American journalist Laura Ling and fellow reporter Euna Lee, held captive in North Korea for illegally entering that country from China, are finally home. Both reporters were working on a story about the trafficking of women in North Korea for former Vice President Al Gore’s San Francisco based Current TV when they were arrested back in March. They were both sentenced to twelve years of hard labor. Their release was the result of a successful unofficial diplomatic foray from former President Bill Clinton with the blessings of the White House. Mr. Clinton’s diplomatic mission comes during a period of heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program. Former Vice President thanked the State Department for its help in winning their release.
Meanwhile, at another location on our globe, Iran confirmed the arrest of three American hikers who crossed into that country from neighboring Iraq and said they have been charged with “illegal entry,” a semi-official news agency reported. Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal were arrested in the western Iranian city of Marivan. Swiss diplomats in Iran and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran to provide information on the hikers. These three are supposed to be seasoned hikers who we are supposed to believe just happened to have wandered across an unmarked border with Iran when they were detained.
Now maybe it’s just me, like most humans I have a history of forming an opinion without the need to wait for every single detailed fact to be discovered before forming an opinion, but how the hell do you get on a plane, travel halfway around the world to a country that borders a country once considered an axis of evil, then take some local form of transportation to the fore mentioned border, put on a backpack, and then start wandering around aimlessly without the slightest clue that they might be heading into dangerous territory? Maybe it’s just me, but these two episodes of wandering Americans in supposedly hostile countries sound the fishiest of fishy.
Does anybody really have to wonder what would happen if an undocumented North Korean or an Iranian was found aimlessly wandering around in Phoenix, Arizona or San Antonio, Texas? I wonder if anyone would buy their story that they were simply took a hiking trip during their tourist visit to Juarez, Mexico. More than likely nobody here would share a tear if such a visitor to our country would wind up in high security, protect the country from terrorist, Guantanamo Bay like accommodations. We don’t even want the people in Mexico, a friendly state, coming across our borders, let alone the citizen from a hostile state.
So don’t the goods for the goose apply to the gander? If we want to prosecute people who illegally come into our country, aren’t other countries entitled to prosecute Americans who illegally come into theirs? And if an American is there to do a story on how screwed up other cultures are, all the more reason to stop their shit cold.
But one thing I do know for sure is that within days after their arrest, all of the American infiltrators listed here, Laura Ling, Euna Lee, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal, were given an opportunity to contact their families and get help. Imagine that from an axis of evil! There were stories from Guantanamo Bay that the lawyers assigned to represent some of the accused terrorist had to fight tooth and nail to get access to their clients. And some of those people that were condemned to rot in the detention at Camp X-Ray in downtown Guantanamo had just become teenagers. Imagine what would have happened if Iran or North Korea had sentenced a young American teenager to one of their detention facilities.
A lot of people who work in our government on behalf of the American people look for every loophole not to give people accused of being here illegally the representation they need to have a day in court or to simply go back home. If not already, our national paranoia is becoming legendary. But our national hypocrisy is even greater.
Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee stayed in the news and our government officials and unofficials pulled out all the stops to help bring these two home. Ms. Clinton and the State Department are undoubtedly pulling out similar stops to earn the release of the three hikers being held in Iran. We’ll work to bring these people home and then put them in front of cameras and hail them as American heroes for their foray into enemy territory. I’m sure the people we hold here in America for similar transgressions against our country would appreciate being treated like Americans being held elsewhere. I’m sure the foreigners being held here would like to go home and have the opportunity to see their families again.
When there was opposition expressed against the election, and reelection, of George Bush, Jr. the United States Supreme Court simply ruled that to question the election results would possibly injure the Bush administration. Too bad Ahmadinejad can’t take his case to the United States Supreme Court. Maybe they would rule that the Iranian President would be injured if anyone reexamined the Iranian election results.
