Friday, February 02, 2007

The Coming Iran War

Are we going to Iran or not?

To hear our new Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, a former head of the CIA, tell it, we’re not:

Nobody is planning, we are not planning for a war with Iran.
Given Gates' background in the Iran-Contra affair, the illegal arming of Iraq prior to the first Gulf War, and more, I give no weight whatsoever to his protestations.

And in direct contrast, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing yesterday in which President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski had this to say:

If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Brzezinski made clear the path is not just paved, but we are already on it:

A mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a protracted and potentially expanding war is already being articulated. Initially justified by false claims about WMD’s in Iraq, the war is now being redefined as the “decisive ideological struggle” of our time, reminiscent of the earlier collisions with Nazism and Stalinism. In that context, Islamist extremism and al Qaeda are presented as the equivalents of the threat posed by Nazi Germany and then Soviet Russia, and 9/11 as the equivalent of the Pearl Harbor attack which precipitated America’s involvement in World War II.

This simplistic and demagogic narrative overlooks the fact that Nazism was based on the military power of the industrially most advanced European state; and that Stalinism was able to mobilize not only the resources of the victorious and militarily powerful Soviet Union but also had worldwide appeal through its Marxist doctrine. In contrast, most Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism; al Qaeda is an isolated fundamentalist Islamist aberration; most Iraqis are engaged in strife because the American occupation of Iraq destroyed the Iraqi state; while Iran—though gaining in regional influence—is itself politically divided, economically and militarily weak. To argue that America is already at war in the region with a wider Islamic threat, of which Iran is the epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy. [...]

One should note here also that practically no country in the world shares the Manichean delusions that the Administration so passionately articulates. The result is growing political isolation of, and pervasive popular antagonism toward the U.S. global posture.
I’m persuaded that Brzezinski would not testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the above were he not absolutely certain this is the direction in which we are headed. Scott Ritter, Robert Parry, and others who have been so accurate in the past are giving us the same warning.

Ritter offers a suggestion to the Democrats on the hill as to what to do to prevent a war with Iran:

I would strongly urge Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate, to hold real hearings on Iran. Not the mealy-mouthed Joe Biden-led hearings we witnessed on Iraq in July-August 2002, where he and his colleagues rubber-stamped the President's case for war, but genuine hearings that draw on all the lessons of Congressional failures when it came to Iraq. Summon all the President's men (and women), and grill them on every phrase and word uttered about the Iranian "threat," especially as it has been linked to nuclear weapons. Demand facts to back up the rhetoric.
And what can YOU do? Sign this petition to send a message to the government that you want no part of a war with Iran.


Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Regarding the characterization of Bush's policies as "Manichean," one author argued we'd be so lucky if they actually were:

Like Bush, the Manicheans carved the spiritual world up into two categories--Good and Evil--but, as orthodox dualists, they believed that the forces of Good and Evil were not engaged in some continuous and messianic struggle, but rather that their contrasting presence was the very basis of the spiritual order. For the Manicheans, this dualism constituted the structure of the spiritual world that framed each individual's relationship with reality. Everyone, they believed, would benefit from identifying the presence of Evil within themselves and should endeavor a personal journey to allow Good to dominate.

10:13 AM  

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