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Gene Lyons writes that a war in Iran would be even dumber than the war in Iraq, in his column, “Iran: A Dumb War Obama Should Avoid.”

After being elected in large part because he’d opposed a “dumb” war in Iraq, President Obama finds himself confronting an even dumber one in Iran. Exponentially dumber, actually.

Dumb because like the targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists rarely cited by columnist commandoes, bombing raids alone can’t achieve the alleged goal: preventing the Ayatollahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Slow them down, probably. Stop them, no. Short of a full scale invasion and occupation of a nation three times larger than neighboring Iraq in population and five times larger in land area, that can’t be done. Global disapproval didn’t stop North Korea, Pakistan, nor, for that matter, Israel.

Exponentially dumb because it could set the entire Middle East aflame.

You’d think the Israelis, of all people, would recognize that threatening a people with death and destruction hardens their resolve. Yet the New York Times reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “told visitors that he believes the Tehran government to be deeply unpopular, indeed despised, and that a careful attack on its nuclear facilities might even be welcomed by Iranian citizens.”

Yes, and Dick Cheney predicted that U.S. forces invading Iraq would be greeted with candy and flowers. “Most analysts [in Jerusalem] and abroad,” the Times noted cautiously “take a different view.” Indeed, historical examples of civilian populations cheering on aerial bombardments are rare, if not non-existent. Despite his and Cheney’s obvious affinities, one would expect Netanyahu to be made of saner stuff.

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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