I find it ludicrous that the United States and Israel continue to adopt a policy of attacking any Middle Eastern country that is suspected of working towards nuclear ambitions. The only country that has dropped an atomic bomb wants to dictate to others who can and cannot have a nuclear arsenal. And to reinforce this stance, the United States stands ready to block any move by the United Nations to hold Israel accountable for any of the over the top military escalations it makes towards any of its neighboring countries. Israel used the excuse of rocket attacks to pulverize the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel attacked Syria under the claim that Syria was developing a missile complex for the sole purpose of attacking Israel. Israel has attacked Lebanon and Iraq.
And lately, Israel has been eyeing Iran with a great deal of suspicion. Why, because Iran is working to develop nuclear energy. Israel claims that Iran is actually working to develop a nuclear bomb and will use that bomb against Israel at the first opportunity. And thanks to America’s recent history of preemptive strikes when there is a less than reasonable suggestion of an attack, Israel can use just about any old excuse to justify its own preemptive attacks.
Israel is quick to say that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon they are sure to use it against Israel therefore Israel must strike Iran first. Why, because Israel’s such an aggressive bully of a country that the leadership there surely knows that it will have its comeuppance. It’s just a matter of time. And if a country acquires nuclear capabilities it will surely use them against Israel. If the way Israel responds to a few rocket shells that have a little trouble hitting the ground is any indication, any country with plans to use a nuclear device against Israel is surely tempting fate.
With all the warmongering and finger pointing at Iran and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it should be noted that Iran has never attacked another country. Iran never attacked Iraq. Iran never attacked Israel. Iran has never attacked the United States. Why on Earth would that country now develop nuclear weapons for the purpose of attacking Israel now? The fact that Mr. Ahmadinejad threatened Israel is not enough to invite a third World War. Hell, how many people in how many countries have cried death to America? If that’s all it took to bust a cap up some country’s ass then the United States would be the busiest warmonger on Earth. Well, even busier than we are today at least. No country would be safe from one of our machines of utter death. Reasonable people know it takes a lot more than saying death to an enemy to launch a war. Unfortunately, all too often it is unreasonable people who call the shots.
As far as I know there has only been one country ever attacked by nuclear weapons. Japan is the only country on this planet that was attacked by a nuclear powered aggressor. Not just once but twice. And Japan continues to exist very well. This is not to say that a nuclear attack just rolls off a country’s back like water on a duck’s feathers. Japan is still suffering from the effects from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki drops. But the idea that all it takes is a well place nuclear bomb to destroy an entire country is lunacy. The idea that a country can get away launching an unprovoked nuclear attack on another without any worldwide reprisal is truly ludicrous.
But advocates of Israel will hold fast to the rather weak claim that anyone who is so bold to make a threat against Israel must be watched and destroyed at the slightest opportunity. The fact that Israel is free to actually use illegal weapons and rain incendiary white phosphorous in the destruction of civilian populations is not enough evidence that American leadership needs to rethink our position as an enabler in Israel’s foreign policy.
Israel is entitled to defend itself. So is Iran. If Israel feels the need to protect itself from a perceived aggressor, imagine how Iran must feel against a country that is proven to be an aggressor that has already threatened to commit an actual act of war. Israel promises to launch an air assault against Iran if Iran gets too close to its nuclear ambitions.
Yes nuclear power can be used as an energy source and is used as an energy source for most countries with nuclear technology. But the idea that Iran will be the second country to use nuclear weapons, the first country to use nuclear weapons in well over sixty years, against another country is a risk Israel just cannot afford to take. The paranoid belief that Israel will be destroyed if Iran obtains nuclear technology just doesn’t wash in the real world. Israel is the far greater danger in this high stakes game of nuclear weapon equipped cat and nuclear energy ambition mouse.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, walked through Baghdad, Iraq with much fanfare last week. The Iraqi people lined the streets in order to enthusiastically wave their approval of his visit. Bands played as he was welcomed by the Iraqi President. Mr. Ahmadinejad and the President of Iran, Mr. Jalal Talabani walked hand in hand in traditional Islamic fashion for men who are extremely close. Both men waved to the cameras as they emerged from their meeting behind closed doors. It was obvious that there was a lot of good will between these two government leaders. Leaders of countries that were at one time not too long ago were the most bitter of enemies. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit is the ultimate sign of Iran’s victory over its nemesis Saddam Hussein.
