Bobby Jindal is worried that all the Iraq war talk of late is distracting us from the important business of fear-mongering about Iran:

Every minute we spend arguing about what should, could, or would have happened in Iraq a dozen years ago is a minute our nation is not talking about what must happen about Iran now.

In other words, Americans are spending far too much time talking about the last hawkish foreign policy debacle that they can’t focus on how to create another one. After all, why should we get hung up on the last disastrous war when we can start planning the next reckless intervention? This is Jindal’s idea of a clever response to the recent arguments over the Iraq war, which tells you most of what you need to know about his foreign policy views and his judgment.

Jindal might be right about one thing, but it doesn’t prove what he thinks it does. At one point, he says that “Iran is much more of a threat now than Iraq was then.” That’s true, but all that this means is that Iraq was such a small, manageable threat to anyone that attacking it was absolutely unnecessary and indefensible. Iran today is more powerful than Iraq was then, and unlike Iraq it does have a nuclear program, but that doesn’t give the U.S. or any other state cause or license to attack it.

Jindal must believe his readers to be thoroughly ignorant and gullible:

The Russian military just sold Iran a passel of new missiles — belying the belief that this rogue regime can be easily contained.

The “passel of new missiles” he refers to is the S-300 air defense missile system. These weapons are used to defend against aerial attack. There is no reason to think that the ability to “contain” Iran is limited by this system, unless one wants to define “containment” as the ability to attack the country at will. Jindal cites this as proof that Iran “has not lacked for military strength,” and yet Iran’s military budget pales in comparison to that of neighboring Saudi Arabia, which spends more than five times as much as Iran does.

Jindal professes to believe that war is a last resort, but he also thinks that launching a “preventive” war on Iran is a legitimate and acceptable option. If Jindal genuinely believed that war should be a last resort, he couldn’t consider “preventive” war to be acceptable, since waging “preventive” war requires using force long before it is needed. Like many other hawks, Jindal claims to be reluctant war supporter, but endorses a position that would have the U.S. start another illegal and unjustified war.

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