Iran

Obamas Perpetual War

Micah Zenko - Foreign Policy

"The United States is in a state of perpetual war, spending $633 billion this year on defense, with over 200,000 US servicemembers deployed around the world."

During his second inaugural address on 21 January 2013, President Obama offered two aspirational statements that struck many observers as incongruous with administration policies: "A decade of war is now ending" and "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

We should question these observations, not least because of the string of US government plans and activities that increasingly blur the conventional definition of war.

My own list of war-like activities since Obama's inaugural would include:
four drone strikes that killed 16 people (all in Yemen);
the acknowledgement by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding drones, "We've done that in Pakistan. We're doing it in Yemen and elsewhere. I think the reality is its going to be a continuing tool of national defense in the future";

the announcement that the US military would provide intelligence, transportation, and refueling support for the French intervention in Mali;
the signing of a US-Niger status of forces agreement that will likely include a drone base for surveillance missions, although US officials "have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point";
the forthcoming expansion (perhaps quintupling) of US Cyber Command, including "combat mission forces" for offensive cyberattacks;
the executive branch's secret legal review determining that Obama "has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad";
the Marine commandant's announcement of a new "crisis response unit" that would be "rapidly employable" to "address crises";

The Gravest Threat to World Peace by Noam Chomsky

The Gravest Threat to World Peace By Noam ChomskyReporting on the final U.S. presidential campaign debate, on foreign policy, The Wall Street Journal observed that "the only country mentioned more (than Israel) was Iran, which is seen by most nations in the Middle East as the gravest security threat to the region."

The two candidates agreed that a nuclear Iran is the gravest threat to the region, if not the world, as Romney explicitly maintained, reiterating a conventional view.

On Israel, the candidates vied in declaring their devotion to it, but Israeli officials were nevertheless unsatisfied. They had "hoped for more 'aggressive' language from Mr. Romney," according to the reporters. It was not enough that Romney demanded that Iran not be permitted to "reach a point of nuclear capability."

Arabs were dissatisfied too, because Arab fears about Iran were "debated through the lens of Israeli security instead of the region's," while Arab concerns were largely ignored – again the conventional treatment.

The Journal article, like countless others on Iran, leaves critical questions unanswered, among them: Who exactly sees Iran as the gravest security threat? And what do Arabs (and most of the world) think can be done about the threat, whatever they take it to be?

The first question is easily answered. The "Iranian threat" is overwhelmingly a Western obsession, shared by Arab dictators, though not Arab populations.

Israel Lobby Calls for an ‘Iranian Pearl Harbor’

Israel Lobby Calls for an ‘Iranian Pearl Harbor’By Muhammad Sahimi October 30, 2012 

DEMONSTRATION: DON'T ATTACK IRAN - END SANCTIONS NOW

 

Demonstration at Dail Eireann - Don't Attack Iran - End Sanctions Now

11/10/2012 - 17:30
11/10/2012 - 18:30

The Irish Anti War Movement are calling a demostration at Dail Eireann calling on the Irish Government to condemn the almost daily threat of war and harsh sanctions imposed on the people of Iran. The sanctions are impacting severley on the most vuneralble sectors of Iranian society and are endorsed by the Irish government. They are allowing the Iranian regime to further repress women, civil rights activists and marginalized groups. There has been no evidence found to show that Iran is diverting uranium into a nuclear weapons programme and the threat of a military attack and debilitating sanctions are unlawful under the UN charter for human rights. Show solidarity with the people of Iran. Don't attack Iran - End sanctions now

‘Smart’ Sanctions – Still a Blunt Instrument of War?

‘Smart’ Sanctions – Still a Blunt Instrument of War?
By Lola Hynes - Irish Anti War Movement

 The daily threat of war and the implementation of harsh economic sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy and are causing devastating effects on ordinary Iranian people. There has been some form of sanctions imposed on the Iranian people by the West since the 1979 revolution; however since 2010 they have been greatly intensified and are unprecedented in their severity. These sanctions violate international law and the UN charter for their damage to Iran’s civilian population. The sanctions regime constitutes an illegitimate form of collective punishment toward the weakest and poorest members of society; women, children, the poor, the chronically ill and refugees. The latest rounds of so called ‘smart’ sanctions imposed by the US and the EU are designed to target the state and not the people. However as they affect the banking, financial and oil sectors they are having a detrimental effect on the economy and therefore the Iranian people. As noted by the former UK representative Peter Jenkins to the UNSC the sanctions are unlawful under article 39 of the UN constitution as no evidence of diverting uranium into a nuclear weapons programme has been found.

 

 

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