Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Monday, February 07, 2005

Something burning on the horizon

posted by Jazz at 2/07/2005 08:14:00 AM

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Earlier today I posted a piece at Middle Earth Journal about the administration's recent saber rattling regarding Iran and that country's latest reaction. Now, Bill in DC has pointed us to a piece in the wapo op-eds by former chief weapon's inspector David Kay which makes it sound as if I was reading his mind. If we have any chance of convincing the war hawks to listen to anybody, I would hope they might lend an ear to this guy.
And now we hear the drumrolls again, this time announcing an accelerating nuclear weapons program in Iran.

There is an eerie similarity to the events preceding the Iraq war. The International Atomic Energy Agency has announced that while Iran now admits having concealed for 18 years nuclear activities that should have been reported to the IAEA, it is has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Iran says it is now cooperating fully with international inspections, and it denies having anything but a peaceful nuclear energy program.

Vice President Cheney is giving interviews and speeches that paint a stark picture of a soon-to-be-nuclear-armed Iran and declaring that this is something the Bush administration will not tolerate. Iranian exiles are providing the press and governments with a steady stream of new "evidence" concerning Iran's nuclear weapons activities. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has warned that Iran will not be allowed to use the cover of civilian nuclear power to acquire nuclear weapons, but says an attack on Iran is "not on the agenda at this point."

U.S. allies, while saying they share the concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, remain determined to pursue diplomacy and say they cannot conceive of any circumstance that would lead them to use military force. And the press is beginning to uncover U.S. moves that seem designed to lay the basis for military action against Iran.

He points out five key steps that need to be taken, and we need to start working on them right now to avoid repeating the previous tragedies of the Bush administration.
  • First, accept the fact that the past cannot be undone. Iran has, by its own admission, engaged for at least 18 years in clandestine nuclear activities that now give it the basis, if it chooses, to pursue nuclear weapons. It is nonsense to talk about eliminating Iran's nuclear capabilities short of war and occupation.
  • Second, acknowledge that dissidents and exiles have their own agenda -- regime change -- and that before being accepted as truth any "evidence" they might supply concerning Iran's nuclear program must be tested and confirmed by other sources.
  • Third, acknowledge what inspections by the IAEA can do, and do not denigrate the agency for what it cannot do.
  • Fourth, understand that overheated rhetoric from policymakers and senior administration officials, unsupported by evidence that can stand international scrutiny, undermines the ability of the United State to halt Iran's nuclear activities.
  • Fifth, a National Intelligence Estimate as to Iran's nuclear activities should not be a rushed and cooked document used to justify the threat of military action.
Oh, look! Somebody who's actually willing to learn from history and attempt to avoid making the same tragic mistakes all over again. What are the odds that Bush will listen?

Do you see the lessons here? Don't make fun of European allies and international agencies who, in retrospect, turn out to know more about it than you did. Don't rely on Chalabi types who are far more interested in achieving their own goals in their homeland than revealing any truths. Don't selectively cherry pick intelligence reports to make a case for war when none actually exists.

Is all of this really so difficult to grasp? And could our congress actually fall for the same smoke and mirrors trick twice? Stay tuned. Europe not only shows no interest in any military action against Iran, they seem ready to defend that country's rights as a sovereign nation. How long will it be before somebody in the press decides to write those three words... World War Three.

"If world war three is fought with nuclear weapons, world war four will be waged with stones and spears."