More about Iran, things you know that might not be so
Some things you might find of interest about Iran, as drift towards war.
- I have here a statement by an obvious ally of Iran working at the highest level of the US government!
- Quote of the Day from Jack A Smith, “A Manufactured Crisis“, Asia Times, 30 September 2009
- “Top Things you Think You Know about Iran that are not True“, Juan Cole, Informed Consent, 1 October 2009
- “Our war-loving Foreign Policy Community hasn’t gone anywhere“, Glen Greenwald, Salon, 21 September 2009
- Comments from the peanut gallery about the Iranian Nuke Crisis
- Background Information about Iran
- Afterword and More Information on the FM Site
(1) I have here a statement by an obvious ally of Iran working at the highest level of the US government! Will the hawks, lusting for war with Iran, denounce this appeaser for his remarks about Iran?
Iran, of course, being, you know, in such proximity to Afghanistan and having significant influence inside Afghanistan, is a big player. They, in my view, they have a lot of very positive influence inside Afghanistan, some of it cultural, some of it financial, just things that any neighbor would have to try to build the stability. I think that if Iran takes a very mature look at a stable Afghanistan and support the government of Afghanistan, then we’ll be — we’ll be in good shape. If they were to choose not to do that, and they were to choose to support insurgents, I think that would be a significant miscalculation.
The culprit is General Stanley McChrystal. He said this when asked about “Iran’s significance for the Afghanistan equation” after his speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (see the text of the speech and video of the Q&A at their website here. This is from Spencer Ackerman’s column The Washington Independent, 1 October 2009. The parody of Joseph McCarthy is mine.
(2) Quote of the Day from Jack A Smith, “A Manufactured Crisis“, Asia Times, 30 September 2009 — Excerpt (red emphasis added):
As intended, the hyped disclosure created headlines around the world. It probably convinced many Americans, already primed to detest Iran, that Tehran is building nuclear bombs to obliterate the US and Israel. This is not an unlikely conclusion for many people to accept after 30 years of Washington’s incessant campaign to demonize the government that overthrew and replaced America’s puppet, the dreaded shah of Iran. The US broke diplomatic relations with Iran after this act of lese majeste and the subsequent “hostage crisis”, and has nourished a grudge to this day.
If push does come to shove with Iran it is important to remember how effortless it was to hoodwink the majority of American politicians and the masses of people into backing a completely unnecessary war against Iraq. As in the buildup to the unjust invasion of Iraq, today’s US corporate mass media are playing its principal part to perfection – uncritically echoing government distortions about the danger of Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons. The Iran situation is different, but yet similar in terms of mass public manipulation and the possibility of a future confrontation getting out of hand.
Can this be, once again, a situation of high-stakes geopolitics where things are rarely as they seem? We think so. Let’s look at the immediate charge against Iran, based on the “revelations” of the last week. …
(3) “Top Things you Think You Know about Iran that are not True“, Juan Cole, Informed Consent, 1 October 2009 — See his post for the answers.
- Iran is aggressive and has threatened to attack Israel, its neighbors or the US
- Iran is a militarized society bristling with dangerous weapons and a growing threat to world peace.
Iran has threatened to attack Israel militarily and to “wipe it off the map.”
- But didn’t President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threaten to ‘wipe Israel off the map?’
- But aren’t Iranians Holocaust deniers?
- Iran is like North Korea in having an active nuclear weapons program, and is the same sort of threat to the world.
- The West recently discovered a secret Iranian nuclear weapons plant in a mountain near Qom.
- The world should sanction Iran not only because of its nuclear enrichment research program but also because the current regime stole June’s presidential election and brutally repressed the subsequent demonstrations.
- Isn’t the Iranian regime irrational and crazed, so that a doctrine of mutually assured destruction just would not work with them?
- The international community would not have put sanctions on Iran, and would not be so worried, if it were not a gathering nuclear threat.
