Return of the War Party
men go to Tehran!” brayed the neoconservatives,
after the success of their propaganda campaign to have
America march on Baghdad and into an unnecessary war
that has forfeited all the fruits of our Cold War
Now they are back, in pursuit of
what has always been their great goal: an American war
on Iran. It would be a mistake to believe they and their
collaborators cannot succeed a second time. Consider:
On being chosen by Israel’s
President Shimon Peres to form the new regime, Likud’s
“Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and
constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since
the war of independence.”
Echoing Netanyahu, headlines last
week screamed of a startling new nuclear breakthrough by
the mullahs. “Iran ready to build nuclear weapon,
analysts say,” said CNN. “Iran has enough uranium to
make a bomb,” said the Los Angeles Times. Armageddon
Asked about Iran’s nukes in his
confirmation testimony, CIA Director Leon Panetta
“From all the information I’ve seen, I think there is no
question that they are seeking that capability.”
Tuesday, Dennis Ross of the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a front
spawned by the Israeli lobby AIPAC, was given the
Iranian portfolio. AIPAC’s top agenda item? A U.S.
collision with Iran.
In the neocon
Elliot Abrams of the Bush White House parrots Netanyahu,
urging Obama to put any land-for-peace deals with the
Palestinians on a back burner. Why?
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now part of a broader struggle in
the region over Iranian extremism and power. Israeli
withdrawals now risk opening the door not only to
Palestinian terrorists but to Iranian proxies.” [The
Path of Realism or the Path of Failure]
The campaign to conflate Hamas,
Hezbollah and Syria as a new axis of evil, a terrorist
cartel led by Iranian mullahs hell-bent on building a
nuclear bomb and using it on Israel and America, has
begun. The full-page ads and syndicated columns calling
on Obama to eradicate this mortal peril before it
destroys us all cannot be far off.
But before we let ourselves be
stampeded into another unnecessary war, let us review a
few facts that seem to contradict the war propaganda.
First, last week’s acknowledgement
that Iran has enough enriched uranium for one atom bomb
does not mean Iran is building an atom bomb.
To construct a nuclear device, the
ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz would have to be
run through a second cascade of high-speed centrifuges
to produce 55 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HUE).
There is no evidence Iran has
either created the cascade of high-speed centrifuges
necessary to produce HUE or that Iran has diverted any
of the low-enriched uranium from Natanz. And the
International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors retain
full access to Natanz.
And rather than accelerating
production of low-enriched uranium, only 4,000 of the
Natanz centrifuges are operating. Some 1,000 are idle.
Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the
IAEA, believes this is a signal that Tehran wishes to
negotiate with the United States, but without yielding
any of its rights to enrich uranium and operate nuclear
For, unlike Israel, Pakistan and
India, none of which signed the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and all of which ran
clandestine programs and built atom bombs, Iran signed
the NPT and has abided by its Safeguards Agreement. What
it refuses to accept are the broader demands of the U.N.
Security Council because these go beyond the NPT and
sanction Iran for doing what it has a legal right to do.
Moreover, Adm. Dennis Blair, who
heads U.S. intelligence, has just restated the consensus
of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran
does not now possess and is not now pursuing a nuclear
Bottom line: Neither the United
States nor the IAEA has conclusive evidence that Iran
either has the fissile material for a bomb or an active
program to build a bomb. It has never tested a nuclear
device and has never demonstrated a capacity to
weaponize a nuclear device, if it had one.
Why, then, the hype, the hysteria,
the clamor for “Action
This Day!”? It is to divert America from her
true national interests and stampede her into embracing
as her own the alien agenda of a renascent War Party.
None of this is to suggest the
Iranians are saintly souls seeking only peace and
progress. Like South Korea, Japan and other nations with
nuclear power plants, they may well want the ability to
break out of the NPT, should it be necessary to deter,
defend against or defeat enemies.
But that is no threat to us to
justify war. For decades, we lived under the threat that
hundreds of Russian warheads could rain down upon us in
hours, ending our national existence. If deterrence
worked with Stalin and Mao, it can work with an Iran
that has not launched an offensive war against any
nation within the memory of any living American.
Can we Americans say the same?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to VDARE.COM readers;
his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.