= 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.