(4) “Our war-loving Foreign Policy Community hasn’t gone anywhere“, Glen Greenwald, Salon, 21 September 2009 — Excerpt:
… The arguments for attacking Iran are so similar to the ones used for Iraq that it’s striking how little effort they make to pretend it’s different (Iran will get nukes, give them to Terrorists, we’ll lose a city, etc.) The Bipartisan Policy Center Report never takes note of the irony that it “justifies” a threat of attack against Iran by pointing to that country’s violations of U.N. Resolutions, even as Article 2 of the U.N. Charter explicitly provides that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of forceagainst the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” — a prohibition which Sens. Robb and Coats demand the U.S. violate over and over. As always, we’re exempt from everything. Just imagine what our elite class would say if Iran’s leading newspapers routinely published articles from leaders of its two largest political parties explicitly advocating a detailed plan to attack, invade, blockade and bomb the U.S.
… It’s hard to overstate how aberrational — one might say “rogue” — the U.S. is when it comes to war. No other country sits around debating, as a routine and permanent feature of its political discussions, whether this country or that one should be bombed next, or for how many more years conquered targets should be occupied. And none use war as a casual and continuous tool for advancing foreign policy interests, at least nowhere close to the way we do (the demand that Iran not possess nuclear weapons is clearly part of an overall, stated strategyof ensuring that other countries remain incapable of deterring us from attacking them whenever we want to). Committing to a withdrawal from Iraq appears to be acceptable, but only as long as have our escalations and new wars lined up to replace it (and that’s to say nothing of the virtually invisible wars we’re fighting). For the U.S., war is the opposite of a “last resort”: it’s the more or less permanent state of affairs, and few people who matter want it to be any different.
… It’s worth noting that, almost invariably, the people who beat the drum for endless, debt-creating wars and a bankruptcy-inducing imperial foreign policy love to parade around as “fiscal conservatives” and “deficit hawks” when it comes to providing actual services to Americans. They support constant war and occupation which burns trillions of dollars and turns us into a debtor nation, and then run around lecturing everyone on the need to restrain spending.
(5) Comments from the peanut gallery about the Iranian Nuke Crisis
Comments from “The Qom Facility and International Law“, Matthew Yglesias, Think Progress, 29 September 2009 — As usual with Yglesias website, his post is the liberal party line (not worth reading), but some of the comments are excellent.
#1 — stras Says:
Who. Fucking. Cares. If Iran wants a bomb, let them get a bomb. They’re being threatened on a regular basis by two violent, aggressive, nuclear-armed nations, one of which currently occupies two of its neighbors. They’d be crazy to not be building a bomb.
As for violations of the NPT, when India broke the treaty, we more or less agreed to subsidize their nuclear program. For that matter, the United States is not in compliance with the NPT, given that the NPT requires us to disarm.
#4 — UserGoogol Says:
India, Pakistan, and Israel never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, so they are incapable of violating it no matter how many nukes they have.
#6 — ndm Says:
… We would be in a much better, and far more moral, position viz-a-viz sanctioning Iran if we had first of all sanctioned ALL those nations who didn’t sign on to the NPT treaty in the first place. That is a far greater sin than signing on and then violating its terms. (Although the US, under Bush at least, made violating terms of any treaty almost a national obligation.)
#11 – anon says:
Yglesias said: “The good news (again in legal terms) is that the UN Security Council has more-or-less carte blanche to regard situations as a threat to international peace based on their judgment,”
Yep, that is very good news for Iran, because Russia and China are not going to help remove an obstacle to American military dominance in the Middle East.
(6) Background Information about Iran
- “Iran’s oil and gas wealth“, US Congress Joint Economic Committee, March 2006 (4 pages)
- “Iran, Country Analysis Brief“, US Energy Information Agency (EIA), October 2007 (17 pages)
- Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities, National Intelligence Estimate, November 2007
Not specifically about Iran, but very relevant to this discussion: Debunking Myths About Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism“, Stratfor, 29 May 2009.
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(7b) For more information from the FM site
To read other articles about these things, see the following:
Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.
Some of the posts on the FM website about the possibility of war with Iran:
- Is Pakistan’s Musharraf like the Shah of Iran? (if so, bad news for us) , 8 November 2007
- War with Iran , 9 November 2007 — Why Iran is not necessarily our enemy.
- Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger? , 13 November 2007
- The new NIE, another small step in the Decline of the State , 10 December 2007
- Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?, 16 January 2009
- Iran – a key state to watch as the new world order evolves, 3 March 2009
- Update: war watch – Iran, 29 September 2009