Avoiding a ‘Dumb War’ With Iran
(Antiwar.com) -- by Philip Giraldi --
The media and the punditry have been deliberately misrepresenting facts to persuade the people of the United States to start another war, not unlike in the lead-up to the Iraq fiasco. Since 9/11, hard-liners in the United States have depicted one Muslim country after another as major threats to U.S. security. They have justified attacks on Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Afghanistan, and they have endorsed Israel’s military actions against Syria, Gaza, and Lebanon — 10 Muslim countries.
This time around, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and New Gingrich are all promising to disarm Iran by force. Romney has a neocon-heavy foreign policy team, while Gingrich’s campaign received at least $5 million in financial support from Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a passionate supporter of Israel. Meanwhile, the White House continues to dither by drawing “red lines” that appear to be more debating points meant to appease the Israelis than substantive policies.
Those arguing for war in Congress, think tanks, and the media have been exploiting a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report issued in November 2011, which they interpret to mean that Iran is building a nuclear weapon that poses a major threat to the United States. But the truth is that the IAEA document is essentially political, not factual. It is based on old intelligence assessments made mostly by the United States and Israel using sometimes fabricated information in an attempt to discredit Iran. In reality, the IAEA makes regular inspection visits to Iran’s nuclear facilities and has TV cameras monitoring its sites. While there is legitimate reason to challenge some of Iran’s actions, the nuclear program is not as threatening as many maintain.
Even those who are arguing against the rush to war frequently have succumbed to the propaganda. Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, in a piece titled “Think Before Acting on Iran,” states that “Iran’s leaders are bad guys capable of doing dangerous things” and then goes on to describe “its relentless moves toward acquiring nuclear weapons.” Well, Gelb should be well-informed enough to know that Iran’s leadership is both cautious and pragmatic because it is primarily interested in regime preservation, not in exporting the revolution or converting the world to Shi’ism. He should also be aware that there is no evidence whatsoever that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Gelb’s lack of connection with objective reality is reflected in his recommendation to openly debate the wisdom of going to war with Iran in a suitable forum like the Senate Foreign Relations Committee...MORE...LINK