Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iran War Critic Fallon Resigns

What perfect timing: Just as I launch my blog, news events are helping me more than I could have hoped to make my case for libertarians to support Barack Obama. This week Esquire published a story that Admiral William Fallon, a critic of war with Iran, might be fired by the Bush administration to clear the military of dissenters in advance of an attack on Iran. Shortly after the Esquire article appeared, Fallon abruptly resigned.

War with Iran is a real possibility, and not just because of George Bush. John McCain has been one of the Iraq war's greatest supporters. He continues to say that it's going well. He supports a hard line on Iran and says that "there will be other wars" - presumably when he's elected president. Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war and refuses to admit that she was wrong in doing so. She voted to declare Iran's military "terrorists" (how can you not go to war with terrorists?). "We cannot and should not – must not – permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons," she said in a 2006 speech at Princeton.

Of the serious candidates for president, only Obama is not threatening war with Iran. Outlining his positions to the New York Times, Obama said that as president he would "engage in aggressive personal diplomacy" with Iran. He's taken a lot of heat from Clinton and McCain for saying that he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran to try to avoid a conflict. He even introduced a Senate resolution saying that Bush does not have the authority to attack Iran.

Obama has never explicitly promised not to go to war with Iran, but I think it's clear from his words and actions that he is by far the least bellicose of the three remaining major candidates. And if this issue is not important to you, then you haven't been paying attention. Anyone who is at all concerned about the lives, money and good will wasted in the Iraq war should be 10 times as worried about a war with Iran.

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