Monday, January 23, 2006

Ira_ is a Nuclear Threat

Former editor and columnist at the Wall Street Journal and Business Week, Paul Craig Roberts has the kind of conservative creds and opinions that actually make me respect conservatives. Indeed, an actual conservative perspective is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the fetid rancour most Bush supporters expel in defense of the president.

Lately, Roberts has been articulating any number of criticisms of the Bush administration. His latest is well worth a look, as he discusses the implications of an attack on Iran:
Unlike Israel, which does have nuclear weapons, Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.Under the treaty countries are permitted nuclear energy. Inspections make certain no weapons are produced. Iran agrees to abide by the treaty and to have the inspections.

Israel, however, and its neocon allies in the Bush administration, claim without any evidence that Iran is making a bomb. The nuclear inspectors find no evidence of a weapons program. Israel and its neocon allies reply that once Iran has the know-how for nuclear power, it will be able to make the material from which to make a bomb, therefore, Iran must not be permitted its rights under the non-proliferation treaty.

Since Iran refuses to give up its treaty rights to develop nuclear energy, Israel and the neocons maintain that Iran’s facilities must be bombed and destroyed.

Americans will pay a heavy price for Israeli paranoia.


If tactical nuclear weapons are used in the bombing of Iran, as the neoconservatives advocate, America will be reviled throughout the world. Americans will never recover from the burden of shame and war crimes inflicted upon them by the Bush administration.

An attack on Iran could be the death knell for our troops in Iraq and for our puppets in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The majority Iraqi Shi’ites have tolerated the US occupation because the majority Shi’ites are the gainers from the US insistence on majority rule. The Iraqi Shi’ites are allied with Shi’ite Iran. They will recognize an attack on Iran as a blow struck against Shi’ite power. If the Iraqi Shi’ites turn on our troops, US casualties will soar.

The best way to ensure US defeat in Iraq is to attack Iran.
Roberts is exactly correct here. Probably by design, he chooses not to delve into the "source" of the intelligence being used by the Bush administration to make the claims that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Cernig has been all over this and has oft pointed out that the so-called intelligence appears to be coming from the Mujahedeen e-Kalqh, aka MEK, a Hussein-supported terrorist group that has had designs on bringing down the Iranian regime for years.

Irony is rich here. At least one of the initial rationales for the Iraq invasion was Hussein's ties to Al Qaeda and his sponsorship of terrorism, which the Bush administration claimed were one and the same. While the latter was certainly true, as Larry Johnson as detailed (a highly recommeded read, by the way), the former was clearly not. Nonetheless, Hussein did actively support terrrorism and one of his chief terrorist beneficiaries was the ... MEK, the very organisation whose claims the Bush administration is now using to drum up the fear about Iran:
Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) is the largest and most militant group opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also known as the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, MEK is led by husband and wife Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. MEK was added to the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups in 1997.
As is well known at this point, the Bush administration will dip into any old shit pile looking for an external "opinion" that supports its own preconceived agenda. I say agenda specifically because, as with Iraqi WMD, the Bushies never believed they existed until 9/11 happened. With the new agenda track that incident provided, suddenly Hussein's Iraq went from being contained and "not a threat," to being the most dangerous regime on the planet in, oh, about a year:
Cheney, Sep, 2001: "Saddam Hussein's bottled up."
Cheney, Jan, 2003: "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

Rice, July, 2001: "We are able to keep arms from [Saddam]. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
Rice, Nov, 2002: "[Iraq is] armed with weapons of mass destruction."

Rumsfeld, 1998: the whole Iraq WMD program was smoke-and-mirrors*
Rumsfeld, Jan, 2003: "Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological weapons"

Powell, Feb, 2001: Iraq is "contained" and "threatens not the United States."
Powell, Feb, 2003: Iraq's WMD pose a "real and present danger to the region and to the world."
And we now know fully, whence much of this disinformation came: Ahmed Chalabi and other disaffected Iraqis who wanted to see the overthrow of Hussein. Should it not be signalling bells that this very same condition is being met over the Iran dispute?

With two elections and a referedum that have seen sectarian splits and a dominant Shi'a majority making nice with Tehran, what is the Bush agenda now? Why is the quest for democracy in Iraq now on the back-burner? Iraq reconstruction swirling down the toilet of broken dreams? Why, because we need to nuke them, before they nuke us. Isn't it obvious?

The Bush administration does indeed seem to be gunning for fight and the rest of the world can neither figure out why nor how it will happen. But the why isn't that much of a mystery. With the Iraq democracy model leaning toward ties with the Iranian Shiites, the White House can think of no option but to now threaten that country. Which, of course, is exactly the wrong tack to take. This is a no-win situation, militarily.

Any attack on Iran will spell the beginning of the end of US hegemony, such as it is, in the region. As Simon Jenkins points out, Iran a far bigger power than Iraq ever was. Russia and China have no interest in harming economic relations with Iran over wholly discredited neo-con fantasies of secular democracy and rose petals. And Russia is in a win-win situation should the UN vote for sanctions. Shutting off Iranian oil will do nothing but increase dependency by Europe on Russian petroleum. I can't see the Euros being too keen on that and George Bush and his administration must be viewed by much of the world as the biggest blundering band of idiots ever to have stepped foot in the White House.

Invasion, of course, is completely out of the question. We can barely maintain force levels in Iraq, let alone launch into Iran, a country with an army of some 350,000 troops (2004). But that has not been the option the Bushies have ever really spelled out. What they have been indicating, and for sometime now, is the air strike option, possibly using tactical nuclear weapons. And you know guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld have big ol' hard on to drop a few of those babies on somebody. Anybody!

Nothing the Bush administration has done lately dispells any such speculation. In fact, they have primarily been the ones espousing it. Which shows just how out of touch with the real world situation they actually are. The White House seems not to have the slightest clue as to the repercussions of either economic sanctions or a military strike on Iran. And given that they are again threatening to attack a country based on phoney intelligence, one wonders how much it will take before the world decides they need to stop the crazy bastards.


Blogger mynewsbot said...

How come mullahs are provoking west for war

12:31 AM  
Blogger Hugo said...

I agree with most of this, and I just posted a first article on my own blog to try to bring attention to a few similar points.
I will devote more posts to it later, because there is a lot I have not talked about, but I would greatly appreciate your comments and opinions.

2:36 AM  

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