For the Global Thinker

Monday, February 27, 2012

Six Questions to Ask Anyone Advocating War in Iran


"To that end, the following are six questions reporters should ask of anyone advocating military action against Iran:

Q. America has not had a diplomatic presence in Iran for three decades. As such, much of our knowledge relies on intelligence. Given the controversy over our intelligence on Iraq, how are we factoring in and addressing the uncertainty of intelligence on Iran's nuclear program?

Q. What are the views of the Iranian people in regards to a potential war and the current sanctions regime? Is this current path helping us win or lose hearts and minds in Iran?

Q. What are the forces behind Iran's nuclear program? Could one factor be a desire for a nuclear deterrence due to a sense of insecurity and threat? If so, how can we affect Iran's sense of need for a nuclear deterrence? Does the increasingly bellicose and confrontational approach of the West actually increase Tehran's desire for nuclear deterrence?

Q. The U.S. has thousands of nuclear weapons. Israel has hundreds. Iran currently has a mighty arsenal of zero nuclear weapons. The U.S. has successfully deterred Iran for more than three decades. Why are we assuming that suddenly, deterrence will not work with Iran anymore?

Q. The U.S. military leadership does not believe Israel has an effective military option when it comes to unilaterally destroying Iran's nuclear sites. A tense exchange is currently playing out in public between the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military, with Israeli officials accusing Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey of having "served Iran's interests." What lies behind the starkly diverging views of the Netanyahu government and the U.S. military on Iran?

Q. According to the Congressional Research Service, total war-related funding for Iraq has exceeded $800 billion -- an average of approximately $100 billion per year. With these numbers in mind -- and at a time of over 8 percent unemployment and unprecedented government bailouts -- how will we pay for a war with Iran?

Looking back at America's recent wars, the American people trusted that their elected leaders accurately assessed the pros and cons of their policies. It didn't take long before protracted quagmires collapsed that trust. With the notable exception of neoconservatives, most Americans eventually realized the sad truth: their leaders didn't have a plan beyond bombing; they knew little if anything about the country in question; and they failed to conduct a realistic cost assessment -- in both blood and treasure -- of the endeavor. By the time Americans realized all of this, the damage had already been done.

Avoiding another war of choice will require a media that digs beyond agenda-driven analysis and prevents the debate from being curtailed. It will require a media that doesn't permit a question of life and death to be framed in a simplistic manner that leaves the U.S. with a false choice of either bombing Iran or accepting an Iranian bomb. It is the responsibility of reporters -- not congressmen, senators, neoconservatives or foreign governments -- to not only get answers to their questions, but also to define the questions properly.

On Iraq, the mainstream media did not ask the right questions until disaster was a reality. On Iran, those questions need to be asked now so that disaster can be avoided.


Also here is another very interesting article about the impending war in Iran...

What's Really Happening in Iran?

The supreme war-or-peace question regarding the Iran psychodrama has got to be: What game is Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei really playing?
Sharp wits among the lively Iranian global diaspora maintain that the Supreme Leader is the perfect US/Israel asset - as he incarnates Iran as "the enemy" (although in most cases in a much less strident way than Ahmadinejad).  
In parallel, the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran also needs "the enemy" - as in "the Great Satan" and assorted Zionists - to justify its monopoly of power.

The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy - as in the foundation for the country's ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a "republic" - nor "Islamic".    
For their part, another current of informed Iranian - and Western - critics of empire swear that the belligerent Likud-majority government of Israel is in fact the perfect Iranian asset. After all, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and former Moldova bouncer turned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's non-stop warmongering tends to rally Iranians of all persuasions - always proudly nationalistic - behind the flag.
The absolute majority of Iranians knows and feels they are targeted by a heavily weaponised foreign power - US/Israel. The leadership in Tehran has been wily enough to instrumentalise this foreign threat, and at the same time further smash the Green movement.


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