Joe Conason writes that Sane Officers Oppose Cheney and are more and more pushing for a diplomatic approach to US foreign policy.

In a front-page interview published on Nov. 12 by the Financial Times, Admiral William Fallon, who heads the U.S. Central Command, spoke in diplomatic tones, as top military officers usually tend to do when they make strong political statements. Yet there was no mistaking the admiral’s message. While Iran certainly poses a “challenge,” he said, U.S. policymakers must engage Tehran to encourage changes in the regime’s behavior. But the Iranians won’t “come to their senses” while under threat of bombardment, invasion or worse.

“None of this is helped by the stories that just keep going around and around and around that any day now there will be another war, which is just not where we want to go,” he said with a degree of exasperation. “It seems to me that we don’t need more problems. It astounds me that so many pundits and others are spending so much time yakking about this topic [of war against Iran].”

Most of that bellicose speculation can be traced back to vice presidential circles, including the neoconservative ideologues (or as the admiral put it, the “pundits”), who popularized the notions that Iran is an imminent threat to the United States, Israel and the world and that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the next Hitler. Those themes certainly have a familiar ring; the last imminent threat was Iraq, and the last next Hitler was Saddam Hussein. Not content with the great success of their Mesopotamian misadventure, the same people have been urging action against Iran.

Energy is the real driving force behind US foreign policy and the mind-numbingly inane pursuit of finite resources over renewable resources. Renewable resources are harder to hold dominion over and for any predisposed to power for power’s sake probably a hard pill to swallow.