Better To Be Nuked Than To Bomb Iran?

One of the fascinating things about polls is that relatively minor changes in the way that a question is phrased or coming at an issue from a slightly different angle can cause wild shifts in the results.

For example, take a look at these results from a CNN / USA Today / Gallup poll of 1000 adults:

“Fifty-nine percent thought Iran would use nuclear weapons against the United States, and 80 percent thought the Iranians would hand them over to terrorists to use against the United States.

More thought Iran would use the weapons against Israel — 77 percent — and about as many — 81 percent — thought Iran would give them to terrorists who wanted to use them against Israel.

Sixty-eight percent of the respondents called for economic and diplomatic action to keep Iran away from atomic weapons, while only 9 percent called for military action.

Even if diplomacy were to fail, only 36 percent of those who responded to the survey thought military action would be called for, while 45 percent said it would not.”

So let’s see if we have this straight: 80% of the people polled think Iran will give terrorists nukes to use against the United States, but only 36% say they would support military action against Iran even if diplomacy failed?

That means we have what, probably 44%, who think Iran getting nukes could lead to let’s say New York and Chicago disappearing under mushroom clouds, but they still wouldn’t support bombing Iran? Doesn’t that seem more than a little bizarre? Surely there can’t be that many Noam Chomsky-hate-America types out there who think America deserves to be nuked, right? Right.

What probably happened is that you had people who see Iran as a threat, but then, when they’re asked about military action, they figure we have our hands full in Iraq and rule out a military strike on that basis, without thinking things all the way through (Sure, Iran could cause trouble for us in Iraq, but is that really worse than their handing over nuclear weapons to terrorists to use against us?)

In any case, since either the US or Israel will likely end up bombing Iran, and relatively soon, within a few months to let’s say 18 months out, it’s good that the Bush administration has started to beat the war drums a little louder lately. The fact that they haven’t gotten too overt about it yet probably either means that nothing is coming up in the next few months or that Israel will be making the strike, but it’s too early to tell yet. Whatever the case may be, it’s not too early to start preparing the American people for what may turn out to be an inevitable bombing run that will have some very serious repercussions.

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