“Cheney Pushes Bush to Act on Iran.” That’s the headline of a very frightening article by Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in the London Guardian. Sub-heads:
· Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out
· President ‘not prepared to leave conflict unresolved’
What a nightmare Dick Cheney is visiting on our planet! Isn’t it time we awaken to the fact that he’s a crazed monster egging on a vain, cruel, delusional religious fanatic of a president as he inflicts incalculable suffering on the Middle East, sacrificing American blood and treasure in the process? Of course many of us have awakened to that fact, one reason why 54% of us want to see Cheney impeached. Yet he’s still there, operating in his highly secretive fashion, gaining rather than losing influence according to MacAskill and Borger.
“The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months,” they write. They cite a “well-placed source in Washington” as stating “Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.” The source also states, “The balance has tilted [ towards the advocates of an attack on Iran]. There is cause for concern.”
Surely that concern is felt among the highest ranks of the military as well as the average citizen whom polls indicate feels no enthusiasm for the planned assault. But Congress has cooperated fully by passing every bill or resolution against Iran backed by the horrifically influential AIPAC lobby. Recall how Nancy Pelosi omitted a requirement for Congressional authorization of any Iran attack from legislation at the Lobby’s behest?
The prospect of yet another war-based-on-lies boggles the rational mind. But according to the Guardian, there was a meeting between Bush, Cheney, and Pentagon and State Department officials on Iran last month, and Bush sided with Cheney when the latter “expressed frustration at the lack of progress” on Iran. That is to say, lack of progress in moving ahead with the bombing of Iran. Undersecretary of State Nick Burns, the key State Department official responsible for Iran and an advocate of negotiation, indicated at the meeting that diplomatic talks with Iran would probably continue beyond the end of Bush’s term. For Bush and Cheney that is unacceptable, especially because they don’t believe the next administration will have the guts to bomb.
Patrick Cronin, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies suggested to the Guardian that Israel is calling the shots. “If Israel is adamant it will attack, the US will have to take decisive action. The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself.” According to the Washington source, the administration is “reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway.”
The handwriting is on the wall here. All these reports from unnamed sources about Iranian support for Iraqi “insurgents” of this or that faction. The display with much fanfare of captured weapons in Iraq identified as of Iranian manufacture. All these confident allusions to a nuclear weapons program Iran denies exists, for which the IAEA finds no evidence. All these assertions that Iran plans to cause a second Holocaust through a nuclear attack on Israel. Norman Podhoretz’s Wall Street Journal op-ed piece praying for the U.S. to bomb Iran. John McCain’s crooning “Bomb-bomb-bomb Iran.” The disinformation, distortion, even vilification of Iran in popular culture. The propaganda barrage is reminiscent of that which preceded the criminal invasion of Iraq.
The uniform support for keeping an attack “on the table” among nearly all presidential candidates. The incessant arm-twisting of governments to back sanctions on Iran. The abuse of the IAEA, forced by a majority vote to find Iran “in non-compliance” with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The huge naval buildup in the Persian Gulf. The provocative arrest of Iranian diplomats in Iraq, protested by the Iraqi puppet government itself. The demand that Iran renounce its legal right to enrich uranium—a demand designed to be rejected and to constitute a pretext for regime change. The handwriting is written in big conspicuous letters on the wall.
That doesn’t mean the attack cannot be stopped. How to do so? By not giving Cheney/Bush the remainder of their term. If 54% want Cheney impeached, he should be impeached. NOW, before he’s allowed to further terrorize the world. Cheney impeachment hearings will weaken Bush and increase the percentage of Americans (now 45%) favoring the president’s own impeachment. All that is required here is political will in a Congress that has seen its approval rating plummet due largely to its failure to stop the administration’s war. Those wishing to reverse that have an easy option: vote to impeach. And while you’re at it, vote to insist on Congress’s exclusive power according to the Constitution to declare war.
GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org