As a general rule, it is pointless to rank world leaders or lesser political figures by measures that track their vileness or how much harm they inflict upon the world.
Sometimes, though, it can be enlightening to do precisely that – provided it is understood that what is being compared are not so much the character traits of deplorable individuals, but the political lines they advance in the circumstances they confront.
One such time is now – as Donald Trump is doing his best to launch a “stupid war” against Iran. That expression was candidate Barack Obama’s in 2008; he used it to describe the war George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched against Iraq.
Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Some have been stupider than others, but, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Democrats and Republicans have supported them all. If Trump does get an Iran War going, count on bipartisan support for it too, though, for sheer stupidity, it would rival and perhaps even exceed the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam.
It is telling that, notwithstanding his characterization of the Bush-Cheney Iraq War, Obama, the least lethal of our twenty-first century presidents and also the least odious, kept it going for many years.
It says a lot too that that Obama never had any problem with the Bush-Cheney Afghanistan War. Quite to the contrary, he actually revved that one up. It continues to this day,…