Iraq has exposed the tragic futility of war in an age of unconquerable peoples motivated by nationalist or sectarian passion to resist foreign occupation. Four hundred billion dollars a year in defense spending can’t secure the ten-mile road between the Baghdad Airport and the Green Zone, but it can encourage fantasies of omnipotence. It fed what Senator Robert C. Bryd (D-W. V.) last week called the "crazed presidential misadventure" in Iraq and is now licensing a new lunacy: war with Iran. The commotion over the "surge" of troops into Iraq is gorilla dust. Congress should be debating how to head off the next "crazed presidential misadventure."
War only breeds war. War against Saddam unleashed the furies of sectarian civil war in Iraq. The civil war threatens to ignite a regional war, turning Iraq into a battlefield between the Sunni regime and Shia Iran. An air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would afflict the West with terrorism sponsored by a powerful state. Terrorism would lead to a U.S. invasion of Iran, which could start a hundred years’ "war of civilizations."
Before Bush lights that fuse, he must be stopped—through demonstrations, through a campaign to pressure Congress to impeach him if the neo-conservative cabal that "cooked" the intelligence about WMD in Iraq under the dark wing of his vice-president now provokes war with Iran. An expanded war against Iran would last for years and likely require an emergency draft. Self-interest—avoiding serving in Vietnam—brought millions out onto the streets thirty-five years ago. But, to our shame, we have tolerated the slaughter of others’ kids in Iraq. War with Iran threatens all our kids; the youngest would inherit it like a curse.