The tensions between Iran and The United States rose Thursday as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot down an American military drone. Iran claims that the drone was invading on their national sovereignty, and shooting it down was a warning to the United States. General of the Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami stated that Iran does not “want war with any country, but we are completely, and totally, ready and prepared…”
It is clear that Iran means business and will fight in a war. The question now arises: what is the best way for America to react? Some may claim that this, coupled with the oil carrier attack last week, is the last straw; the United States must retaliate so we don’t appear weak. But a war with Iran is not in America’s best interests. Americans do not need a second Iraq war.
There are two questions to answer before Americans decide war is the best option. First, did Iran commit an act of aggression? And second, does a war over this make us look strong?
The Iran Overreaction
Many people claim that America will look weak if we do not retaliate. But is this really the case? Even as early as kindergarten, schoolchildren realize that brawls over small issues aren’t signs of strength. Rather, strong people talk it out. A war with Iran would be the equivalent of beating up your classmate for stealing a pencil.
This idea of “two wrongs don’t make a right” runs deep within American culture, but suddenly vanishes on the battlefield. There is nothing American about sending our youth to a desert to die for a country that poses no threat to us. Doing so would be an extreme overreaction.
An Act of Aggression?
Suppose your neighbor sent a drone over to spy on you and you shot it down. Would they be justified in harming you for it? The police would say that you were in the right to shoot down the drone. If China sent a drone over to America and the military shot it down, that would not give China the right to declare war on America. Why is it suddenly different when the United States is the one doing the spying?
Iran has not committed an act of aggression against America. Nor has the United States done anything to justify Iran declaring war. These two nations do not need to see eye-to-eye or even be allies, but they do not have a reason to go to war with each other. It is in the interest of neither country and if it’s anything like Iraq or Afghanistan, would result in hundreds of thousands of deaths without clear gains for any nation involved.
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