"History will repeat itself — only if we let it."
Hardly a day goes by that we are not inundated with demands to attack Iran. Our media, our Congress — packs of neoconservatives — have been howling for war on Iran for years. And years.
This reckless axis has been relentless in its orchestrated effort to manipulate and influence public opinion. And, if we are to believe the myriad of polls, it’s working. According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, who wrote on July 30 that "polling data for 2010 show a majority of Americans have been manipulated into supporting war against Iran — in large part because more than two-thirds of those polled have gotten the impression that Iran already has nuclear weapons."
Horror Tent Revival
Is it possible that a majority of Americans can be lured again into the tent of horror to support yet another bloody war? Have we learned nothing from history — the blatant lies that catapaulted us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan? It’s amazing how easily our handlers control us; enrage us; shape our beliefs, our opinions. As George Orwell wrote in 1948 about those controlled by Big Brother…
"A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp."
For centuries, those in power have known that fear is the easiest of emotions to work with. As with Iraq, and now Iran, we are paralyzed with fear; fear of "known unknowns" — of factually unsubstantiated threats about Iran’s lust for Israeli blood. Many of us have been ducking and covering for so long that we have lost the ability to reason; even to think beyond the "truth" that is hammered into our national consciousness with blow after blow of an Orwellian sledge hammer — we must support, and protect, Israel, no matter the cost.
It’s tempting to pretend that we believe Iran’s refusal to give up its nuclear energy program — which it has every right to pursue as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — is proof that it is an "evil Islamic regime" whose maniacal leaders are feverishly working to wipe Israel off the map. Tempting to take at face value the sinister warnings of those like Reuel Marc Gerecht, a resident fellow at AEI and Weekly Standard contributing editor, who warned in his April 2006 article, "To Bomb, or Not to Bomb — That is the Iran Question"…
"Given the Islamic Republic’s dark history, the burden of proof ought to be on those who favor accommodating a nuclear Iran. Those who are unwilling to accommodate it, however, need to be honest and admit that diplomacy and sanctions and covert operations probably won’t succeed, and that we may have to fight a war — perhaps sooner rather than later — to stop such evil men from obtaining the worst weapons we know."
Gerecht, a former consular officer for the State Department and CIA Mid-East specialist, is, like most of his neoconservative peers, pathologically obsessed with Iran’s destruction, and is as good as it gets when using fear and misinformation to justify that destruction.
Porter also wrote in his July article that "the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran." Porter pointed out that Gerecht first revealed his "Israeli-neocon fantasy as early as 2000, before the Iranian nuclear program was even taken seriously, in an essay written for a book published by the Project for a New American Century." Gerecht argued that, if Iran could be caught in a "terrorist act," the U.S. Navy should "retaliate with fury."
Now, a decade later, that appears to still be Gerecht’s position. In his ponderous July 26, 2010 Weekly Standard piece, he writes…
"…if nuclear weapons in the hands of Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards are an existential threat to the Jewish state — and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like his predecessors, has said that they are — Jerusalem has little choice. Bombing is the only option that could likely alter the nuclear equation in Iran before Khamenei produces a weapon. The Obama administration might fume, but it is hard to imagine the president, given what he has said about the unacceptability of Iranian nukes, scolding Jerusalem long. […] The left wing of the Democratic party has been going south on the Jewish state for 30 years, but congressional Democrats, who’ve been pushing for new sanctions against Iran more aggressively than the White House, are not that far gone. By and large, the Republican party would hold behind the Israelis."
Here, Gerecht is echoing the belief blurted out by Netanyahu in 2001 when talking about a broad attack on Palestine and undermining the Oslo Accords — "I know what America is," Netanyahu said. "America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way."
Sadly, there many more like Gerecht — Dick Cheney and his efforts to do an "end run" around a balking Bush to force an attack on Iran; Norman Podhoretz with his constant refrain "bomb Iran before Iran bombs us"; National Review’s Larry Kudlow who says if Israel furiously attacks Iran, it will be "doing the Lord’s work"; the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and Daniel Pipes with their confident forecast that Bush would attack Iran before leaving office if Obama won the election.
