US gets Ahmadinejitters again
In today’s America, Iran is considered to be Public Enemy Number One by many, and there is a simple explanation for this: the Iranian nuclear program and the country’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are on everyone's lips, be they a politician or a pundit.US Senator John McCain assures on CBS News that “Iran, it continues to develop nuclear weapons."He is echoed by another senator, Joe Lieberman, who told Fox News that "They’re controlled by a fanatical regime."Both US officials are beating the drums of war. Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton harangued on Fox News that, in his opinion, "We are past the point of no return in the sense that Iran does have inside the country everything it needs to produce a nuclear weapon.”That point of no return is often exaggerated according to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. His in-depth articles – recently one in the New Yorker – have illustrated time and time again the lack of evidence of a nuclear threat from Iran. The rhetoric, though, has resulted in widespread support for harsh actions against the country."We support a sanctions program that’s designed to stop, the punishment is aimed at stopping the Iranians from doing something we know they’re not doing,” Seymour Hersh claims.Sanctions on Iran have been repeatedly called for by the Obama administration."So let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies,” publicly declared Obama. Hersh compares President Obama’s attitude towards Iran to Bush and Cheney’s policy toward Iraq."They wanted to punish, to make a case against Iraq, they didn’t like their politics. So they made a case about nuclear weapons – if you remember they were talking about mushroom clouds – make the case that would go to war,” Hersh explains.And exactly as America went on war with Iraq, it could do so with Iran, too, if the rhetoric of the American neo-con establishment becomes reality.A former US Marine and Irish-American anti-war activist Ken O’Keefe warns that "Iran is in a perilous position and it’s obvious that the crosshairs are on them squarely." If anyone wants to know how it would begin, look no further than those hoping to have their finger on the button.Four years ago, on the very same CBS News, John McCain mocked "You know that old Beach Boys song…Bomb, Bomb, Bomb."And history in fact does repeat itselfюA candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, has already blurted that the "Greatest threat to security of the world is a nuclear Iran.”"Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan than the Iraqis and the Afghans have,” browbeats US Senator Rick Santorum.This was at last month’s GOP presidential debate in Iowa.Republican contender Michele Bachmann has declared that Iran is "One of the four state sponsors of terror in the world."Only one candidate strayed from the script – Texan Congressman Ron Paul. He said "Just think of how many nuclear weapons surround Iran. The Chinese are there. The Indians are there. The Pakistanis are there. The Israelis are there. The United States is there. Why wouldn't it be natural if they might want a weapon? Internationally, they might be given more respect.”But one man given very little respect on US soil is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, number one villain for so many. Those who rally just outside the UN headquarters are sure that “he’s worse than Hitler”.Last year the group united against a nuclear Iran put these posters up all over New York City, perpetuating the idea of a hostile Iran.Anti-war activist Brian Becker says that "Even while the rest of the economy is sinking, the military industrial complex grows and grows, in other words, war is good business."But it may also be good business to take a closer look at the way the narrative unfolds this time around to ask, when you hear the drums of war beating once again, if it is a matter of precaution and preparedness or simply propaganda.