on peace (reposted and revised from April 12, 2009)
David Samuels' "Why Israel Will Bomb Iran: The rational argument for an attack" in Slate illustrates one of the problems of war. Samuels makes a lot of predictions about what would happen if Israel bombed Iran. Most of these results appear as positives. But almost any act of war can seem sensible when justifying it by predicted results (especially if the war proponent is the one predicting such results). But nearly every act of war brings about unforeseen, unpredictable results. It is the unpredicted results that are often longterm negative results of acts of war.