What Others Are Saying

February 14, 2007

As with so many issues, what it will take is Congress having enough guts to cut nonessential defense spending and reallocate that money toward other pressing needs.

The problem is that defense spending is the ultimate example of corporate welfare. Virtually every congressional district in the country ... gets funding for defense-related programs. And virtually every member of Congress fights to get more of this money.

When the talk turns to saving domestic programs and members of Congress start criticizing the president's budget, two questions should be asked: Will you vote to repeal the president's tax cuts, and which defense program in your district would you eliminate to save the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Head Start or other domestic priorities?

- Brattleboro (Vt.) Reformer

While the U.S. and what remains of the civilized world are busy trying to figure out how to defend themselves from rogues, Russia is arming them with advanced military hardware.

The Council on Foreign Relations calls Russia the world leader in dealing arms to the Third World. Overall, Moscow sells weapons to 70 countries, two of which are Iran and Venezuela, oil-rich nations that have chosen to make the U.S. an enemy. ...

The warm promise of a new Russia in the early days of the Soviet crackup has turned stone cold. The West needs to turn up the heat.

- Investor's Business Daily

The idea that the U.S. could bomb Iran "surgically," gain Iranian compliance and then bolster the American position in the Middle East is risky in the extreme. A U.S. attack would undermine pragmatic voices in Iran, revive Iranian nationalism, provide incentives for Iran to make life extremely difficult for the U.S. in Iraq and elsewhere, and probably impede the international trade in petroleum. Support for the United States is already weak among Iraq's Shiite community. The idea that America could align with a majority-Shiite government in Baghdad and simultaneously attack Iran is delusional. If America loses mass support among Iraqi Shiites, the movie is over.

Surveying U.S. history, one is hard-pressed to find presidential decisions as monumentally ill-informed and counterproductive as the decision to invade and occupy Iraq; however, a decision to go to war against Iran would arguably surpass the Iraq war as the worst foreign policy decision ever made by an American president.

- A. Richard Norton, Harpers.org

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