Monday, December 17, 2007


Another Peace Scare

Boy, That Was Close



The US intelligence community’s new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) — “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities” — makes a point of saying up front (in bold type): “This NIE does not assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons.” The report goes on to state: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.”

Isn’t that good news, that Iran isn’t about to attack the United States or Israel with nuclear weapons? Surely everyone is thrilled that the horror and suffering that such an attack — not to mention an American or Israeli retaliation or pre-emptive attack — would bring to this sad old world. Here are some of the happy reactions from American leaders:

Senate Republicans are planning to call for a congressional commission to investigate the NIE’s conclusion that Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

National Security Adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said: The report “tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates “argued forcefully at a Persian Gulf security conference … that U.S. intelligence indicates Iran could restart its secret nuclear weapons program ‘at any time’ and remains a major threat to the region.”

John R. Bolton, President Bush’s former ambassador to the United Nations and pit bull of the neo-conservatives, dismissed the report with: “I’ve never based my view on this week’s intelligence.”

And Bush himself added: “Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. The NIE says that Iran had a hidden — a covert nuclear weapons program. That’s what it said. What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program? … Nothing has changed in this NIE that says, ‘Okay, why don’t we just stop worrying about it?’ Quite the contrary. I think the NIE makes it clear that Iran needs to be taken seriously. My opinion hasn’t changed.”

Hmmm. Well, maybe the reaction was more positive in Israel. Here’s a report from Uri Avnery, a leading Israeli columnist: “The earth shook. Our political and military leaders were all in shock. The headlines screamed with rage. … Shouldn’t we be overjoyed? Shouldn’t the masses in Israel be dancing in the streets? After all, we have been saved! … Lo and behold — no bomb and no any-minute-now. The wicked Ahmadinejad can threaten us as much as he wants — he just has not got the means to harm us. Isn’t that a reason for celebration? So why does this feel like a national disaster?”

We have to keep this in mind — America, like Israel, cherishes its enemies. Without enemies, the United States is a nation without purpose and direction

Here for the record is a brief summary of Washington’s charming history:

Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected; successful a majority of the time.

Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

Dropped bombs on the people of some 30 countries.

Helped to suppress dozens of populist/nationalist movements


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