Compare the openness of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq to the clandestine visitation from President George Bush or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Nobody knows either one of these representatives of state, two of the most powerful people in the world, are on their way to Iraq until they get there and push the doorbell. Saddam Hussein himself would be proud of their ability to travel with such a cloak of secrecy.
When Republican Party nominee John McCain paid a visit to Iraq last year he traveled with a personal guard of a hundred troops, army snipers on top of every building in the vicinity, a squadron of hummers nearby with their engines idling, a couple of Blackhawks hovering overhead, and a Kevlar vest protecting his person. Mr. McCain was adamant in his insistence that Iraq was secure. All you needed was a hundred fully armed troops, snipers, hummers, etcetera and you too could walk through downtown Baghdad in perfect safety. At the time I found it ridiculous to take Mr. McCain seriously. Perfectly safe would be walking around without such a high profile contingent. Perfectly safe would have been Mr. McCain being able to walk up to anybody without that Iraqi having to go through a body search or having a hundred rifles pointed in his or her direction.
It has to be admitted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was riding and walking large and in charge. It was interesting because the network news program I was listening to on the car radio reported that Mr. Ahmadinejad walked through Baghdad as if he owned the place. Later in the evening when I watched the network news version of the Iranian President’s visit, they used the same phrase almost verbatim. Mr. Ahmadinejad was trying to make it clear that he is pulling Iraq’s strings. Somebody was turning up the “go ballistic” dial on the propaganda machine.
Impressionable people who have a little difficulty forming their own opinion without being told were getting their subtle programming to think that Mr. Ahmadinejad thinks he’s the cock of the walk. The suggestion is made that Iran is responsible for all of America’s difficulties and failures in Iraq. And if the United States pulls out of Iraq prematurely Iran will swoop in and obtain the spoils. The story was stroking America’s collective ego. The suggestion was made that our reputation is at stake. We don’t want Iran or anyone else picking up where we left off. It’s the classic selfish child syndrome. A child who doesn’t care to play with a toy any more, hasn’t played with it in weeks, doesn’t even like the toy any more. But as soon as someone else comes along and wants to play with it, MINE!
Mr. Ahmadinejad and the people of Iran can’t win with the American people. The Iranian President comes to the states and asked to go and pay his respects at the World Trade Center and people get their panties in a wad. MINE! The Iranian President goes to Iraq and the American people say, MINE! The Iranians patrol the waters of the Red Sea off of its coast with fiberglass speedboats and the fleet of American battle cruisers shouts, MINE!
The majority of the people of the United States have been tiring of Iraq for quite a while now. Rumor has it that the violence of Iraq is winding now that the surge is working. And the fact that we are actually using American money to pay the people who were fighting against us not to fight or at least to fight for our interest helped a lot as well. Now that the violence is winding now there should be less of a reason to keep our military there. We could leave Iraq to whatever devices they choose. But if those devices indicate that someone else might benefit from our collective sacrifices then we’d rather put our ego before our good sense, holler MINE, and stay in our latest quagmire. And the next time one of our government leaders goes to Iraq under a cloak of secrecy for their own protection, we can think back to how the Iranian President walked into the place as if he was the cock of the walk.
One thing I find extremely disappointing in this presidential race is when I hear certain candidates promising the public that they will continue our current wars until the end and to hear their audience of people vigorously cheering such a stand. John McCain told the story of a woman on one of his campaign stops coming up to him and telling how her son died in the war in Iraq. She wanted Mr. McCain to promise her that her son’s death would not be in vain. Mr. McCain was more than happy to tell this woman that he will see this war to its glorious end and he will guarantee that America will be victorious.
