FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

National Security, Iran and Iraq

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

On September 19, the American public was presented with a “White House Discussion Draft” of a Resolution authorizing war on Iraq. As one would expect, it plays to the internationalist bent of the multinational media. We are reminded that Congress in 1998 sought to bring Iraq into “compliance” with its “international obligations.” Just as dutifully, we are asked to remember the suffering of the Kurdish people, at least that suffering imposed by the Hussein regime. We are informed that Iraqi military had the gall to fire back when fired upon, “on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.”. This document in many senses plays into the Wilsonian tradition, cloaking a naked grab for resources and power in the bland garb of UN “peacekeeping”, and serviceably rationalizes yet another military adventure overseas.

World peace notwithstanding, the case made in this Resolution offers no actual substantiation of Iraqi ability to directly attack US citizens within US borders. The Discussion Draft claims that “Iraq remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations, thereby continuing to threaten the national security interests of the United States”. National Security is one of the most flexible phrases in the lexicon of the post-Constitutional era, encompassing both U.S. military colonies (“bases”) and oil fields and machinery in scores of countries. Rarely is it used to address actual people living inside our borders, however.

So, instead of producing actual evidence of an attempted Iraqi attack on US territory, the Administration resorts to standard techniques of invective and defamation. Hussein, according to the current President, is “evil” and “hates”. Bush also claims that Stalin is Hussein’s hero. Perhaps while the Iraqis think of ways to flout more UN dicta, Tariq Aziz can call a press conference and make some claims regarding Nazi connections with US Intelligence Services, and then we can cap the whole affair off with a break dance contest.

But I digress. We all know that isn’t how the game is played on this level. The US is even now determining what payoff the Russians require, how many Muslims the Chinese want to exterminate, how much of Iraq Turkey would like to annex in the name of “democracy in the region.” Our masters — it is time we stop calling them our leaders or our representatives — envision a world managed by oil lobbyists, a world order enforced by remote-controlled bombing runs.

Curiously, there may be some outside Iraq who object to this. Intractable, maniacal regimes wanting to work out better terms for their capitulation. Michael Ledeen’s “Iran, Afghanistan, and Us”, a September 9th National Review Online piece that urges war on Iran as soon as possible, addresses the problems posed by those rogues in Tehran.

Ledeen begins the piece with a tacit defense of the assumption that preemptive war is the God-given right of empire, warning darkly of Iranian “doomsday scientists” working feverishly to demonstrate Iranian nuclear capability by the end of the year. If one believes Ledeen, these tests represent “impending threats to our national security.” The tests, coupled with “our whole vision for Afghanistan” being thwarted by assassination attempts on Hamid Karzai by “forces sponsored, organized, and armed by Iran”, justify taking a close look at taking what the kids call preventive action against those radicals in Tehran. In Ledeen’s phrasing, “it is only proper, since Iran is the mother of all modern terrorism, the great engine of terror in the region, and the sworn enemy of the United States.”

Ledeen is a serious man, and his rhetoric is serious to the point of histrionics. A cursory overview of history indicates that Iran has played ball with the US quite often, though not with the predictability of an official client state. We can justly give thanks to Iran for the outcome of the 1980 Presidential election, for example. More recently, Iran’s government has even cooperated in the War on Terror, by supplying a warm body or two with alleged Al Qaeda allegiances.

Michael Ledeen, like Walt Whitman, is not opposed to contradicting himself. Thus it shouldn’t surprise the reader that he espouses contradictions about our knowledge of Iran within the same paragraph. In sequence, Ledeen claims that our intelligence vis-a-vis Iran is “modest”, then goes on to assert that “some of our top officials seem oddly determined not to know what is going on there”. After arguably hinting that elements in the US government harbor an almost treasonous allegiance to Tehran, Ledeen then goes on to make the predictable linkage between the Iranian government and terrorist attacks against Israel (Stopping terrorist attacks against Israel, as we know, was first established by President Chester A. Arthur as a top priority of United States “national security”).

And there’s that phrase again, meaningless yet always with us, beyond the pale of questioning. Yet another third rail, yet another topic beyond the boundaries of acceptable discussion. Another nail in the coffin of our so-called representative democracy. And still, there are those among us who believe the Bush Administration and the rest of the War Party are behaving in good faith.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI, a Spokane, Washington freelance writer, can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

 

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail