By David Swanson
Six years ago Congressman Virgil Goode helped to frighten and defraud the nation into a disastrous war in Iraq that has gotten worse each year since then, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Now Goode is helping to push similar scary stories about Iran in an effort that appears aimed at dragging us into another war, and nobody has asked him about it.
Goode is a cosponsor of a resolution in Congress called H Con Res 362, the lengthy title of which expresses fear of “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.” Hmm. This from the world’s biggest possessor of nuclear weapons, the only nation ever to have used nuclear weapons, a nation making frequent use of depleted uranium weapons, and — speaking of hegemony — the nation occupying the two countries to the east and west of Iran. Apparently irony, if not wisdom, is alive and well in Washington.
While Goode’s resolution makes no mention of it, the November 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) reported that Iran had abandoned its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003. And if you don’t want to believe U.S. spies, the International Atomic Energy Agency has consistently said there is no evidence of diversion of nuclear materials in Iran for a nuclear weapons program.
Of course, Iranian leaders would have to be insane NOT to be pursuing nuclear weapons given the examples of what happened to Iraq and what didn’t happen to North Korea, but they are years away from having them, and the most likely way to prevent their acquisition – according to both the NIE and common sense – would be to keep inspectors in Iran. U.S. threats and provocations are boosting support in Iran for a militaristic leader. Bombing Iran would do the same. It’s worth remembering that the inspections worked in Iraq. When inspectors could find nothing, Bush ordered them out of Iraq and announced that he would bomb Baghdad if Saddam Hussein did not resign and leave the country (a completely new demand, the much-repeated demand to disarm having finally proved nonsensical).
Possession of weapons, however, is not grounds for war. The US has more of them than any other nation. And nuclear energy is not the same thing as nuclear weaponry. In 1976 President Gerald Ford offered Iran the nuclear technology it is now trying to develop. In 2003, Iran proposed negotiations with the United States with everything on the table, including its nuclear technology, but Bush refused. Why?
The likely Bush-Cheney motivation for attacking Iran was laid out in 2000 by the Project for a New American Century, and as early as 1992 in defense planning guidance — written for then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney by then-Pentagon staffers I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, World Bank Chief Paul Wolfowitz, and ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad.
The people promoting an attack on Iran are the same ones who lied to us about Iraq. And they’ve been lying to us about Iran for many months, including claiming that Iran kicked out IAEA inspectors, which the IAEA denied; claiming North Korea was helping Iran with nukes, which N Korea denied and evidence refuted; and blaming incidents in Iraq on Iranian-trained fighters – claims that the facts have conflicted with.
Aiding a nation against a foreign invasion is, by the way, not grounds for war. The US aided France against Germany. If the motivation for attacking Iran was aid to Iraqi resisters, the U.S. would be attacking Saudi Arabia.
Attacking Iran would result in catastrophic loss of life and environmental damage for Iranians, Israelis, Iraqis, Americans, and others. But the resolution Goode is cosponsoring pushes in the direction of nothing other than war.
H Con Res 362 would impose sanctions so severe that diplomacy would be rendered extremely difficult. Bush would be urged to initiate an international effort “prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.” This would make talks with Iran much less likely.
And, while H Con Res 362 claims not to authorize force, it urges measures that can only be accomplished by force, including “imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran.” That can hardly be done without a naval and land blockade, which is an act of war.
Why has no one asked Goode about this position?
Didn’t Bush once say something about people who allow themselves to be fooled more than once?