Even though the vast majority of the public wants this war to end now Mr. McCain is making a promise to continue this debacle. Already approaching half a trillion dollars and four thousand American lives Mr. McCain is willing to spend the other half of a trillion dollars and another four thousand American lives in order to help parents find meaning in their children’s death. The woman who lost her son will take solace in the fact that the children of other parents will join her son in the hereafter. Mr. McCain promises to throw good American lives after bad. A lot of the presidential candidates are promising change. In this respect, John McCain has promised to keep things in the mess that they are in.
There was a scene in the movie the Godfather II, the incredible sequel to an incredible original, where the leaders of organized crime were meeting in Cuba and getting ready to carve the island country up for their perspective interest. Michael Corleone was there representing his family’s interest for gambling rights. But on his way to the meeting, Michael caught a fictitious glimpse of the impending revolution headed Cuba’s way. As his car was being driven down a street in Havana they ran into a blockade. A car had been pulled over and was being searched by the Cuban military. The passengers and driver were standing behind the vehicle waiting to be searched. Suddenly, one of the detainees ran up to the military captain and detonated a grenade on his person. The two were killed instantly.
Michael shared this story at the meeting. He was concerned about the rumors of a revolution. Michael made the observation that while the captain was being paid to fight, but the man that blew himself up fought because of his beliefs. With such fanaticism manifesting in support of the revolution Michael’s fear was that their business venture may have been doomed before it could ever get off the ground.
A lot of the people that the United States is fighting in the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan and in many other places around the world are people who are fighting on behalf of an ideology. While we pay our soldiers to go kill the enemy and hopefully not sacrifice their own lives away in the process, the people that our soldiers are fighting against people who are strapping bombs on their person hoping to take out as many people as they can when they make the ultimate sacrifice. These people don’t have a huge, sophisticated, state of the art military machine behind them. Relatively speaking these are the rebels using their belief in the Force to battle Darth Vader’s empire and bring balance back to the universe.
As the new emperor Mr. McCain and his supporters stand ready to continue this fight until the enemy is destroyed. People cheer with the enthusiasm of the home team at the football game when the coach promises to take his team to victory. We’ll win because we’re righteous. However, I’m sure there are people on the other side of this bloody struggle who feel that they are righteous as well. They feel so strongly about what they believe that they are ready to die for it. And there are women and mothers ready to take their babies into the after life as well. Their righteousness is infectious.
The woman wanted to make sure her son didn’t die in vain. This might sound harsh but I would pose the question why doesn’t she join the military or hop on a commercial flight to go over to Iraq and do her own thing to make sure her soldier son’s life wasn’t sacrificed in vain. What if all the parents in Iraq and Afghanistan and in all the other places around the world where the United States have killed and murdered so many people in the name of protecting the interest of America got together and asked the people who fight on their behalf to make sure that their children’s lives weren’t sacrificed in vain? What makes this woman think she’s the only one that has suffered?
Even if I was a conservative or a member of the Republican side of thinking I hope I would have the decency to think that I wouldn’t want anyone else to lose their children simply because I want to give my child’s death meaning. There are so many different ways to find meaning in the sacrifice of a loved one. There are positive ways to find meaning in the loss of a child. Obviously this woman is in pain. Maybe she could find meaning by fighting to bring an end to war to keep other mothers from having the same pain. That would be a wonderful tribute to her son and all the other sons and daughters and fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and lovers that we have lost.
Voting for someone to become President because they promise to do more killing is too dark of a concept. If you’ve lost a loved one then do them a favor and learn from their sacrifice. We need to learn to stop sending more people to die in a fight against an ideology. It is foolish to think we can kill into submission people who are volunteering to die. Our next President needs to focus on getting us out and not use our pain of loss to keep America in.
I know I’ve had plenty!
