“How do you like the Journal’s war?”
So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst’s New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.
While Hearst’s Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer’s World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.
Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.
On Nov. 13, the Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.
Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama’s dreams of an entente with Iran are over.”
It would surely do that.
But taking down the Syrian regime could also lead to a slaughter of Christians and Alawites, an al Qaida-ISIS takeover in Damascus, war with Iran, and attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and across the Middle East.