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This combination of file pictures shows Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressing a large audience at Centro Incorporated on Dec. 28, 2011 in Iowa, and President Obama speaking during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on Feb. 3, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Mission seekers are ready to unleash multiple beefy arguments at President Obama during the upcoming debates. But demanding military action against Iran should not be one of them.
Why? Because, it might help President Obama win, not just the second, but also a third term.
“He can’t do that; we have the 22nd Amendment,” you quip. Yes, we do. But imagine the destabilization the Iranian war will cause in a region which is home to a nuclear Pakistan, a bleeding Syria, and a wounded Russia. Add to it the perpetual Arab-Israeli conflict, with China and Japan posturing over deserted islands to its right and a mercurial Arab Spring to its left and all you have is red meat.
A recent Tel Aviv University poll found over 50 percent of Israelis afraid that a war with Iran would endanger the Jewish state. According to retired Israeli defense officials, a preemptive strike would precipitate an unpredictable Middle East war.
If others jumped in and the conflict turned into a Third World War, Americans may prefer to rehire a sedulous president who pulled their car out of the ditch during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
That’s exactly what happened during the Second World War when America trusted Franklin Roosevelt with third and fourth presidential terms, partly because he had pulled the country out of the Great Depression.
Wartime presidents can sell a Double Whopper to a vegetarian. As the festinate decision of bombing Iran turns into a global conflict, don’t expect our constitutional law professor turned president to decline his party’s suggestion: if it can be ratified; it can be repealed.
Repealing the 22nd Amendment – which some argue was never vetted publicly – is not unthinkable. In 1947, the 22nd Amendment was debated for merely two hours (in the House) and five days (in the Senate) before 18 states rushed to ratify it. By 1951, it had the required legislative support of more than three quarters of the states.
“Why then,” – you question – “have over 21 attempts to repeal the 22nd Amendment languished and died in the committees without even a Congressional vote?”
That’s like asking why the Whopper’s beef patties were not cooked despite putting it on the grill 21 times. The grill had no burning coal, no blazing propane, and no fire underneath.
But look at today’s world: it’s sizzling.
Talk to the economists and they reckon that the U.S. is effectively bankrupt. Remove the “labeling problem” – Congress’ tendency to keep its liabilities unofficial and off the books – and our national debt climbs to over $200 trillion. Euro is on life support. China is pumping its fist.
Talk to the theologians and they are abuzz with Armageddon scenarios. To them the rampant acceptance, and to some degree, promotion, of the vices of promiscuity, homosexuality, and blasphemy are indicative of the end times.
Talk to the middle class and three-quarters of adults, worldwide, were out of a full-time job in 2011. Nearly half of all Americans doubt that today’s college graduates are ready for the world of work and are even doubtful whether their children will be able to find work at all.
Talk to the rampaging mullahs in the drone-prone parts of the Muslim world and they are sticking to their vaunted “honor.” Talk to the American right, and they see no threat more imminent to human civilization than the threat of “Muslim rage.”
Under such heated circumstances, an amendment that took the States four years to ratify may take the Congress just four tweets to repeal.
Voila! Your burger is ready.
Folks, the Phoenix continues to rise. President Obama went from an abysmal approval ratings of 38 perecnt last year, to a tight race last month, to garnering a strong edge in the swing states last week.
So if you cringe at the idea of “this” president winning a second term, then turn down the heat and think with a cool head. Do you really want a Third World War to dash our hopes and change our dreams? Do you really want to give President Obama a third term?
Mission seekers, don’t push the war agenda during the presidential debates. Forget about your beef with the man and try the vegetarian platter of diplomacy instead.
Dr. Faheem Younus is a clinical associate professor at the University of Maryland. He is the founder of Muslimerican.com. He can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @FaheemYounus.