Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again
by Ralph Nader
Jan 12th 2012
The same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul’s inimitable words, “lie their way into invading Iraq” in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran. It is remarkable how many of these war-mongers are former draft dodgers who wanted other Americans to fight the war in Vietnam.
With the exception of Ron Paul, who actually knows the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, the Republican presidential contenders have declared their belligerency toward Iranian officials who they accuse of moving toward nuclear weapons.
The Iranian regime disputes that charge, claiming they are developing the technology for nuclear power and nuclear medicine.
The inspection teams of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) that monitor compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran belongs, have entered Iran numerous times and, while remaining suspicious, have not been able to find that country on the direct road to the Bomb.
While many western and some Arab countries in the Gulf region have condemned Iran’s alleged nuclear arms quest, Israel maintains some 200 ready nuclear weapons and has refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty, thereby avoiding the IAEA inspectors.
Israelis in the know have much to say. Defense minister, Ehud Barak, responded to PBS’s Charlie Rose’s question “If you were Iran wouldn’t you want a nuclear weapon?” with these words:
“Probably, probably. I don’t delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel. They have their history of 4,000 years. They look around and they see the Indians are nuclear. The Chinese are nuclear, Pakistan is nuclear as well as North Korea, not to mention the Russians.”
The Iranian regime, with a national GDP smaller than Massachusetts, is terrified. It is surrounded by powerful adversaries, including the U.S. military on three of its borders. President George W. Bush labeled Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, one of the three “axis of evil,” and Teheran knows what happened to Iraq after that White House assertion. They also know that North Korea inoculated itself from invasion by testing nuclear bombs. And all Iranians remember that the U.S. overthrew their popular elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and installed the dictatorial Shah who ruled tyrannically for the next 27 years.
Recently, Iran has experienced mysterious cyber sabotage, drone violations of its air space, the slaying of its nuclear scientists and the blowing up of its military sites, including a major missile installation. Israeli and American officials are not trying too hard to conceal this low level warfare.
Israel military historian–strategist Martin van Creveld said in 2004, that Iranians “would be crazy not to build nuclear weapons considering the security threats they face.” Three years later he stated that “the world must now learn to live with a nuclear Iran the way we learned to live with a nuclear Soviet Union and a nuclear China….We Israelis have what it takes to deter an Iranian attack. We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us…thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany.”
U.S. General John Abizaid is one of numerous military people who say that the world can tolerate a nuclear Iran–which, like other countries, does not wish to commit suicide.
Using the “Iranian threat,” served Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who on his first tour of duty back in 1996, speaking to a joint session of Congress, made a big point of the forthcoming Iranian bomb.
Somehow the Iranians, who were invaded in 1980 by a U.S.-backed Saddam Hussein, resulting in a million casualties, and who have not invaded anybody for 250 years, are taking a very long time to build a capability for atomic bomb production, much less the actual weapons.
In mid-2011, Meir Dagan, recently retired head of Israel’s “CIA,” repeated his opposition to a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, adding it would engulf the region in a conventional war.
He further took the Israeli government to task for failing “to put forth a vision,” noting that “Israel must present an initiative to the Palestinians and adopt the 2002 Saudi Arabia peace proposal, reiterated since, that would open full diplomatic relations with some two dozen Arab and Islamic countries in return for an Israeli pullback to the 1967 borders and recognition of a Palestinian state.”
The war-mongers against Iran have often distorted Iranian statements to suit their purpose and kept in the shadows several friendly Iranian initiatives offered to the George W. Bush Administration.
Flynt L. Leverett, now with Brookings and before a State Department and CIA official, listed three initiatives that were rejected. Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran offered to help Washington overthrow the Taliban. The U.S. declined the offer. Second, in the spring of 2003, top Iranian officials sent the White House a detailed proposal for comprehensive negotiations to resolve questions regarding its weapons programs, relations with Hezbollah and Hamas and a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel. This proposal was rebuffed and ignored.
Third, in October 2003, European officials secured an agreement from Iran to suspend Iranian uranium enrichment and to pursue talks that Mr. Leverett said “might lead to an economic, nuclear and strategic deal.” The Bush administration “refused to join the European initiative, ensuring that the talks failed,” he added.
A few days ago, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Iran was developing a capability for making nuclear weapons someday but was not yet building a bomb. So why is the Obama Administration talking about a western boycott of Iran’s oil exports, so crucial to its faltering, sanctions-ridden economy? Is this latest sanction designed to squeeze Iranian civilians and lead to the overthrow of the regime? Arguably it may backfire and produce more support for the government.
