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How To Turn Off The Burner Boiling Up War With Iran?

Tonight on the NewsHour I watched Dennis Ross (former administration Mideast adviser) with a straight-face assert that we very well may be “sliding into war with Iran” -- actually, being FORCED into such a scenario -- because of Iran’s threat of nuclear enrichment.

Only let’s bottom-line it. “Iran’s NON-EXISTENT bomb” is the non-justification justification for a strike against Iran that would set off a deadly conflagration of God knows what intended and unintended U.S. and Israel imperialistic profits-over-who-gives-a-shit-how-many-dead-or-maimed-or-displaced-people consequences!

Non-existent weapon of mass destruction? Has a familiar ring to it, nes pa?

How ballsy the USWarMachine has gotten. They don’t even have “pretend” weapons of mass destruction any more as casus belli. The unproven “twinkle” of nuclear intention in Iran’s eye is now enough to go to war. A war that will be launched by or doggedly provoked by one country with over 5,000 warheads and/or another with over 200. But no one in corporate media ever brings up that international double standard.

Marjorie Cohn in "Pressure Israel, Not Iran":

... Iran has not attacked any country in some 200 years. In 1953, the CIA engineered a coup that replaced a democratic government in Iran with the vicious Shah. He ruled Iran with an iron hand for 25 years, wreaking torture and terror on Iranians while keeping Iran open to Western investment. When I visited Iran in 1978 as a human rights observer, there were dozens of U.S. corporations in downtown Tehran. One year later, the chickens came home to roost. The Iranian revolution overthrew the Shah, replacing him with a tyrannical theocracy that continues to violate the rights of the Iranian people. But that does not mean that Iran, if it does obtain nuclear weapons, will attack Israel. The Iranian government knows that Israel and the United States would retaliate with unimaginable military force that would devastate Iran and much of the Middle East.

Nevertheless, the official drum-beaters on the media declare it is Iran that is the BIG THREAT.

So I watched Margaret Warner politely and obsequiously nod to Mr. Ross, offering NO CHALLENGE, no followup question, to that righteous and all too familiar by now “offensive-defense” “pre-emptive” bullshit justification for war trotted out one more time before us, the INCREDIBLY impotent American citizenry.

One more time corporate media obediently lets the same propaganda garden path playbook be used for war, just like with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Iran, one of the next countries on the USWarMachine’s (and that of Israel’s) bloody clipboard agenda for world hegemony.

Bill Van Auken of wsws on the realpolitik of the pending Iran War:

While the ostensible concern driving US war threats is Iran’s nuclear program, the underlying motive is Washington’s determination to prevent Iran from emerging as a regional power capable of resisting the imposition of US imperialist hegemony over the oil rich regions of the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

Bordering both Iraq and Afghanistan and with significant influence in both countries, Iran has become an increasing preoccupation of US foreign policy amid the US military withdrawal from Iraq and the pending drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan. Tehran has opposed US efforts to establish a permanent military presence in both countries, while seeking to wrest control of the distribution of energy resources from US hands.

By ratcheting up the sanctions regime, Washington is now trying to strong-arm the rest of the world into joining its campaign against Iran. Passed unanimously by Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama on New Year’s Eve, the new sanctions will go into effect in June, barring access to US markets for any third country public or private institutions that buy oil through the Central Bank of Iran.

It is an election year. Why, that alone makes it hard for the U.S. not to have another war, particularly with Iran. All those politicians, and I mean ALL THOSE POLITICIANS, including the President, posturing so hard not to be “soft on terrorism” and courting that powerful AIPAC backing.

Marjorie Cohn once again on the U.S./Israel warmongering:

Neocons in Israel and the United States are escalating their rhetoric to prepare us for war with Iran. Even the infamous John Yoo, architect of George W. Bush’s illegal torture and spying programs, is calling on the Republican presidential candidates to “begin preparing the case for a military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”


Under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the legal right to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said on CBS that Iran is not currently trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Nevertheless, the United States and Israel are mounting a campaign of aggression against Iran. The United States has imposed punishing sanctions against Iran that are crippling Iran’s economy, and pressuring other countries and strong-arming financial institutions to stop buying oil from Iran, the world’s third largest exporter. The Obama administration is also preparing new punitive measures that target the Central Bank of Iran. And the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011 which would outlaw any contact between U.S. government employees and some Iranian officials.

There is also evidence that Israel, with the possible assistance of the United States, has orchestrated the assassinations of at least five Iranian nuclear scientists or engineers since 2007. The New York Times reported: “The campaign, which experts believe is being carried out mainly by Israel, apparently claimed its latest victim on [January 11] when a bomb killed a 32-year-old nuclear scientist in Tehran’s morning rush hour.” These assassinations constitute acts of terrorism. There have also been cyber-attacks on Iranian centrifuges and an explosion at a missile facility last year that killed a senior general and 16 other people.

These acts of aggression are designed to provoke Iran to retaliate, including possibly closing the Strait of Hormuz, which will spark a war that could spread to the entire Middle East.

After all these years of bloody carnage after 9/11, the exploited “9/11” tragedy (and how curious the actual 9/11 hijacking murderers were all primarily from a country that isn’t even on the USWarMachine’s bloody clipboard) in which “mistakes were made” ... you know, that three-word cop-out of responsibility that accounts for literally millions of gratuitous deaths and devastated lives -- some still occurring as I type this. You try to do the math on what a war with Iran would mean.

