Sign the Petition - No War with Iran!
We learned only last week that the President gave a "prepare to deploy" order to the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower and its attendant strike force. Their destination is the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Iran.
Is this simply an escalation of Bush's saber-rattling? An attempt to provoke Iran or create a Tonkin Gulf-like rationale to justify military strikes? Or is this actually the first step of planned military action against Iran, with the administrationâ€™s declarations of attempted diplomacy just as phony as they were before the Iraq war?
Many of us might find it hard to believe that he would launch a war when the existing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq grow worse by the day, but that could be a fatal miscalculation for those of us demanding an end to this administrationâ€™s hegemonic militarism. Given his ongoing, near delusional support for the disastrous war in Iraq, and his continued assertion that "all options are on the table" with regard to Iran, this President clearly still favors destruction over diplomacy.
It is impossible to overemphasize the horrific consequences that could flow from a war with Iran, which could well escalate into something resembling a third world war. Some of Bushâ€™s more ardent backers are already licking their chops at the prospect of a "clash of civilizations."
That is why we must begin by confronting them now, and building public opposition to stop this war before it starts. The "No War in Iran" petition is an initial step, with more to follow. Please sign the petition, and pass it on to your friends and colleagues. We need to start raising our voices now - while there is still an opportunity for them to be heard.
READING LIST: U.S.-IRAN
Compiled, June 2006: This is an initial recommended reading list for those who want to look at the overall Bush agenda, and understand the US policy towards Iran in this context. This is an important opportunity to further expose publicly the real agenda behind the fear mongering about nuclear weapons.
The articles, authors, URLs, excerpts and other comments in longer text below this initial list
Overall Bush agenda:
Antonia Juhasz: "The Bush Agenda, Invading the World One Economy at a Time"
Arundhati Roy: "Peace vs. Empire"
Juan Cole: His website, Informed Comment
Info on the Project for a New American Century (URL below)
Overall Bush agenda and Iran:
Stephen Zunes: "The U.S. And Iran: Democracy, Terrorism, and Nuclear Weapons"
Juan Cole: "Fishing for a Pretext in Iran"
Stephen Lendman: "Sham U.S, Proposal to Iran Evokes Memories of Past Similar Ones"
Seymour Hersh: "The Iran Plans"
Consequences of a U.S. Military attack on Iran:
Matthew Rothchild: "The Human costs of Bombing Iran"
Phyllis Bennis: "The Day After"
Other good recent articles:
Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith: "Attack Iran, Ignore the Constitution"
Stephen Zunes: Iran stands in the way of US designs
Detailed Reading List:
The US AND IRAN (For the peace movement to play an effective role in preventing a US military attack on Iran and be able to expose what is going on widely, we need to 1) Be clear in our analysis, (basing our actions on that analysis): What is the Bush foreign policy agenda; what part does Iran play in this agenda; what are the consequences of a military attack on Iran, and 11) Identify the forces which can stop an attack; Build on and/or relate to them effectively. )
I. WHAT IS GOING ON?
a)THE BUSH AGENDA ANTONIA JUHASZ
The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time (ReganBooks, HarperCollins, April 2006) (A book also recommended by Dahr Jamail) Renowned international trade and finance policy expert Antonia Juhasz exposes the Bush Administration's radical corporate globalization agenda for global dominance, as it builds a Pax Americana. Tracing twenty-five years of corporate globalization policy, it reveals the history and key role of U.S. corporations in the creation of the Bush Agenda, focusing on Bechtel, Lockheed Martin, Chevron, and Halliburton. Presenting the Iraq War as the Agenda's most brutal application to date, Juhasz reveals exactly how the Bush administration uses corporate globalization as a weapon of war to transform Iraq's economy for the advantage of the US corporate elite. It concludes with specific achievable alternatives for a more peaceful and sustainable course Also, many interviews with Juhasz on Democracy Now site.
Joshua Holland, in Alternet intervew with Juhasz: http://www.alternet.org/story/35846/ "When George W. Bush says that he wants to spread freedom to every corner of the earth, he means it." But of course the president that turned Soviet-era gulags into secret CIA prisons in order to do God-knows-what to God-knows-whom isn't talking about individual freedom. He means corporate freedom -- freedom for the great multinationals to extract everything they can from the world's resources and labor without the hindrance of public interest laws, environmental regulations or worker protections.
Bush's vision of a free world actually looks just like the corporate globalization agenda pushed by a succession of American presidents in institutions like the World Trade Organization.
