bush.

        It makes it harder too when everything the govt does is justified based on 9/11- even the media cheer-lead for all these wars in the name of security which I heard/read wasn’t the case with Vietnam. With the anti-occupation BDS movement which I’m involved in on campus that’s hard too because many of the Profs are so opposed to it that we get vilified like it’s not a valid issue. It’s hard to get speakers to come to campus and get people involved in that issue when the response from faculty, the board of trustees etc. is “you’re all antisemites.” Never mind that about 70% of the students involved in BDS here are Jewish.

        So students aren’t really united around any major issue, other than their bank accounts. Depressing, I know.

        But have a draft and see what happens. Then you’ll start to see people start to care!


        • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

          Excellent point (about the draft)…that sure was a motivator back in late 60’s until ’72 (?) when Nixon ended it. ‘Course there were a lot of us girls in the anti-war movement, too, and we were spared the draft, but I agonized right along with my cousins and older brother, so it hit close to home. That was also the heydey of feminism…Betty Friedan… Ms Magazine…Germaine Greer’s The Femal Eunuch…Simone de Beauvour’s The Second Sex…heady days. And gay rights? Not even on the radar screen. Well, maybe there were the Stonewall riots in 1969, but it wasn’t personal for me unril my younger brother came out in
          the late 70’s.

          Twain, can I put you on the short list of people who should be cloned? We need more young adults like you.


          • thainjacobs Says:

            Carolyn said:

            Twain, can I put you on the short list of people who should be cloned? We need more young adults like you.

            That’s very nice of you to say, but you should probably get a second opinion first. I think my mother might disagree with that sentiment.

            What about your sons, didn’t you say they are in their teens, early twenties? Are they politically active?


  1. Why All the Iran Fear-Mongering Now? | US FoPo & the Middle East - July 21, 2011

    […] wrote about this earlier this week because I noticed an uptick in the articles appearing in the MSM and on right […]

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