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Bush Overstates Threat Posed by a Nuclear Iran

SS Captain Bush

Bush overstates threat posed by a nuclear Iran
By Ward Wilson |

Strength is often judged by how you carry yourself. Are you cocky and shouting? Or measured and calm? The Bush administration is acting more cocky than calm, not like the leaders of a superpower but like unsure freshmen.

President George W. Bush (and others) argue that Iran is evil (because its leaders support terrorists) and that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it might use them (because they are fanatics, and Islam invites martyrdom). According to the Bush administration, we have to do everything in our power—not excluding a military attack—to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

There are three flaws with this position.

First, nuclear weapons are not that useful. When we had a monopoly on them, it didn't prevent the Soviet Union from taking over Eastern Europe or risking war by cutting off our access to Berlin. They didn't help us win the Korean War or prevent us from losing in Vietnam.

And these failures aren't because we're nice guys and a democracy. Nuclear weapons didn't prevent the Soviets from losing in Afghanistan, either. Nuclear weapons could not prevent the British or Russians from losing their empires.

In the Middle East, nuclear weapons did not prevent Israel from being attacked in 1973. They do not prevent terrorists from attacking Israel day in and day out. The Bush administration fears that a nuclear Iran would dominate the Middle East. If nuclear weapons confer such enormous power—such as the ability to dominate the Middle East—why haven't they conferred this power on Israel?

Second, leaders rarely self-sacrifice.

Osama bin Laden has never undertaken a suicide bombing. Nor have the heads of any other terrorist organizations that I know of. None of Iran's leaders stepped forward to volunteer for the largely suicidal "human wave" attacks during the Iran-Iraq War.

Whether they believe in Islam, Christianity or some other faith, leaders are mostly focused on getting and maintaining power. They are not eager to demonstrate their holiness by getting killed. Iran's leaders are unlikely to risk an action (such as using nuclear weapons) that might result in their own deaths.

Third, Iran is unlikely to expose its shrines and cities to a catastrophic counterattack.

Iran considers itself the cradle and center of Shiite Islam, one of Islam's two main branches. Many of the holiest Shiite sites are in Iran (at Mashhad, Qom and elsewhere), and about 90 percent of Iranians are Shiite. Keepers of the faith are unlikely to risk doing something (such as using nuclear weapons) that might make people so appalled and angry that they either destroy the country with bombs (conventional or nuclear) or invade, take over and ban the sacred religion.

Iran's leaders support organizations that use terror, it's true. But terrorism is a loser's strategy. People who have real power use that power—they don't kill children and old people with car bombs in markets. It's only those who are powerless, who are unable to win or keep real political influence, who resort to terrorism.

Hannah Arendt,, the renowned philosopher who taught for many years at the University of Chicago, made the point that violence is not an extension of political power; it is what you turn to when politics fails. Terrorism is one of the least effective forms of violence. A study based on work done at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs shows that terrorism achieves its goals as little as 7 percent of the time.

Some fear that terrorists could acquire a nuclear weapon through Iran. But Iranian officials would be highly motivated to prevent that, given that everyone would presume that any bomb that went off in the Middle East came via Tehran—whether it was delivered by a missile or a terrorist—and would respond accordingly.

It makes sense that the Bush administration would be upset about Iran. Its own mistakes have led to a significant increase in Iran's influence and power. By invading Iraq, the United States destroyed Iran's chief military rival, and by installing a Shiite-dominated government there, the Bush administration has increased Iran's real influence in the region.

Threatening a military strike against Iran, however, is a dangerous way of distracting attention from your own mistakes.

The Bush administration is good at inciting fear. But stirring up a false hysteria only gives Iran more prominence than it deserves. Iran is a middling power that sometimes behaves badly. If its leaders do things that are wrong, you take appropriate steps.

Treating a nuclear-armed Iran like the end of the world exaggerates the importance of nuclear weapons and confers on the Iranians just the sort of attention they crave. Let's hope the next administration takes a more measured and mature approach.