Then, there’s the US Congress, whose members can agree on absolutely nothing to ease the suffering of their own citizens, but stand shoulder-to-shoulder in passing resolution after shameful resolution for Israel’s right to defend itself and against Iran’s right to do the same. If Senator Joe Lieberman’s mouth is moving, you can bet he is demanding an attack on Iran — and he was joined by his cohort Senator Lindsey Graham just last month, who said we must sic our military on Iran, "with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
But by far the the most strident is the wild and woolly former UN ambassador John Bolton. He runs at top speed from one media outlet to another, calling for Iran’s destruction — just as he did for Iraq. I can’t help it. This guy is grotesquely fascinating. As I wrote in September 2008 about this issue…
It’s no laughing matter, but the sight of this tousle-headed, "got milk?" maniac running in circles, warning of — demanding — a nuclear holocaust is good for a grin, albeit a grim one. Even as he was being forced onto the United Nations over national and international objections, Bolton was hot on Iran’s trail. He insisted that Iran is the most dangerous critter out there — harboring terrorists, arming terrorists, training terrorists — sending bombs, IEDs, weapons to Iraq to kill Americans. If it weren’t for Iran, there would have been no 9-11 attack because Iran provided safe haven for the box-cutting killers headed our way. Bolton warned if Iran managed to produce a single nuclear weapon, Israel, the United States — the world — was toast. He promised that Iran will come after us. "That’s the threat," Bolton barked, "that’s the reality whether you like it or not. And it will be just like Sept. 11, only with nuclear weapons this time."
Considering the consequences of history repeating itself, perhaps we should call a "time out" and take a closer look at Iran. We didn’t bother to check out the accusations made by these same bloodthirsty warmongers against Iraq — false cries of weapons of mass destruction, lies about Saddam Hussein aiding and harboring Al Qaeda terrorists — we had but a scant 45 minutes to dive under our duct-taped plastic or we would surely die. Now, after hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings have been destroyed — millions displaced — trillions of dollars wasted, far too many of us say we were not to blame. Hey — we were lied to. Besides, that was years ago. It’s all history now.Iran, as a major civilization, dates back to 4000 BC and, although it has been invaded by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, even Mongols, it has no modern history of attacking or occupying other nations. However, unlike other areas that continue to be devastated by US and Israeli assaults, history shows that Iran is capable of defending itself. Both its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and frisky little president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have promised to do exactly that if attacked.
In August, Khamenei said "the consequences of a US attack would be grave…not merely regional, but will cover a vaster scene." If our warmongering babblers took a closer look at that "scene," they would see the destruction of the 32 US bases in the region as well as the shutdown of the Strait of Hormuz — the gateway to the world’s oil.
Regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have said over and over (and over) that Iran seeks nuclear power for generating electricity for medical purposes and for its growing population. In 2005, Khamenei issued a Fatwa that "the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that Iran shall never acquire these weapons." And, in spite of blatant lies and distortions to the contrary, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to verify Iran’s pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy.The timeline of Iran’s nuclear program from the 1950s shows that Iran has never sought nuclear energy for anything other than peaceful purposes. In 1957, the Shah opened the American Atoms for Peace in Tehran, and signed an agreement with the US for cooperation in research on peaceful uses of nuclear technology. And, in 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on the first day it opened for signature.
Before we buy into railings from those like Gerecht about evil Iran’s "dark history" in pursuing nuclear weapons, perhaps we should study the dark history of two other nations — one that obliterated the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in mere moments just 65 years ago…that used napalm, chemical weapons, and deadly toxins against the Vietnamese…that uses deadly depleted uranium to wipe out entire generations and to deform future generations…or perhaps the other one that takes great delight in dropping white phosphorus bombs on a trapped civilian population with nowhere to run…
The Choice is Ours
If our evil axis succeeds in its lust for war on Iran, yet another March 19, 2003 "Shock and Awe" will come roaring through. We can choose to sit, once again transfixed by sounds of explosions, gunfire, sirens, screams — and once again listen to Mike Malloy say in a dead voice stripped of all emotion…"
This is a dark day.
This is a filthy day.
This is a day for shame…"
Or we can rise up and stand firm. As Malloy also says, over and over (and over) — "We know the truth. We no longer have an excuse for remaining silent."History is replete with examples of citizens uniting and changing the course of history. When that happens, empires — even a shining empire on a hill — must change…or fall.History. Round and round it goes. Will the US and Israel attack Iran? Will history repeat itself?Yes, but only if we let it. The choice is ours.