Saber rattling us to the next disaster

Some people still don’t believe that all the implied threats to use force against Iran is anything more than political saber rattling. Perhaps the same were reassured by Condi Rice’s recent remarks [1] that Senate’s approval of the Kyl-Lieberman “sense of the Senate” does not give the “okay” for attacking Iran.

But even to the most casual observer of Bush and Cheney’s conduct in the past 6 years, it is abundantly clear that neither believes in obtaining a congressional authorization to bomb anyone or start another war. What they seek is a convincing alibi which is proving harder to attain this time around but not for lack of trying. According to a report published by The Observer , US military officials are pressuring interrogators questioning Iraqi insurgents to press for incriminating evidence that points to Iran. Micah Brose, an interrogator working for Americans in Iraq is quoted that reports about Washington’s increasingly hawkish stance towards Tehran chimed with his experience– “My impression is that they’re just trying to get every little bit of ammunition possible”, he said.

Recent increase in charged rhetoric, and the kind of constant pressure to find anything against Iran certainly sound and smells a lot like the build-up to the current Iraqi debacle for those of us not suffering from the short term memory loss afflicting the rest of the population.

The very same media establishment that helped prepare public opinion for a needless war against Iraq by promoting the ruse of mushroom clouds over Western cities and linking Saddam with 9/11 terror attacks then [3], are now doing the same by portraying Iran as an imminent threat to world peace which seems to be working. According to a survey conducted by Zogby International, an opinion poll released on October 30th shows that 52 percent of Americans would actually support a military strike on Iran to “curtail its nuclear ambitions”.

Deniers including those inside Iran rationalize the improbability of such an insane undertaking based mainly on the following:

1- US military is bogged down and overstretched inside Iraq and Afghanistan

2- Price of crude oil is already at an all time high and such a move would exacerbate the situation possibly pushing the world economy into a recession

While both reasons are valid and make reasonable sense, they do not factor in the decision making process employed by the current administration in Washington which is still packed with neoconservative ideologues led by Dick Cheney whose stated goal is to usher in a “new American century”. Their blueprint for the future of the United States published in a 90-page document called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” [5] back in 1997 is to expand and capitalize on U.S. military strength in order to force American hegemony and corporate privatization throughout the world. In the section titled “Statement of Principles” [6] they clearly outline their not-so-secret agenda which includes:

1- Increase an already enormous military budget at the expense of domestic and social programs

2- Topple regimes resistant to American corporate interests

Although many of the original authors of that ill-conceived manuscript have been forced to make their not-so-graceful exit from the government [7] in the past few months, the Bush/Cheney Whitehouse has done everything in its power to uphold those principles as apparent in Mr. Bush’s veto of every domestic spending bill [8] that would fund education and health programs including the $35 billion expansion of a popular children’s health insurance program while signing the $460 billion 2008 military spending bill [10] that does not include funding for the ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan operations.

Despite major setbacks and a colossal human catastrophe created in Iraq, the idea of toppling regimes that oppose American interests continues to enjoy strong support in the halls of U.S. Congress and unless we the people make it abundantly clear to our representatives in Washington that we will no longer put up with financing wars for the benefit of major corporations, it will claim Iran as its next victim and turn 70 million mostly pro-American Iranians into bitter U.S. enemies.


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