Monday, May 01, 2006

Second time as farce

I didn't think any of the U.S. election-year war rally against Iran could possibly be qualitatively more absurd than the pre-Iraq Bush demand that Saddam Hussein prove a negative (the absence of WMDs) beyond a reasonable doubt. (Of course, that demand was all the more ridiculous given that the jury was already firing up the electric chair even as the trial took place.) And it's downright shocking to see a nominally left-wing Canadian blogger managing the feat. But Jason Cherniak is up to the task, suggesting that military action in Iran is appropriate unless the Iranian regime can prove the future negative that it will never acquire nuclear weapons.

It should be clear that it's in everybody's interests to make our best reasonable efforts to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons - no matter which country might be developing them. And Iran's regime makes the general principle all the stronger.

But that's a far cry from saying that there's reason to launch a military action to preempt an outcome which by any reasonable account is at least a decade in the future. And we certainly can't afford to let the issue be defined by as simplistic a theory as "we must avoid a nuclear Iran at absolutely all costs" - especially keeping in mind who would be making the final decision as to what "all costs" will include.

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