January 30, 2012

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts—former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration—suggests that the whole Iran nuclear-weapons crisis is a hoax. Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker articles over the years lean toward a similar conclusion, especially his recent “Iran and the Bomb.”

On January 22, Bill Keller, former New York Times executive editor and now an op-ed columnist, let his bad conscience about Iraq bring him to his senses. He wrote an oh-so-witty column called “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb-Bomb-Iran?” He followed up the same day with a blog entry entitled “How About Not Bombing Iran?

Yet everybody goes their merry way, continuing to enable the contagion of hysteria. Under Peace Prize Obama, the disastrous Bush/Cheney greater Mideast foreign policy has been carried forward, expanded, and upgraded to outlandish proportions. All elements have been put in place to start a new shooting war in the Middle East which might collaterally blow the fragile, debt-ridden world economy to kingdom come. The Persian Gulf would become a war zone. World oil prices might skyrocket.

It makes perfect sense in view of the American election cycle. A war president is almost a cinch for reelection. War is a great distraction. It transforms the president from a mountebank into a hero.

Not to be outflanked, Republican candidates have eagerly jumped onto the war wagon. Dr. Ron Paul is a notable exception to the current crop of Republican zanies. Dr. Paul pointed out during the NBC debate on Monday, January 23rd:

Mitt said he would go to war, but you have to think about the preliminary act that might cause them [the Iranians] to want to close the Straits [sic] of Hormuz. And that’s a blockade. We’re blockading them….[T]he act of war has already been committed….You have to put this into perspective. But this whole idea that we have to go to war—because we have already committed an act of war by blockading the country….I don’t see. We have too many wars and people want to come home, and they certainly do not want a hot war in Iran right now.

Paul is correct in the sense that economic and financial sanctions in themselves are acts of war. A coordinated embargo of Iranian oil would require a full-scale naval blockade.

But except for Ron Paul, both Republicans and Democrats are talking tough about Iran in this election year. They are also talking stupid. Regardless of political party, that’s the official US stance on Iran—tough and stupid.



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