Daniel R. DePetris: The Political Docket

Neocon Stupidity At It’s Finest; The Players Who Want to Bomb Iran

Posted in Iran by Dan on February 12, 2010

As I was scrolling through the internet today, I happened to discover a fascinating article by David Kenner- associate editor of foreignpolicy.com- detailing the list of major players across the country who are advocating for regime change in Iran.  Of course, the list has its fair share of Bushy’s, such as former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Daniel Pipes of the Hoover Institution.  But to my surprise, journalists and editors were included in Kenner’s list of characters; the same journalists and editors who are supposedly hired to give the American public a fair and objective news cycle.

Naturally, bombing Iran into a submissive state and overthrowing the Islamic regime is not exactly an original idea.  The Bush administration was mulling towards a preventive strike in 2006 and 2007, and many of the same people who were supportive of the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq are now carrying their message of regime-change to Iran (thankfully, we have U.S. officials and academics like Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Harvard Professor Stephen Walt to defend the other side).  You can read Kenner’s article in its entirety right here.

But with Iran recently announcing its decision to produce higher-grade uranium for the flailing Tehran Research Reactor, the “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” crowd has started to gain an added weight to their cause.  Polls even suggest that a solid portion of Americans are in favor of military action against Ahmadinejad and his Iranian cohorts.

What all of these people fail to realize is the Iranian population’s determination in building a nuclear program of their own. The uranium enrichment process is not just supported by a few elite Revolutionary Guard Commanders…nor is it solely advanced and protected by Ahmadinejad and his conservative allies in the Iranian Government. All Iranians- regardless of political affiliation or ideological intrigue- are standing up for their nuclear rights under the NPT.

Mousavi, Karroubi, and former President Khatami- the most powerful members of the Green Movement- have said so themselves. In fact, it was Mousavi that publicly opposed last fall’s nuclear plan by the United Nations; a political move that all but forced Ahmadinejad to back off his original decision to accept the deal “in principle.”

So with most people viewing the nuclear program as an inherent part of Iranian nationalism, it seems more than counterproductive to launch a preventive air-strike.  Doing so would only strengthen a regime that is struggling to survive in the face of popular discontent.  And even if a military strike was successful, it would only boost Iranian resolve to restart the program well into the future and hide facilities deeper into the mountains and bunkers.  Adding insult to injury, Iran would probably react much the same way as any other nation whose sovereignty was violated; withdraw from the NPT and shut out the international community completely.

It appears that neoconservatives don’t understand the basics of the debate. Do your homework and maybe your ideology will gain some credibility.

I (among others) am starting to feel like a broken record.

-Daniel R. DePetris

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  1. Maigari said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    It is always intriguing that US Policy seems to be driven by failed experts! When many of those experts were pushing for the topppling of Saddam, all manner of lies were fabricated against the dictator. The US Secretary of State even lied to the UN about the Iraqi WMD programme. The end result? Over a million Iraqi casualties, a preponderant majority simple civilians caught up in viciuos war on terror they knew nothing about. To compound the situation, an ethno-sectarian shcism has torn Iraqis apart and the US is unlikely to settle that ever.

    It is indisputable that Iran cannot stand up to the US in an open war but this will only confirm the suspicion that the US war on terror is really a war against Islam. All the Sunni/Shiah rancour raked up by the propagandist of the US will not prevent rational human beings from reaching this conclusion – including your so-called consevative and dictatorial allies – Saudis and Egyptians. After the bombing, then what? A ground force to occupy Iran on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia? Come to think of it, Iran has not been a part of AlQaeda or Taliban; in fact they are mortal enemies, yet to satisfy Israel, the US is getting ready to open up a third battle front on flimsy excuses in a MUSLIM country. So much for liberty and freedom.

  2. Betz55 said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Israel and the AIPAC driven fear mongering that is allowed to happen in the US media are the ones trumpeting the so called Iran threat.

    Iran is not threat to the US. The Iran issue is 100% Israeli created.
    When Iranian nukes are mentioned the double standard with Israel should be immedietly pointed out.

    Israel pre-emptively invades their neighbors and is the unstable, belligerent, aggressive, apartheid force in the Middle East.

    Demonizing and warmongering Iran to protect Israel is wrong. Again, the Iranian ‘issue’ is 100% Israeli.

    Unlike Iran, Israel simply has way too much to hide and wants to keep it that way.

    When is Israel going to sign the NNPT and allow IAEA inspections ? Which Iran has done.

    The US and Israel want Iranian nuclear transparency? Then Israel better be just as transparent.

    Silence about Israelis nuclear weapons and lack of membership to the NPT while maintaining such harsh rhetoric towards Iran’s nuclear program, which is legally allowed to enrich uranium as a NPT member is an example of the kind of outright double standard BS that the United States has been following in its foreign policy.

    When will Obama hold Israel to the same standards that Israel is demanding of Iran and anyone else who threatens Israel’s hegemonic agenda? Level the nuclear playing field or get rid of it.

    It is in line with Israeli rhetoric to demonize Iran. It takes the focus off them and it’s their intention to agitate elsewhere so the world does not focus on their ulterior hegemonic motives.

    Let’s not forget, whatever Israel accuses another country of doing you can bet they themselves have already done it.

    To wit, Mordecai Vanunu provided info and photos to the London Sunday Times in 1986 about Dimona.

    During the Kennedy years,Israel allowed American nuke scientists to make ‘visits’ to Dimona but these proved to be so ineffective they were eventually discontinued.

    When the scientists were allowed into the plant they were rushed through and never allowed to see what they needed to see to confirm that Israel was not developing nuclear weapons.

    Of course, a full inspection of the Dimona plant would have revealed that this was exactly what Israel was doing.

    Tel Aviv needs to be dealt with before Tehran.

    It is telling that President Ford, in 1976, encouraged Iran (then under the US-backed shah) to build both uranium enrichment as well as plutonium processing plants. How is it that what was permissible then under the 1970 NPT, has now become forbidden – under the very same treaty?

    Because Israel wants nuclear monopoly in the Middle East even as it breaks international law with impunity and no consequences.

    Ahmadinejad is not liked in Tel Aviv because of his strong criticism of the long and brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for a democratic one-state solution for the Middle East conflict, which means that Israel as a “colonial entity” or a “racist sate” will be “wiped off the map” and replaced by a state where Jews and Arabs live side by side peacefully and equally.

    But Israeli officials and their media pundits kept misquoting the Iranian president, who has recently suggested that he even accepted the two-state solution, if it brings justice to all Palestinians.

    Israel will not even deny or admit to its truly “clandestine” nuclear program. If you want to talk about nuclear ambiguity, look to Israel.

    Much of Iran’s willingness to divulge its civilian nuclear program has been exactly that—Iran willingly, and not by any requirement of the NPT, to disclose its nuclear activities.

    Why has Iran crossed the supposed rubicon of trust. Because it is not an ally of the U.S. or Israel.

    Because it may give a terrorist organization a nuclear weapon? These are ignorant and essentialist views that do not stand up to the facts. It’s not Iran that preemptively invades, threatens, taunts, and warmongers their neighbors. That’s Israel

    The Senate approved an Aipac-inspired Iran sanctions bill with only FIVE MINUTES of debate and only three senators on the floor! How’s that for democracy?

    Obama knows that the ‘Iranian threat’ is being used by Israel in the same way it has used other ‘threats’ in the past either to justify what it wants to do or what it does not want to do. We fought their war in Iraq and that is enough.

    • Arvay said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      A splendid and factual account of how this issue has developed and the fact that Iran presents zero threat to our interests.

      We’re actually missing great opportunities to do business with the Iranians, who are an obvious target — not for bombs — but for exports we could use to help our economy. Instead, the Israeli fifth column pressures our cowardly and/or bought-off politicians to ruin our relations with Iran and much of the region’s people while handing the Israeli state some $3 billion per year.

      Israel is, actually, doomed — no matter how much the US backs it. More people leave the place than migrate there, that’s been true for some time now. And there are not enough Jews in the world to guarantee the existence of a Jewish state there. Supporting efforts to maintain this futile effort are a fool’s errand, and the US is the fool here.

      Nothing can prevent Iran from attaining at least “breakout” nuclear capability, an attack will only unite most Iranians behind their government and speed up the effort. Such an attack will also speed up Israel’s demise. When retaliatory missiles land on the facilities US and European companies have erected there, much of Israel’s ability to attract capital will evaporate. So will many of its Jewish residents — who don’t have to live in a war zone in Los Angeles or Amsterdam, where they can find welcome.

      That will leave mainly the hard-core fanatics to play out their Masada fantasy.

    • Sababa03 said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      blah blah and more blah coming from an Islamist.

      • Arvay said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm

        as usual, I’m utterly crushed by your detailed and comprehensive refutation of what I wrote.

        I’m laughing at the term “Arabist,” an outmoded term once applied to State Department officers who resisted the Israelization of American foreign policy. Try something bit more original — how about poo-poo head?

  3. Sababa03 said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Mr Betz55 or whoever your are.
    If Israel would not have been around to blame all their ills and failures, sure enough, Arabs and Islamist Akhoonda in Tehran would have invented one.

    It is not Israel who called for elimination of Iran. It is the other way, Akhmagh-e’-nejad who called on removing Israel.

    Israel’s purported nuclear arsenal have been a public knowledge since early 60′s. All throughout these years, this allegations did not seem to bother, neither its Arab neighbors, (not even Iran until recently), nor the rest of the world.

    Iran’s nuclear program is more concern to Iran’s own Muslim brethren, then to Israel.

    In Israel, the decision to use military power is made through democratic precess of deliberation and consensus. In Iran, such decision is made by ONE 73 year old caricature, who answers to no one except his own delusional fantasy.

    Everyone agrees that, Iranian people deserve to develop nuclear technology. A fanatic religious regime does not. Simply, you can not trust a man whom one day may get up and decide to pull the trigger on Israel, because Allah had revealed to him to do so.

