Originally Published: March 2, 2012 9:59 p.m.
A bumper sticker circulating on the Internet says, "Voting is like driving a car. Choose (R) to move backward. Choose (D) to move forward." With the calls for military intervention in the Middle East by the press and Republican hawks such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, it appears our right wing learned nothing from the catastrophic war in Iraq.
James Robbins of U.S. News and World Report remarked, "As Syria hurtles towards large-scale civil war, the Obama administration has yet to take concerted action." Such statements do nothing to encourage diplomatic solutions. The administration contends it wants to examine each crisis on a case-by-case basis. The Assad regime has many factions, it says, including al-Qaida, just waiting in the wings to step up.
Then there is Iran. Although Israel has a number of nuclear weapons and missiles, no one wants Iran to possess any, causing Ahmadinejad to feel his country is under siege. To avenge the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist by Israel, the Iranians attempted, and failed, to kill Israeli diplomats. Now Defense Secretary Panetta says there is a strong likelihood Israel will strike Iran this spring.
Members of Congress and Israel are escalating pressure on the president to insist Iran give up its nuclear program. What if Iran continues to refuse? In these volatile times, certainly there is room somewhere for compromise.
The upsurge in the amount of heated rhetoric reminds one of the buildup to the Iraq war with its calamitous costs. Hundreds of thousands of orphans and homeless took refuge in neighboring countries with the result Middle Easterners can't help but feel enmity toward America. Instead of saber-rattling, which increases the chances we will become involved in yet another war, Republicans and Democrats need to work with the president to arrive at peaceful solutions to crises, or we are doomed to repeat history, and enough is enough.