Perhaps the strangest element of the Iran debate has been the tendency for it to prompt people to call for war without quite calling for war. We can see, for example, The New Republic‘s successive exhortations for the United States to “move ruthlessly” against Iran and “get ruthlessly serious” about Iran back in July 2006. Now, National Review is editorializing that “Israel was placed in this dilemma last summer, when Iranian agents — the Hezbollah of Lebanon — crossed the border, killed some soldiers, and took two others hostage. Israel treated this aggression as a declaration of war, and its repeat in the Gulf waters has to be met with the same firmness.”
As Andrew Sullivan remarks that appears to be a recommendation that we go to war with Iran, but somehow the editorialists can’t quite bring themselves to write the words. But Israel, you know, bombed and invaded Lebanon in response to the events in question. It seems to me that if National Review wants us to bomb and invade Iran, they should say so. It’s not a small question.