James Fallows on chickenhawks pushing war again

The reasonable James Fallows, on his blog, writing about the rush for war in Iran by those with no military experience themselves:

Chickenhawks. Even more than was the case a decade ago with the Iraq war, there is a strong “chickenhawk” factor in the bomb-Iran drumbeat. In both the United States and Israel, the voices cautioning against reckless war talk often come from the uniformed military or from combat veterans. Much (though not all) of the harshest talk comes from people with no military background or exposure. For instance: of the remaining Republican candidates, Ron Paul is the only one who has served in the military. He is also the only one not urging bellicose threats toward Iran. The correlation through the rest of the political / media / policy establishment — toughest talk from those who have least experience in uniform or especially in combat — is not perfect, and obviously it does not in itself disprove the pro-war argument. But the pattern is noticeable.

I mention this to put it on the record, and as a segue to Steve Clemons’s interview article yesterday about Senator Jim Webb. The title is “Webb to Hot Head Senators: Cool It,” and while the “it” in the title refers to military action against Syria, it is fair to apply Webb’s warning more broadly. For instance, from Webb, in a press release:

When people are talking about the need for leadership, we need to have a little sense of history. Leadership is not always taking precipitant action when the emotions are going. It is in achieving results that will bring about long-term objectives. . .Probably the greatest strategic victory in our lifetime was the Cold War. That was a conscious, decades-long, application of strategy with the right signals with respect to our national security apparatus.

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