As if things were going so smoothly in Iraq, now this: leaders in the US are calling for military strikes on Iran. Their infatuation with taking down the mullahs isn't predicated on defending the United States. Rather, it's to protect Israel -- from what, we're not really sure.
AIPAC, the highly influential pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington recently held its well-attended annual conference, where the core educational thrust of the event was to persuade US politicians and the mainstream media into believing that Iran needs to be taught a little lesson. The assumption is that Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon. So we better bomb 'em, and quick.
"If Iran is on the verge of a nuclear weapon, I think we will have no choice but to take decisive action," said ex-Pentagon advisor Richard Perle as he drew loud cheers from the AIPAC loyalists. New York Senator Hillary Clinton, before she introduced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the crowd, said that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable". Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House also chimed in, saying, "The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran."
Iran poses absolutely no nuclear threat to the United States, let alone Israel. Yet many Washington bureaucrats are calling for military strikes on the sovereign country. And it's a bipartisan affair drenched in AIPAC cash.
Funny thing is, Iran doesn't have a nuclear bomb, as UN weapons inspectors have noted during their recent visits to the country. Truth is the only nuclear powerhouse in the Middle East who is a threat to anybody is Israel, where mountains of nuclear weapons are produced and stockpiled for a rainy day. In fact there are enough nuclear weapons in Israel to blow the world up eight times over. Maybe more. But as we know all too well, facts don't matter, Washington still wants another war.
Let us imagine that Iran were to produce a nuclear warhead. The UN weapons team missed it. The neocons and their allies weren't lying after all. Well, big deal. If Iran did have a weapon, or for that matter, multiple weapons, they would be unlikely to use them offensively. For they know if they did, Israel and the US's retaliation would be lethal. The country would be bombed to smithereens. Countless civilians would die.
This may in fact be the case regardless if they are to ever manufacture a warhead. The mullahs know that Saddam didn't have any WMD's, and his country still got whacked. Really, if the US is so concerned with Iran's nuclear nonexistent nuclear arsenal they better start taking a hard look at its own menacing arsenal and posture. How is it that the US government can continue to dictate the terms of other country's weapons programs when its nuclear program, along with its client state Israel's, is so robust?
Joshua Frank is author of the highly anticipated new book Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been released by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy or two for a discounted rate at: www.brickburner.org.
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