Iran: it will be war.

= Marten Lindquist, Peace Poster Pro­ject­In dis­cus­sions yes­ter­day in the Porn Lounge in the Green­peace office (so called because of the ornate faux-18th cen­tu­ry faux-gold thread­ed freecy­cled fur­ni­ture) a cou­ple of us talk about Iran and the ulti­ma­tum that the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil is going to deliv­er. Is there, real­is­ti­cal­ly, any way that this won’t amount to a dec­la­ra­tion of war? Isn’t the ques­tion now what form that war will take rather than whether it will hap­pen? And what, as peace activists have we got to say about this?

I know what I say: Ban it all, dammit. Iran has no “inalien­able right” to nuclear pow­er any­more than I’ve got an inalien­able right to send my kid to school with a luger. The US won’t have the right to play good cop until it sets an exam­ple by shed­ding those 30,000 nuclear weapons they’re still hold­ing up their sleeve (and which don’t, by the way, seem to be deter­ring a damn thing). The Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil is bank­rupt for the same rea­son — recall you buy a veto in that club with nukes.

The geopoltics of this par­tic­u­lar cri­sis may be com­pli­cat­ed, but the big pic­ture answer is sim­ple. A fis­sile mate­ri­als ban for all. We have a choice: a world where there’s a nuclear weapon for every man, wom­an and child on the plan­et, or one where they’re 100% pro­hib­it­ed. No nukes. Peri­od. Now, how do we get 30 mil­lion peo­ple out in the streets to say that with one voice?????

And as to what form this war will take — here’s a chill­ing bit of spin­drift from the ocean of email I wade through every day. I find this a fair­ly cred­i­ble analy­sis of why Israel will front the attack, though I dis­agree in some details (the US doesn’t real­ly care what the world thinks either, but they will build a coali­tion around this one for the sake of domes­tic pol­i­tics):

Some thoughts on whether the US or Israel would hit Iran first (IF they do, let us hope not) — there is sur­pris­ing­ly lit­tle pub­lic dis­cus­sion. I would sug­gest the US would not jump first — it would be a diplo­mat­ic dis­as­ter as the whole
world would con­demn a new uni­lat­er­al war, and also it would imme­di­ate­ly invite the still-silent Badr brigades in Iraq to attack the US occu­piers, and it would give the Democ­rats a secu­ri­ty issue to be dif­fer­ent from the Bush admin­stra­tion about, some­thing the Dems des­per­ate­ly need.

Israel on the oth­er hand:

  • open­ly con­sid­ers that Cheney has given them the green light to do a pre­ven­tive strike;
  • is pub­licly com­mit­ted to a ‘point of no return’ in the next weeks or months — so doing noth­ing would be a sign of weak­ness and ques­tion their acknowl­edged ‘be like mad dog’ mil­i­tary pos­ture.
  • will have a new Kadi­ma gov­ern­ment that may need to prove it’s tough-guy cre­den­tials in the absence of Sharon, espe­cial­ly as it soon wants to “sell out” a few ille­gal set­tle­ments in the Occu­pied Ter­ri­to­ries to make a per­ma­nent
  • Israel has announced it wants to take out Bushehr as well. The Amer­i­cans would may­be like to do, but can­not real­ly jus­ti­fy it because they admit Iran has a right to nuclear pow­er. Israel will not sat­is­field with a diplo­mat­ic
    solu­tion to end Ira­ni­an enrich­ment — it’s said it can not tol­er­ate ANY civil nukes pro­gram.
  • unlike the US, Israel has no con­cern about what the rest of the world thinks
  • unlike the US, Israel con­sid­ers Ira­ni­an nukes to be an ‘exis­ten­tial threat’… a grave, total threat to the exis­tence of the state. So they have to act, some­time.

Not every expert in the US thinks this way, indeed the Army War Col­lege pub­lish­es papers about learn­ing to live with the Ira­ni­an bomb being a bet­ter idea than bomb­ing Iran.

From the US point of view, it is not only much more con­ve­nient if Israel strikes first, but the end result would be sim­i­lar — if Iran strikes back at either Israel or US forces, then Bush would have a legit­i­mate causus bel­li of
defend­ing an ally or of self defence — and could bomb what­ev­er it liked in Iran.

If you find that scary, go get a heap­ing help­ing of more bad news over at Pete’s blog, Don’t Bomb Iran. Then talk it up — there’s a train start­ing to roll down the tracks, it’s gath­er­ing steam, and it’s name ain’t peace.


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