Buchanan on war against Iran

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by melbo, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Another Undeclared War?
    January 18, 2006

    by Patrick J. Buchanan
    Is the United States about to launch a second preemptive war, against a nation that has not attacked us, to deprive it of weapons of mass destruction that it does not have?

    With U.S. troops tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Pakistanis inflamed over a U.S. airstrike that wiped out 13 villagers, including women and children, it would seem another war in the Islamic world is the last thing America needs.

    Yet the "military option" against Iran is the talk of the town.

    "There is only one thing worse than … exercising the military option," says Sen. John McCain. "That is a nuclear-armed Iran. The military option is the last option, but cannot be taken off the table."

    Appearing on CBS' Face the Nation, McCain said Iran's nuclear program presents "the most grave situation we have faced since the end of the Cold War, absent the whole war on terror."

    Meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bush employed the same grim terms he used before invading Iraq. If Iran goes forward with nuclear enrichment, said Bush, it could "pose a grave threat to the security of the world."

    McCain and Bush both emphasized the threat to Israel. And all the usual suspects are beating the drums for war. Israel warns that March is the deadline after which she may strike. One reads of F-16s headed for the Gulf. The Weekly Standard is feathered and painted for the warpath. The Iranian Chalabis are playing their assigned roles, warning that Tehran is much closer to nukes than we all realize.

    But just how imminent in this "grave threat"?

    Thus far, Tehran has taken only two baby steps. It has renewed converting "yellowcake" into uranium hexafluoride, the gaseous substance used to create enriched uranium. And Iran has broken the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seals at its nuclear facility at Natanz, where uranium hexafluoride is to be processed into enriched uranium. But on Saturday, the foreign ministry said it was still suspending "fuel production."

    However, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared, "There are no restrictions for nuclear research activities under the NPT," the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Iran has signed.

    Here, Iran's president is supported by his countrymen and stands on the solid ground of international law. Yet Secretary of State Condi Rice said last week, "There is simply no peaceful rationale for the Iranian regime to resume uranium enrichment."

    Is Condi right?

    Unlike Israel, Pakistan, and India, which clandestinely built nuclear weapons, Iran has signed the NPT. And Tehran may wish to exercise its rights under the treaty to master the nuclear fuel cycle to build power plants for electricity, rather than use up the oil and gas deposits she exports to earn all of her hard currency. Nuclear power makes sense for Iran

    True, in gaining such expertise, Iran may wish to be able, in a matter of months, to go nuclear. For the United States and Israel, which have repeatedly threatened her, are both in the neighborhood and have nuclear arsenals. Acquiring an atom bomb to deter a U.S. or Israeli attack may not appear a "peaceful rationale" to Rice, but the Iranians may have a different perspective.

    Having seen what we did to Iraq, but how deferential we are to North Korea, would it be irrational for Tehran to seek its own deterrent?

    And, again, just how imminent is this "grave threat"?

    "We don't see a clear and present danger," Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA has just told Newsweek.

    Some put the possibility of an Iranian bomb at 10 years away. Con Coughlin, defense and security editor of the London Telegraph, writes that the 164 centrifuges in the Natanz pilot plant could enable Iran to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a single bomb – in three years.

    If the threat were imminent, Israel, which invaded Egypt in 1956, destroyed the Syrian and Egyptian air forces on the ground in a surprise attack in 1967, and smashed an Iraqi reactor before it was completed in 1981, would have acted. And with an estimated 200 nuclear weapons, Israel is fully capable of deterring Iran – and of massive retaliation if she is attacked by Iran.

    Iran has attacked neither Israel nor our forces in the Gulf, and the Ayatollah Khamenei is said to be reining in Ahmadinejad. So it would seem that Iran does not want a war.

    Congress thus has the time to do the constitutional duty it failed to do when it gave Bush his blank check to invade Iraq at a time of his choosing.

    Few today trust "intelligence reports," War Party propagandists, or the word of exiles anxious to have us fight their wars. Congress should thus hold hearings on how close Tehran is to a nuclear weapon and whether this represents an intolerable threat, justifying a preventive war that would mean a Middle East cataclysm and a worldwide depression. Then it should vote to declare war, or to deny Bush the power to go to war.

    The "Bush Doctrine" notwithstanding, if Congress has not put the "military option on the table," neither George Bush nor John McCain can put it there. That is the Constitution still, is it not?
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Who's afraid of Big, Bad , Iran?

    Who's afraid of big, bad Iran?

