by Chris Floyd
The Peace Laureate is tightening the screws on Iran even further. Barack Obama took a few minutes away from the big game on Super Bowl Sunday and imposed still more sanctions on Tehran -- to punish them for legally pursuing a peaceful nuclear energy program under close international supervision. (The pure, unmitigated evil of these Persians, eh?)
Again, it must be stressed that not a single government in the world -- including Israel -- believes that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Not one. No one is making that claim. In fact, leading figures in both the United States and Israel have made it very plain in recent weeks that they do not believe Iran is building a nuclear weapon.
There is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. It does not exist. And yet these same leaders, at the same time, tell us that we must put more and more pressure on Iran -- we must assassinate its scientists, we must carry out covert ops inside its territory, we must surround it with bristling military bases, we must belly up to its shores with vast fleets, we must fill its skies with spy drones, and we must drive its ordinary citizens into ruin and suffering with an ever-increasing array of sanctions -- in order to .... what, exactly?
Again, let's make it clear, in great block letters ten feet high and five feet wide: the elites pushing us rapidly toward war do not believe Iran is building a nuclear bomb. What's more, they would not feel threatened if Iran did have a bomb. There is only one thing they want: regime change in Tehran. And there is only reason they want it: domination of strategic oil lands of the Middle East. They certainly aren't concerned about the actual nature of the Tehran regime -- which is far less repressive than the West's beloved extremists in Saudi Arabia -- nor are they concerned in the slightest about the Iranian people. The sanctions themselves prove that.
Wise man William Blum is also on the case in his latest Anti-Empire Report:
[Last month] we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that "three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel."
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel's judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now ... in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a report to Congress: "We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. ... There are "certain things [the Iranians] have not done" that would be necessary to build a warhead.
But as Blum notes, these statements are "never put into headlines by the American mass media; indeed, only very lightly reported at all." Instead, the fierce watchdogs of the American media are more than happy to shape their stories in the service of the greater cause of warmongering -- even though, again, our elites know full well that the "Iranian bomb" is an empty threat:
On the Public Broadcasting System (PBS News Hour, January 9), the non-commercial network much beloved by American liberals, the Panetta quote above was reported as: "But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that's what concerns us." Flagrantly omitted were the preceding words: "Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No ..." 5
One of Israel's leading military historians, Martin van Creveld, was interviewed by Playboy magazine in June 2007:
Playboy: Can the World live with a nuclear Iran?
Van Creveld: The U.S. has lived with a nuclear Soviet Union and a nuclear China, so why not a nuclear Iran? I've researched how the U.S. opposed nuclear proliferation in the past, and each time a country was about to proliferate, the U.S. expressed its opposition in terms of why this other country was very dangerous and didn't deserve to have nuclear weapons. Americans believe they're the only people who deserve to have nuclear weapons, because they are good and democratic and they like Mother and apple pie and the flag. But Americans are the only ones who have used them. ... We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons ... thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."
And so the beat goes on. Ordinary Iranians are going hungry, getting poorer, having their futures destroyed for the sole purpose of augmenting the wealth and power and privilege of our American elites and their colonial outriders. And if this domination is not handed to them on a platter by the current Iranian regime, our elites are quite happy to kill countless thousands of innocent people to get it.
That's the reality. That's the world you're living in. Do you like it? No? Then change it.
this article originally appeared on the blog Empire Burlesque