Backing the Iranian regime into such a fateful corner risks counter-measures that may disrupt the gigantic flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. Should that occur, watch the prices of your gasoline, heating bill and other related products go through the roof–among other consequences.
Isn’t it about time for the abdicatory Congress to reassert its constitutional responsibilities? It owes the American people comprehensive, public House and Senate hearings that produce knowledgeable testimony about these issues and all relevant history for wide media coverage.
The drums of war should not move our country into a propagandized media frenzy that preceded and helped cause the Iraq invasion with all the socio-cide in that country and all the costly blowbacks against U.S. national interests?
It is past time for the American citizenry to wake up and declare: Iran will not be an Iraq Redux!
Global Research Articles by Ralph Nader
13th January 2012
Doomsday Clock: Five Minutes to Midnight
by Felicity Arbuthnot
‘’ I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita … “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” ‘(J. Robert Oppenheimer, 22nd April 1904 – 18th February 1967, Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Chilling ironies surely do not come much greater than the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of the United States, in an election year, having contributed to global instability and the possibility of nuclear conflict, to such an extent that the “Doomsday Clock”, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, has this week been moved to five minutes to midnight.
The forward-creeping hands of the symbolic clock, maintained since 1947, two years after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, indicate the closest to global catastrophe in twenty six years, with the exception of 2007, when the hands were similarly set under the gung-ho “Bring ‘em on”, Presidency of George W. Bush.
What a world away from Obama’s June 2009 speech at Egypt’s Al Azhar University, where he declared he was in Cairo: “… to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims round the world (and to) share … tolerance and dignity…”
He asserted: “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another and to seek common ground … the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful then the forces that drive us apart.”
Tell that to the bereaved, maimed, homeless Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, the US-menaced people of Syria, over one third of whom are fourteen or under; the annihilation-threatened Iranian population, nearly a quarter also children, fourteen years or under.
Iran, so demonized, yet which generously hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. (1999 UNHCR figures cite at a cost then, to embargoed Iran, of ten million $s a day.)
Tell it too, to the droned and blown (away) of Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia.
A: “ … sustained effort to listen …”, has been largely denied the untried, incarcerated, abused, tortured in Bagram and Guantanamo’s “gulags of our times”, as totally during the Obama Presidency, as the years before.
But back to the ticking Atomic clock. Alarmingly, the furthest from “midnight” it has ever been is seventeen minutes, in 1991, when the US and then Soviet Union, under George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (31st July.) A heartening seven minute leap from from the ten to midnight of 1990, even that, in spite of the onslaught of thirty two nation war on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait. The Berlin Wall had, however, fallen and the Cold War seemed to be ending.
In 1963, 1972, both years of seemingly ground breaking arms limitation Treaties between the US and Soviet Union, the clock still stood at ten minutes to midnight.
Even when India tested a nuclear device, and the US and Soviet Union both modernized their destructive potential in 1974, the clock stood four minutes further away from annihilation than Obama’s contribution – then at nine minutes to midnight.
As the United States aircraft carriers, Carl Vinson and John C. Stennis, bristling with nuclear and other holocaustal weapons, and twitchy testosterone-fuelled troops, steam Iran-wards, to either bomb nuclear installations – with the danger of a potential nuclear winter – or bomb to keep the Straits of Hormuz open for one fifth of the world’ oil supplies – the clock is just two minutes back from when the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb in 1947, officially starting the nuclear arms race.
It is three minutes from the two minutes to midnight – the most apocalyptic ever – of 1953, when both the US and Soviet Union tested thermo-nuclear devices within nine months of each other.
There are about 19,000 nuclear weapons in the world, according to the Science and Security Board.
“That’s enough to blow up the Earth many times over. We are really in a pickle”, says Kennette Benedict, Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, of their latest clock re-set.
“Recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task”, said President Obama, in Cairo, when some believed his: “Yes we can”, meant peace, and a new dawn for the planet and humanity.
“ No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other. It’s easier to start wars than to end them. … It’s easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path.
“There’s one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
“This truth transcends nations and peoples — a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today”, he concluded.
Indeed. Beware of Presidents bearing Nobel Peace Prize tags….
Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot
ashtavideo on 10 Nov 2011
No matter whether we are right or left, European or African or Asian, We must stand united against this war that will devastate the Globe. No more Zionist lies. No more wars for Israel. No more American lives for Israel. No more American tax money for Israel. True patriotic Americans demand a foreign policy for America – not for a foreign power! We demand a free media that tells us the truth, not Zionist Lies. Let you elected official know that you oppose a war for Israel in Iran. Be A Member of The Human Race! Do The Right Thing!
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