CLOONEY DRUDGED

CLOONEY DRUDGED: In his typical hyperbolic manner, Matt Drudge entitles his link to WaPo’s story on actor George Clooney’s anti-war comments “We can’t beat anyone anymore.” Clooney actually makes a much more intelligent point–that war seldom seems to solve anything these days because it often creates action-reaction cycles. This point has merit and deserves some discussion; mischaracterizing it for the point of straw-man ridicule isn’t very helpful. Still,while the possible retalliation that can follow US military action should be factored into the decision-making calculus, it reminds me of the terrific Harold Brown (Jimmy Carter’s SecDef) line in relation to the arms race with the Soviets: “When we build, they build. When we stop, they build.” War with Saddam may inflame anti-American sentiments in the Middle East and spark more attacks by al Qaeda and others. But there’s little reason to believe they will refrain from attacking us if we don’t act. And, indeed, there are some who argue that our backing down from Saddam’s defiance will be seen as a sign of American weakness and spur more attacks.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.