Americans Oppose War With Iran: A New Poll
A new poll suggests the American people are opposed to the U.S. going to war with Iran.
Bravo for the American people! However, do not breathe a sigh of relief. The war talk is prevalent on Capitol Hill. Yes, that’s right, some members of Congress, our representatives, are openly saying a preventive war should be considered. Some think this is worth it to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Military experts, however, think that an attack on Iran would not be an effective way to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. In fact, George W. Bush’s CIA director and NSA chief, Gen. Michael Hayden, said that when this the Bush administration considered a possible attack on Iran, “the consensus was that [attacking Iran] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent — an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret.” As some have quipped, “Anyone who talks about a surgical strike ought to get a second opinion.”
For some in Congress, threatening war with Iran is a way to flaunt strong support for Israel too. But note, the same PIPA poll showing opposition to U.S. war against Iran indicates that, while Americans would support Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, they would prefer that assistance to be diplomatic support.
Americans are shying away from war violence, and there is good reason. The Iraq war is over, but the result is far less than the democracy we heralded. It is more like a new dictatorship, and killing in the name of religion continues. It is so hard to admit the loss of life and treasure with little of the effect envisioned. It saddens me to write it, yet the pain and suffering continues.
American war weariness is especially apparent with Afghanistan. Brave men and women in uniform still sign up, and re-up repeatedly. They carry the U.S. banner heroically. That is so hard to do, as this decade of war has been a mess. The country has gained little progress toward a civil society, and then a single soldier shoots civilians, women and mostly children, for reasons we may never understand.
We do know that the prospect of perpetual war on the backs of our overburdened armed forces is simply not sustainable. How many deployments do we expect our troops to handle before more of them reach breaking points with devastating consequences? And let’s not forget that consequences we see back at home, where post traumatic stress and serious disabilities meet a struggling economy with high rates of unemployment.
Congress, can you please carefully and forthrightly judge the consequences of an attack on Iran? Please do not blithely say this one will be worth it. Please do not say it won’t last long. Please do not say we will only use unmanned drones. Please do not say it would only be to have Israel’s back. Please do not say we have the soldiers and the weapons, let’s use them. Please do not say this is a solution to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
Please measure the unintended consequences first!
War is hell. We may be the largest cop on the planet, spending the most on its military and hardware, but we should have learned that this alone will not ensure a win. And just what is a “win” anyway? What was won in Iraq? Remember Vietnam? Do the history books say we won? Not many remember Korea, but we still have troops there, the Koreans still suffer, and the country is still split. And what are we winning in Afghanistan?
Diplomacy. Americans support diplomacy; especially under the guidance of the United Nations Security Council, as the new poll results show that people rely on them more than Congress. Diplomacy is an art and a practice of conducting negotiations between disagreeing parties. Professional diplomats have extensive training in peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment and human rights. International treaties have a history of being negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians. Listen up, Congress! We have thousands of diplomats in the U.S. The U.N. is known for its diplomacy. Those are other tools we have in our toolbox besides weapons for war.
This may surprise you, but I must repeat: Congress is on fire about going to war! Forget the reasons; there are several. Believe it when WAND says it could happen.
-Susan Shaer, Executive Director