RALPH NADER nader.org (January 12, 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
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
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
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,”
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
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
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.
It is past time for the American citizenry to wake up
and declare: Iran will not be an Iraq Redux!
* * * * * * * *
Let’s keep these points in mind:
The IAEA has said that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon
Defense Secretary Panetta said that Iran is not building a weapon
But if they were? This is a country with a nuclear power to its north (Russia), and to its east (Pakistan and India), and to its west (Israel) and to its south (the U.S. fleet), it would not be surprising for it to want nukes.
Israel frequently threatens to attack it. Someone, Mossad or CIA, is assassinating its scientists. Flying drones are over-flying its airspace.
Why does Israel get to have nukes but any other nation that tries is to be suppressed?
Let’s ban nuclear weapons in the region from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea: No nukes in Iran, or Israel, or Turkey, or Pakistan, or India.