A few months ago, in a speech given at Columbia University in New York, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was asked about the status of homosexuality in his country. Mr. Ahmadinejad answered the question saying, “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” A woman from the audience said that she knew for a fact there were homosexuals in the country because she had homosexual friends in Iraq. The President asked her for her friend’s address so he could check it out for himself. In Iran, if people are discovered to be gay, Islamic law requires that they would be dealt with rather harshly. So they have a don’t ask don’t tell kind of policy. Of course homosexuals exist in Iran. However, they had better keep their lifestyle under wraps. It isn’t right. But it is the law of this Islamic state. Nevertheless, people in this country attack Mr. Ahmadinejad, twisting his words to make it seem that the Iranian President exist in a world of denial. The Iranian President deserves a lot more credit than people are willing to give.
Interestingly though, a lot of people here in this country are willing to walk around with social blinders on and make ridiculous statements that racism is a thing of the past in America. America has laws that outlaw most blatant acts of racial discrimination. So no one in America would dare be a blatant racist and think that they could get away with their acts of subjugation. And yet, somehow, people in the black community are still being passed over for employment opportunities, educational opportunities, suffer inferior medical care, suffer with inferior housing, and are considerably more likely to suffer the heavy hand of the law and justice than their white counterparts. While there may be some exceptions to these conditions this is the general status of the relationship between the black and the white community.
There are a lot of white people who make the claim that the white community is the victim of some affirmative action program and therefore, a victim of reverse discrimination. A white person is very sensitive to the situation where they lose an opportunity to a black person. A white person naturally assumes that they are the best candidate for an opportunity merely because the selected candidate was black. But white people don’t appear to have a problem being the superior candidate but losing out on an opportunity against an inferior white person. Where are the cries of parallel racism or some other fabricated condition when a white person suffers discrimination at the hands of an inferior white person? It’s only when the white person has lost their chance to a black person do white person stand up and take legal action against the unfairness. This in itself is another manifestation of racism.
A white man takes his shotgun and kills two men robbing his neighbor’s house. The white man had called the police but since they did could not arrive in a time satisfactory to the caller he felt justified taking matters in his own hands. He tells the emergency operator that he is going to kill the black burglars. He takes his cocked shotgun outside and keeps his word. The burglars never attacked Joe Horn. They never made a move towards him. In fact, when they turned to run, Mr. Horn shot them in the back. An investigation ensues to determine if Mr. Horn needs to be indicted for murder. But in the meantime, the mainstream corporate culture is hailing this man as a hero.
A black man takes his gun outside to protect his family from a drunken white mob of teenagers who are coming specifically to his home. The white mob is defending the honor of a white girl that has been supposedly threatened by the black man’s son. The white mob told the black man’s son to leave a party. When the son leaves the white mob decides to follow him home to his house. The white drunks make threats to kill Aaron White and rape his mother. They are making the same types of threats that piqued their anger and then some. When the white mob arrives at the White House they continue to make racial slurs and threats. Instead of leaving the leader of the white mob reaches for John White’s gun and is shot in the face. John White is arrested for second degree murder. He is convicted. The mainstream culture is condemning this man as a cold blooded murderer. But racism is said to be dead.
In fact, a lot of people who are members of the dominant corporate culture will say that it is okay for people to be racist in the privacy of their home or as part of their job because nobody is getting hurt. This culture actually believes nobody gets hurt when a white man tells his son to dump his nigger girlfriend if he wants to work in the family business. Nobody gets hurt when the white politician stands before his supporters and makes a racial slur against a lone minority in the crowd in a sea of white conservatives. Nobody is hurt when employers decide that they’ve met their minority quota so decides not to hire anymore minorities for fear that the office environment becomes too ethnically flavored. Nobody was hurt when the nooses were found hanging in the area. It’s just a prank. It’s just clean white wholesome fun. Nobody is being hurt in any of these cases.
