Admiral William Fallon’s resignation as CENTCOM commander and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s handling of same is the greatest and most public break in the Bush team’s handling of preparations for war against Iran that we are ever likely to see. Gates has in fact publicly associated himself with the resignation by saying it was the right thing for Fallon to do, and Gates said he had accepted the resignation without telling Bush first. To repeat, “Hurrah” is the only thing everyone who opposes a U.S. attack on Iran should be shouting right now.
On March 8, 2009, we wrote the following on these pages:
“Since the present group of Republicans and copycat Democrats in Congress refuses to impeach Bush and Cheney, the danger of a war against Iran instigated by the U.S. and Israel remains real. The overextended state of U.S. ground forces, and Bush’s probable willingness to treat at least small nuclear weapons as ordinary weapons, mean that a war would possibly not be a ground war at all, but would begin with large air attacks and early use of nuclear weapons. While the longer term results of using nuclear weapons would be utterly disastrous, both for the world and for the U.S., the immediate results might be seen as a quick and cheap victory for the U.S. If the apparent military victory occurred before the November 2008 U.S. election, it would probably guarantee a Republican electoral victory. Given Bush’s interest in his own place in history, such a scenario could easily appeal to his gambling instincts.
Noise, and lots of it, seems to be the only weapon we have to make it less likely that such a scenario actually happens. Let’s make that noise, do it globally, and do it every day. Pound out the message through every medium we can access, including music and literature, that ordinary people around the world DO NOT WANT THE U.S. AND ISRAEL TO KILL A SINGLE PERSON IN IRAN, regardless of the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The dangers cited in the two paragraphs above are still there. It is more important than ever that every man and woman among us gets out on the streets and makes every bit of noise we are capable of.
Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.
Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 35 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.
They can both be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.