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Pushing for War on Iran

May 23rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Congressional hawks want war. Bipartisan support backs it. Moderates outnumber hotheads. At issue is for how long.

Saber rattling, fear mongering, and bogus accusations persisted for years. Now it's showing up in legislation. More on that below.

Possibly a false flag will ignite another Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for "the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States."

At high-anxiety times, options often dwindle to war. Knee-jerk congressional support authorizes it with no formal declaration. The Constitution's Article 1, Section 8 mandates it.

It hasn't been declared since December 8, 1941. Why bother when presidential diktats send Americans to war with no congressional opposition.

Threats don't exist so they're invented. False flag attacks masquerade as real ones. Body counts rise exponentially. Buildings and other facilities topple like tenpins.

When people realize they've been had, it's too late. They never learn. No matter how often they're fooled, they're easily deceived again. Once a damn fool, always one. Relying on scoundrel media for news and information makes it easy.

Television is worst of all. Print managed news also omits what people most need to know and distorts the rest.

Ahead of the May 18 and 19 G8 meeting and NATO Chicago summit, a New York Times editorial headlined, "NATO and Afghanistan," saying:

Washington claims "real progress" against Taliban forces. In fact, things are out-of-control. Pentagon officials quietly admit the war was lost years ago.

Even The Times was skeptical, saying the "Taliban continue to strike with impunity. Central and local governments are riddled with corruption."

Violence rages. Afghan forces may be more foe than friend. Overwhelming popular sentiment wants America and coalition partners out.

The Times urged pressing on, saying:

"NATO must keep pummeling the Taliban....There is little chance that France’s new president, François Hollande, will reverse his ill-considered pledge to pull out all French combat troops by the end of this year."

Times editorials and commentaries cheerlead imperial US wars and others planned. They back regime change in Syria and Iran. They turn a blind eye to democratic values and rule of law principles.

They're silent on America's support for despots. They oppose independent governments Washington doesn't control. They support making the world safe for capital. They don't track body counts and vast destruction.

War rages in Afghanistan. Out-of-control violence, instability, and human misery wrack Iraq and Libya. Conflicts continue in Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. America's directly or indirectly involved in them all.

Times editorials and commentaries support more. They want governments in Syria and Iran toppled by any means. International law prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other nations except in self-defense if attacked.

Vital issues aren't explained. Whatever Washington wants gets support, especially when it comes to war. Commentaries read like Pentagon handouts. Fraudulent threats are hyped. Wars often follow. Are Syria and Iran next?

On May 18, the House passed HR 4310: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Senate consideration comes next. Rep. Dennis Kucinich urged colleagues to vote no.

He warned about Sections 1221 and 1222. They target Iran. They're for offense, not defense.

Section 1221: Declaration of Policy

"(1) Iran, which has long sought to foment instability and promote extremism in the Middle East, is now seeking to exploit the dramatic political transition underway in the region to undermine governments traditionally aligned with the United States and support extremist political movements in these countries.

(2) At the same time, Iran may soon attain a nuclear weapons capability, a development that would threaten United States interests, destabilize the region, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower and embolden Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provide it the tools to threaten its neighbors, including Israel.

(3) With the assistance of Iran over the past several years, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas have increased their stockpiles of rockets, with more than 60,000 rockets now ready to be fired at Israel. Iran continues to add to its arsenal of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, which threaten Iran’s neighbors, Israel, and United States Armed Forces in the region.

(4) Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is among the most urgent national security challenges facing the United States.

(5) Successive United States administrations have stated that an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

(6) President Obama stated on January 24, 2012, ‘Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.'

(7) In order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the United States, in cooperation with its allies, must utilize all elements of national power including diplomacy, robust economic sanctions, and credible, visible preparations for a military option.

(8) Nevertheless, to date, diplomatic overtures, sanctions, and other non-kinetic actions toward Iran have not caused the Government of Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

(9) With the impact of additional sanctions uncertain, additional pressure on the Government of Iran could come from the credible threat of military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

(b) Declaration of Policy- It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon."

Section 1222: United States Military Preparedness in the Middle East

"(1) military exercises conducted in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman emphasize the United States resolve and the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b) by enhancing the readiness of the United States military and allied forces, as well as signaling to the Government of Iran the commitment of the United States to defend its vital national security interests;" and

"(2) the President, as Commander in Chief, should augment the presence of the United States Fifth Fleet in the Middle East and to conduct military deployments, exercises, or other visible, concrete military readiness activities to underscore the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b)."

"(b) Plan-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense shall prepare a plan to augment the presence of the United States Fifth Fleet in the Middle East and to conduct military deployments, exercises, or other visible, concrete military readiness activities to underscore the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b)."

