October 06, 2009
Whenever I discuss the colossal mistake that was (is) the Iraq war and the embarrassing lack of WMDs, some defender of that war always insists that “everyone” thought Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. Well no, everyone didn’t, including the weapons inspectors. But the “everyone” who count most are those who wield the most power, and thus said Vice President Dick Cheney in 2002: “Stated simply, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.”
Cheney was wrong. “Everyone” was wrong.
And “everyone” is wrong today about Iran and their supposed WMDs. You might be asking, “how does some minor league columnist from Charleston, South Carolina possess the proper intel to refute what Washington leaders and our national media are all saying about Iran’s nuclear capabilities?”
That’s easy. They’re all full of crap.
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Virtually everything our leaders told us about the supposed “threat” posed by Iraq was either a lie or a drastic exaggeration to garner public support for a war that was unnecessary, in hindsight. These are the same leaders who lied about or exaggerated the immediate need for the $787 billion Wall Street bailout or “TARP” to fix our economy, as that criminal piece of legislation passes its one year mark having accomplished nothing.
I opposed the war in Iraq and TARP for the same reason—I am accustomed to politicians telling any lie necessary to get what they want, and find more truth in first examining their wants than getting caught up in the lies they find necessary to achieve them. In Iraq, I knew the neoconservatives who ran the Bush administration had been aching to invade that country long before 9/11, something they made clear on numerous occasions. I watched them manipulate facts, twist logic and shamelessly use the terrorist attacks as their public excuse for their war, knowing full well it was never their private inspiration. Since Iraq, this same crowd has had their heart set on invading Iran, something they have also made clear on numerous occasions. When last week Iran admitted the existence of a second uranium enrichment facility, it quickly – and predictably – became 2002 and “WMDs” all over again.
And our leaders’ duplicity is staggering. Just this summer, dissidents in Iran took to the streets posing a serious challenge to the ruling regime and American neoconservatives chastised Obama for not coming out strongly in their support. Why should our government have supported the dissidents? Because if things worsened, the US would have assumed a degree of moral responsibility for the deteriorating conditions, which could have resulted in American boots on the ground in Iran. Now the same leaders who pretended to support the opposition to Iran’s ruling regime are the staunchest endorsers of sanctions, which would punish the very same dissidents. Or as opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi told the Washington Post: “Sanctions would not affect the government but would impose many hardships upon the people, who suffer enough as a result of the calamity of their insane rulers.”
Again, our politicians’ wants dictate their arguments and their current rhetoric on Iran intentionally is leading to war, occupation and permanent US entrenchment. We’ve heard this all before. WMDs? Iraq behind 9/11? Saddam, the “next Hitler?” It was all bogus. Iran has nuclear weapons? Tehran poses a threat to the US? Ahmadinejad is the “next Hitler?” Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi puts it best: “The real question for the United States and its citizens should be whether or not Iran constitutes a serious danger and whether the threat level mandates Washington’s launching of another war on the heels of two unsuccessful forays into the Muslim world. Many Americans might also observe that the cost of such a journey into darkness would have catastrophic effect on a crumbling US economy. One could reasonably ask why Congress and the media seem intent on setting the US on a path that can only lead to war, a conflict that could easily have consequences that would gravely damage the United States and its people.
Remember the WMD, pilotless drones, chemical weapon labs, and mushroom clouds? The same song is being sung again, but this time everyone should recognize a con job when they see it coming.”
But my greatest fear is that too few Americans see the same con job coming. Conservatives who see a socialist conspiracy behind every move Obama makes are still incapable of believing government could ever conspire to take us to war, and liberals who were once antiwar will give their hero Obama the benefit of the doubt, as both parties dish out the same crap that got us into Iraq. And I hate to say it, but Americans have far more to fear from government leaders who get excited over the idea of Iran having WMDs than Iran actually having WMDs.