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The March to War: Iran/Syria Edition…

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. –George Orwell

The ever intrepid, Matt Taibbi, penned another most excellent, must-read today…

Another March to War?

As a journalist, there’s a buzz you can detect once the normal restraints in your business have been loosened, a smell of fresh chum in the waters, urging us down the road to war. Many years removed from the Iraq disaster, that smell is back, this time with Iran.

You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms… {snip}

…In other words, “If Iran were to decide to be capable of making nuclear weapons, it would be capable of making nuclear weapons.” Unless I’m missing something, that’s a statement that would be true of almost any industrialized country, wouldn’t it?

Virtually all of the Iran stories of late have contained some version of this sort of rhetorical sophistry. The news “hook” in most all of these stories is that intelligence reports reveal Iran is “willing” to attack us or go to war – but then there’s usually an asterisk next to the headline, and when you follow the asterisk, it reads something like, “In the event that we attack Iran first.”… {snip}

…But now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I have to believe that there was a time when ideas like that sounded weird to the American ear. Now they seem to make sense to almost everyone here at home, and that to me is just as a scary as Achmedinejad.

It really is Déjà vu, all over again… As Phyllis Bennis eloquently pointed out in Al Jazeera …

We’ve seen the threats against Iran before

Here we go again with the Iran hysteria. It is tempting to think this time will be just like previous periods of sabre rattling against Iran. But there are significant new dangers. The Arab Spring, Israel’s position, changes in the regional and global balance of forces, and national election campaigns, all point to this round of anti-Iranian hysteria posing potentially graver risks than five or six years ago.

We have seen all this before. The US ratchets up its rhetoric, Israel threatens a military attack, escalating sanctions bite harder on the Iranian people, Iran refuses to back down on uranium enrichment. But at the same time, top US military and intelligence officials actually admit Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, is not building a nuclear weapon, and has not decided whether to even begin a building process… {snip}

Israel at the centre

One of the main differences from the propaganda run-up to the Iraq war is the consistent centrality of Israel and its supporters, particularly AIPAC in the US, in this push for war against Iran. Israel certainly jumped aboard the attack-Iraq bandwagon when it was clear that war was indeed inevitable, but US strategic concerns regarding oil and the expansion of US military power were first and primary. Even back then,Israel recognised Iran as a far greater threat than Iraq. And now, Israelis using that alleged threat to pressure US policymakers and shape US policy – in dangerous ways. During this campaign cycle, Obama is under the greatest pressure he has ever faced, and likely ever will face, to defend the Israeli position unequivocally, and to pledge US military support for any Israeli action, however illegal, dangerous, and threatening to US interests.

Iran simply is not, as former CIA analyst and presidential adviser Bruce Reidel makes clear, “an existential threat” to Israel. Even a theoretical future nuclear-armed Iran, if it ever chose that trajectory, would not be a threat to the existence of Israel, but would be a threat to Israel’s longstanding nuclear monopoly in the Middle East. That is the real threat motivating Israel’s attack-Iran-now campaign. Further, as long as top US political officials, from the White House to Congress, are competing to see who can be more supportive of Israel in its stand-off with Iran, no one in Washington will even consider pressure on Israel to end its violations of international law and human rights regarding its occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians. Israel gets a pass…

Therein lies the real rub…!

From Haaretz…

U.S. official: Signs pointing to increasing likelihood of Israeli strike on Iran

U.S. wants Israel to wait a few months in order to give the international sanctions against Iran a chance before deciding on an attack.

From the Guardian…

US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely
• Growing view that strike, by Israel or US, will happen
• ‘Sweet spot’ for Israeli action identified as September-October
• White House remains determined to give sanctions time

And, from Arutz Sheva…

Dempsy: Israeli Strike On Iran Would Be Destabilizing

An Israeli attack on Iran would be “destabilizing,” the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Army General Martin Dempsey, said Saturday.“It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” Dempsey said in an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to be broadcast Sunday. The US government is confident the Israelis “understand out concerns,” he said in an e-mailed transcript. Dempsey said the economic sanctions imposed on Iran and international pressure are beginning to have an effect, without expanding further.

An IAEA Team of Inspectors Will be Back in Tehran Today…

Then you have this load of BBC malarkey… Iran ‘Poised To Expand Nuke Program’

A Vienna-based diplomat has told the BBC that Iran may be poised to expand its nuclear program at an underground site near the city of Qom.

The unnamed diplomat told the BBC that Iran “appears to be ready to install thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the fortified underground plant.”

This, according to the BBC, could mean the quicker production of enriched uranium, which can be used for both the generation of power and in developing nuclear weapons.

The BBC did not give any more details about the unnamed diplomat’s knowledge of the Iran nuclear issue. The headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency are in Vienna…

This is sheer madness…! As Col. Lang wrote the other day… Let Israel and Iran Deal with Each Other…

As he summed it up… “Without Us”

God help us all…!


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