war on Iran
Will it be nuclear?
By the War and Law League
President George W. Bush plans an attack on Iran soon. “Tactical” nuclear weapons may be used, in the first atomic bombing since Nagasaki in 1945, some reports indicate.
The attack may take place with the participation of Israel and the aid of Turkey. (See “Media sources” below, especially GlobalResearch.ca.)
As its main excuse, the administration again raises the specter of “weapons of mass destruction.” Bush claims also that Iran sponsors terror and needs “freedom” (1-31-06). He wants a tough United Nations resolution against Iran for its nuclear program — probably so that he can claim to be enforcing it when he attacks..
Shades of the Iraq attack! The 2002 war resolution he pushed through Congress said it was to (1) “defend” against Iraq and (2) “enforce” UN resolutions on Iraq — though the UN never called for war.
Will Congress be fooled again?
That is what we asked at the end of a 2003 article on this site (q.v.): “Congress’s resolution for war in Iraq was based on White House falsehoods.”
This time, congressional action might prevent, not promote, a catastrophe:
Congress could bar any act of war against a nation without a congressional declaration of war on that nation. It could also ban use of any nuclear weapon without specific authorization by Congress.
WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION: U.S.
nuclear blast, 1950s.
In beating the drums, the administration ignores Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful energy. The news media, which largely swallowed the prewar propaganda about Iraq’s weapons, could be asking Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld et al., in effect, “Why should we believe you this time when you lied to us last time?” Instead they echo the official line.
Take the Washington Post story by Dafna Linzer on February 8: It had nameless “officials” discussing classified documents concerning Iranian drawings that “appear” designed for an atomic-test shaft. (The Examiner in San Francisco ran the Post story with the unsubstantiated head, “Plans for atomic test site found.”)
Didn’t the reporter wonder why officials were blabbing classified information? No doubt it is because the crew that created Saddam’s African uranium, gases, germs, and al-Qaeda connection to panic us into aggression against Iraq is preparing an encore. The foe is to be another oil country — what a coincidence!
Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” did not exist. The mass destruction was wreaked on Iraq. Estimates of Iraqis killed in the current war range from 30,000 to 268,000.
Expect Bush et al. to say once again that war is for peace, killing is saving lives, and aggression is defense, as they slay legions of Iranian people. Tehran alone has a population of seven million. The attackers will claim that their action makes us safer — but do they calculate the number of new enemies it will create?
An Iranian A-bomb is hypothetical. That Bush stocks some 10,000 nukes and favors first strike and battlefield use is fact. The policy was disclosed in 2002, along with plans to A-bomb at least seven nations. It elicited the New York Times editorial, “America as Nuclear Rogue” (3-12-02).
The administration never cracked down on Pakistan after revelations of widespread sales of nuclear secrets. North Korea avows A-bomb possession; Bush negotiates with her. One Mideast country believed to secretly stock A-bombs is Israel; no U.S. official talks of inspection there. And in March, Bush signed a deal that would advance India's atomic weapons production by supplying uranium fuel without full inspection.
Facts must not be what the administration wants. Otherwise why would it blow the cover of Valerie Plame, who was engaged in secret anti-proliferation activities for the CIA till 2003? It is reported that her main focus was Iran (RawStory.com, 2-13-06). More on that follows “Media sources.”
Laws that would be violated
Use of atomic weapons against Iran would violate the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and prompt more nations to acquire such weapons. The treaty forbids the A-bombing of nonnuclear nations and requires that the government work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The World Court ruled in 1996 that nuclear bombing would transgress customary international law.
An attack on Iran, by any means, would breach the following U.S. treaties, which under the Constitution's Article 6 are part of federal law. They have been violated in the current wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
· The United Nations Charter, prohibiting aggressive war and requiring efforts to settle disputes peacefully.
· The Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact (ratified during the Coolidge administration and still in force), also prohibiting aggressive war. Under it, Nazis were convicted for crimes against peace.
· The Hague Convention, which, among other acts, bans any attack on a community, dwellings, or undefended buildings. It has been grossly violated in every war since World War II, though it is part of the Army Field Manual.
If Bush, rather than Congress, orders the attack, he will exceed his authority under the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, allows only Congress to make the decision to initiate war. (For proof of that statement, see other articles on this site, especially “The Founding Fathers on the Constitution’s War Power,” “Modern Commentators on the Constitution’s War Powers,” and “Court Rulings Affirming the War Powers of Congress.”)
The same constitutional section authorizes Congress to make rules governing and regulating armed forces. It can also stop any war — as it stopped the Indochina war — by cutting off funds.
Congress has full power to instruct the president: No attack on Iran! No nuclear bombing!
These are some of our other sources:
· “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” 2000, which advocated global domination by force, including use of nuclear arms. It has been called Bush’s blueprint. Favoring “regime change,” it targeted Iran along with Iraq and North Korea before Bush termed them the “axis of evil” in 2002. Contributors included Paul Wolfowitz (now World Bank head, formerly undersecretary of defense), John Bolton (now Bush’s unconfirmed UN delegate), and I.Lewis Libby (now under indictment, formerly Cheney’s chief of staff).
