Sunday, October 12, 2014

War with Iran ... Foolish and Immoral

For years, we have heard Benjamin Netanyahu try to push America into a war with Iran. Just last month, while at the United Nations, Netanyahu:

Declared Iran the “gravest threat” to the world, saying that defeating ISIS without also defeating Iran “is to win the battle and lose the war.”  
          He said that he did not believe Iran is actually opposed to ISIS even though Iran has had troops in Iraq fighting ISIS for months.[1]

Again, the next day, meeting with President Obama, it is reported that his main agenda was to “not let up on sanctions against Iran.” Referring to what he called a “global concern” about Iran’s nuclear program, he declared that in order for diplomacy to work, those pressures must be kept in place.”[2]

I remember John McCain, when running for president, responding to a reporter’s question as to what he would do about Iran.  Glibly, McCain referred to a popular singing group, and with a smile said, “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

The same people who were so eager for us to attack Iraq several years ago, saying that it would be a “cake walk,” that our troops would be greeted with flowers,” are at it again. They assured us then that a war with Iraq would cost us nothing. It would pay for itself.  Yet, two decades later, we are still stuck in Iraq and paying an enormous price.  It is amazing that none of the war-hawks who are now saying, “no friendly relations with Iran.” are willing to admit that invading Iraq was a mistake.  Forget Iraq, they say. Attack Iran.

I think an attack on Iran would be foolish.  Iran is much stronger than Iraq. Some say, twenty times stronger. If there would ever be a case of smacking the tar baby, bombing Iran is it. Some problems do not have a military solution. Attacking Iran could very well cause more problems than it solves.

The problem is not Iran, it is salafism. Salifism is a radical Islamic fundamentalism which rejects everything modern and everything Western. The salafist are not Shia nor Sunni. They hold no loyalty to any denomination or nation.  Their goal is to force a society based on the seventh century world of Mohammad and sharia law. Salafism is dangerous and a threat to many people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. But, it is an idea. You just can’t stop an idea with a bomb.[3]

The analogy is often used that we must cut off the head of the snake.  Sounds easy, but salafism is not a snake.  Recent history shows that salafism is more like a star fish. Cut off the leg of a star fish and it just grows another leg, and the leg you cut off becomes another star fish.   When Osama bin Laden and his salafist cohorts flew planes into the towers in New York and crashed into the pentagon, it was estimated that less than one percent of the world’s Muslims would call themselves salafist.  Today, nobody knows how many there are. Some estimate as many as 10 percent.  But this much is certain.  Every time we pull off an Abu Ghraib,  a Guantanamo Bay,  or bomb another Muslim nation, the salafist groups around the world go into a recruiting mode.

It would be foolish to attack Iran, but not only that, it would be immoral.

We have often heard that Ahmadinejad threatened to destroy the State of Israel and annihilate the Jews.  But, the quote referred to by Israel’s Prime Ministers did not say that Ahmadinejad threatened  to drive Jews into sea. Reading his words in the Farci language, what he actually said was, “This regime occupying Jerusalem must disappear from the pages of time.”[4]  This sounds more like a moral condemnation, that a physical threat.

Another consideration when casually talking about a war with Iran is that back in 1982, when Iraq attacked Iran, even after more than 200,000 Iranians had been killed, “20,000 by poison gas launched by Iraq, 100,000 severely injured by nerve agents, even after the war, 55,000 people were being treated for illness from chemical weapons,”[5] Iran did not retaliate:

The real reason for Iran’s failure to use chemical weapons was not the inability to formulate the necessary mix of chemicals but the fact that Ayatollah Khomeini had forbidden it on the grounds of Islamic jurisprudence.[6]

Chemical weapons violate Islamic morality.  Now here is the point.  The same Islamic restriction against killing innocent people that applied to chemical weapons also  applies to nuclear weapons:

Khomeini’s wartime fatwa prohibiting Iran from manufacturing or using chemical weapons and Khamenei’s 2003 fatwa against the manufacture, possession, or use of nuclear weapons – provided concrete evidence that religious prohibitions on WMD by the supreme leader have not been mere propaganda but have played a decisive role in determining Iran’s policy on both chemical and nuclear weapons issues.[7]
For what it’s worth, there has never been an Iranian suicide bomber and in the past two hundred and fifty years, Iran has attacked no one.

In 1988 the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airline killing all 290 people.  President Reagan announced that the Vincennes was under attack, that the airliner was not in its assigned corridor, that it was descending, that its transponder made erroneous signals. Yet, when all of these excuses proved to be false, Iran launched no retaliation.

I wish our media would give fair press to Iran.  In the days after 9/11, thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran to hold candlelight vigils for the victims in America:

Tehran asked nothing in return from the Bush administration for its help, which included putting the Northern Alliance at the United States disposal as the primary ground force component in the campaign to topple the Taliban. … Khatami asked to visit Ground Zero that he might offer prayers and light a candle in memory of the 9/11 victim … Tehran also offered to send terrorism experts to open an American-Iranian counter-terrorism dialogue. Bush rejected both proposals and condemned Iran as an “axis of evil” in his next State of the Union Address.[8]

In the meantime, Israel assassinates Iranian scientist and threatens to bomb its people.

Again, It would be foolish and immoral for the U.S. to allow Israel to pull us into a war with Iran. For peace in the Middle East, it would be far more just and wise for the US to make a serious effort to bring about a fair and moral solution toward the rights of the Palestinians still under Israeli occupation.
                                                                                    Thomas Are
                                                                                    October 12, 2014

[1] Jason Ditz, Netanyahu: Iran Worse Than ISIS, ISIS Equal to Hamas,,  September 29, 2014
[2] Huffington Post, Israel’s Netanyahu Meets With Obama. September 30, 2014.
[3] See The Good Fight, by Peter Beinard, and The Battle for God, by Karen Armstrong.
[4] See Flint and Hillary Mann Leverett, Going to Tahran, (Metropolitan Books,  New York, 2013.) .p. 19.
Their research is backed up by The Guardian, The Washington Post and the New York Times.
[5] Gareth Porte Manufactured Crisis, (Just Word Books,, 2014)   p. 59.
[6] Ibid.  p.63.
[7] Ibid., p.75.
[8] Leverett, Going to Tehran, p,118-119.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing that you are so well informed on why we shouldn't bomb Iran, yet so ignorant on the fact that Osama Bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11. Our government and military at the least stood-down. And it was not the planes, nor the fires that had almost burned themselves out that brought the buildings down. Try going to 9/11 Architects and Engineers for truth. This could be rather eye opening for you.