But this administration yearns for freedom too much to leave it up to trade negotiators. Unlike his predecessors, Bush isn't content to use carrots and sticks and a liberal dose of arm twisting to advance that agenda. His administration has made the neoliberal policies euphemistically referred to as "free-trade" a centerpiece of its national security policy.
Bush is willing to use the awesome force of the United States military to guarantee the freedom of the world's largest multinationals.
In her new book, The Bush Agenda, Antonia Juhasz peels the veils away from Bush's agenda -- imperialism, militarism and corporate globalization -- and exposes who drives it: a group of hawkish ideologues with an unprecedented relationship to major defense and energy companies.
Juhasz shows that the invasion of Iraq -- an invasion that was as much economic as military -- was the centerpiece of a larger project: the creation a New American Century in which the end-goal of American foreign policy is to enrich the corporate elites, and dissent at home will not be tolerated. Juhasz is a wonk -- she got her start as a staffer for Rep. John Conyers -- but the book is as readable as it is deeply researched."
Peace vs Empire In These Times Magazine, January 2005 http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Arundhati_Roy/People_vs_Empire.html
"On the global stage, beyond the jurisdiction of sovereign governments, international instruments of trade and finance oversee a complex web of multilateral laws and agreements that have entrenched a system of appropriation that puts colonialism to shame. This system allows the unrestricted entry and exit of massive amounts of speculative capital into and out of Third World countries, which then effectively dictates their economic policy. Using the threat of capital flight as a lever, international capital insinuates itself deeper and deeper into these economies. Giant transnational corporations are taking control of their essential infrastructure and natural resources, their minerals, their water, their electricity. The World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions, like the Asian Development Bank, virtually write economic policy and parliamentary legislation. With a deadly combination of arrogance and ruthlessness, they take their sledgehammers to fragile, interdependent, historically complex societies, and devastate them, all under the fluttering banner of "reform" As a consequence of such reform, thousands of small enterprises and industries have closed; millions of workers and farmers have lost their jobs and land."
"Once the free market controls the economies of the Third World they become enmeshed in an elaborate, carefully calibrated system of economic inequality. Western countries flood the markets of poorer nations with their subsidized agricultural goods and other products with which local producers cannot possibly compete. Countries that have been plundered by colonizing regimes are steeped in debt to these same powers, and have to repay them at the rate of about $382 billion a year. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer-not accidentally, but by design."
Professor of History at the University of Michigan
Tune in to his website for daily postings at
Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion http://www.juancole.com/
THE PROJECT FOR THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (PNAC)
US Strategic plans
William Rivers Pitt: "Project for the New American Century" http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm
"The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is a Washington-based think tank created in 1997. Above all else, PNAC desires and demands one thing: The establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of all nations. They chafe at the idea that the United States, the last remaining superpower, does not do more by way of economic and military force to bring the rest of the world under the umbrella of a new socio-economic Pax Americana""
THE BUSH DOCTRINE: 2002 National Security Strategy of the USA
"The Bush Doctrine: What it means"
"THE BUSH administration has produced a National Security Strategy document--nicknamed the "Bush Doctrine" by the media--for Congress that goes further than ever before in asserting U.S. military and economic power.
THE "BUSH Doctrine" aims to impose on the world a new set of "international relations"--power politics in which the U.S. will use free markets and military force to impose its will on "rogue states" and allies alike. As described in previous speeches and policy decisions as well as the new document itself, there are four main elements to the Bush Doctrine: the pre-emptive use of U.S. military power, including "regime change" and the use of nuclear weapons; the refusal of Washington to be bound by any international treaty or organization; the prevention of the emergence of any strategic rival; and the explicit linkage of U.S. economic and military policy. The Bush Doctrine is the latest version of a strategy drawn up by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz when he was a little-known Pentagon bureaucrat in the first Bush administration during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. At that time, the White House had to disown the report after loud criticism from Democrats and allies in Western Europe. Now, Bush believes he can use September 11 to remake the world."
b) BUSH FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA, THE MIDDLE EAST AND IRAN
Iran and Iraq are inextricably linked ".by Bushâ€™s overall agenda for the Middle East and for empire. Authors suggest both domestic and international considerations for US actions re Iran. On the domestic front is the concern that that the Bush administration, embattled now on many fronts, might use the Iran pretext to â€˜rally round the flag againâ€™. Some feel an â€˜October surpriseâ€™, just before the elections, is a possibility. At the same time, there are increasing forces and factors now moving against such an attack, from the decline of Rumsfeld and Rove to opposition from the military to a growing group of foreign policy â€˜realistsâ€™ opposed to military empire. (see Section 11) On the international level:
The Iran Plans, by Seymour M. Hersh Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? The New Yorker April 17, 2006 http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040906Y.shtml
"The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium..."
