FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Pounding the War Drums Against Iran

I watched another news program today—this one on MSNBC—with Dylan Ratigan shouting into the camera that if Iran shuts down the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 per cent of the world’s oil flows, it is an act of war.

That’s true.

However, like most everything we watch on news programs, history does not begin with the latest reaction of someone who feels aggrieved.  Much like a football referee seeing only the last fist flying, blind to the first punch, the retaliating party is the one who gets the penalty.

With many other Americans, I’ve been watching the buildup to another war in the Middle East—this one with Iran.  And it scares me to death.  The President lays more and more sanctions on Iran because of fears of its nuclear program—fears that it might by, in Condee Rice’s terminology, “a mushroom cloud.”  Forgive me for comparing the language of today with what we heard just before George W. Bush gave the order to invade Iraq.

But just like the run-up to the Iraq War, we are being pushed by pro-Israeli supporters here in America into doing Israel’s dirty work.  Then, when the final butcher’s bill is paid—by American blood and American money—the government of Israel sits back and denies having anything to do with the war.  And American politicians will allow them to sell this denial.

Just as Saddam Hussein was a danger only to his own population, Iran has no means or reason to start a war against anyone in the Middle East, especially Israel.  As mouthy as Ahmedinejad is, Iran has no offensive capability.  If it is developing a nuclear warhead, and even the IAEA is not certain about it, the mullahs who run Iran are not crazy enough to use such a weapon without causing their entire nation—including themselves–to be destroyed by Israel’s 200 plus nuclear warheads.

Iran has a small navy, although a large number of soldiers, no air force to speak of, and, I repeat here, no offensive capability.  What worries Israel is the fear that Iran will prevent Israel from achieving hegemony over the entire Arab World.  Israel fears Iran’s allies, such as Hizbollah in Lebanon, and Syria, and now Shiite Iraq, all of them preventing Israel from controlling any of those neighbors.

Israel also fears a slowdown of Jewish immigrants to Israel and tourists to Israel, all reacting to the drumbeat of fear begun by Israel itself.

What worries me is that Barack Obama is so afraid of the Israeli Lobby that he will do virtually anything to secure the Jewish vote this year.  Every time he is accused of being soft on Iran, he increases his anti-Iran actions another notch.   It would be nice to know that he fears the American people, who are sick and tired of paying for Middle East wars, more than he does the Israeli Lobby.  But the Lobby knows what the Republican Congress has learned just a couple of years ago–pressure works on our President.

Like many people I know, I pray for some political courage on Barack Obama’s part, primarily to keep us out of a war, but even more, keeping us out of the grasp of the crazies who run the Republican Party.

JAMES ABOUREZK is a former U.S. Senator who practices law in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He is the author of Advise and Dissent, a memoir of his life in South Dakota and in the U.S. Senate.  He can be reached atgeorgepatton45@gmail.com.

More articles by:

James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail