Through a Glass Darkly -- Again

Paul Craig Roberts, the former Reagan official and Wall Street Journal editor who has become one of the leading firebrands of dissent against the Bush Faction, rains fire on the heads of the warmongers slavering for a strike on Iran – and on the American people who seem all too willing to be led down the primrose path to terrorist-spawning quagmire once again. From Rank Ignorance Reigns.

Some excerpts: The "evidence" that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons consists of mere assertion by members of the Bush administration and the neoconservative media. Iran says it is not pursuing nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have found no evidence of a weapons program. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Under the treaty, signatories have the right to develop nuclear energy. All they are required to do is to make reports to the IAEA and keep their facilities open to inspection. Iran complies with these requirements.

There is no Iranian "defiance." When news media report "defiance," they purvey disinformation. The "seals" on Iranian nuclear facilities were placed there voluntarily by the Iranians while they attempted to resolve the false charges brought by the Bush administration. The "Iran crisis" is entirely the product of the Bush administration's determination to deprive Iran of its rights as a signatory of the nonproliferation treaty. It is one more demonstration of President Bush's belief that his policies are not constrained by fact, law, and international treaties.

Despite the clear and unambiguous facts, the Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll reports that 60 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents, and 36 percent of Democrats support using air strikes and ground troops against Iran in order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. This poll indicates an appalling extent of ignorance and misinformation among the American public. The Bush administration will take advantage of this ignorance to initiate another war in the Middle East….

Fox is aggressively agitating for war with Iran. On shows such as Hannity and Colmes, guest after guest – Newt Gingrich, various retired generals, pundits, and even Democratic politicians – agitate for attacking Iran. For example, on Jan. 26 and 27, liberal Democrat Bob Beckel said on Fox that the U.S. has "a moral obligation to take out what we could of Iran's nuclear capabilities." Newt Gingrich said that the Iranian "dictatorship" is "too dangerous to leave it in charge of one of the world's largest supplies of oil."

....Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda must be marveling at the rank stupidity of the American people. Maybe Fox "News" only pretends to be the Ministry of War Propaganda for the Bush administration and is in the employ of al-Qaeda instead.

War is not strengthening America's position in the Middle East, as gains by extremists in Palestinian, Iraqi, Pakistani, and Egyptian elections attest. There is no prospect of the Bush administration imposing its will on the Middle East. To paraphrase Gingrich, if Bush and the neocons don't know this by now, they are too dangerous to leave in charge of the U.S. government.