On Iran, the U.S. is Painting Itself into a Political and Moral Corner

This confrontation [between the forces of the Apocalypse and Israel] is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.

— U.S. President George W. Bush (in a 2003 conversation with French President Jacques Chirac)

Preventive war was an invention of [Adolf] Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

We don’t desire any nuclear proliferation in our region, and our policy is well known regardless of which country has such programs. For us it doesn’t matter whether it is Israel or Iran. I will call on the international community, which is so sensitive toward Iran, to pay attention to Israel, too.

— Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister

Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

— The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

By now, most everybody knows that the (2003-) Bush-Cheney Iraq War was based on fiction and on deception. There was no such thing as “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, the rationale for an illegal attack against that country. And Bush II and his accomplices knew that.

But incredibly, just as the Bush-Cheney administration did in order to launch a war against Iraq in 2003 by (falsely) alleging that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Obama-Biden administration, in 2010, is arguing for unilateral sanctions against Iran and even beating the drums of war against Iran, alleging that its program to enrich uranium and operate nuclear power plants is posing an existential threat to Israel, to Europe and to the United States.

Besides being a blatant exaggeration, this is nevertheless most dangerous. Indeed, such an eventual military attack—which, by the way, would be illegal under international law—would also have dire economic consequences, because it would almost certainly result in the closing of the narrow Strait of Hormuz. Should we be reminded that it is through this strait that roughly 40 percent of all world traded oil transits out of the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea. Its closing would push the international oil price to unheard of levels.

Therefore, if the pro-Israel lobby and the pro-war neocon press were to succeed in 2010-11 in triggering a hot war against Iran, as they did in 2002-03 against Iraq, this could easily turn the current festering financial crisis into a full-fledged worldwide economic depression. Believe me, the last thing the world economy needs now is an oil-shock that would derail the present feeble economic recovery.

But the most disconcerting of all is no doubt the implicit threat recently made by President Barack Obama, on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, to launch a nuclear attack against Iran and North Korea if these countries refuse to toe Washington’s line. That sort of loose language is most dangerous because it may serve to trivialize the military use of nuclear weapons, a disaster that the world must avoid. The round of pronouncements demonizing Iran and the incessant calls for sanctions against a sovereign country by other U.S. politicians is also most unproductive, even though that may make for good domestic politics.

This is of course in addition to the use of unmanned drones to drop bombs on civilians in Pakistan and other American death squad activities in Afghanistan that the Obama administration has intensified since gaining power. There seems to be a pattern here: No law or moral decency seem to be taken into consideration when such decisions, most likely illegal, are taken, no matter who is in power in Washington D.C.

It is true that Iran’s domestic politics is not without reproach. This is a country that is run by a mixture of democratic and theocratic rules. However, compared to fundamentalist Islamic Saudi Arabia, Iran is somewhat more democratic and less oppressive of women, even though it does not satisfy all the Western criteria to be a true democratic state. But we don’t declare war on a country because we don’t like its domestic politics. That’s not what the U.N. Charter or the Nuremberg Charter, says.

Logic would have it that all the nuclear countries in that part of the world (Israel, Pakistan, India,) sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), just as Iran has done, because an accidental, or worse, an intentional or provoked, use of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat to the region and to the world. In the long-run, however, the world needs a new and expanded nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to prevent nuclear war but, at the same time, to make sure that no country is denied access to nuclear energy that can enhance its economic development. Every country in the world has a right to enrich uranium and operate nuclear power plants.

Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and author of the book The New American Empire. He can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Rodrigue, or visit Rodrigue's website.

4 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 5th, 2010 at 11:00am #

    The destruction of Iran, if it occurs, will be a vast crime that one can lay at the door of Israel and Zionism.This is the ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ of Oded Yinon,and its numerous reiterations since, by the likes of Netanyahu, in action.It is a cold-blooded blueprint for destruction and genocide, that targets all the Islamic countries of the Near and Middle Easts and the Horn of Africa, intended to break up all these states along sectarian and ethnic fault-lines, and establish Israel’s total dominance of the resulting powerless statelets, governed by despotic stooges of the US and Israel, like the repulsive Mubarrak. Of course, the best laid plans of racist supremacists and religiously fanatical child-murderers gang aft agley, and we might hope that the Zioamerican Reich will here finally bite off more than it can chew, and its destruction be ensured by an homicidal miscalculation.What an obscenity that it will take the deaths of who knows how many innocents to achieve that absolute good.

  2. Rehmat said on May 5th, 2010 at 4:07pm #

    Zionism and Israel – both needs a world power to do their dirty work. Theodor Herzl and many leaders of World Zionist movement admired German fascism in the 19th and 20th century. The Zionist leaders declared war on Germany only when they realized that Hitler, who is reportedly, had 150,000 German Jews under his command – was not willing to establish a new country for European Jews in Palestine.

    Eisenhower was a Crypto-Jew, who let 1.7 million German Christians starve to death after the D-Day. Bushes were nothing but Zionist puppets.

    Many US Generals have advised both Bush and Obama that Islamic Republic is not helpless Iraq or Afghanistan. If either Israel or the US made the mistake to invade Islamic Republic – they must be prepared for a war that would last for many decades.

    The pot calling the tea cozy black

  3. jon s said on May 5th, 2010 at 11:42pm #

    Rehmat, Where do you make up all this nonsense?
    -Herzl died in 1904. So much for “admiring fascism”. (And politically he was a liberal).
    -Hitler was intent on murdering Jews. Nobody thought that he would establish a Jewish state anywhere.
    -Eisenhower a “crypto- Jew” ? Why? Because he was in command of the battle against the Nazis? “Starved the Germans?!”
    And so on…
    And don’t forget to accuse Israel of the Times Square bombing attempt. I can’t wait.

  4. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:31am #

    Herzl openly visualised an eventual ‘Eretz Yisrael’ from the Nile to the Euphrates, a land where the Jews were to dominate and the indigenous were to ‘go elsewhere’. Some ‘liberal’- rather like your being a ‘Leftist’. And the Nazis and other German Judeophobes did propose deporting the Jews of Germany and Europe to places such as Madagascar, before they decided on genocide.