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Robert Koehler challenges the conventional wisdom that America must inevitably wage a war against Iran in his column, “Sanity In Exile:”

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran . . .

Or as Mitt Romney put it, playing the irresponsible-lunatic game convincingly enough to become the leading Republican presidential candidate: “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”

The consensus congeals: Our next war must be with Iran. A report issued by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which the New York Times called “chillingly comprehensive” (though this is debatable), stoked this long-simmering agenda. It charges that Iran has conducted secret experiments on nuclear triggers and created computer models of nuclear explosions, among other things, which proves that the nation, despite its leaders’ protestations to the contrary, is pursuing . . . oh God, oh God . . . a nuclear weapons program.

War hysteria springs eternal. It certainly makes great fodder for a presidential campaign, as virtually all the GOP commander-in-chief wannabes are playing tough as nails on the issue, yanking the debate screamingly to the right. This is the way the game works. The Obama administration thus has to defend itself for eschewing, so far, a military response to the threat and pursuing only economic sanctions.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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