Iran, by the way, ally of China AND Russia, among other countries. World War III, anyone? It is like the US and Israel are playing “bad cop” and “crazy cop” on the international stage. The crazy cop, by the way, allegedly perpetrating those provocative assassinations of Iranian nuclear engineers. And the US pleading innocence, meanwhile shoving that $3 billion of U.S. taxpayer money at Israel each year. Obama declares he has no influence or responsibility over the actions of Israel. Bullshit.

What are these two governments thinking? They assuredly are not feeling ... not for humanity, for damn sure.

“Being America is never having to say you are sorry.” In fact, being America is committing the same or escalated bloody obscene travesty over and over and over and over.

How can we, as citizens, stop them? How can we turn off the burner boiling up this next obscene and criminal war?

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

excerpt from: The Myth of “Isolated” Iran
Following the Money in the Iran Crisis
by Pepe Escobar

"That Iranian isolation theme only gets weaker when one learns that the country is dumping the dollar in its trade with Russia for rials and rubles -- a similar move to ones already made in its trade with China and Japan. As for India, an economic powerhouse in the neighborhood, its leaders also refuse to stop buying Iranian oil, a trade that, in the long run, is similarly unlikely to be conducted in dollars. India is already using the yuan with China, as Russia and China have been trading in rubles and yuan for more than a year, as Japan and China are promoting direct trading in yen and yuan. As for Iran and China, all new trade and joint investments will be settled in yuan and rial.

"Translation, if any was needed: in the near future, with the Europeans out of the mix, virtually none of Iran’s oil will be traded in dollars.

"Moreover, three BRICS members (Russia, India, and China) allied with Iran are major holders (and producers) of gold. Their complex trade ties won’t be affected by the whims of a U.S. Congress. In fact, when the developing world looks at the profound crisis in the Atlanticist West, what they see is massive U.S. debt, the Fed printing money as if there’s no tomorrow, lots of “quantitative easing,” and of course the Eurozone shaking to its very foundations.

"Follow the money. Leave aside, for the moment, the new sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank that will go into effect months from now, ignore Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz (especially unlikely given that it’s the main way Iran gets its own oil to market), and perhaps one key reason the crisis in the Persian Gulf is mounting involves this move to torpedo the petrodollar as the all-purpose currency of exchange.

"It’s been spearheaded by Iran and it’s bound to translate into an anxious Washington, facing down not only a regional power, but its major strategic competitors China and Russia. No wonder all those carriers are heading for the Persian Gulf right now, though it’s the strangest of showdowns -- a case of military power being deployed against economic power.

"In this context, it’s worth remembering that in September 2000 Saddam Hussein abandoned the petrodollar as the currency of payment for Iraq’s oil, and moved to the euro. In March 2003, Iraq was invaded and the inevitable regime change occurred. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi proposed a gold dinar both as Africa’s common currency and as the currency of payment for his country’s energy resources. Another intervention and another regime change followed.

"Washington/NATO/Tel Aviv, however, offers a different narrative. Iran’s “threats” are at the heart of the present crisis, even if these are, in fact, that country’s reaction to non-stop US/Israeli covert war and now, of course, economic war as well. It’s those “threats,” so the story goes, that are leading to rising oil prices and so fueling the current recession, rather than Wall Street’s casino capitalism or massive U.S. and European debts. The cream of the 1% has nothing against high oil prices, not as long as Iran’s around to be the fall guy for popular anger."

As energy expert Michael Klare pointed out recently, we are now in a new geo-energy era certain to be extremely turbulent in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. But consider 2012 the start-up year as well for a possibly massive defection from the dollar as the global currency of choice. As perception is indeed reality, imagine the real world -- mostly the global South -- doing the necessary math and, little by little, beginning to do business in their own currencies and investing ever less of any surplus in U.S. Treasury Bonds."

Submitted by Alcuin on

Like Hugh, I don't pay a lot of attention to the alpha males. I like what Pepe Escobar has to say - the idea that the United States rules the world is true only in this country - the rest of the world has a much better perception of what is going on. I don't think there is going to be a war in Iran - Russia and China will prevent that. All of the low-level terrorist acts committed by the United States (despite what Panetta says) are being executed precisely because the United States knows that it cannot start a war with Iran. Despite what the chest-thumping neo-cons (and neo-libs) think, the end of Empire is right around the corner. Which explains all the chest-thumping, I think.

Submitted by Hugh on

Whether this is a real crisis or another round of saber rattling depends on the sanctions regime. Oil is fairly fungible so if Iran isn't selling to Europe. Its oil can go elsewhere. I heard that last month the Iranians and the Chinese got into over payment and the Chinese cut back on their buys. I have also read that sanctions are having an effect. I don't know how much of this is real and how much is propaganda. But if sanctions do begin to bite, it could be in Iran's interests to keep the pot stirred up to take its population's attention off worsening conditions by giving them a legitimate external enemy.

Moving off the dollar at this point is not all that great a move because the dollar is relatively strong. Re fungibility, Iran has in the past had some trouble moving some of its heavy crude.

I don't pay much attention to these alpha male games although this current set is nastier than usual. The reasons for not attacking Iran are as good now as they were under Bush.

As for Dennis Ross, he epitomizes everything that is wrong and deceitful about American Mideast policy. He used to be portrayed as a reasonable, pragmatic voice which would be funny if he weren't such a complete and absolute shill for Israel. With time, the shillery has pretty much worn through the media veneer of pragmatism. Still it says a lot about the NewsHour, as in how ungodly typical, that they would turn to him as an "expert".