Should Americans join the military if the next commander-in-chief of the armed services is an arrogant, ignorant, irresponsible, war-happy hawk? Many of America's best and brightest join the armed services. But with the U.S. constantly at war, joining is a life or death decision, dependent on the judgment of whoever sits in the Oval Office.
War is not just another policy option. It means death and destruction. It wrecks societies. It creates harms which cannot be undone. It is the most serious action that government can take. It should be a last resort, reserved for the most important interests and most moral causes. None of these is at stake in the case of Iran. Americans demanding that Washington attack Iran demonstrate that Lord Acton's axiom, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely," applies even to the United States. The mere fact that America is able to war against every nation on the planet does not justify it doing so. Washington should officially take the military option off of the table when dealing with Iran.