July 12, 2007

Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran

That tune has been all the rage among our ruling class for quite a while now. Stephen Kinzer:
Why attack Iran? War hawks in Washington are having trouble answering that question. Even their dire warnings about Iran's nuclear program have not been enough to alarm Americans already weary of Middle East conflicts.

Now the war drums have taken on a different tone. The Bush administration is testing a new rationale for attacking Iran: We must strike because Iranians are killing our soldiers in Iraq.

This is not simply a charge made by one state against another in the hope that a misguided policy will be changed. It is also part of a calculated effort to find an argument for bombing Iran that Americans will accept.


The larger question is whether Iran's involvement in Iraq - even if Iran could be found directly responsible for the death of Americans - is so outrageously provocative that it justifies an American attack. History argues that it is not.

Most American soldiers killed in the Korean War fell victim to mines, bombs or bullets made in China. General Douglas MacArthur - sounding much like some in Washington today - wanted to carry the war into China itself. President Harry Truman wisely refused and, when MacArthur persisted, relieved him of his command.

During the Vietnam War, the Soviet Union supplied North Vietnam with weapons and ammunition that killed thousands of American soldiers. Yet no one in the Johnson or Nixon administrations ever considered attacking Moscow in retaliation.


Accusing Iran of deep involvement in the Iraq war is more than a way to lay the groundwork for a US attack. It also provides a scapegoat for America's looming defeat. By this rationale, the American occupation would have succeeded, and Iraq would now be blooming and tranquil, if only Iran had not interfered and ruined everything.

Not even Americans are likely to swallow that one. Most reject the various rationales the Bush administration has so far offered to justify a possible attack on Iran. If they remain hostile to the idea, President Bush will eventually have to ask himself a fateful question: Should I attack anyway?

Attacking Iran would accomplish at least one thing Bush must be seeking. It will assure that future historians will not remember the invasion of Iraq as his biggest blunder.
I deeply regret to note that I think Kinzer seriously overestimates Americans' intelligence and their ability to see through even the most blatant government propaganda. Our media convey the notion that Iran represents Evil Incarnate at least several times each day. Given the recent poll indicating that 41% of Americans still believe that "Saddam Hussein was involved in planning or carrying out" the 9/11 attacks -- a number that has risen over the past two years -- it pays Americans a compliment they plainly don't deserve to think most or even many Americans would be unduly upset if Bush announced one day soon that bombing runs over Iran had already begun. In addition, in light of the resurgence of the most appalling kind of racism in our national discourse, I doubt a sufficient number of Americans would be that concerned that we were killing Evil Ragheads -- and quite a lot of them would be positively delighted.

On the same subject, here is Chris Floyd:
As you may know -- unless you rely on the corporate media for your news, of course -- yesterday the U.S. Senate unanimously declared that Iran was committing acts of war against the United States: a 97-0 vote to give George W. Bush a clear and unmistakable casus belli for attacking Iran whenever Dick Cheney tells him to.

The bipartisan Senate resolution – the brainchild (or rather the bilechild) of Fightin' Joe Lieberman – affirmed as official fact all of the specious, unproven, ever-changing allegations of direct Iranian involvement in attacks on the American forces now occupying Iraq. ...

It goes without saying that all of this is a nightmarish replay of the run-up to the war of aggression against Iraq: The NYT funneling false flag stories from Bush insiders. Warmongers citing the NYT stories as "proof" justifying any and all action to "defend the Homeland." Credulous and craven Democratic politicians swallowing the Bush line hook and sinker.

To be sure, stout-hearted Dem tribunes like Dick Durbin insisted that their support for declaring that Iran is "committing acts of war" against the United States should not be taken as an "authorization of military action." This is shaky-knees mendacity at its finest. Having officially affirmed that Iran is waging war on American forces, how, pray tell, can you then deny the president when he asks (if he asks) for authorization to "defend our troops?" Answer: you can't. And you know it.

This vote is the clearest signal yet that there will be no real opposition to a Bush Administration attack on Iran. This is yet another blank check from these slavish, ignorant goons; Bush can cash it anytime.
Chris is just getting started.

And he concludes with this Update:
Jonathan Schwarz points out that all of the Senate's Democratic candidates for president voted for Lieberman's Iran War amendment: Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and Joe Biden. Just in case you were expecting a saner foreign policy after the 2008 election.
Pleasant dreams, my friends.

Massive, uninterrupted, ongoing public protest is the only hope to possibly avoid this catastrophic, hideous, criminal nightmare.