Interesting news analysis on Iran in today’s New York Times:
Dispite a decade of war, most Americans seem to endorse the politicians’ martial spirit. In a Pew Research Center poll this month, 58 percent of those surveyed said the United States should use military force, if necessary, to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Only 30 percent said no.
“I find it puzzling,” said Richard K. Betts of Columbia University, who has studied security threats since the cold war. “You’d think there would be an instinctive reason to hold back after two bloody noses in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
In the same survey, 75 percent of respondents said that Mr. Obama was withdrawing troops from Afghanistan at the right pace or not quickly enough, a finding in keeping with many indications of war weariness.
Micah Zenko, who studies conflict prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations, sees an old pattern. “It’s true throughout history: there’s always the belief that the next war will go much better than the last war,” he said.
Faced with an intractable security challenge, both politicians and ordinary people “want to ‘do something,’” Mr. Zenko said. “And nothing ‘does something’ like military force.”
What’s the word I’m looking for? It’s right there on the tip of my tongue… means something like “doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results… faith? Insanity? Fey?