What people are actually saying is nobody that we care about is being hurt by these blatant acts of racial discrimination and racial intolerance. The black community is just a group of nobodies that doesn’t require the American collective’s attention. It’s not that the being black is necessarily bad. It’s just that being white is simply better. The dominant culture doesn’t mean to subjugate the black community. It’s just that the dominant corporate culture made mostly of white people and the black people that love them simply likes to support the white community.
However it is justified, whether it’s just a preference to keep things white or whether it is a conscious decision to dominate blacks, the black community suffers. Racism is dead in America. It’s not a twist of words or an interpretation of a phrase. It is a straight out assertion that all is well here and everybody is treated exactly like they should be treated. If I was a racist and didn’t care about black people, if I was a tom and didn’t care about the other people in the black community, I’d be likely to say the same thing. It’s not just a denial, it’s just the way it is.
Comparing an Aegis class United States Navy cruiser to an Iranian patrol boat is like comparing one of those cute little mini cars from a Shriner’s parade to an M1 Abrams tank. If things get a little hairy the little mini car’s best defense is to get away as fast as possible. So would be the strategy of the Iranian fiberglass hulled speed boat against an American cruiser with an eight inch thick steel plated hull. Pack the Iranian boat with explosives and it might have a chance to do some damage before it blows itself to bits. But chances are pretty good if anything serious starts to go down the Iranians aren’t going to be around to talk about it. The Aegis can shoot butterflies out of the sky a thousand miles away. Any threat from an Iranian boat and those sailors will be kissing their ass goodbye. If they insist on attacking their best bet would be to make all friendly in order to get right next to the bigger ship in order to trigger some kind of self destruct packed with explosives. The last thing they’d do would get on the radio and say something stupid like, we are coming after you!
Last week the pentagon released a video tape showing how the poor warships of the United States were desperately and dangerously harassed by the Iranians. The boats were supposedly darting around and a menacing voice crackled over the radio, “I am coming to you. You will explode after minutes.” The voice sounded like it was lifted straight off of the movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” featuring Will Farrell. The accent didn’t even sound Iranian. But this is the pentagon’s story and they are sticking to it. The video showed the Iranians dumped some boxes into the water and then sped off. Obviously these people, with their box dumping and all, are too dangerous to be allowed to escape the full might of the American military.
However, the Iranian foreign ministry said the incident was routine and normal. They called the American video a fabrication. Thursday, they released their own video on Iran’s English-language satellite channel, Press TV. The Iranians radioed the navy warships to identify themselves. The American cruiser complied. A few more communications were exchanged. And then the incident was over. The Iranian video showed no hint of confrontation. Instead, the video shows an Iranian Revolutionary Guard sailor standing on a small boat, radioing the Americans and receiving a standard reply.
Somebody isn’t telling the truth here. The Pentagon called the Iranian behavior provocative. The chairmen of the joints chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said Friday that the incident may signal a new aggressive strategy by the Iranians in international waters. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “I think what concerned us was first, the fact that there were five of these boats, and second, that they came as close as they did to our ships and behaved in what appeared to be a pretty aggressive manner.” Gates dismissed the Iranians saying the United States is more credible. Just forget about the weapons of mass destruction, the yellowcake uranium, the Iraqi war would pay for itself, the al Qaeda connection to Iraq, Iraq was an imminent threat, Iran was trying to develop nuclear weapons, Dick Chaney didn’t know anything about the outing of Valerie Plame, protecting the environment, global warming, the Easter Bunny, etc.
A retired United States Navy admiral suggested that the authenticity of the Iranian tape could be verified by comparing the radio transmissions with those recorded by the Americans. We are going to trust the recording from the American’s with the “I am coming for you” dubbing to be fair and impartial. Such a method of verification is akin to asking a racist or anyone else with a strong white mindset to verify the authenticity of the claim that the black community is being subjugated by the dominant white corporate culture. Anything remotely identifiable as impartial and fair just isn’t going to happen.
What happened in the Strait of Hormuz is clearly a serious event, and one that should beg attention from the entire world. The Bush administration has been looking for any excuse possible to justify an altercation with the Iranians. It definitely looks like they are still fishing for a fight.
