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We Can't Afford War with Iran

By       Message Stanley Heller       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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That the politicians from Bush to Obama continue to threaten war on Iran is staggering in its folly.   This country cannot afford another war, especially against Iran.  The economy is staggering.  Gasoline is sky high.  Food prices are jumping.  Thousands are being laid off.  People are losing their homes left and right.  Every form of government or personal debt is at unprecedented levels.  And we’re going to start another war?

Oh, I know.  It’s only going to be a short attack with “surgical” bombing.  When its over the Iranian people will celebrate with flowers and sweets.  It will be just like Iraq where “shock and awe” did the job so perfectly. The Iranian government has said that if it’s attacked it would close the Strait of Hormuz by shooting missiles at the oil tankers of the Gulf sheikdoms.  Time magazine on June 11 said if that happens “oil would hit $200 a barrel within minutes.”   That means $8 a gallon for gasoline.  Time says prices could go up even higher.  The Iranian government is predicting $12 a gallon gas in the event of war.  A giant spike in energy prices would be catastrophic for this country.

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Oil is only the beginning.  Our troops in Iraq would become sitting ducks in case of a war against Iran.  Not only would they be within missile range, but Iran has threatened if it is attacked it would call upon the Shi’a Moslems of Iraq to rise up against the US.  The Shia are the largest group of Iraqis and have mostly avoided attacks on US soldiers.  Why would we ever want to enrage them? 

Is Iran a threat to the US?  Nonsense!  Last fall 16 US government spy agencies reported that Iran had given up its nuclear bomb making project in 2003! Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iranian nuclear sites (made for developing nuclear power) are regularly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency.  However, the Bush Administration and Congress know better.  They know, know Iran has a nuclear weapons program, just like they knew, knew Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

 

Even if Iran does build bombs one day it’s not the slightest match for the US or even for Israel with its hundreds of nuclear bombs.  Speaking of Israel, why should this country be collaborating with Israel’s far right wing government which wildly exaggerates the Iranian threat just as it did with Iraq?  Israeli leaders claim Iran is preparing a “new holocaust” for Israel without the slightest evidence.  If Iran is so violently anti-Semitic, why do Iranian Jews report few problems and why are they allowed to visit Israel freely and even move there?

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Congress is considering a bill numbered HCON 362 which is virtually a declaration of war on Iran.  It calls for a ban on petroleum imports to Iran.  (Iran imports 40% of its gasoline) and to enforce it the bill “demands”  “inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran”.  That means an air sea and land blockade of Iran and certain war.  Incredibly, the bill has over 250 co-sponsors.  This is madness. 

 

Think of all those American men and women killed or maimed in Iraq or suffering from PTSD.  In a shockingly under-publicized story Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in May that the number of US Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who will die from suicide or suicidal behavior because of their war service will probably be more than the number who have died in combat.  How dare the politicos send more along this path?

 

Look, Iran’s regime is bad news.  It has “guided” elections where the religious officials have to approve the candidates.  Its jails are brutal. It executes hundreds of prisoners.  Women’s rights are limited.  Its President is a fool when it comes to talking about the Holocaust.  But there are plenty of unpleasant governments all around the world and we don’t have the ability, right or money to bomb them into becoming obedient clients.  Bring home the planes and warships and deal with our own problems.

 

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Stanley Heller is host of "The Struggle" a weekly TV news program seen on public access stations in the northeast and at www.TheStruggle.org. He is chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee.

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