Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bush Administration Flaws in assessing Iran Nuclear Program

Iran's nuclear program is more than 30 years old. Still the Bush administration differentiates Iran today from Iran in the past using two specious arguments:

Iran's concealment of nuclear energy development activities in the past and President Ahmadinejad's intemperate remarks on Israel.

For these flimsy and insubstantial reasons, apparently, people in the United States and Israel are ready to talk about bombing Iran's nuclear development facilities in an orgy of self-righteous feel-good destruction. Hang the consequences, (But doesn't the thought of revenge for the hostage crisis a quarter-century ago and a few inappropriate speeches get those juices flowing?)

I have already addressed the fact that Ahmadinejad's remarks have little or no connection with any probable action on Iran's part regarding Israel. He has no effective power in this area, and his remarks aren't even embraced by Iran's clerical leaders.

However it is fruitful to examine the now conventional wisdom that Iran had "regularly hidden information about its nuclear program" etc. as if this in and of itself was proof of a nuclear weapons program. Of course, it is not, although many breathlessly cite it as the principal smoking gun.

I will go into a more detailed analysis in a later post.

First of all, however, remember that whatever concealment of whatever activity started 18-20 years ago when the Revolution was still young and Ayatollah Khomeini was still alive. There was, of course, a different Iranian administration than is in power today, or that was in power when the nuclear question became an issue. If George W. Bush were to be held responsible for things that happened 18 years ago, or even 8 years ago, there would be howling in the Capitol. The myth of a monolithic unchanging government in Iran is indeed very powerful, overwhelming all common sense and reason.

Second, whatever Iran did or didn't do in the past, they are in compliance with the NNPT at present. Indeed, there would be no way to accuse them of anything if they were not so compliant

Third, need I point out that there are many countries who have concealed their nuclear activities (Israel, India, Pakistan, Brazil, North Korea), and some who still do--it is an open secret. Mohammad Elbaradei gave a half-dozen plausible reasons why Iran might have felt it prudent to conceal its activities (the U.S. embargo, the ran-Iraq war, the U.S. actions in Gulf War I and II right next door, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons--again right next door, the hidden weapons program in Israel, etc. etc. ). This didn't excuse the concealment, but neither is it proof that Iran has a weapons' program at present. In fact, no one has shown that such a weapons program exists.

The mantra "Iran must not get nuclear weapons" has been repeated so often now that most people have come to believe that Iran has them or is getting them. Has anyone stopped to think that this only became an issue when the neoconservative agenda to "remake" the Middle East--including Iran--became actualized? The Iran nuclear crisis is truly a manufactured crisis, based on the flimsiest of evidence and reasoning. I can only hope that soberer minds rethink this position.

The tragedy would be that in the end, the U.S. may goad Iran in to a real nuclear weapons program. The Iranians may reason that since they are being punished for the crime anyway, they might as well commit it.

Alito Confirmation signals creeping Fascism

Every American should know the names Buzz Windrip and Bishop Peter Paul Prang, novelist Sinclair Lewis' fictional dictator-president and his right-wing Christian demagogic supporter from the novel "It Can't Happen Here." In the novel Windrip becomes dictator of the United States because citizens are cowed into doing nothing to stop him. Lewis used the Great Depression as the cause that elevated dictator Windrip to absolute power, but today's phony "War on Terrorism" is a good substitute for this. The almost certain confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito to the supreme court where he will likely reafirm unchecked imperial power for President George W. Bush is the latest step in turning the United States into a fascist state for real. Wake up, America! The freedom and civil liberties you treasure are slipping away by the moment. Republicans and Democrats alike should urge their legislators to oppose Alito's nomination. Indeed: It Can Happen Here!