On Tuesday, we are going to spend the whole day on The Young Turks talking about all the reasons why it is a terrible idea to do military strikes against Iran. Live on the website from 10AM-6PM PT (1PM-9PM ET): www.theyoungturks.com.
We will have guests from a variety of fields who will tell us what they think the repercussions of an attack might be. Some might even be in favor of a military solution. We want to hear from everybody.
First, save your breath, I know -- we're crazy and we're alarmists.
The conventional wisdom goes something like this: The idea of launching military strikes against Iran is so nuts that even this administration wouldn't do it, and even if they were to go down that road, it wouldn't be for a long time after they have explored other options, like diplomacy.
As usual, for the last five years, the convention wisdom is wrong. The conventional wisdom was that Iraq would be a cakewalk. Dick Cheney would order the attack on Iran tomorrow if he had it his way. He is crazy. Being alarmist about him isn't crazy; it's the most rational thing you can do.
Luckily, his power has waned a little bit inside the White House and right now there is a struggle for the empty vessel that is George Bush's mind. We are trying to influence that struggle ever so slightly.
Are we going to do any good? Probably not. The President has us three from the bottom on the list of "People I Would Most Like To Listen To." Since Cheney is on the top of that list, we feel proud. Nonetheless, here at The Young Turks, we do something that others might consider irrational at times -- we try our best.
I don't want to look back and say we didn't try everything we could to help. Our actions might not matter much, but there's no way to know until we try. We can't in good conscience tell others to keep fighting, if we aren't willing to do the same -- even against very long odds.
We're in favor of action. You can't win anything unless you're willing to risk losing. If you fight, you still might make no difference. But if you don't fight, you're guaranteed to make no difference. We choose to fight.
Now, on the substance of the policy, some would call us alarmists. Those are the same people who would have called Richard Clarke an alarmist about al Qaeda before 9/11. And the same people who called Al Gore an alarmist about global warming (ironically, I am also in that category, but unlike the President, I can learn from my mistakes).
I am proud to be on this list of alarmists. Most of the time, people are much better served being calm. In fact, that is probably true at the very least 98% of the time. But there are times when it's time for action.
Unfortunately, September 11th was one of those times. The people who ran down the stairs of the WTC survived, and unfortunately some of those who walked didn't make it. There is a time for panic. It is rare, but it has its place.
A military strike on Iran would have such devastating consequences, a calm reaction to that possibility is not warranted. Action to make sure it doesn't happen is what is called for in this case. That is what we will do on Tuesday, and we hope you join us.
We will explore some of the possible ramifications of the attack and what might be done to prevent it. We will also break down the internal power struggle inside the White House to try to get as clear a picture as we can of what might be in our future.
Finally, we won't just be talking to guests and experts. We also want to hear from you. It's going to be a long day and we need your support in carrying the discussion forward.
On Tuesday, the battle is joined. Hope you're there.