The BBC reports in news.bbc.co.uk that despite reports from 16 different U.S. intelligence agencies, National Intelligence Estimate reports, and International Atomic Energy Agency – the U.N.’s atomic energy watchdog – reports showing that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, an increasingly militant drumbeat can be heard from the White House and mainstream media.
It would be one thing if increased attention and criticism of Iran was rooted in national self-interest. However, it appears that it’s being verbalized as a result of entangling foreign policy that hurts the U.S. citizens and benefits other nations.
The United States also declared Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and has requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff to redraw military action plans against Iran, according to DemocracyNow.org. These actions, along with comments by President George W. Bush’s – like the one reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon” – reveal an administration set on adding another battlefront in the war on terror.
These comments fly in the face of well-documented, reality-based assessments of any Iranian nuclear threat. The president’s words and actions, if anything, will precede World War III.
Scott Ritter, former U.N. inspector in Iraq, thinks one of the problems is Israel.
“It’s interesting that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and other elements of the Israeli lobby don’t have to register as agents of a foreign government,” he said to DemocracyNow.org. “It would be nice if they did, because then we’d know when they’re advocating on behalf of Israel or they’re advocating on behalf of the United States of America.”
So often we are “reminded” that Israel’s interests are America’s interests.
But let’s not become confused, as Ritter argues: “… When they do this and they bring American citizens into play, these Americans, once they take the money of a foreign government and they advocate on behalf of that foreign government, they register themselves as an agent of that government, so we know where they’re coming from. That’s all I ask the Israelis to do. Let us know where you’re coming from, because stop confusing the American public that Israel’s interests are necessarily America’s interests.”
It is important to recognize the difference between supporting something or someone because it’s right, or doing it because it’s tradition, or it’s considered proper, or it’s “just how things are.” Israel’s influence in American politics may end up being the cause of a war with Iran. Israel said Iran is a threat, so the U.S. does, too. And let me also make it clear that someone with this belief is not anti-Semitic, but anti-war and pro-peace. I refuse to support any violent actions or policies of any nation, regardless of that nation’s ethnic makeup.
Bush has also used these false threats and fear tactics as distractions to launch such authoritative initiatives as Executive Order 13382, which allows the U.S. government to “freeze the assets of, and prohibit any U.S. citizen or (organization) from doing business with the Revolutionary Guards,” or any other organization the president defines as “terrorist,” despite the fact that the CIA has been found supporting terrorists within Iran, according to Telegraph.co.uk.
These extremists in Iran are being funded because this is business as usual for the United States, which has a long history (i.e.: Iran in 1953, South Vietnam in 1963, Panama in 1989, etc.) of replacing regimes with ones that better fit its interests. You know, the interests of the same groups that have dominated American society since its inception.
Israel’s lobby is just one benefactor in starting war with Iran, and although I believe it is definitely not the only cause for a call to war, it certainly stands to gain and could be a contributing factor. Americans have seen this same demand for war before, and it’s important to recognize patterns that lead a population to war.
Learning these patterns can help avoid going into needless conflict and sending sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, lovers and friends to fight and die in wars waged for private power and profit.
José Ferrer sophomore majoring in sociology.