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iran

Now, without fanfare, President Obama is effectively revoking Carter’s doctrine. The U.S. military presence in the region is receding. When Obama posited in his second inaugural address that “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” he was not only recycling a platitude; he was also acknowledging the folly and futility of the enterprise in which U.S. forces had been engaged. Having consumed vast quantities of blood and treasure while giving Americans little to show in return, that enterprise is now ending. With Iran, Obama can end America’s long war for the Middle East

It is hard to think of a country in the world that needs a deterrent more than Iran. It has been tormented by the West without respite ever since its parliamentary regime was overthrown by a US-British military coup in 1953, first under the harsh and brutal regime of the Shah, then under murderous attack by Saddam Hussein, with western support. It was largely US intervention that induced Iran to capitulate; and shortly after, President George Bush I invited Iraqi nuclear engineers to the US for training in advanced weapons production, an extraordinary threat to Iran. Iraq soon became an enemy, but meanwhile Iran was subjected to harsh sanctions, intensifying under US initiative to the present. It constantly subjected to the threat of military attack by the US and Israel — in violation of the UN Charter, if anyone cares. Noam Chomsky

It is no longer a matter of “we,” but of a presidential “I” when it comes to unleashing attacks in what has become a global free fire zone for those drones and special ops forces. War, in other words, is increasingly lodged in the Oval Office and a commander-in-chief executive. As the Libyan intervention suggested, like the American people, Congress is, at best, an afterthought — even though this Congress would rubber-stamp a presidential act of war against Iran without a second thought. The irony is that the president has propounded a war-making policy of unprecedented extremity at a moment when there is no evidence that the Iranians are pursuing a bomb — not yet at least. The “supreme leader” of their theocratic state has termed the possession of nuclear weapons “a grave sin” and U.S. national intelligence estimates have repeatedly concluded that the Iranians are not, in fact, moving to build nuclear weapons. If, however — and it’s a giant if — Iran actually got the bomb, if a 10th country joined the nuclear club (with others to follow), it would be bad news, and the world would be a worse place for it, but not necessarily that greatly changed. Obama Breaks New Ground When It Comes to War With Iran

But that swaggering tale of Reagan’s toughness is not supported by the historical record. Not only does the overwhelming evidence now show that Reagan’s campaign team negotiated secretly behind President Carter’s back to undercut his efforts to free the hostages, but Reagan then followed up their release by authorizing secret shipments of weapons to Iran via Israel. In other words, instead of bullying the Iranians over their hostage-taking, Reagan rewarded them. And those shipments did not begin in 1985, with the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostage deals, but rather almost immediately after Reagan took office in 1981, according to a number of Israeli and U.S. government officials. Romney’s Made-up History on Iran

For months, Americans have been subjected to this continuous, coordinated, repetitive messaging from Israeli officials, amplified through the U.S. media. This is generally how the establishment American media conducts the debate over whether to attack Iran: here are Israeli officials explaining why an attack is urgent and why the U.S. must conduct it. Now here are American officials explaining why an attack can wait a little while longer but that it will happen if necessary to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon. Occasionally, here are American foreign policy experts arguing why an attack would be too difficult and costly. What is missing from the debate are the views held not only by Iranian leaders but also large populations in numerous capitals and nations around the world: that Iran has the right to pursue its nuclear program; that it is Israel and the U.S. — not Iran — that poses the greatest threat to world peace; that American and Israeli aggression against non-nuclear states (along with their massive stockpile of nuclear weapons) is what makes it rational for a nation to want to proliferate, etc. One does not have to agree with any of those views to recognize how widely they are held in the world and how much of a place they (therefore) merit in the discussion. Glenn Greenwald

I’m not defending Ahmadinejad, I think he’s nuts and a monstrous dick and I definitely don’t think he should be allowed to have nuclear weapons, but to me this issue has little to do with Iran at all. What’s more troubling to me is that we’ve internalized this “gentleman’s code” to the point where its basic premises are no longer even debated. Once upon a time, way back in the stone ages, when Noam Chomsky was first writing about these propaganda techniques in Manufacturing Consent, our leaders felt the need to conceal – or at least sugar-coat – these Orwellian principles. It was assumed that the American people genuinely needed to feel like they were on the right side of things, and so the foreign powers we clashed with were always depicted as being the instigators and aggressors, while our role in provoking those responses was always disguised or at least played down. But now the public openly embraces circular thinking like, “Any country that squawks when we threaten to bomb it is a threat that needs to be wiped out.” Maybe I’m mistaken, but I have to believe that there was a time when ideas like that sounded weird to the American ear. Now they seem to make sense to almost everyone here at home, and that to me is just as a scary as Ahmadinejad. Matt Taibbi

If Iran was such a dire threat, why did we invade Iraq? Also, Iran is a threat in Iraq precisely because we took out Iran’s principal rival in the region and created a security vacuum in Iraq that opened the door for Iran’s Shiite allies to gain influence. The self-justifying war in Iraq

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