When I published my "Tragedy of the American Military" article last month, some people said: No, it's an exaggeration to claim that war is an easy abstraction that people throw around without thinking through the consequences.
Maybe. But I give you the op-ed page of our capital city's main newspaper, which tells us:
"Probably" the best? Grrr. No, almost certainly not. Or so people who had thought about the practicalities argued 11 years ago—when it would have been easier than now.
Of course, I had reckoned without the strong argumentative power of this article's author, Joshua Muravchik. He assures us (emphasis added):
Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary.
Of course, Iran would try to conceal and defend the elements of its nuclear program, so we might have to find new ways to discover and attack them. Surely the United States could best Iran in such a technological race.
Right, repeated bombing raids "as necessary." What could possibly go wrong with that approach? Yes, "surely the United States could best Iran." Surely we could polish off those backward Viet Cong. Surely invading Iraq would work out great. (I haven't taken the time to see if the author was a fan of invading Iraq, but I have a guess.) Surely the operational details of these engagements are a concern only for the small-minded among us.
How would we think about a "scholar" in some other major-power capital who cavalierly recommended war? How would we think about some other capital-city newspaper that decided to publish it? The Post's owners (like those of the NYT and other majors papers) have traditionally had a free hand in choosing the paper's editorial-page policy and leaders, while maintaining some distance from too-direct involvement in news coverage. Jeff Bezos, behold your newspaper.
I see from his Twitter bio that Muravchik has seven grandsons. I now have one. The idea that any of them would be involved in a "bomb as often as necessary" strategy??? Maybe the author feels differently, but for me this is appalling.