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Who wants war with Iran?

September 24, 2012

Retaliation against US personnel overseas. $8-a-gallon gas. A spreading Middle East War. An Iranian regime driven to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Experts recognize all of these as likely consequences of a military attack on Iran. Most people of sound mind are not gunning for a military confrontation with Iran, as much as they might throw around “all options on the table” rhetoric.

Unfortunately, despite all the potential consequences, several major players in US-Iran relations have made counterproductive moves that undermine diplomacy and push us forward on the path toward war.

I have railed against Congress many times on this issue, as their actions on Iran are usually far more likely to hurt the situation than help. The Senate lived up to those expectations last week by passing, 90-1, a resolution that rejects the possibility of containing a “nuclear weapons capable” Iran. As we pointed out when the House took up this bill, this is a dangerous move that sets a vague red line for military action. The legislation does not offer a definition of what a nuclear weapons capability is—by some definitions, Iran could already be there. This votes comes at an especially sensitive time on this issue, essentially putting the Senate in agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than President Obama, who has set his red line at an actual nuclear weapon.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had been somewhat vague about his view of where this red line should be, shifted to the Netanyahu/Congress position on a call with American rabbis:

“With regards to the red line, I would imagine Prime Minister Netanyahu is referring to a red line over which if Iran crossed it would take military action. And for me, it is unacceptable or Iran to have the capability of building a nuclear weapon, which they could use in the Middle East or elsewhere,” Romney said. “So for me, the red line is nuclear capability. We do not want them to have the capacity of building a bomb that threatens ourselves, our friends, and the world.”

“Exactly where those red lines [should be drawn] is something which, I guess, I wouldn’t want to get into in great detail, but you understand they are defined by the Iranian capability to have not only fissile material, but bomb making capability and rocketry,” Romney said.

Romney already demonstrated that he shouldn’t be anywhere near Iran policy with his spectacularly ignorant comments on Iran in the infamous fundraiser video:

If I were Iran, and a crazed fanatic, I’d say let’s get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong or if America starts acting up, we’ll just say, “Guess what, unless you stand down, why we’re gonna let off a dirty bomb.” This is where we head, where American can be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

If we’re going to live in Mitt Romney’s fantasy world where you need a nuclear weapons program to make a dirty bomb and the Iranian regime has no instincts for self-preservation, we can probably just call Jack Bauer to clean it all up and save the day. If we’re dealing with reality, we are going to need an actual understanding of the issues and better policy proposals than being tougher and refusing to apologize.

While Barack Obama at least seems to have a much firmer grasp on that reality, and has helpfully pushed back against “loose talk of war,” his administration committed a major blunder last week that also pushed us toward military confrontation. After an extensive lobbying campaign that spent thousands of dollars buying high profile support from people like Rudy Giuliani and Howard Dean, the State Department removed the Mujahedin-al-Khalq from the list of foreign terrorist organizations. The MEK has killed Americans and Iranians in the past, and has no legitimacy within Iran as an opposition group. Robert Wright explains why what might seem like a bureaucratic detail is so detrimental to a peaceful resolution of tensions with Iran:

A government official said the U.S. will remove the “terrorist” label from the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, a group that got onto the list of terrorist organizations decades ago by, among other things, killing Americans. I’ve argued before that such a “delisting” of MEK would empower hardliners in Iran who want to block a negotiated solution of the nuclear issue. After all, not only is MEK devoted to overthrowing the Iranian government, and not only did it side with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war–MEK has recently, according to NBC News , served as Israel’s proxy in murdering Iranian scientists. So America’s delisting of MEK will be used by Iranian hardliners as evidence that America is too hostile to be a reliable negotiating partner–just as American hawks highlight evidence of Iranian hostility to argue that negotiations are futile.

If government officials truly want to avoid war with Iran (and I believe most of them do), it’s not enough to just say military action is a last resort. They must actively promote alternative policies that can resolve the conflict (and at the very least not undermine them). We don’t want them finding themselves suddenly backed into a corner by their own rhetoric and short-sighted actions, left with no options but the dangerous and expensive military one.

Click here to tell your senators and representative to oppose military action against Iran. 

One Comment
  1. September 27, 2012 8:41 am

    Nice Job Rebecca + PAW.

    this is really sad to see how this has gotten. with all the good folks working for global change how can anyone support such disrespect. we as the human species have left many scars, you would think we would learn to be more sensitive. how much do you think the human psyche can take when people are so distrusted. where are the gauges for human respect + diplomacy. the dignity of giving responsible roles the respect to hold themself accountable.

    where is the good science that ecological gauges, such as working for local food sovereignty as with agroecology gauge in place where globally we as a human species will not survive if we do not link our natural wild biomes for our migratory species; micro biomes + large trans-boundary migration, not to mention the human species to do as we have been created.

    we are interdependent on our local balance of genetic bio-diversity, + if it is only local that we live, we soon will self-destruct from the microbial world not being able to sustain our healthy balance, due to not being able to migrate as we globally are interdependent on this linking.

    many have yet to learn their is no pest, accept for where we produce mediums, for them to do their natural thing + reproduce. which we can prevent.