Like they did when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to New York, New York the television pundits have come out heavily criticizing the Iranians and the foolhardy behavior. Television experts are on record talking about the dangers of these speedboats. After what happened to the USS Cole no one can take these threatening gestures lightly. Those dinghies were visibly menacing and posing a reckless and dangerous threat to vessels that were thousands and thousands of times their size. It was enough to make me shudder.
But that should be enough talk about those foolish Iranians. Let’s get back to those Shriners who keep menacing those M1 Abrams tank. The pentagon just released another video. “We are coming for you G. I. Joe.” Those damn menacing mini cars!
On April 29th of 2006, at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Steven Colbert of Comedy Central’s the Colbert Report was invited to make a lampoon of President George H. W. Bush. Said Mr. Colbert, “The greatest thing about this man is he’s steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change. This man’s beliefs never will.”
In an October 17th news conference, Mr. Bush said that, “If you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a new-que-lar weapon.” Could someone please take the time to teach the President how to pronounce the word nuclear!
Earlier this week the President admitted he had given his warning that Iran’s nuclear development risked World War III about two months after his intelligence chief told him a reassessment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions was under way. It turns out that Admiral Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told the President back in August that the intelligence community was reassessing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. According to last week’s national intelligence estimate, developed by a collaboration of American intelligence agencies, Iran had actually had ceased its attempt to develop a nuclear weapon back in 2003.
But despite the potential of this new information and the fact that a new report was on the way, the President felt obligated to ratchet up the rhetoric against another country and threaten annihilation just two months later. The President claims although he was told that there was some new information regarding Iran, Mr. McConnell failed to inform the President exactly what that information was. Mr. Bush did say that he was told that it would take time to put the new report together. I guess after two months the President got tired of waiting. The update didn’t come until the end of November. However, it is rather hard to believe that, given this President’s paranoia with Iran, he had no idea until recently that the country had abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Mr. Bush did say that this report would not change the United State’s policy toward Iran. Incredulously, the President said, “”Iran was dangerous. Iran is dangerous. And Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a new-que-lar weapon. They had the program. They halted the program. It’s a warning signal because they could restart it.” Sounds like more gibberish to try and justify another preemptive strike against another country doing its best to mind its own business.
Given the history of this administration’s willingness to manipulate facts and distort reality it really is astonishing to see so many people continue to support this warmonger of a President. The push for the attack against Iraq was made under similar circumstances. The information about bogus weapons of mass destructions and documentation of a yellow cake uranium purchase by Iraq in Nigeria were nothing but figments of some Tom Clancy wannabe. A half trillion dollars later and four thousand service men and women’s lives later, not to mention all the Iraqi civilians lives lost, many people are ready to employ the same exact game plan against Iran.
It isn’t enough to say things like, they could restart the program so technically they are still a danger. It’s irresponsible to threaten people with World War III based on thinking that runs along the lines of would of, could of, should of. In the serious business of war and nuclear exchanges and one country attacking another, one would hope that our leadership would focus on things based on the reality of facts and avoid hunches based on beliefs that run contrary to the evidence. Technically, since the United States already started one war with a country based on faulty information, this country is still a danger to others.
People aren’t allowed to attack other people simply because they believe their neighbor could potentially go and buy a gun. Even if somebody’s neighbor was to buy a gun there is a problem making an assumption that the neighbor is going to use the gun offensively. The person who attacks somebody based on such beliefs should be locked up for sure. It’s just a question of whether it will be in prison or a mental institution.
But one thing that cannot be denied is that the world should know exactly where President Bush stands. He believes the same thing this December that he believed back in August despite the national intelligence estimate that was released in November from a collaborative effort by America’s intelligence agencies. Like gravity around a black hole the distortion of normality is so strong around the Bush administration that the truth of reality will never see the light of day. Events can change. This man never will.