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PORTSIDE  December 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE December 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Advocates of War with Iran Take Some Heavy Hits

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Date:

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 22:18:54 -0500

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (132 lines)

Advocates of War with Iran Take Some Heavy Hits

By Sherwood Ross

Advocates of a hot war with Iran have just taken some
heavy hits from a Harvard professor of international
relations and two prominent journalists.

Harvard's Professor Stephen Walt has savaged an article
in the forthcoming "Foreign Affairs"
magazine(Jan.-Feb.)  by Matthew Kroenig titled, "Time
to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option."
Kroenig is an Assistant Professor of Government at
Georgetown University who wrote:

"The truth is that a military strike intended to
destroy Iran's nuclear program, if managed carefully,
could spare the region and the world a very real threat
and dramatically improve the long-term national
security of the United States."

Calling this "a remarkably poor piece of advocacy,"
Harvard's Walt writes that Kroenig "makes the case for
war by assuming everything will go south if the U.S.
does not attack and that everything will go swimmingly
if it does. This is not fair-minded 'analysis'; it is
simply a brief for war designed to reach a
predetermined conclusion," Walt writes of the "Foreign
Affairs" piece.

"He (Kroenig) is openly calling for preventive war
against Iran, even though the United States has no
authorization from the U.N. Security Council, it is not
clear that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons,
and Iran has not attacked us or any of our
allies---ever," Walt writes.

"He is therefore openly calling for his country to
violate international law. He is calmly advocating a
course of action will inevitably kill a significant
number of people, including civilians...and Kroenig is
willing to have their deaths on his conscience on the
basis of a series of unsupported assertions, almost all
of them subject to serious doubt."

Writing in UK's "The Guardian" newspaper December 7th,
journalist Seumas Milne points out that Iran is a
peaceful nation that "has invaded no one in 200 years"
while "the US. and Israel have attacked 10 countries or
territories between them in the past decade." What's
more, Milne adds, "Britain exploited, occupied and
overthrew governments in Iran for over a century. So
who threatens who exactly?"

He goes on to write, "For months the evidence has been
growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has
already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert
support for armed opposition groups has spread into a
campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber
warfare, attacks on military and missile installations,
and the killing of an Iranian general, among others."

Milne also called it an "extraordinary admission" that
British defense officials said if the U.S. planned to
attack Iran, as they believed it might, America would
receive "UK military help," including sea and air
support. "The British military establishment fully
expects to take part in an unprovoked US attack on
Iran---just as it did against Iraq eight years ago," he
said.

(This admission shouldn't be that astonishing as the
U.S. and U.K. are inextricably tied together militarily
and in a number of  other significant ways and appear
to be bent on advancing the imperial goals of the old
British Empire. A superficial difference today is that
the Empire's capital has moved from London to
Washington. In reality, from their joint intelligence
operations to their collaborating oil companies to
their defense contractors, etc., US/UK operate as One.
Maybe the long-time partners should rebrand themselves
the United States of England?)

Meanwhile, American journalist Patrick J. Buchanan
pointed out that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
"dropped some jolting news" when he told CBS, "If we
get intelligence they (Iranians) are proceeding with
developing a nuclear weapons, then we will take
whatever steps necessary to deal with it."

In his column of December 22, Buchanan charged,
"Panetta is raising the specter of preemptive war,"
adding, "This is no minor matter. For not only have
Panetta and Barack Obama talked about 'all options on
the table' regarding Iran---i.e., we do not rule out
military strikes---so, too, have the GOP presidential
candidates, save Rep. Ron Paul."

Responding to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little's
statement, "We have no indication that the Iranians
have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapons,"
Buchanan wrote it "coincides with the consensus of all
16 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and
Defense Intelligence Agency, in December, 2007."

Or, to put it another way, in the blunt words of "The
Guardian's" Milne, "The case against Iran
is...spectacularly flimsy."   #

(Sherwood Ross is a U.S.-based public relations
consultant for "good causes" who formerly reported for
the Chicago Daily News and worked as a columnist for
several wire services. Reach him at
[log in to unmask]).

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