Are we prepared for another war in the Middle East?

Are we ready for another war? Ready or not, we may have to face one. If it were up to Israel, we would have bombers over Tehran right now. There is tough talk on both sides and it reappeared this past week at the United Nations. Iran and its crazy President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants a nuclear weapon. The rest of the world thinks that would be a disaster. Fortunately, Ahmadinejad will fade from power after elections next year, but the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is not going to go away.

It is understandable why the Iranians would want a weapon. In their position, we would want one, too. However, their government’s continued lies have the rest of the world, understandably, not believing their “peaceful intentions” line. But what to do?

If Israel launches a preemptive strike do we stand with our ally? Iran won’t just sit there and take it as Syria and Iraq have done when Israeli jets bombed their facilities. It would give Iran an excuse to openly counter attack.

An almost invisible report was released earlier this month by former generals, ambassadors and lawmakers that casts a dim view of a preemptive strike. If the Israelis attack, it would only set the Iranian nuclear program back two years. If we attack, four years. And if our objective is to prevent a nuclear Iran the U.S., the report states, “would need to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years.” A sustained conflict “would boost the price of oil and further disrupt an already fragile world economy.”

President Obama believes diplomatic efforts should be given time to work. He’s betting the continued hardships on the people of Iran will cause them to demand of their government a change of course. We must pray that he’s right, because the last thing this world needs is a nuclear armed Iran or an American force bogged down again for another decade in the Middle East. Fortunately the level of rhetoric between allies seems to be calming down as all sides weigh the consequences of action or inaction.

-- The Editorial Board