05/28/2012 10:32 pm ET Updated Jul 28, 2012

Let's Take War Off the Table

Memorial Day sales have got to go.

To honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in battle, America's stores bravely slash prices up to 50 percent and more! You can hear the commercial announcer intoning, "They went to battle, so we could bring back these great savings for you!"

Amid all the sales and barbecues of this holiday weekend, the one point that continues to be forgotten is how pointless war is.

Despite the fact that Saddam Hussein and Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and were not a threat to the United States, not one person responsible for the unspeakable carnage of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians and the dislocation of more than a million Iraqi civilians, has ever stepped forward to admit that the Iraq war was a mistake.

And while the rhetoric about bombing Iran has subsided of late, thanks in part to the cool and collected reasoning of our president, most Republicans and many Democrats still bluster on about how Iran must be stopped from getting nuclear weapons. And even President Obama has felt the need to invoke the familiar refrain: "All options are on the table."

I wish the president would say, "All options are on the table. Except war, of course. That's definitely off the table. Who wants war on their table anyway? It's not good for the table or anyone else for that matter."

And why is it OK for some countries to have nuclear weapons, while others, like Iran, cannot? Is there something inherently responsible and thoughtful about India, Pakistan, Israel and other nuclear powers, including the United States, that makes us feel comfortable with them having weapons that can destroy the world many times over?

The world would be safer if either every country had nuclear weapons or none of them did. I endorse the latter.

In fact, as more nations get their hands on advanced technology, it will be easy for them to develop nuclear weapons. Mindless threats and meaningless bluster will not bring the world closer to peace. We must finally embrace the reality that leaders of countries, especially undemocratic ones, will do anything to stay in power. Which is why they would be quite averse to unleashing a nuclear attack that would not only destroy their grip on power but their entire country as well.

Usually around this point in the discussion of Iran's nuclear capability, the inevitable Hitler reference surfaces. Anyone who brings up the horror wrought by the Nazis to win an argument is merely proving that they have already lost the argument.

If Iran was smart, it would announce that it had already built a nuclear weapon, so bombing its facilities would be too late. And if the U.S. and Israel were smart, they would reestablish diplomatic relations with Iran.

Talking to your adversaries is a lot smarter than bombing them. So when we talk about our options in dealing with Iran, let's take war off the table. That will give us more room to pursue peace, which is what Memorial Day should really be all about.