Saturday, April 29, 2006

That Menace Iran

With even mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and The New Yorker publishing credible stories that the United States is seriously planning a military attack on Iran, increasing numbers of Americans are expressing concerns about the consequences of the United States launching another war that would once again place the United States in direct contravention of international law.

The latest National Security Strategy document published earlier this year labeled Iran as the most serious challenge to the United States posed by any country. This should be an indication of just how safe the United States is in the post-Cold War world, where the “most serious challenge” is no longer a rival superpower with thousands of nuclear weapons and sophisticated delivery systems capable of destroying the United States, but a Third World country on the far side of the planet which, according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate out of Washington, is at least 10 years away from actually producing a usable nuclear weapon. Furthermore, Iran has no capacity to develop any delivery system in the foreseeable future capable of landing a weapon within 10,000 miles of our shores.

However, despite the fact that there is no evidence that Iran is even developing nuclear weapons in the first place, the Bush administration and Congressional leaders of both parties argue that simply having the technology which would make it theoretically possible for Iran to manufacture a nuclear weapon at some point in the future is sufficient casus belli. As part of his desperate search for enemies, President Bush claimed in January that a nuclear-armed Iran would be “a grave threat to the security of the world,” words that echoed language he used in reference to Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion of that oil-rich country. Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney vowed “meaningful consequences” if Iran did not give up its nuclear program and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton claimed there would be “tangible and painful consequences” if Iran did not cooperate.

The Washington Post quoted White House sources as reporting that “Bush views Tehran as a serious menace that must be dealt with before his presidency ends,” apparently out of concern that neither a Democratic nor Republican successor might be as willing to consider a military option.


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