Home > Uncategorized > Ratchet Up The Rhetoric…

Ratchet Up The Rhetoric…


And pass the propaganda.  Not being satisfied with being involved in two military failures that are consuming valuable resources, lives and public spirit, there are many who are now salivating at the prospect of engaging in another military adventure with Iran.  Having studied Iran, listened to what actually comes out of there by their leaders and understanding their history I have to say that most of what I hear from my fellow citizens in regard that country is simply incorrect. 

Professor Juan Cole of Informed Comment put together a good list of things which point out that a lot of what  people believe about Iran is either distorted or simply not true.  They are points worth considering as the hawks of the United States and Israel start circling.

Top Things You Know About Iran That Are Not True

…..Belief: Iran is aggressive and has threatened to attack Israel, its neighbors or the US

Reality: Iran has not launched an aggressive war modern history (unlike the US or Israel), and its leaders have a doctrine of “no first strike.” This is true of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as of Revolutionary Guards commanders.

We on the other hand do have a “first strike” policy.  It is called the Bush Doctrine.  Israel…well, Israel is our gun platform in the Middle East that likes to use its defensive weapons to attack whoever they want, whenever they want and with no accountability. 

Belief: Iran is a militarized society bristling with dangerous weapons and a growing threat to world peace.

Reality: Iran’s military budget is a little over $6 billion annually. Sweden, Singapore and Greece all have larger military budgets. Moreover, Iran is a country of 70 million, so that its per capita spending on defense is tiny compared to these others, since they are much smaller countries with regard to population. Iran spends less per capita on its military than any other country in the Persian Gulf region with the exception of the United Arab Emirates.

And this is an important point.  We spend more on our military than the next 30 largest countries combined.  Israel is a huge recipient of our spending and they of course put a sizeable amount into their armed forces as well.

Belief: Iran has threatened to attack Israel militarily and to “wipe it off the map.”

Reality: No Iranian leader in the executive has threatened an aggressive act of war on Israel, since this would contradict the doctrine of ‘no first strike’ to which the country has adhered. The Iranian president has explicitly said that Iran is not a threat to any country, including Israel.

This is the one that gets the most press.  This “Wipe it off the map” comment.  It has been discredited for a long time yet still is the mainstay of journalistic examples of why Iran is such a threat.  But….

Belief: But didn’t President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threaten to ‘wipe Israel off the map?’

Reality: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did quote Ayatollah Khomeini to the effect that “this Occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” (in rezhim-e eshghalgar-i Qods bayad as safheh-e ruzgar mahv shavad). This was not a pledge to roll tanks and invade or to launch missiles, however. It is the expression of a hope that the regime will collapse, just as the Soviet Union did. It is not a threat to kill anyone at all.

And you can read the piece if you care to get a more realistic look at Iran and its intentions.  I will post one more though because it details the recent revelations about a new nuclear facility that President Obama mentioned in his speech at the U.N.:

Belief: The West recently discovered a secret Iranian nuclear weapons plant in a mountain near Qom.

Actuality: Iran announced Monday a week ago to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had begun work on a second, civilian nuclear enrichment facility near Qom. There are no nuclear materials at the site and it has not gone hot, so technically Iran is not in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, though it did break its word to the IAEA that it would immediately inform the UN of any work on a new facility. Iran has pledged to allow the site to be inspected regularly by the IAEA, and if it honors the pledge, as it largely has at the Natanz plant, then Iran cannot produce nuclear weapons at the site, since that would be detected by the inspectors. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted on Sunday that Iran could not produce nuclear weapons at Natanz precisely because it is being inspected. Yet American hawks have repeatedly demanded a strike on Natanz.

So…I would suggest that the hawks find a shady branch to sit on, that people not believe everything the propaganda machine fabricates, misinformation and disinformation our U.S. media reinforces and validates.  And remember too that we listened to the screeching hawks and many swallowed their lies and supported the invasion of Iraq.  How did that all work out for us? 

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and the war hawks kept in a cage.  We don’t need another war.  We especially don’t need another war based on lies.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 4, 2009 at 4:36 am

    I was hoping you would bring up the thing about Israel having a nuclear arsenall and refusing to acknowledge it or sign the nuclear non-proliferation agreement. The US pander to Israel and Israel are a threat because they can do as they please with the sound feeling of US support always on their back. A very neat post, much more succinct than mine on a similar topic.


    • notimefortrivia
      October 4, 2009 at 5:32 am

      I understand our sordid relationship with Israel. I just don’t like it. The double standard we employ in our dealings with them versus our dealings with its neighbors is a huge contributing factor to the animosity of the Muslims. Also our support for despot like Egypt’s Mubarak who supresses true democracy and Saudi Arabia which is a theocracy that stones women to death for the trivialist of crimes yet we claim we are spreading democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or as GW would say, “Democracy is on the march.” It sort of turns ones stomach….

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