What of World War II -- a catastrophic conflict resulting in over 50 million military and civilian deaths? Winston Churchill wrote that if France and Britain had taken early action to stop Hitler, the entire war might have been averted. But, again, "preemptive war" is still war, is it not?
Iran claims it pursues uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes. Yet the International Atomic Energy Agency cannot corroborate those claims. Meanwhile, members of the United Nations, like Russia, sell nuclear technology to Iran. China negotiates deals with Iran to ensure a continuous supply of oil. If "war is not the answer," what about selling nuclear technology when the buyer says that a fellow United Nations state should be wiped out? What's the answer to one of Ahmadinejad's predecessors, Hashemi Rafsanjani, who said, "[T]he use of an atomic bomb against Israel would totally destroy Israel, while [the same] against the Islamic world would only cause damage. Such a scenario is not inconceivable."
But that's just Israel. What about Europe and America?
Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa urged Muslims to target American civilians as "a religious duty." Michael Scheuer, who created and ran the CIA's bin Laden unit, says that in 2003 bin Laden got a Saudi sheik to issue a fatwa authorizing the use of nuclear weapons against Americans, to retaliate for Muslims killed in the "holy war." Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein, for his book "Al-Zarqawi: Al-Qaeda's Second Generation," interviewed several of bin Laden's top lieutenants, including the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Hussein outlines al-Qaeda's strategy of seven phases -- the first one beginning as an "awakening" for Muslims worldwide following the September 11 attacks. The plan culminates with the "definitive victory" of "one-and-a-half billion Muslims" and the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate by 2020.
The Baker-Hamilton Commission wants "dialogue" with Syria and Iran. But the United Nations implicated Syria in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. More recently, assassins shot to death Pierre Gemayel, the high-ranking Lebanese industry minister, and another critic of Syria.
Oops, I was now late for my appointment. So the "answer" to war must await my haircut and mustache trim.