"We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran"
By Paul Pillar.
Paul Pillar, a former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, now a teacher at the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, has written a long and comprehensive article entitled "We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran". Even though the entire piece rests on the presumption that Iran plans to weaponize its nuclear program it still is an important article and should be read in its entirety. Here are some highlights:
"… an Iran with a bomb would not be anywhere near as dangerous as most people assume, and a war to try to stop it from acquiring one would be less successful, and far more costly, than most people imagine."
"The notion that a nuclear weapon would turn Iran into a significantly more dangerous actor that would imperil U.S. interests has become conventional wisdom, and it gets repeated so often by so many diverse commentators that it seldom, if ever, is questioned. Hardly anyone debating policy on Iran asks exactly why a nuclear-armed Iran would be so dangerous."
"Iranian rulers may have a history of valorizing martyrdom but they have never given any indication of wanting to become martyrs themselves."
"The principles of deterrence are not invalid just because the party to be deterred wears a turban and a beard."
"Hezbollah and Hamas might become emboldened if Iran extended a nuclear umbrella over them. But in the face of Israel’s formidable nuclear superiority, would Iranian leaders really be willing to risk Tehran to save Gaza?"
"An armed attack on Iran would be an immediate political gift to Iranian hard-liners, who are nourished by confrontation with the West, and with the United States in particular."
"…an attack would poison relations between the United States and generations of Iranians. It would become an even more prominent and lasting grievance than the U.S.-engineered overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 or the accidental shooting down of an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf in 1988."
"American war proponents who optimistically hope that an attack would somehow stir the Iranian political pot in a way that would undermine the current clerical regime are likely to be disappointed. Even if political change in Iran occurred, any new regime would be responsive to a populace that has more reason than ever to be hostile to the United States."
"…. an attack on Iran would not even achieve the objective of ensuring a nuclear- weapons-free Iran. Only a ground invasion and occupation could hope to accomplish that, and not even the most fervent anti-Iranian hawks are talking about that kind of enormous undertaking."
"… an attack would provide the strongest possible incentive for Iran to move forward rapidly in developing a nuclear weapon, in the hope of achieving a deterrent to future attacks sooner rather than later."
"The Netanyahu government’s own repeated invocation of an Iranian nuclear threat has several roots, including the desire to preserve Israel’s regional nuclear weapons monopoly, the usefulness of having Iran stand in as the region’s “real problem” to divert attention from the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and simple emotion and fear."
"If Iran acquired the bomb, Israel would retain overwhelming military superiority, with its own nuclear weapons—which international think tanks estimate to number at least 100 and possibly 200—conventional forces, and delivery systems that would continue to outclass by far anything Iran will have. That is part of the reason why an Iranian nuclear weapon would not be an existential threat to Israel and would not give Iran a license to become more of a regional troublemaker. But a war with Iran, begun by either Israel or the United States, would push Israel farther into the hole of perpetual conflict and regional isolation. Self-declared American friends of Israel are doing it no favor by talking up such a war."
Goebbels Would Stand in Awe: The US Corporate News Media are Rank Propagandists on Iran
by: Dave Lindorff
"Not once, in reporting on these threats of aggressive war by Israel and/or the United States, has any major U.S. news organization, in print or on the air, included any reference to the U.N. Charter or to the fact that what is being contemplated is an invasion by Israel or the United States of a country that has not even been shown to be producing or planning to produce a nuclear weapon, much less to be in possession of one."
"The media have been running and airing stories quoting Pentagon sources and retired military personnel (often still on the Pentagon payroll) describing how an Israeli or a US attack on Iran would likely be conducted. All this without mentioning the criminality of it all."
"It’s as though we were sitting in Germany in 1938, reading articles in the local newspapers speculating about how Germany’s future attack on Poland would be conducted."
"When this kind of thing happens, it is clear that what passes for mainstream journalism in the US is not really journalism at all. It is propaganda--in this case pro-Israel, pro-war propaganda. That’s why we see calls in the US media for Iran to submit to UN inspection of its entire nuclear program, while no similar demand is made of Israel, which has some 300 nuclear weapons, and which has never allowed in any inspectors."
War Drums and Obama
by Chris Toensing
"For the last three weeks or so, liberal commentators have repeatedly insisted that the Obama administration bears little to no responsibility for the ever louder beating of the Iran war drums.
The Obama-is-innocent meme is, in fact, an index of how far the hawks have already bent the stick in their general direction (with an assist from the Iranian hardliners).
… what is happening is that liberals (and maybe Europeans as well) are being softened up for a future scenario in which their man, because he has “exhausted all other options,” emulates his detested predecessor in ordering a “preventive” military strike of dubious legality and tenuous relation to Americans’ security (as opposed to “national security”). This scenario is far from inevitable, but it would really help if liberals stopped deluding themselves about what is at stake. And it would help even more if the Obama administration, instead of just trying to thread the multiple needles of the ambient war talk, and thus “leading from behind” in threatening Iran, pursued a genuinely alternative Iran policy."
US and Israel: Good cop/bad cop on Iran
By Danny Schechter
Netanyahu, Iran and the fundamentals of policy
by Robert Grenier
"An Israeli attack on Iran could lead to a regional collapse of the non-proliferation treaty."
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