US spy agencies pressed for ���intelligence��� to justify war against Iran - RINF Alternative News
Monday, August 28th, 2006
Bill Van Auken
With the clock ticking to an August 31 deadline set by the United Nations Security Council’s resolution demanding that Iran abandon its uranium enrichment program, a section of the American ruling establishment is pressing US intelligence agencies to produce “evidence” that Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose an imminent nuclear weapons threat...
...The most glaring example of this attempt to inflate the supposed threat from Iran came from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The prominent Republican told the New York Times: “When the intelligence community says Iran is 5 to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon, I ask: ‘If North Korea were to ship them a nuke tomorrow, how close would they be then?’ ”
The twisted logic of militarism
Of course, the same twisted logic can be used to justify military action against Cuba, Venezuela, Syria or any nation that is deemed an impediment to the strategic interests of US imperialism.
The element of irrationality that pervades this debate is striking, and the push for punishing sanctions and even military action against Iran—given the present state of the US occupation in Iraq and the popular repudiation of US militarism throughout the world—appears to border on the insane.
Washington’s demand for the speedy approval of severe sanctions against Teheran will be met with popular contempt and hatred throughout the Arab and Muslim world, and beyond. The world watched in disgust as for six weeks Washington used all of its power to block any such sanctions against Israel and veto all international efforts to halt Israel’s wanton destruction of Lebanon and slaughter of innocent civilians.
It is widely predicted that a War against Iran could ignite a massive rebellion by the Shia population in Iraq against the already beleaguered US occupation forces, as well as upheavals throughout the Middle East and a possible cut-off of much of the world’s oil supplies, triggering a global economic crisis.
Yet the threat of War is unmistakable and explicit and is driven by the logic of the imperialist project initiated with the invasion of Iraq three-and-a-half years ago. The attempt to turn Iraq into a US protectorate, thereby securing US domination over its vast oil resources, has produced a debacle and, by most estimates, served to strengthen the position of Iran, both within Iraq and throughout the region. The solution, according to prominent elements within American ruling circles, is to prepare a new War aimed at “regime change” in Iran.
Once again, there is little vocal opposition to such a War within the political establishment, with prominent Democrats having criticized the Bush administration from the right for failing to take a tough enough stand against Teheran.
In its August 24 editorial, the Washington Post took China and Russia to task for signaling support for Iran’s call for negotiations rather than Washington’s demand for immediate sanctions. The editorial concluded with a clear threat that failure to support Washington’s moves against Iran could only hasten US military action.
“But if Russia and China want to be accepted as forces for global stability that they claim to be,” the Post warned, “they should not undercut Western efforts to defuse the Iran crisis by peaceful means. No responsible power has anything to gain from further tension in the Middle East, still less an eventual War over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
In other words, if you do not support Washington’s attempts to use the UN as a cover for its buildup against Iran, you are responsible for the US launching another unilateral War of aggression.
Right-wing layers that have dominated the Republican Party and played the leading role in orchestrating Washington’s unprovoked War against Iraq are even more explicit. They have grown increasingly bitter in their criticism of the Bush administration’s policy toward Iran, and particularly the role played by the State Department and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This has reached a hysterical pitch in the wake of the military setback and political defeat suffered by the US and Israel in Lebanon, with prominent right-wing columnists talking of “appeasement” and comparing the administration’s role to that of Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 dealings with Hitler in Munich.
Among the most chilling examples—but by no means out of the mainstream of the Republican right—was a piece written last week by Townhall.com columnist Walter Williams.
“Think about it,” wrote Williams. “Currently, the US has an arsenal of 18 Ohio class submarines. Just one submarine is loaded with 24 Trident nuclear missiles. Each Trident missile has eight nuclear warheads capable of being independently targeted. That means the US alone has the capacity to wipe out Iran, Syria or any other state that supports terrorist groups or engages in terrorism—without risking the life of a single soldier.”
Williams goes on to lament that Washington’s concern for “worldwide public opinion” and “weak will” is blocking the unleashing of a nuclear holocaust against these countries. “Any attempt to annihilate our Middle East enemies would create all sorts of handwringing about the innocent lives lost, so-called collateral damage.”
That such words can be written and published by political elements politically close to the current administration in Washington is a measure of the deep crisis of US imperialism and the profound dangers it poses. At least for some of these layers, victory in the “global War on terrorism” has come to mean annihilating tens of millions of people.