Getting Closer

I think right now the thing that scares me the most this very moment in time is that we truly are on a road to war with Iran.  One that is unnecessary, though also one we are destined to follow.  Given the history of our invasion of Iraq, this time it’s like a nightmare where you watch the same car crash over and over again, and you know it’s coming, but no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t stop it.

If you’re not scared that we’re going to go to war with Iran, you need to get informed, get scared, then get angry and active now; that may be the only hope we have.

The onset of the year showed a significant push to step it up a notch in launching military operations with Iraq’s neighbor to the west, beginning with reports from, shall we say, less than reputable news sources making over claims to the extent that Iranians were arming and aiding not only Iraqi militants, but also Taliban operatives as well.

But the big clincher was that of nuclear weapons which to this day appears to be what the administration is leading off with in attempting to sell the threat of Iran to the general public.  Where did this all come from?

It is more than likely that the pounding of the war drums originates from a particularly hawkish faction within the administration’s inner circle headed by Arch Chancelor Cheney himself.  When it was learned that Bush, who had sided with the only slightly more doveish Condi Rice who had until now been advocating diplomacy with Iran, defected and began siding with Cheney on Iran policy, America took a huge step closer to war.

We would see in later months exactly how much closer to war we had come.  Particularly chilling was the recently released reports that detailed the posture the US has adopted, and the fact that it is more than likely that within 8-10 months, a Pentagon designed three day blitz to essentially destroy the Iranian military structure will be executed.

Meanwhile, on our television screens, Bush has gone to speaking of possible Iranian threats as hard facts, even sneaking the Iran as a nuclear threat meme into his latest prime time televised address.

While some believe that this is all merely tough talk to try and scare Iran into submission, those of us who have studied the run up to the Iraq war can hardly afford to believe this.

And still we get closer.

Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.

Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.

In a chilling scenario of how war might come, a senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq – arming and training militants – would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories.

Meanwhile, across the puddle in the very same France that was maligned at the onset of the Iraq War for not jumping in as enthusiastically as Tony Blair’s Britain, it seems as though they are now again our friends and willing to take up the role England played in Iraq as our new war buddy:

The world should “prepare for war” with Iran, the French foreign minister has said, significantly escalating tensions over the country’s nuclear programme.

Bernard Kouchner said that while “we must negotiate right to the end” with Iran, if Teheran possessed an atomic weapon it would represent “a real danger for the whole world”.

 

 

The world should “prepare for the worst… which is war”, he said.

His comments came after Washington reminded Teheran that “all options were on the table” in confronting its nuclear policy, which many officials in the West believe has the ultimate aim of arming a nuclear warhead, despite Iran’s claim that it is for civilian purposes.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – plus Germany, are due to meet to discuss a new draft UN resolution on sanctions against Iran later this week in Washington.

There is little talk through all of this of the IAEA, the UN’s organization whose purpose it is to investigate the claims of Iran having nuclear weapons.  Why?  Perhaps it is because the IAEA paints a completely and totally different picture of Iran’s nuclear program than the one needed to make a case for war.

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday talk of last-ditch war on Iran to disable its nuclear program was premature “hype” and suggested moves to harden sanctions on Tehran may be counterproductive.

Mohamed ElBaradei took issue with France’s warning on Sunday that it should prepare for the possibility of military action to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment, a program the West suspects is a disguised quest to assemble atom bombs.

Western powers led by the United States and France have been fuming over ElBaradei’s new deal with Iran requiring it to answer questions about past secret nuclear research but without touching its accelerating campaign to enrich atomic fuel.

They fear Iran has tricked the IAEA, pretending to cooperate to avoid painful sanctions and buy time to master enrichment.

Perhaps the most disturbing bit of this whole ordeal is this last sentence which seems to be the center for any claims of Iran has or is developing nuclear weapons; US top officials and their allies believe IAEA officials have been “tricked”.

In a way that’s even flimsier evidence than was offered in making the case for war against Iraq.

Through all of this, what also seems to be forgotten is that the level of threat posed by Iran is seemingly centered around the hardliner president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though he is term limited, and information pointing to a more moderate movement with in Iran has put a reelection of the Iranian president in question.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.  Iran is not our friend.  But the lack of foundation on claims being made against it coupled with the history of claims made against Iraq before we went to war with them create more than a little room for doubt as to the veracity of its threat.

If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that the consequences of waging a war of choice are widespread and dire.  We cannot afford to let another war of choice be brought into being, especially at a time when we are suffering from the first vanity war. 

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