    Philip Bowring

    HONG KONG By exaggerating the importance of Iran's nuclear developments, the West is showing up the waning of its power in that region, despite the presence of some 200,000 allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the influence of China and India rises.

    The situation now has three possible outcomes, none favorable to the West.

    First, after a lot of huffing and puffing, a diplomatic dance continues which makes little headway and reveals that the West has few cards it can play.

    Second, the United States launches an attack whose economic consequences can only be guessed at, but which does the kind of global diplomatic damage to the U.S. that the British/French Suez invasion did to those nations.

    Third, after effectively blocking Security Council sanctions, China, India and Russia quietly lean on Iran to stop being provocative and make just enough conciliatory noises to allow the "crisis" to subside, but not to significantly retard its nuclear program.

    As the major prospective customers for Iran's oil and gas, China and India have a huge vested interest in not seeing this issue escalate, via the Security Council, into an oil crisis.

    They are in a position to influence Tehran partly because of their status as future customers, but equally because of the perception that they are not a threat and share anti-imperialist sympathies.

    Both India and China developed nuclear capabilities in the face of Western attempts to sustain a West/Soviet duopoly. While no existing nuclear power wishes to see their number increased, India and China appear to accept Iran's eventual acquisition of such weapons as inevitable - and non alarming.

    There is no doubt that Iran has been dissembling about its nuclear program. It scarcely needs nuclear power and ultimately wants to have the ability to build nuclear weapons.

    But then most countries lie about their nuclear programs. While Iran may well be in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it signed, so are other countries. India and Israel refuse to sign.

    In Washington, Iran's nuclear ambitions are viewed with such alarm that the normally level-headed Senator John McCain has said that a nuclear Iran would be worse than a war to prevent it. Most of Asia, by contrast, seems to follow the view of the Chinese and Indians that possible American reaction is as far more dangerous than Iran's developments.

    There is some parallel with North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions are viewed with more alarm in far-away Washington than in nearby Seoul. Many South Koreans who detest the Pyongyang regime barely conceal a grudging admiration for intransigent nationalistic stance on the nuclear issue.

    Likewise, Iranians who detest the clerical regime (including hundreds of thousand of exiles who have prospered in the West) find little fault with its nuclear program. A democratic Iran would, like India, have just as much demand for nuclear independence as any other major country.

    The election of the worryingly crude and ignorant Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has raised the level of Iranian rhetoric. But Ahmedinejad is clearly frowned on by his more diplomatic predecessors, Presidents Khatami and Rafsanjani, not to mention by liberal and democratic Iranians. And the nuclear program appears to have broad support within and without the clerical regime.

    Iranian grudges against the West are deep and well founded - the British oil grabs, the deposing of Reza Shah I, the British-Russian wartime hegemony, the CIA-engineered overthrow of secular nationalist Mohammed Mossadeq in 1952, the arming and encouragement of the 1980 Iraq invasion which cost more than a million Iranian lives.

    Just as leadership in that patriotic war against Saddam Hussein probably saved the oppressive clerical regime from self-destruction, so Western pressure now to deprive Iranians of what they see as their national rights are likely to sustain the clerical grip.

    The hypocrisy of the West is obvious, not just in the special dispensation it gives to an expansionist, nuclear Israel, but also to Pakistan, a country which may be aligned with the West but is inherently unstable and, unlike Iran, a major source of Taliban-trained fanatics and al Qaeda-following suicide bombers.

    India meanwhile was recently rewarded by the United States with a nuclear cooperation agreement despite India's refusal, for reasons of national sovereignty, to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. So much for a consistent non-proliferation policy.

    For sure, the more countries that have nuclear weapons, the greater than danger of use. But Western bullying, regime-change policies, threats of war and selective condemnation of nuclear ownership are even better reasons for Tehran to want nuclear technology than the fact that Iran is surrounded by those who do.

    If the West wants to get its way on this, it must offer Iran some juicy carrots instead of its traditional stick.
  3. Galactus

    Galactus Monkey+++ Founding Member

  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Great read. And that was more than 4 years ago --nearly 5.
  5. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    I still don't understand why of all the countries in the world US is feeling "threatened" by Iran...I mean, Russia, China, India or any other country would be in much bigger danger if SHTF from Iran's nukes, and yet none of those countries is "worried" like US...
    I see only only two possible answers: one is that it's Israel who's worried because it wont be able to do what it wants in the region anymore, or its all an oil game once again...or it's both!
    Either way, it's not good...
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Hegelian Dialect. This struggle has been carefully laid out and planned. Stay tuned for the show.
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