Iran

US attack on Iran would take hundreds of planes, ships and missiles

US attack on Iran would take hundreds of planes, ships and missiles
09 September 2012     Noah Shachtman     Iran

The US has aircraft carriers, gunboats, minesweepers, and robot subs stationed in Bahrain and sold billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

By Noah Shachtman
Wired
7 September 2012

Note by Stop the War: Iran is breaking no law by developing nuclear power capabilities, as it is entitled to do under the Nuclear No-Proliferation Treaty - to which it is a signatory, unlike Israel, the only Middle East country with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. No evidence has been found to show that Iran has plans to develop nuclear weapons.

SHOULD THE US actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks.

Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go.

And all of it, at best, would buy the US and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.

There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran, cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry.
He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them. It leads Cordesman to a two-fold conclusion:

War Fever As Seen From Iran by Pepe Escobar

War Fever As Seen From Iran Absent the possibility of joining the Curiosity rover on Mars, there's nowhere to hide from the "Bomb Iran" hysteria relentlessly emanating from Tel Aviv and its Washington outposts. Now that even includes third-rate hacks suggesting US President Barack Obama should go in person to Israel to appease the warmongering duo Bibi-Barak [1].
So it's time for something completely different - and totally absent from Western corporate media; sound Iranian minds rationally analyzing what's really going on behind the drums of war - regarding Iran, Turkey, the Arab world and across Eurasia.

Let's start with ambassador Hossein Mousavian, a research scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, a former spokesperson for the Iranian nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005, and the author of The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir .  Writing at the Arms Control Association website [2] , Mousavian goes straight to the point;

"The history of Iran's nuclear program suggests that the West is inadvertently pushing Iran toward nuclear weapons."

In seven key steps, he outlines how this happened - starting with Iran's "entrance into the nuclear field", owed largely, by the way, to Washington; "In the 1970s, the Shah [of Iran] had ambitious plans for expanding the nuclear program, envisioning 23 nuclear power plants by 1994, with support from the United States."

Mousavian stresses how, from 2003 to 2005, during the first Bush administration,

Islamophobia, the left and the Arab Spring

John Molyneux - Irish Anti-War Movement committee member

[N.B - this article is the view of the author and does not necessarily represent those of movement as a whole]

One of the strengths of the Irish Anti-War Movement (and, it should be said, of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain) is the clear stand it has taken against Islamophobia, as both a condition and a consequence of its alliance with anti- war elements in the muslim community.in mobilising against the Iraq War and the ‘War on Terror’.

This is important because Islamophobia has become the main, or one of the main, forms of racism (along with Anti-Gipsy racism in Eastern Europe) in contemporary Europe.

Historically racism has passed through several phases each building on but also modifying the previous phase: 1) anti-black racism that arose out of and justified the slave trade in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; 2) the racism of imperialism (including anti- Irish racism, at its height in the late 19th and early 20th century; 3) anti – immigrant racism, especially in the second half of the 20th century. The first emphasised the sub-human and savage nature of black people so as to exclude them from the ‘rights of man’ being fought for by the European bourgeoisie at this time. The second shifted the emphasis to “childlike” and “immature” character of non- European peoples to justify their being taken under the wing of their colonial masters. The third focussed less on biological inferiority and more on cultural difference, making the economically required presence of immigrants in Europe into a “problem”.

Is killing 500,000 women and children the way to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons?

By Jamal Abdi & Trita ParsiNewsday

THE NEW sanctions against Iran last week are considered the strongest the United States "has ever imposed on any country during peacetime."

While this is being celebrated as a way to prevent war, support human rights in Iran and stop Iran's nuclear program, America's past experience with sanctions shows that this is far from the case.

The previous high-water mark for US sanctions -- on Iraq -- is a case in point. Years of stringent economic sanctions supposedly aimed at Saddam Hussein caused massive humanitarian suffering among ordinary Iraqis. The sanctions led to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi women and children, while entrenching Hussein's regime.

Ultimately, the strategy culminated in a war and occupation that is widely viewed as one of the greatest strategic blunders since Vietnam.

With Iran, the United States is pursuing a policy of collective punishment, which is disconcerting not just because of the ghastly failures of such measures in the past, but because collective punishment is a violation of international human rights law.

The abhorrent human rights abuses of the Iranian regime have been well exposed, thanks to the work of human rights organizations and the United Nations. But Iranians don't just suffer under the repression of a regime that is rightly punished for its human rights violations -- they are also suffering under US collective punishment sanctions that are preventing food and medicine from reaching ordinary Iranians, are blocking off communication tools from human rights and democracy defenders, and are aimed at collapsing the Iranian economy and all of the ordinary people under it.

The power of war propaganda on Iran and how it works

John Glaser - Antiwar.com

A NEW POLL finds 80% of Americans think Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that it is a threat to the US and its NATO allies.

The poll, commissioned by The Israel Project, asked likely voters and found “72% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 89% of Republicans were convinced the Iranians were building nuclear weapons.”

This is a monumental success of war propaganda. And these results are largely consistent with other recent polls: one produced back in February by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Program on International Policy Attitudes found “An overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens believe that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and poses a serious threat to U.S. national security.”

Contrast these beliefs with the facts: The consensus in the whole of the intelligence community in the US (and Israel) is that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and has yet to demonstrate any intention of starting one anytime soon.

But false beliefs persist even when there has been ample reassurances from elite sources in politics, the military, and the news media that Iran has no weapons program. A matter of months ago, the Obama administration marched out their minions, from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, all of whom reiterated the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, despite constant rhetoric to the contrary.

War fever in Israel points towards imminent attack on Iran

Harriet Sherwood - The Guardian

IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, the Israeli public has been hit by a blizzard of speculative articles suggesting a military strike against Iran's nuclear sites is imminent.

The talk is now of a timetable of weeks, rather than months and some observers believe that Israel will act in the run-up to the US presidential election – at a time when it could be difficult and damaging for President Obama to withhold his backing in the face of a hawkish and vehemently pro-Israel opponent, Mitt Romney, who has already indicated his support for unilateral action by the Jewish state.

On Tuesday an article in Ma'ariv suggested that Netanyahu and Barak have set a deadline of 25 September for Obama to clearly state that the US itself will take military action.

The date is the opening of the UN general assembly in New York, and also the eve of Yom Kippur, one of the most significant dates in the Jewish calendar.

The implication is that, in the absence of a public declaration, Israel will press on with its own plans to strike at the Iranian nuclear programme.

But it was two articles last Friday that kicked off the current storm. Writing in Israel's biggest-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, Nahum Barnea and Simon Shiffer, both respected commentators, said: "Insofar as it depends on Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran will take place in these coming autumn months, before the US elections in November."

But, it pointed out: "There is not a single senior official in the establishment - neither among the [Israeli Defence Forces] top brass nor in the security branches, or even the president - who supports an Israeli strike at the moment."

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