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Bomb Iran Follies: Meditations in a Time of Delusions and Lies 25

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     When Bush pushed for further sanctions against Iran, Vladimir Putin asked a semi-rhetorical question: “Why make the situation worse, bring it to a dead end, threaten sanctions or even military action?” 

     This reminds me of the bumper sticker I see sometimes: “WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.” 

     Of course, war IS the answer if the question is how to dominate the Middle East, control the flow of oil, put a stranglehold on Europe and Japan, encircle Russia . . . and so forth.

     And why make the situation worse?  Because targeting Iran and spreading the chaos in the Middle East is part of the plan. 

     As the Bush gang continues the slide towards widening the war, the absurdities keep mounting. Israel bombs something in Syria – a big cube in the desert – which is or may be or could be a nuclear reactor. One country bombs another – and the US does not object, and there’s little outrage. Instead, the Bush gang encourages speculation in the media about exactly in what way the cube is a dangerous nuclear threat. The man who spends his time inspecting to see if a country is building nuclear weapons, Mohamed ElBaradei, thought that “to bomb first and ask questions later” was peculiar. Then the press discovers that pictures of that cube in the desert have been around for years. Why bomb it now? Did it just become a threat? Doesn’t the fact that no one finds any evidence by Israel or the US a little dubious? Haven’t we learned something from the last bit of faith-based intelligence? 

     Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Syria to make nuclear weapons, nor Iran. But Israel has not signed the non-proliferation treaty, and Iran has. Besides, Israel has, according to the CIA, over 200 nuclear weapons – but Israel’s no problem, according to the US. Pakistan has nuclear bombs and is coming apart at the seams – but Pakistan’s still our ally. Iran and Syria are the problems. Imagine if Syria’s air force bombed Dimona, Israel’s reactor. It’s hard to conceive how much of an uproar that would produce, not to mention massive military retaliation.  

     But, wait, there’s more. Kurdish rebels attack Turkish troops on the border between Turkey and Iraq. Turkey threatens to retaliate. The US condemns the Kurdish “terrorists” and asks the Iraqi Kurds to cool them out. Meanwhile, Kurdish rebels on the border between Iraq and Iran continue their attacks – but, of course, they’re not terrorists.  

     Remember: some people can have nuclear weapons but others can’t; some Kurds are terrorists but others are not; peace means war or is it war means peace? No need to fret, democracy in the Middle East is Blackwater electing to decide which is which. Norman Podhoretz is panting for World War 4 (apparently we already had number 3 – I’m glad I missed it); Giuliani has brought on Podhoretz and other fanatics to guide his campaign to ready the trigger on “Islamo-fascism.” Meanwhile, the Bush gang keeps waterboarding the Democrats, making them think they’re going to drown until they gag and . . . then they do drown in the bodily fluids of their own cowardice. Even if Bush doesn’t bomb Iran, he’s making sure that whoever takes over will have to do the job.  

     Oh, yes, then there’s the latest case of tainted toys from China. Congress votes more money for the agency checking consumer goods to expand, get more inspectors, do its job, and the director says she doesn’t want the dough: Regulation is bad. Health care for kids is nixed – too expensive, plus it’s socialism. And how can I forget: Bush threatens Cuba; Gaza is a giant prison and starving to death; veterans make up 25 percent of the homeless and are treated like dirt, not by anti-war protesters yelling “baby killers” but by the government that sent them; Lou Dobbs and other media demagogues vilify immigrants; and one more celebrity apologizes for a racist outburst. 

     So, remember this moment. Remember all of the absurdities. Add some that I’ve missed. 

     And start making up excuses to the future generations for why we allowed all of this to happen.  

 

Hilton Obenzinger is the author of "American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania" (Princeton), among many other books of criticism, poetry and fiction, and the recipient of the American Book Award. His most recent book is the (more...)
 
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