feels like every few months there is a need for an outcry against
a possible US or Israeli attack on Iran.
For a few moments, the drum beat of war recedes only to emerge
again with the same rationale: Iran
is allegedly a threat to the USA
and to world peace.
thought that the matter was settled, at least for a while, when
this past fall US intelligence agencies revealed that Iran had
no nuclear weapons program and had, in fact, abandoned such
plans several years ago. This seemed to take the wind out of
the sails of the Bush administration for a few weeks until they
decided to change their tune and focus on alleged Iranian involvement
in the Iraq war. Specifically, it was claimed that the
Iranians were arming Shiite groups in Iraq.
situation became downright silly when Republican Presidential
candidate John McCain visited Iraq and kept alleging that Al Qaeda-linked groups
were based in Iran.
For someone who supposedly knows so much about world affairs
this error either betrayed the early onset of dementia or it
was a calculated political manipulation. Al Qaeda, and its allies,
are Sunni-based and have a mutual hostility with the Iranian
Shiite regime. In any case, not to let the facts get in the
way of provoking a war, McCain eventually corrected himself
but continued to blame the Iranians for all sorts of alleged
is most interesting, though, to listen to the arguments that
are raised against Iran. Whether the Iranians
are arming the Iraqi Shiites is actually secondary to something
more important: the USA
illegally invaded and occupied a sovereign country, plunging
that country into chaos. The bottom line is that it is the USA,
before ANYONE else, which should not be in Iraq. Focusing
on Iran misses the point entirely,
something that is clearly intentional.
renewed focus on Iran
and nuclear power remains very curious. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. It possesses no documented weapons. Israel is not a signatory
to the agreement. It possesses, according to former US President Jimmy Carter,
150 such weapons. Iran
has not invaded another country during the 20th (or now 21st
century). Iran possesses limited technology
for a delivery system. No one has been able to document any
effort to develop nuclear weapons. And, even if it is in the
minds of some of the Iranian leaders, the construction of such
weapons is years off. So, what is going on?
case you missed it, the Bush administration lied its way into
an invasion of Iraq, suggesting that the
Hussein regime had all sorts of dastardly intents. Nothing was
ever proven, and in fact, it appears that some of Saddam Hussein’s
reluctance to discuss his military capabilities derived, quite
ironically, from a fear of revealing Iraqi weaknesses to Iran!
with the USA and Israel suggesting that an attack on Iran is
inevitable, we the people of the USA have to ask ourselves two
questions: (1)what will we do to prevent an attack, and (2)what
should we do if there is an attack?
an attack necessitates making our elected officials aware that
we oppose such a move and we wish them to draw the line. As
Congressman Conyers has pointed out, an attack on Iran
without the approval of Congress will be an illegal act. Congress
needs to be prepared to make that point clear.
Israel may become the ‘sub-contractor’ for the
USA in attacking Iran. Israel
can and has been restrained by the USA in the past. Israel
must understand that should it attack Iran, the current global discussions already underway
concerning a boycott and divestment movement against Israel (due to its occupation
of Palestinian territories) will go into overdrive. There
would probably be no way of stopping such a movement even if
one wanted to.
in that sense, what to do to stop an attack is linked to what
to do if an attack takes place. Our elected leaders must understand
that we will not sit back.
one more thing in case you think that this is something that
you can ignore: If you are currently concerned about the price
of gas, you had better be petrified thinking about what will
happen should there be another war and should the Iranians decide
to block oil exports from the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Just a friendly
Editor, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies,
the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and co-author of the just released book,
Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path
toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines the
crisis of organized labor in the USA. Click here
to contact Mr. Fletcher.