"(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED- The plan required under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum, steps necessary for the Armed Forces to support the policy of the United States described in section 1221(b), including--

(A) pre-positioning sufficient supplies of aircraft, munitions, fuel, and other materials for both air- and sea-based missions at key forward locations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean;

(B) maintaining sufficient naval assets in the region necessary to signal United States resolve and to bolster United States capabilities to launch a sustained sea and air campaign against a range of Iranian nuclear and military targets, to protect seaborne shipping, and to deny Iranian retaliation against United States interests in the region;

(C) discussing the viability of deploying at least two United States aircraft carriers, an additional large deck amphibious ship, and a Mine Countermeasures Squadron in the region on a continual basis, in support of the actions described in subparagraph (B); and

(D) conducting naval fleet exercises similar to the United States Fifth Fleet’s major exercise in the region in March 2007 to demonstrate ability to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and to counter the use of anti-ship missiles and swarming high-speed boats."

On the House floor, Kucinich said:

"If you want peace, you prepare for peace. If you want war, you prepare for war. The NDAA prepares for war against Iran."

"It calls for pre-positioning planes, bombs, ships, munitions and for naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz. This is not about defense. This is about offense."

"I was a third string quarterback on not a very good varsity football team and I know the difference between defense and offense. We’re preparing to go on offense on Iran which does not have nuclear weapons and has no intention or real capability to attack the United States."

"We're about to make the same disastrous mistake we made against Iraq. This bill does not explicitly authorize war, perhaps, but that's beside the point. It’s licensing it. It sets the stage for it in an election year."

"Wake up, Congress."

On March 1, HR 568 was introduced. It expresses the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons "capability."

On March 17, it passed. On February 16, a comparable Senate bill was introduced. So far, no action was taken. Expect easy passage ahead.

Ron Paul said some of his House colleagues believe the legislation amounts to "Congressional approval for the use of military force against Iran."

HR 568 states:

"Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) warns that time is limited to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;

(2) urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran to secure an agreement with the Government of Iran that includes--

(A) the full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities;

(B) complete cooperation with the IAEA on all outstanding questions related to Iran’s nuclear activities, including--

(i) the implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; and

(ii) the verified end of Iran’s ballistic missile programs; and

(C) a permanent agreement that verifiably assures that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful;

(3) expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the Iranian people;

(4) affirms that it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;

(5) strongly supports United States policy to prevent the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;

(6) rejects any policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran; and

(7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat."

On April 14 and 15, Iran nuclear talks were held. Istanbul hosted so-called P5+1 countries plus Tehran. They include the five permanent Security Council members - America, Russia, China, Britain, and France plus Germany.

On May 23, Baghdad will host a second round. Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed hope for resolving contentious issues successfully. His optimism appears unwarranted.

Washington's Israeli envoy, Dan Shapiro, said US plans to attack Iran are "fully available" either alone or jointly with Israel.

America "guarantee(s) that the military option is ready and available to the president at the moment he decides to use it."

Shapiro's comments reflect what Iran will confront in Baghdad and henceforth. Its program is peaceful. Washington and Israel claim otherwise. Credible evidence contradicts them.

Iran won't relinquished its Nuclear Non-Proliferations Treaty rights, nor should it. Deadlock, not resolution looks likely. HR 568 and its Senate version advances things closer to war. Instead of lowering tensions, they're heightened.

Citing an Iranian nuclear weapons "capability" as a pretext for war way oversteps reason. All nations with peaceful nuclear programs have "capability" to produce weapons.

Nuclear expert Helen Caldicott calls nuclear power plants atom bomb factories. A 1000 megawatt reactor produces 500 pounds of plutonium annually. Only 10 are needed for a bomb able to devastate a large city and spread permanent radiation contamination.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said HR 568 "reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war." He left unsaid his key role in launching it and earlier complicity in the Gulf War as Joint Chiefs chairman under GHW Bush.

HR 568 and HR 4310 undermine diplomacy. They advance the ball closer to war. Readiness and threats make bombs away more likely. A false flag attack blamed on Iran could cinch it.

On May 16, an EU Times article said FBI agent Stephen Ivens told Russian San Francisco Consulate General envoy Vladimir Vinokruov about "an impending terror attack on US soil." He called operatives behind it "insane."

America relies often on false flags. September 11, 2011 was the mother of them all. Perhaps another major one's coming.

Given Washington's rage for war, why not. Syria and Iran are prime targets. Both countries know the threat.

Everyone must understand the potential grave consequences. Officials willing to risk them are too irresponsible to lead.

When policy becomes insanity, the cost exceeds what any responsible leader should pay. At issue today is survival.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour.

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