Submitted by George Callaghan…
We have been here before. The drumbeat of war is horribly familiar. Washington’s rhetoric is increasingly strident. US military units are being deployed to the Middle East. Sanctions on a suffering nation are tightened to strangle the already beleaguered people. An absurd bran of jingoism pervades the gutter media. Washington once again expresses its disdain for the UN and international law. The target nation is accused of WMD programs that experts do not believe exist. Some in the American establishment are rabid with bloodlust. And yet war is far from inevitable.
Since the early 1990s Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of being ‘about’ to develop nuclear weapons. Tel Aviv has been the boy who cried wolf. Every single year Iran has been ‘about’ to get nukes. Somehow these nuclear weapons never, ever materialize. The jaded old lie is trotted out time and again. It is a bit rich coming from the only country in the Middle East that does have nuclear arms: Israel.
In 1985 the Israeli Foreign Minister assured the world that Israel would not introduce nuclear arms to the Middle East. Foreign Minister Peres was lying through his teeth: knowing full well his country already had introduced nuclear arms to the region several years earlier. Israel had stolen nuclear technology from the United States and was actively spying on the US despite the US giving Israel so much money and weapons. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
How on earth does Israel get away with espionage on the United States? As Pat Buchanan said ‘Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory.’ An unholy alliance of religious maniacs and war profiteers advocates for the United States being Israel’s banker and armorer. It is God and mammon together. Bellicose elements on Wall Street and in the Pentagon see career opportunities in maintaining Israel’s pugnacious stance despite the Israelis spying on the United States.
Teheran has consistently denied any nuclear weapons program. Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Agreement (NPA). Israel by contrast refuses to sign the NPA. Iran tells the truth about her nuclear weapons status. She does not have any nor is she seeking to develop them. The Israeli Government refuses to come clean about her nuclear weapons.
Racist screeds pervade President Trump’s rhetoric. He has been inciting violence against his own people since 2015. He has also indulged in the foulest anti-Muslim rhetoric. This nauseatingly bigoted rhetoric is preparing the public mind for war.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in 2015. Obama said at the time it was the only alternative to war. As Trump has ripped up the JCPOA then presumably he wants war.
Under the JCPOA the Iranians agreed to very tight restrictions on uranium enrichment. It took nine years of sanctions to bring this about. It was a deal so harsh on Iran that many Iranians wanted to reject it. Nevertheless the International Atomic Energy Authority has persistently confirmed that the Iranians are abiding by the agreement to the letter. Trump himself twice extended the deal. All of a sudden he ripped up the agreement.
The US has flagrantly violated international law yet again. The Iranians have acted in good faith. Instead the United States has threatened them with a war of aggression. Under the Nuremberg principles threats of war are a war crime. If President Trump did start a war against Iran then he should be tried before an international military tribunal for crimes against peace.
What was Washington’s rationale for breaking this agreement? Trump said that Iran was destabilizing the Middle East. Coming from an American this accusation requires a sense of the ridiculous. This is the pot calling the kettle black. JCPOA was about nuclear arms only. It was not about other issues. Even Trump did not allege that Iran had broken JCPOA. He said they had violated the ‘spirit’ of it. This from a man who has told thousands and thousands of provable lies on the record since becoming president.
Since Washington shredded the JCPOA the Iranians have quite rightly starting enriching uranium. The promised not to seek nuclear arms but now all the bets are off. Why shouldn’t they obtain nukes? The Israelis claim to possess nukes for self-defence. With Israeli nukes aimed at Iran the Iranians may conclude that they too requires nukes for self-defence. Deterrence and mutually assured destruction prevented the Cold War from turning hot.
It is the United States that has unleashed bloody mayhem across the Middle East. It is Israel that is illegally occupying the territory of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. No one accuses Iran of holding even an inch of foreign land.
Egged on by his wire pullers in Israel and in the US the president has ramped up tensions in Iran. The Iranians have bravely responded by enriching more uranium. JCPOA does not exist since the US destroyed it. If the Americans do not honor the deal why should the Iranians?