    so in hearing all this on the edge red line, + political unfact with no good science of common sense, when yet responsible positions globally are allowing it to happen, doe not say much for the UN infrastructure. what about early signs long before people are dulled from misuse/abuse? what about our wild life that is needed to link, when yet the world is already endangering many species, that we are all interdependent on. what about the present negative effects from all those already with nuclear + other weaponry?

    this verbiage must comply within some common sense long before we allow ourself to dull our sensors just in the overload of controversy from so much misinformation.

    the peace negotiations we all should be talking should set standards from those with sharp sensors so we have good science in place globally, which will take people to come together, for the entities many depend on are not functioning efficiently.

    it is our mindbody that gives us tools to see these early signs, if we share awareness to maintain discipline over our self-sensory observation vs belief. which then gives us the ongoing fuel to lead our global potentiial as we prioritize all life locally as we hold ourself + others accountable. for without this understanding to maintain it, we end up ill, diseased + with premature.

    not to mention many struggling with stress as right now all of us should not be lost in these misfacts from those dull that should come into a tapering transition, in each local community + together we should define these gauges as good science, long before it gets to a red line. rather then we can see whom is interfering in who`s ability to simply self-develop.

    further more if we stop production globally of all this weaponry we then maybe can come to our senses of how close we are to an accident, not to mention how we as a global community have allowed so many people to be distressed as our natural resources are being continually depleted. when yet we can together harness + redirect as we utilize this disassociated energy to build communities that share good science as we all integrate + engage in simple respect for all life.

    each of us/you should hold yourself accountable + those people speaking disrespectful + without fact should be welcomed to step down from their position or redirect their attention to simple understanding, vs. so much energy as is in this falseness/this reality yet to uncover from mindbody energy displacement from real attack of distrust/lack of diplomacy, being allowed to interfere in our global potential to harmonize.

    please together focus direct attention to these pockets without understanding + welcome them to the cloth/table for prioritizing good communication skills with the many now with facts locally appropriately + for all to create gauges globally as communication is monitored + held accountable to regain human respect..

    it is wrong + irresponcible for anyone, any entity, any media, to run with misfacts, + more inefficient to see people voting in people for responsible roles, that have yet to learn simple respect for the equality of our human family on this planet we can share.

    this is why we welcome all to invite our project osic in the building, soon to be reeditied, into your schools locally. as a tool to trigger students to come out of school room, give hands on to the many left behind + create rehabs/tallies/network solutions to co_evolve the curriculum to match each communities potential as our natural world fuels + prioritizes good science to be shared globally. as the student within us all reflect, self-observe + realize as ex; this disbute amongst family can be resolved as we then structure hands on with good teachers/community + sort this out locally, vs. carrying illusion globally.

    vs. carrying the waste of resources as in the US election campaign that many of you are taking part in.

    Barack, you fail to realize a nuclear – armed any country is not a challenge that can be contained. nor is time un-limited in ones ability to be mentally abused/or our natural world able to sustain the pressures as is, + all folks globally have had enough. not to mention those unable to process these mixed signals, as our neuro processing supports sharp sensors/dull with mixed to perceive this suffering from afar, leaving much more confusion debilitating many. when yet all can stop this now!

    Barack, if any one can do this to trigger results, you can, you have a grace about you if you don’t allow yourself to be led falsely. please don’t allow anyone to take you to this mis fact + act, rather require all to put this in our reality perspective long before this false ideaology of a red line, as we harness this emotional energy/bad fragmented science in all, especially in repsonsible positions + hold UN accountable to set this cloth/table shared good science + engage as we all interact responsibly now.

    + within the local community each restore ecological sustainable working communites that build people, within our great potential sharing the worlds’ goodness now + from the many that weren’t so fortunate to still be here, not to mention the many good young + old right now living daily hands on with what sustains them as they live in respect of nature`s enhanced limits, as we are fortunate for many to be here to guide us.

    we don’t have to be left muttled in this mess of words of threats/assumptions/acts from those with dull sensors. nor do we have to be mislead as we yet to realize people can only take so much when energy is displaced as blame, for it in itself becomes a deadly weapon, long before material objects are brought in to the picture..

    we can simply prioritize our focus + start with our local food sovereignty, + Prof Miguel Altieri can show us this as he creates curriculum from indigenous that have same yields yet not leave toxic effects. as we have many issues in need of our focus that can set this clarity for peace now if we share what works.

    Miguel + many good folks know well our global food problem we have + how to resolve it. Google him + read his webpage.

    we have solutions folks, we can effciently redirect now + build local communities that harmonize + we can reflect with these patches` of folks simply living as music fills the air + soothes our senses, as everyday good science is applied as we understand it as common sense + no longer allow the disrespect for any life, that the now fragmented science is producing, leaving young + old dull.

    check in with your self thru out the day + ask yourself what effects you are leaving on you + other life. know when with dull or sharp sensors + when to not act. rather listen carefully within + make changes to calm. we have the ability to change our footprints + enjoy our true explorations as we share this planet + beyond together.

    thank you PAW.

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