- The War Party and the Israel Lobby Wish for War With Iran in 2013!
by Muhammad Sahimi, http://antiwar.com/
As we begin 2013, the War Party and its ally, the Israel lobby, are pushing hard to make sure that they get their wish for the New Year, namely, a devastating war with Iran. To them, it is not enough that the illegal unilateral sanctions that the United States and its allies have imposed on Iran are ruining the lives of tens of millions of ordinary Iranians. It is not enough that the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranians are being threatened with life-threatening illnesses, who cannot get the medicine they need, partly because of economic sanctions. It is not enough that the arts and culture of Iran, particularly a renowned movie industry, are seriously threatened by a lack of funds brought about by the sanctions. The War Party and Israel lobby will be satisfied only if Iran is attacked and destroyed, which will inevitably lead to a much wider war in the entire Middle East.
The push is coming from several fronts. The Party and the Lobby have staged an all-out attack to sabotage the possible nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. His “sin”? Among other things, Hagel has stated in the past that “I am a United States senator, I am not an Israeli senator,” and thatwhen the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter, “you’ll get 80 or 90 senators on it. I don’t think I’ve ever signed one of the letters” because they were “stupid.” But, most importantly, the unforgivable “sin” of Hagel has been opposing sanctions on Iran and advocating diplomacy and negotiations, which Likud-led Israel rejects. A top Senate Republican aide has threatened, “Send us Hagel [as the nominee for defense secretary], and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite.” Even gay Republicans got into the act. In a full-page ad in The New York Times, Log Cabin Republicans proclaimed that Hagel “is wrong on gays’ rights, wrong on Iran, wrong on Israel.”
In another front, retiring Sen. Joe“bomb-Iran-for-Israel’s-sake” Lieberman is using his last days in the Senate to push President Obama to attack Iran. Led by him and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a letter was sent to the president, signed by 57 senators, urging him to be prepared for war with Iran and asking him “to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon.” Never mind that there is no evidence of weaponization of Iran’s nuclear program. Even the totally politicized International Atomic Energy Agency reports time and again that it has found no evidence of diversion of nuclear materials from peaceful to non-peaceful purposes, nor has it found any evidence for a secret parallel military program in Iran.
While pushing the president to attack Iran, the letter also stated, “We urge you to expand America’s outreach and support to the Iranian people and support of the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran…. The current government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will eventually end up in the ash heap of history, not because of the efforts of the United States, but because of the desire of the Iranian people to enjoy the basic freedoms that are their universal right, and that many of their neighbors increasingly are demanding.”
Iranians living in Iran have not asked the Party and the Lobby to speak on their behalf. But on the one hand, the Party and the Lobby advocate war and sanctions that will destroy Iran and kill hundreds of thousands of its citizens, if not more, and on the other hand, they support “democracy”and “human rights” for Iran amid the destruction that they are advocating. This“support” for the Iranian people, in addition to the unilateral sanctions and the misery that they have brought, is offered while it has become increasingly difficult, for example, for Iranian students to receive visas to come here to study. In the latest round of imposing even more restrictions on Iranian students, those who wish to study in the energy field, such as oil and natural gas, are refused visas. This restriction is in addition to those already imposed on those who wish to study nuclear engineering, nuclear physics, biology, etc.
In the universe of the Party and the Lobby, the meanings of democracy and human rights are totally different from ours. In theirs, the prerequisites to democracy in a nation such as Iran are destroying the country and its historical and cultural heritage (as happened in Iraq), killing its people, taking control of its resources, and only then giving them “democracy” and “human rights.” The most fundamental human rights of every human being are living in peace and having the minimum for a decent life. The sanctions are denying such fundamental rights of the Iranian people, and war will destroy their nation and the rest of the Middle East, yet the Party and the Lobby want to bring misery in the name of human rights and democracy.