Ward Wilson is a scholar living in Trenton, N.J. He writes regularly at

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If you're sick and tired of US government sanctioned news that is just as culpable in US war crimes as Bush and Pelosi herself, then check out Press TV from Iran.

It's a great online source for up to the minute world news.

(They even feature stories with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich!)

One time was at the Defenders/VAWN meeting commerating the anniversary of the Iranian Airbus "we" shot down filled with civilians. Thanks for bringing them up again.

by my buddy Phil Wilayto. Please order one in advance to help the book get out there. Thanks much, Rain

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Before the end of October, Defenders Publications, Inc. will have produced its
first book: "In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation's Journey
Behind the Lies & Propaganda."

While there are many books out about Iran and Iranian-U.S. relations, we think
this is the first to be written by a U.S. anti-war activist (yours truly) who
has actually visited that country. Based on last summer's People's Peace
Delegation to Iran, the book is an attempt to answer the many charges being
leveled against Iran: that it's the world's number one state-sponsor of
terrorism, that it wants to destroy Israel, that it's trying to develop a
nuclear weapon, that it's a major source of instability in the Middle East,
etc., etc. Just as we saw before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, these charges
are a deliberate smokescreen to cover the real reason for Washington's designs
on Iran: its oil.

The book is also chock full of interesting facts about Iran that you won't read
in your local newspaper. For example, did you know that Iran has the second
largest Jewish population in the Middle East, after Israel? That Jews,
Christians and Zoroastrians are all guaranteed representation in the country's
parliament? That poverty has been reduced to one-eighth of what it was before
the 1979 Revolution? That 65-70 percent of Iran's college students are women, as
are 30 percent of its doctors?

And there are lots of stories of encounters our delegation had with Iranians
that expose the racist stereotype being promoted by the mass media in the U.S. -
our sharing tea with a group of goat herders high in the Zagros Mountains; being
"mobbed" in Shiraz by 80 schoolchildren thrilled to meet "Amrikans;" our chance
encounter with 300 members of the elite Revolutionary Guard and the amazing
welcome they gave us - before they even knew we were peace activists.

It will cost $2,090.00 to produce the first 500 copies of the book. If we sell
those, we can buy more - and eventually pay down out debts. But first we have to
raise the $2,090.00.

So far, we've received advance orders for 122 books. I paid the cost of
getting the IBSN number, which you need to get a bar code so the book can go
into stores, but we're still $536.60 short.

So we're asking all our friends and supporters to consider ordering a copy of
"In Defense of Iran" now. The cost is $14.95, plus $1.50 shipping and handling.
(After publication, shipping and handling will go up to $3.50, the actual cost.)

And! If you order five or more books now, you can get them for just $10.00 each
(plus $1.50 S&H) - AND! you can get your name or the name of your organization
mentioned in the book as supporting this project.

Attached are copies of the book jacket, Table of Contents and comments on the
book by Fatemeh Keshavarz, Saladin Muhammad, Jonathan Hutto Sr. and Rostam

No matter who wins the presidential election, U.S. threats against Iran will be
a major focus of the next administration. Both leading presidential candidates
have said that "all options are on the table." This book has the potential to
help open minds about Iran and hopefully make people ask, "Do we really want
another war?"

Please respond to this e-mail and let us know how many books you would like to
order. Then make out a check or money order payable to "Defenders Publications,
Inc." and send it to "Defenders, PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223.

Hope to hear from you soon!

in solidarity,

Phil Wilayto
Editor, The Richmond Defender
Author, "In Defense of Iran"

Folks you all should watch this interview made by Amy Goodman:

Scott Ritter is one of the few who really understand the IRANIAN issue.

The reality is that the NOEOCON AGENDA even before 2000 was to Invade first IRAQ, then Iran and then Syria but they were stopped in the first round.
They are ONLY interested in Afganistan just for the OIL PIPELINE

They are looking for any excuse and if don't find any, they invent it.

Remember Bugliosi’s testimony about painting a U2 plane with UN Colors.
Remember Also S. HERST testimony about Dressing US Navy Seals as Iranians.

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