Editorials

The Politics of Peace

Step by step America is being primed for war with Iran.  President Trump has not actually torn up the “Iran deal”—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that is supposed to defer the day the Islamic Republic might seek a nuclear weapon—but he “decertified” it in October, and his administration is under constant pressure from the war lobby.  The decertification opens the way to new sanctions, the aim of which is not so much to get Iran to comply with Washington’s demands as to harden resolve on both sides.  The Iranian regime can be expected to respond with defiance, and the Iranian people may well rally to the government in a spirit of nationalism.  If your aim is war, that’s the response you want: Distrust and mutual antagonism should be maximized.

The Iraq invasion, the last great project of the War Party, was a long time coming.  But the hawks have plenty of money, and they can afford to be patient.  They can wear down the rocks of resistance to another regime-change experiment the way that waves wear down a coastline.  Five years before George W. Bush plunged Iraq into chaos, Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress had already made regime change in Baghdad an explicit goal with the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act.  The screw might turn slowly, but as long as it turns in the right direction, it will get the job done.

The Peace Party, by contrast,...

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