The Senate passed a bill yesterday instructing the military to give it more details on what it calls Iran’s intolerable acts of hostility towards the US. As Agonist readers know the drumbeat that Iran is behind attacks on the US in Iraq (indeed, that next to al-Qaeda it is the primary actor) has been going on for months now. (Al-Qaeda, of course, is not the primary insurgency movement in Iraq, and the evidence on Iran is sketchy and beside the point in any case. Thank goodness the USSR didn’t nuke the US into the ground for supplying the mujahideen with weaponry, which is simply a matter of public record, not of conjecture.)
This is part of the drumbeat for war with Iran. The bill passed 97-0 and while authorization for military action was stripped out of it (for now), does anyone doubt that the military will report anything but that Iran is deeply involved in giving support to everyone in Iraq, including Sunni insurgency groups it makes no sense for Iran to work with? They certainly have in the past, and while the evidence has bordered on non-existent, there’s no reason to believe they won’t continue to do so.
So let’s remind everyone just how easy it is to stampede a country into a war.
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
“Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”- Herman Goering
Americans are being played. They are being played exactly the way they were played in the run-up to the Iraq war. Every piece of evidence that Iran has been attacking the US has been dubious, unsourced or so vague as to be meaningless. Even if Iran was supplying some weaponry, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is supplying some to the US’s allies in the Badr brigades, for example, ask yourself very clearly if you’re willing to go to war over that and if you think that supplying weapons to a group resisting an occupation is really a causus belli. Because the US has done it, itself, more than once.
Leaving aside all considerations of morality and of the US’s foreign reputation, a war against Iran right now is military insanity. The US is currently losing two wars already and Iran is in a position to shut off the majority of Middle Eastern oil supplies. Trust me, a few weeks, even, of over $200 or $300 a barrel oil, absolute shortages throughout the world, and no US citizen will be safe anywhere outside US sovereign soil because everyone, even Europeans, will be paying for America’s splendid little war.
Senators were played in the run up to the Iraq war. They’re being played again right now, and so are Americans. The drumbeat of propaganda against Iran is never ending, mostly false (or at least unverifiable, and the US has no credibility on these questions) and planted in all the same places as the propaganda against Iraq was.
Fool me once – shame on you.
Fool me twice – shame on me.