· The Guardian, UK (5-23-03), which said the Pentagon had proposed “regime change” in Iran. In preceding weeks, the U.S. press had quoted Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as stating that al-Qaeda was active in Iran. Like Bush, Cheney, et al., he had stated before the war that Iraq was a terrorist state that sought to strike the U.S. with chemical, biological, and atomic weapons (9-18 &19-02; 1-20 & 29-03)
The American Conservative. Philip Giraldi, intelligence analyst, formerly with the CIA,
wrote (8-1-05) that the Pentagon, under instructions from Vice-President Cheney’s office,
ordered plans for a nuclear attack on Iran, contingent on another September 11th — whether
Iran would be guilty or innocent. According to Giraldi (as quoted in Weekly Intelligence
Notes, 2-21-05), Bush had informed Rumsfeld that his principal foreign policy objective
during his second term would be to change the governments of Iran and Syria by force.
· Various news media and web logs. German media and UPI reported (12-30-05) that Bush had told NATO allies to prepare for an attack. CrisisPapers.org ran 29 pertinent press and Internet articles (2-14-06). A new site is StopWarOnIran.org.
· Canada’s GlobalResearch.ca (1-3-06). In “Nuclear War Against Iran,” Prof. Michel Chossudovsky wrote, “The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran is now in its final planning stages.” He feared massive civilian casualties from five-kiloton “mini-nukes,” each a third as strong as the Hiroshima bomb. Antiwar.com has dealt with the nuclear threat against Iran (7-25-05, 9-13-05, 10-1-05, 1-9-06 etc.).
Conspiracy to suppress intelligence on Iran?
The administration had reason to expose a secret CIA agent and the fact that the U.S. knew Iranian codes: to aid its drive to war
A theory presented by Profesor Juan Cole, the Michigan history professor and Mideast specialist, helps to explain why members of the Bush administration told the press in 2003 that Valerie Plame was a secret intelligence agent. They did so after her husband, ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, IV, publicly condemned the use of fabricated information to make it appear that Iraq posed a nuclear danger.
Several possible reasons for the exposure have been advanced, i.e. discrediting or punishing Wilson, warning away other whistle-blowers, and preventing the exposure of certain American investments. The latest idea is that a concerted effort was made to put the brakes on intelligence work concerning Iran and its nuclear program — Ms. Plame’s specialty — to support the administration’s push toward war.
Accordingly, Bush’s minions did more than reveal her position with the CIA: They also exposed the fact that the U.S. had broken Iranian codes. Obviously the Iranians then changed their codes, either shutting out the U.S. or feeding it disinformation.
“We know that Cheney, the Neocons and other factions in the Bush administration desperately wanted to get up a war against Iran so as to overthrow its government,” Cole wrote (“Informed Comment,” juancole.com, 2-14-06).
“If the CIA was successful in a measurable way in preventing proliferation to Iran of technology required for making a nuclear weapon, and could certify as much to Congress, that very success would make it harder to justify a war on Iran. [The same result might follow if no evidence of a future bomb would be found.]
“We know that someone among the Neoconservatives also let Ahmad Chalabi know the US had broken Iranian codes and could read that country’s secret diplomatic correspondence. As anyone could have expected, Chalabi immediately told the Iranians about the US spying....
“Iran is actually a decade or two away from having a bomb even if everything went well. But US intelligence agencies must be less confident they know what is going on in Iran now than before the Neocons destroyed so much of the effort against Iran proliferation.
“It was the US withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq in 1998 that created the uncertainties that allowed Bush to invade Iraq. For warmongers, good intelligence on the enemy’s capabilities is undesirable if that intelligence would get in the way of launching a war.”
“U.S. blames Iran for” (you name it)
Google displays at least a dozen headlines that begin with the words “U.S. blames Iran...” They continue with these words:
· “... for Shi’ite Uprising [in Iraq]”
· “... for Heightened Terror Warning”
· “... for cartoon violence”
· “... for ME [Middle East] unrest”
· “... for barracks bomb”
· “... for not ‘taking seriously’ nuclear commitments”
· “... for 1983 Beirut blast”
· “... for Saudi bombing”
· “... for aiding [bin] Laden”
· “... for ferocious anti-American sentiment being voiced by Shiite Muslims”
· “... for jamming TV”
· “... link to Rocket Attack on Troops 6/5/03”
Many similar headlines include Syria in the blame. Maybe Syria will be a future target. So far the administration has not blamed either country for the Katrina disaster or the $8.2 trillion national debt.
Addresses of Congress: Senator [your Senator’s name], U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
Rep. [your Representative’s name], House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515
See also www.congress.org.
Toll-free number of Congress: 1-800-614-2803 or 888-355-3588
WAR and LAW League (WALL), P.O. Box 42-7237, San Francisco, CA 94142; email@example.com; warandlaw.org
February 20, 2006
(Modified April 12, 2006)