Today, on a Newsmax broadcast, Sarah Palin proclaimed that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons would result in a battle between good and evil, leading to "Armageddon." Palin's remarks are the most recent in a litany of bellicose rhetoric made by extreme conservatives about how to deal with Iran. Yet despite the attempts to use Iran as a political football to scare voters and intimidate policy makers into taking military action against Iran, national security experts and military leaders disagree with such an approach. In addition, the voters aren't buying this argument, as a recent poll
showed that only two in ten Americans would go to war with Iran if that country tested a nuclear bomb. What is striking about the hard right's hyperventilating on this issue is how it reveals the deep fissures in conservative circles on national security policy, particularly between neoconservative military interventionism and Tea Party isolationism, which is ambiguous on military action. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the Obama administration's dual-track approach towards Iran of sanctions and diplomacy is beginning to bear fruit, the loudest conservative voices continue to be the most militant ones. However, policymakers should be wary of these arguments during this election season, as we have seen them before in the context of Iraq, where the most militant rhetoric won out during the midterm congressional campaign season of 2002. A skeptical eye needs to be drawn towards those who would use military action against Iran as a political tool rather than treating it as the serious national security issue that it is.