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Films and Commentary from Saul Landau » Article / Commentary

Senators Moving On To The Next War

March 26, 2012 · · Originally published in Progreso Weekly

Bi-partisan group in the Senate remains fully committed to ignoring all evidence in their quest to bomb Iran.

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) want war with Iran and refuse to learn lessons from the futile wars this country has perpetrated since U.S. troops landed in Korea in 1950.

They begin with "facts not in evidence," as lawyers say. "The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to the entire world, including particularly the U.S., and its destabilizing consequences are not containable." Huh?

The Iranian government denies it has a weapon or is close to getting one. Both the International Atomic Energy Agency and American intelligence agree with the Iranian assessment. Ironically, even Israeli intelligence concurs.

The hawks ignore the experts. The two Senators co-authored an op-ed with Democrat Robert P. Casey on the Wall Street Journal, saying:

Iran's nuclear ambitions are a mortal threat to the global nonproliferation regime. If Iran succeeds in acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability, neighboring Arab states will seek their own atomic arsenals. The Middle East will become a nuclear tinderbox, and the odds of nuclear material falling into the hands of rogue terrorists will dramatically increase.

Compare their bellicosity with Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Cleric’s remarks: "The production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin."

Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Saleh said Iran is stronger because it has no nuclear weapons program. He accused the West of applying "a double standard by supporting Israel, the only Middle East country with nuclear weapons."

The IAEA says Iran is enriching uranium; within three years it might have enough to actually make a nuke. But all authorities agree it has no long-range delivery capabilities.

Nonsense, replied presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. He compared Iran’s threat to U.S. national security to that "posed by Nazi Germany in the 1930s." Gingrich suggested "Tehran could be planning for a pre-emptive nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack on America that would turn a third or more of the country back to a 19th century level of development."

Such "burning" language preceded President Truman’s "need" to invade Korea – or else the Communists will… Three years later, with lots of dead and wounded on all sides, the war ended with the same boundaries as North and South Korea had when it started.

President Johnson raised his oratory level to justify a massive troop dispatch to Vietnam  - or we would lose Southeast Asia to the communists (domino theory). After a decade of death and destruction, we lost. Then our government pouted for two decades! "They didn’t let us win!" Today, the U.S. is the communist government of Vietnam’s main trading partner.

In 2001, George W. Bush ordered U.S. forces to invade Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden and remove the Taliban government that allowed the fiends to plot the 9/11 horrors. But he got distracted. In 2003, Bush invaded Iraq because, he assured the world, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and links with Al Qaeda. Both claims were false.

The current war lovers insist that Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons "threaten the world." But they don’t care about real death? These hawks discourage negative photos (coffins of dead troops) and offer vague, unsatisfying reasons – there are no satisfying ones – for why 5,000 U.S. service personnel died in Iraq; or tens of thousands got wounded and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died.

President Obama praised those who served democracy there, but our democratic export didn’t restore Iraq’s peace and stability. In 2011, bombings in Iraq took 13,000 lives.

Exporting democracy we didn’t include tolerance of non-conformists. According to Reuters, "at least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad (...) in what appears to be a campaign by Shi'ite militants against youths wearing Western-style 'emo' clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say." 'Emo' refers to a U.S. punk music form. Its fans sport spiked hair and tight-fitting jeans. Other religious groups stoned gay men in Baghdad. (Oh well, we tried!)

We accuse Iran of limiting democracy and treat its leaders as both evil and rational; harsh sanctions will change their behavior. If they’re sane, they know threatening the United States or Israel with nuclear weapons would lead to their annihilation.

What exactly did Iran do to us to provoke Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and their neocon allies to demand immediate air strikes? Because Iran is Israel’s enemy and bombing Iran would help Israel?

President Obama toasts the accomplishments of our brave troops, like training tens of thousands of uniformed Afghans to shoot guns. Oops, some trainees began killing their trainers; some of our troops burned Korans, and peed on Afghan corpses.

In 2010, 462 U.S. soldiers "died in combat, while 468 committed suicide." The 2009 military suicide number, which "also exceeded the number of combat deaths."

In March, one psycho U.S. soldier, on his 4th tour of duty, killed 16 Afghan civilians, including children. The Taliban predictably blamed the "blood-soaked and inhumane crime" on "sick-minded American savages" and vowed to retaliate.

Exporting democracy? The product doesn’t travel well, and it's expensive: almost half a trillion dollars, more than 2,000 dead U.S. military personnel and contractors, and uncounted thousands of Afghans. Bush invaded Afghanistan to get bin Laden and the 9/11 fiends. Obama’s Seals got ‘em.

Why not withdraw and say: “Mission Accomplished” as W. Bush prematurely did in May 2003?

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