We had a breather during the final stretch of the presidential election campaign, but the way is now cleared for a renewal of the propaganda campaign urging war with Iran. The latest salvo: a UN report claiming Iran plans on building 3,000 new centrifuges, and headlines are screaming in the West, at any rate that Iran will have enough uranium to build a nuclear bomb by sometime next year. Is this true?
Undoubtedly not. To begin with, lets go through the news accounts: heres a typical one, a Reuters dispatch, which reports a “stand off” between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), run by the UN, which monitors nuclear activities of member states. To the ordinary person just glancing at the headline, the assumption is that the “stand off” is over Irans unwillingness to keep its nuclear facilities open to inspection. Not so. Yet Reuters reports:
“An inquiry by the UN nuclear watchdog into alleged atom bomb research by Iran has degenerated into a silent standoff a few months after Tehran asserted the matter is over, UN officials said on Wednesday.”
If your eyes glaze over at this point, and you dont get much further than the lede, then the story seems to be describing Iranian nuclear research that will inevitably result in the production of a weapon. Reuters cites a whiny UN official, who complains: “We had gridlock before but until September at least we were talking to each other. Now it’s worse. There is no communication whatsoever, no progress regarding possible military dimensions in their program.” It isnt until several paragraphs later that it becomes apparent to the casual reader that the program hes talking about ended in 2003:
“The report said that unless Iran produced credible evidence for its denials that it tried to weaponise nuclear materials, or permitted inspections beyond declared atomic sites, the IAEA could not verify Iran’s enrichment was wholly peaceful.”
Remember last year, when the CIA issued its definitive assessment of the alleged Iranian nuclear threat? It declared with “high confidence” that Tehran had ceased its military research program four years previously. According to the CIA, all those diagrams and dicey computer disks that somehow showed up in the hands of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), and were pushed by the War Party as evidence of Iran’s perfidy, detailed a program that hadn’t been functional for years. (At any rate, those documents turned out to be forgeries.)
In any case, the West, acting through the UN, turned this into yet another pretext for confrontation with the Iranians. Their reaction to this revelation was: Aha! So the program was ended now turn over the documents verifying this, and confess your guilt! This demand, combined with the suspicions hanging over the stepped-up enrichment activities, is the new vise in which the Iranians are being squeezed first, with the threat of sanctions, and later on, with the threat of war.
Drudge on Thursday featured a Jerusalem Post commentary that made the case for war in plain and simple terms: the author acknowledges that the “enriched” uranium in the Iranians possession is low-grade, and in its present form can only do what the Iranians have been saying all along they intend to do, which is fuel nuclear power plants to generate electricity. In order to produce weapons grade material, they would have to make some very visible changes to their known facilities. “This would make it very difficult for Iran to hide from the IAEA inspectors,” the Jerusalem Post admits, but theres a catch (isnt there always?):
“Unless, that is, there are secret facilities where the low enriched uranium is purified, away from the eyes and knowledge of the IAEA. And this is very possible.”
Of course, anything is possible except, perhaps, that the Israel lobby will cease its relentless agitation for war. One thing about secret facilities, however, is that no one knows where they are. Oddly, the next question isnt where are these “secret” nuclear sites, but “where do we go from here?” The author, one Meir Javedanfar, knows just where he wants to go with this:
“One can not also help but notice that such reports help those who want a military solution. This may not be around the corner; however, it is there. Even when Obama enters office.
“Many have accused the Democrats of being too timid and too compromising. That’s not true. The difference with them is that they are likely to give negotiations a serious chance, before reaching out for their guns. And if they do, they won’t do it alone. Just ask Slobodan Milosevic.”
Hes right. And never mind Milosevic just get out your ouija board and consult the departed spirit of Saddam Hussein. It was, after all, a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who pushed the Iraq Liberation Act through Congress, funded Chalabi, and started the process that ended in what the late General William E. Odom trenchantly described as the worst strategic disaster in American military history. Now the same pattern is taking hold in regard to Iran. The pressure on President Obama to humble Iran, and prove his “toughness,” is going to be enormous, and one indication is that the War Partys propaganda blitz, which should be reaching a crescendo by Inauguration Day, has already started in earnest.
With Hillary Clinton as Obamas secretary of state, and a bevy of war hawks ensconced in key national security posts just like the neocons in the Bush administration the War Party will be well-represented in the foreign policy councils of the new administration. It looks like were in for a long, agonizingly drawn out drama, which may very well end the same way the last one did.
Theres just one way to preempt this and that is to show, early on, that the voters who gave Obama his victory wont stand for this kind of betrayal. We dont want another war and that means we have to stop Hillary, the War Partys chief Democratic asset, before shes officially designated the new Secretary of State. If thousands (upon thousands!) of Americans protest, who knows but maybe we can stop it.
Yes we can!
So call the transition office, if you havent already, and say: No Hillary, no way, no how!
Call: 202-540-3000 or use their web form.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
Im watching Chris Matthews wonder why all this drama over Hillarys appointment, and her husbands extended negotiations with the Obama transition team, is taking place in full public view, on the front page of the New York Times. And why, he wonders, is it taking so long, given that the offer is real and Hillary wants it? Are they just working out the details of her husbands Byzantine finances, or can it be that our Stop Hillary campaign started at the beginning of this week is having some effect, and theyve been getting a lot of protest calls at the transition office?
Cmon, you people: call! Tell them its a little too early for Obama to start reneging on his campaign promises. The guy hasnt even taken office yet, and already were talking about a revolution betrayed. Theres just one way to stop the War Party from taking over this administration, just like they did the last one.