Cross posted in Voices on the Square and The Stars Hollows GazetteRecently, President Obama gave a speech at the U.N with a recurring theme I found disturbing. The whole bluster involved with the U.S "making sure there is not a nuclear Iran ever" as if repeating the straight up ignorance of the neoconservatives on Iran, is not dangerous and ignorant like anyone making excuses for it. It is.
Serious signs of this kind of ignorance are unfortunately coming from the President's Secretary of Defense; Leon Panetta who says "all options are on the table" with Iran. That's really not OK. It's actually insane. All Options were on the table when Bill Clinton bombed Iraq(which was used as an excuse for the 2003 invasion) as well so that is anything but an innocuous statement.
Make no mistake, the real danger here is a country and now two administrations addicted to war while we linger here without jobs. I don't find the case convincing at all that they are building a nuclear weapon in the NIE, but even if they are it doesn't matter. There are a number of reasons; some which involve a basic education on the Middle East and Islam our President and too many Democrats didn't take the time to learn.
It's really not that hard to get why this is insulting to all of us and to people in Iran. If we are going to have further costly military adventures while we have sellout grand bargains at home over a fake deficit crisis and economic ignorance purveyed by Democrats enabling Republican and third way neoliberal BS; we should at least demand it be be sold to us while not insulting our intelligence.
It's really insulting when any of our Democratic leaders put non discretionary and discretionary spending on the table while fear mongering over matters they need grade school education in so we can what? Have an awesome double dip recession like in Europe? Austerity is economic garbage that kills, period.
Now let's start with some basic facts to go against the insulting propaganda about a dangerous Iran spreading nuclear Armageddon. Attacking Iran whether they have nuclear capability or not(again it doesn't matter) would start a global reverberating conflict; one that won't be OK just because there are Democrats in office, at least for those with the same principles before 2008.
- India and Pakistan already have nuclear weapons. They are always in conflict and have a history there, but we don't feel the need to take drastic stupid action there.
- The President, too many Democrats, even so called experts on the ME don't understand that Ahmadinejad does not control the country. The Supreme Leader of Iran and Islamic Council of Experts do and they make all final decisions. Not that you would know it listening to all the BS coming from Washington D.C on both sides. We're supposed to be scared into war with Iran every time Mahmoud comes to NY and spouts off whatever his ever dwindling base wants to hear(since he can't even fairly win elections anymore since the Green revolution).
- The creator of Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi is correct. She an inspiration to me in a number of ways, and many other people in the world. Heed her words for they speak the truth.
Iranians are so much like us they are essentially American, so basically we would be attacking ourselves and any hope for the future in the ME. Attacking them would push them closer to their government because the collateral damage from our occupations, even drone strikes, is not a secret. The bottom line is everything you think you know about Iran is wrong and probably fed to you by someone pushing an agenda, whether it's more global hegemony for the US by cutting into Russia and China's action, or someone looking to profit off the war.
It's not your genuine concern or well being that drives the outright propaganda being fed to you by our government. I have to include all of our governmental in this, because we have been having this debate since the Democratic primaries. It was stupid then and it is stupid now yet it's revealing how much closer Democrats' position is to the Bush administration back in 2007. There's simply no reason to engage Iran militarily at all. Anyone who accepts that there is, is letting the Pentagon and those that control it control their minds keeping them ignorant for their wars based on lies and false threats.
Nathan Gonzalez, author of Engaging Iran: The Rise of a Mid-East Powerhouse laid out all of this clearly even back then.
It seems that with every news cycle comes yet another attempt by the Bush administration to pave the way for a war with Iran. As if we weren't facing enough problems in Iraq, there seems to be a degree of laziness across the political spectrum when it comes to understanding Iran's political culture and finding ways to engage diplomatically without sacrificing our interests.Now I'm far from an expert on the ME, but the fact that I know this stuff and the President doesn't is disturbing like his pro war posturing when the only place we need to invade is the forgotten US states so we can win their hearts and minds by building up their infrastructure and give them jobs. Whether it's just not taking the time to know these basic facts and monuments important to Islam I learned the significance of in art history class or wanting war with Iran for other reasons; this kind of condescending garbage is really off putting once you know the facts.
Two: Iran's Pro-Americanism
Having been to Iran, and having followed global opinion polls closely, I can say without reservation that Iran has one of the most U.S.-friendly populations in the world; certainly the most pro-American in the Muslim Middle East. Needless to say, this support is not unconditional. While Iranians still speak of the United States as a land of "freedom," American bombs dropping from the sky would change that overnight.
In Engaging Iran, I quote a young man in Iran who puts it simply: "I hate the (Iranian) regime and I love America. But if America attacks us, I will join the regime and fight America." The ruling clerics are banking on this sentiment to carry them through any air strike campaign.
Four: Ahmadinejad's Diatribes Are Irrelevant
One of the most troubling tendencies among cable news commentators is their propensity to take the words of a weak Iranian president and inflate them to apocalyptic proportions. While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an anti-Semite who denies the Holocaust, and has openly hoped that God will one day erase Israel "from the pages of history" (mistranslations of this phrase are bountiful, including the typical "Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map"), this should not be taken to literally mean he plans on having the capability or will to carry this out through a nuclear attack.
Not only does the Iranian president have no power over the country's military, but more importantly, Israel has a formidable nuclear deterrent that prevents the thought from even entering Iranian leaders' minds.
Even if we wanted to imagine rogue elements inside Iran that are so fanatical as to destroy their own 2,500-year-old country, they wouldn't do it by attacking Israel, since the Jewish state houses one of the most sacred sites in Islam: Jerusalem's Dome on the Rock (besides, the Palestinians would go with Israel).
War with Iran would be a disastrous cycle which would drive commodities up and give speculators more reason to drive up the price of oil on top of the correlated faulty moves of investors looking to hedge inflation by moving away from dollars and into the oil index funds. This is because of their fears about QE(new round coming up) even though there is no direct inflation causation. Goldman Sachs moving into their Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) basket from the dollar in 2008 causing what they falsely feared.
I don't know why this is not apparent to this administration and Congress. It certainly wouldn't help politically. So basically this ignorant posturing on "having to do something quick!" about Iran nuking one of the most sacred sites in all of Islam (there is no avoiding it if they are nuking Israel) will have foreign policy and drastic economic implications. Investors will flip. Prices will rise. Dodd Frank doesn't add up or really exist in a meaningful way, either to combat this. It's not smart. It's more dangerous than the fantasy nuclear threat being used to scare you for another war for the war machine.
You know what I mean? War with Iran is a terrible idea, even talking about "all options being on the table." So TAX THE RICH!(Don't sell out and extend the Bush tax cuts again after election and we need a financial transactions tax and Tobin tax) FEED THE POOR!(Talk about them at least more than once) SPEND FISCALLY ON US(Until there's full employment and stop spouting deficit crap), STOP THE WARS!
All of them. And no new wars either, because all wars are wars on the poor.