Steve Schmidt was John McCain’s presidential campaign manager. Schmidt is known to be very hawkish just like McCain. Yet even Steve Schmidt said that ‘Iran has the moral high ground’ on this issue.
What has Iran done that is so bad? It has saved Syria from ISIS. ISIS has been beaten mainly by the Iranian Army and the Russian Air Force. But do not expect to hear any Western politicians thanking the people who actually smashed ISIS. We ought to be applauding the Iranians and not condemning them. Iran has come to the aid of bludgeoned nations such as Lebanon and Palestine. This spirit of internationalism is in consonance with the highest principles of humanitarian solidarity.
Iran’s political system is not what a democrat would call ideal. It is still far more attractive than that of several American allies in the region particularly Saudi Arabia. Trump and Defense Secretary Pompeo have visited Saudi Arabia and gushed about how dear the Saudis are to them. Nary a word about the horrific human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. Uncle Sam will preach to us about human rights while strapping an innocent black man into the electric chair. Yet then the US Government fulminates about the Iranian human rights record. Iran has a long way to go on human rights but it is still far better than Saudi. Women have always been allowed to vote and drive in Iran. Religious minorities are free to worship in Iran including Jews. Jewish Iranians have guaranteed representation in the Iranian Majilis (Parliament).
No doubt we shall hear much tripe about ‘bringing democracy’ to Iran. It will be delivered by cruise missile. Iranians have not forgotten when they had democracy in 1953 and the British and the Americans orchestrated a coup against Iran’s Government. This led to the oppressive rule of the absolute monarch.
The military industrial complex is salivating with fantasies of blood and gold. They are determined, at all costs, to avoid peace. The worst thing for them would be peace breaking out across the world.
Many people voted for Trump despite knowing about his well-documented history of sexual assaults and financial crimes. They were prepared to overlook his perversion and fraud because they believed his promises of peace. He vowed to withdraw from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. He wished to bring peace in Ukraine. In this regard Trump has reneged on his electoral pledges and proved to be a massive disappointment. The war industry cajoled him into remaining committed to the forever wars in the Middle East.
Uncle Sam is as combative as ever. As America lashes out in all direction she takes on more than she can cope with. Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Russia, North Korea and China: all these countries have experienced America’s menace. America’s victims can also build a ‘coalition of the willing.’ That might stop Uncle Sam rampaging across the Middle East and leaving heaps of corpses in his wake.
Timing is telling. As Trump’s trade war with China boomerangs and his border wall fails to materialize he has to change the narrative. He is 12% behind in the polls and fears he will lose the election. So Trump is reverting to that old script: a short, victorious little war. President Trump is notoriously cretinous and capricious. He might yet perform a volte-face on Iran.
There is a long and honorable tradition of anti-war activism. The spirit of peace and international brotherhood is not yet dead in America. Remember the words of a 19th century US Army general: Carl Schurz,’ The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to “loving and faithfully serving his country,” at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.’
There is one bright spot on the horizon. There are tens of millions of decent Americans who would oppose the satanic evil of war mongering just as I do. There are wiser heads in other capitals. Washington will now that it cannot count on any European country fighting alongside it against Iran.
If America does commit the criminal folly of invading Iran at least the United Kingdom will not participate. The UK Government has given no indication that it would take part in this madcap venture. For those hawks in Washington contemplating an invasion of Iran there is one thing to bear in mind. Remember just how badly this could go. In Iraq the Americans hardly covered themselves in glory. Iran is three times the size of Iraq in population and territory. Despite sanctions the Iranian economy and armed forces are in far better shape than Iraq’s in 2003. Iran has normal or even close relations with all her neighbors.
There is no moral or legal basis for this war whatsoever. Tensions need to be de-escalated. Trading should return to normal. There is not the slightest justification for these sanctions.
Even now I plead with President Trump to pull back from the brink of war. Do not be so rash. Do not be cursed by a thousand American mothers.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.