    Israel is not your scapegoat. With or w/o Israel in the region:
    - Shi’ites and Sunnis would still slaughter each other, as they have been doing for 1400 years..
    - Farsis would still loath and look down their nose at the Arabs.
    - Sharia Law of stoning woman because she fell in love with man of her choice, would STILL go on in Iran.
    - Poor and defenseless Iranian people, would STILL be oppressed by this despotic regime.
    - Iranain economical (33% inflation, 22% unemployment), and social unrest would STILL exist. .
    - The Mullahs in Iran would STILL continue with their decadent custom of ta’arrof” of duplicity and pathological lairs.

    • Betz55 said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      Fanatical religious regime? One only has to look to Israel for that and your moldavian thug of an FM Liebermand and Bibi and all those illegal settler terrorists. How do you know what would happen with or without Israel in the region? You don’t.

      Israel’s own actions transform it into a pariah whose driving forces are not the liberal democratic values with which it claims to identify, but ultra-nationalism, racism, religious fanaticism, settler-colonialism and a Jewish supremacist order maintained by frequent massacres. In acting this way Israel increasingly resembles a morally bankrupt, apartheid, oppressive, racist, failed state, not a regime confident about its legitimacy and longevity. Israel, the new Nazi regime and South African apartheid pariah, welfare state. You won’t last long thats for sure.

    • America First said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      It sounds very hypocritical of you to be concerned on what the Iran Syria or others are doing to their own citizens. Better save your protestations for what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

      For the record. Israel occupies their land. Destroys their homes. Builds settlements on the stolen land Uses one tone bombs on densely populated areas in order to get one person whom they consider leader of a palestinian resistance group. Arrests and tortures palestinians that they suspect as organizers of occupation resistors and on and on…

      BUT these are not the issues for America.

      The issue is this
      Why should America provide the support it provides to all these illegal and barbaric activities of Israel ?

      Americas policy should be supporting only activities that are “Legal” fair to every one and to the interest of America.

      Making the Arabs enemies for America in order to support the illegal and barbaric activities of Israel is not smart .

      In the final analysis then one needs to wonder what had gone wrong here and how we go about fixing it.

  4. Perm Dude said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Missing from the argument against the Bomb Iran crowd is the simple fact that Iran lacks the ability to follow through on its threats. They barely reached 5% enrichment on a plant that they can hardly keep open.

    This is typical thinking among that group, who likewise gloss over that Iraq did not in fact have WMD, which was their primary reason for fanning the flames against Hussein in 2002-2003.

    The announcement by Ahmadinejad is intended to bolster his awful standing among the Iranian people (as the idea of being a nuclear power is a powerful and affirming one for Iranians), and to help them approach the next round of negotiations with a perceived stronger hand.

    Since the neo-cons reject diplomacy as a tool of statecraft, it should be no wonder that they look like bumpkins reacting to such a simple diplomatic maneuver as Ahmadinejad’s announcement was.

  5. Mensoelrey said, on February 12, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Good on Foreign Policy for pushing so hard to expose this issue. Bombing Iran is an insane idea, and sanctions on Iran is poorly thought out as well. Pay attention, Barack!

    http://menso.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/sanctions-on-iran-lets-be-daoist-about-it/

  6. eileenfleming said, on February 13, 2010 at 1:14 am

    In 2005, during my first of 7 trips to oPt, Mordechai Vanunu told me, “President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

    “Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection. The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona. The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago.

    “Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground. In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

    “When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

    “Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

    On 24 April 2004, Uri Avnery wrote:

    “This week it became clear that the Americans are full partners in the creation of Israel’s ‘nuclear option’. How was this exposed? With the help of Mordecai Vanunu, of course.

    “The Security Establishment has not stopped harassing him even after he has sat in prison for 18 years, 11 of them in complete solitary confinement – a treatment he himself described on leaving the prison as ‘cruel and barbaric’.

    “After he was ‘set free’, far-reaching restrictions were imposed on him (e.g. he is forbidden to leave the country, is restricted to one town, cannot go near any embassy or consulate, may not talk with foreign citizens). All this under the colonial British emergency regulations that were condemned at the time by the leaders of the Jewish community in Palestine, as ‘worse then the Nazi laws’.

    “Everybody understands that he has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?

    “…it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel’s nuclear armaments.

    “This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for ‘arms control’, Under-Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion.

    “Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power…By the way, this John Bolton is an avid supporter of the group of Zionists neo-cons who play a central role in the Bush theater. He opposes arms control for the United States and its satellites, and was installed in the State Department against the wishes of the Secretary of State himself.”

    Eileen Fleming,
    Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
    A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com
    Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
    Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

  7. [...] would resist the continuation of the nuclear program – much to the chagrin of those who are ignorantly pushing for regime [...]

  8. [...] led relations between Tehran and Washington to bottom out – with some in the US calling for military action or even regime change.  While both military action (Israeli or American) and regime [...]


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