Stephen Zunes The U.S. and Iran: Democracy, Terrorism, and Nuclear Weapons August 2005 http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Central_Asia_watch/US_Iran_hegemony.html
Good background article. And has this assessment:
"In Washingtonâ€™s eyes, Iranâ€™s most serious offense lies not in the area of human rights, terrorism, nuclear ambitions, subversion, or conquest but rather in daring to challenge U.S. hegemony in the Middle East. Iran is the most important country in the Middle East actively opposing U.S. ambitions for strategic, economic, and political domination over the region. By arranging for the Iranian government to be overthrown or crippled, American policymakers hope to acquire unprecedented leverage in shaping the future direction of the Middle East."
Juan Cole Fishing for a Pretext in Iran March 18 2006 http://www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=9929§ionID=1 "Overthrowing the theocratic regime in Iran, Washington hopes, would reduce Hezbollah pressure on Israel over its continued occupation of the Shebaa Farms area (and, implicitly, the Golan Heights). It would make Syria more complaisant toward Israel and Washington. It would open up Iran to investment and exploration on the part of the American petroleum majors, which are at the moment excluded because the U.S. slapped an economic boycott on Iran. It might remove support for the more hard-line elements among Shiite political parties in Iraq, making that country easier for the U.S. to shape and dominate. In short, a U.S.-installed regime in Iran would hold out the promise of returning to the halcyon 1960s, when the shah was an American puppet in the region.
The nuclear issue is for the most part a pretext for the Americans to exert pressure on the regime in Tehran. This is not to say that proliferation is not a worrisome issue, or that it can be ruled out that Iran wants a bomb. It is to say that the situation simply has not reached the point of crisis, and therefore other motivations must be sought for the Bush administrationâ€™s breathless rhetoric."
Iran: Imperialism's Second Strike by Aijaz Ahmad; Frontline; October 10, 2005 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=%20AH20060129&articleId=1844
(largely about India, but has this synopsis: ""initiatives which had been under way for some time have matured sufficiently over the past two years for Iran to emerge as the virtual lynchpin in the making, over the next decade or so, of what China and Russia have come to regard as an absolutely indispensable Asian Energy Security Grid, for breaking Western control of the world's energy supplies and securing the great industrial revolution of Asia. The subjugation of Iran, always considered essential by the U.S.-Israel axis becomes all the more necessary because, to put it in summary terms: if Iran goes, the Asian Energy Security Grid goes. Iran is quite justified in pointing out that the battle over Iran is, in fact, a battle for securing Asian sovereignty against expansionist imperialism. The Americans too are right: Iran is strategically far more important than, say, Iraq or Syria. Unable to invade immediately, the U.S. needs desperately to break Iran through other means. The weapon at hand is that of international sanctions and regimes of surveillance and sabotage, of the kind that broke Iraq."
Sham U.S. Proposal to Iran Evokes Memories of Past Similar Ones by Stephen Lendman http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=11&ItemID=10372
The Real US Intentions Toward Iran Unreported in the Wall Street Journal and the Rest of the Dominant Corporate Media
So if the latest diplomatic effort is, in fact, couched in deceit, what are the real US intentions. The best way to explain it is to examine the recent past and show how the US public face and pronouncements usually hide its real motives and plans which are quite different and not at all in the spirit of diplomacy. They're also never reported on the pages of the WSJ or elsewhere in the US corporate media.
c) CONSEQUENCES OF A US MILITARY ATTACK ON IRAN
The Human Costs of Bombing Iran By Matthew Rothschild April 11, 2006 http://www.progressive.org/mag_wx041106 "So letâ€™s look at what the human costs of dropping a tactical nuclear weapon on Iran might entail"..They are astronomical."
"The number of deaths could exceed a million, and the number of people with increased cancer risks could exceed 10 million," according to a backgrounder by the Union of Concerned Scientists from May 2005"""
Iran: The Day After by Phyllis Bennis http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?itemid=10128 A great article re consequences of US attack
"Let's look at reality, instead of lies, distortions and weasel-words. If the U.S. attacks Iran - with nuclear or "conventional" bombs - it is virtually certain that Iranian retaliation will be swift and lethal. Iran's surrounding neighborhood is, as the military jargon puts it, "target-rich." Iran's military strategists will have a wide choice"