As the war drums beat faster and louder for an aggressive assault against Iran amidst the shock and horror at the mere thought of Iran gaining an unproven and currently unfeasible nuclear weapon, there remains the occasional kernel of truth that manages to slip through the firewall of the mainstream media.
For instance, in an article published on October 2 in the Guardian entitled, “The true reason US fears Iranian nukes: they can deter US attacks,” Glenn Greenwald points out the fact that the main concern is not necessarily that Iran may be able to attack the United States or its allies (meaning Israel) with a nuclear bomb, but simply the fact that if Iran were to obtain such a weapon, it would be able to resist U.S. dominance and aggression more effectively.
Although clearly not the sole reason for a Western attack on Iran, Greenwald is correct to point out that destroying the ability of Iran to resist American assault is indeed part of the overarching agenda. Thus, soon after introducing the thesis of the article, Greenwald asks an important question.
That Iran will use its nuclear weapons against the US and Israel is rather obviously the centerpiece of the fear-mongering campaign against Tehran, to build popular support for threats to launch an aggressive attack in order to prevent them from acquiring that weapon.
So what, then, is the real reason that so many people in both the US and Israeli governments are so desperate to stop Iranian proliferation?
He goes on to answer this question by writing, “Iranian nuclear weapons would prevent the US from attacking Iran at will, and that is what is intolerable.”
Ironically, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whom Greenwald accurately refers to as “one of the US’s most reliable and bloodthirsty warmongers,” seems to agree with Greenwald’s thesis.
Recently, Graham gave a speech in North Augusta, South Carolina where he was asked about the sanctions implemented against Iran and how these sanctions were affecting the average Iranian.
In response and, after heaping praise on Obama for continuing the head-on charge toward WW3, Graham stated that “the Iranian people should be willing to suffer now for a better future.”
He then went on to compare Iranian nuclear capacity with the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s – a tale that is often told when war proponents are backing up their case for wholesale slaughter of innocent people in third world countries or developing nations for the benefit of Wall Street, corporations, and other interested parties.
Of course, what is so ironic about the analogy is the fact that, in 2012, it is not Iran that the world should fear appeasing – it is the United States and its associates in NATO.
Indeed, it is the United States who most resembles the Nazi regime as it steamrolls across the Middle East and Africa with reckless abandon waging war, destabilizations, and political and financial intimidation.
Regardless, Graham stated:
They have two goals: one, regime survival. The best way for the regime surviving, in their mind, is having a nuclear weapon, because when you have a nuclear weapons, nobody attacks you.
Unwittingly, Graham only confirms the suggestions made by Greenwald in his article – i.e. “the true threat of nuclear proliferation is that it can deter American aggression.”
As Greenwald comments, “In other words, we cannot let Iran acquire nuclear weapons because if they get them, we can no longer attack them when we want to and can no longer bully them in their own region.”
This thesis is by no means the monopoly of Greenwald, however. Pre-eminent scholars such as Dr. David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor and dispeller of the 9/11 myth, as well as prominent Neo-Cons and war proponents have all forwarded the concept of nuclear weapon prevention as an act of establishing “full spectrum dominance” and the prevention of nuclear deterrence.
For instance, Neo-Con Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute and the now infamous Project for the New American Century has stated previously (in regards to Iranian nuclear capability) in his 2004 strategy paper entitled, “Strategy For A Nuclear Iran:
The surest deterrent to American action is a functioning nuclear arsenal…
To be sure, the prospect of a nuclear Iran is a nightmare. But it is less a nightmare because of the high likelihood that Tehran would employ its weapons or pass them on to terrorist groups—although that is not beyond the realm of possibility—and more because of the constraining effect it threatens to impose upon U.S. strategy for the greater Middle East.
The danger is that Iran will “extend” its deterrence, either directly or de facto, to a variety of states and other actors throughout the region.
This would be an ironic echo of the extended deterrence thought to apply to U.S. allies during the Cold War.
Most notably, Donnelly echoes the same sentiment in the Project for a New American Century’s most famous document, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, a paper that has been eerily prophetic ever since its publication.
Keep in mind, this was the very same paper that called for a “new pearl harbor” shortly before the “new pearl harbor” of the 21st Century happened on September 11, 2001. In that document, Donnelly wrote,
When their missiles are tipped with warheads carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, even weak regional powers have a credible deterrent regardless of the balance of conventional forces.
. . . . .
In the post cold war era, America and its allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of deterrence and it is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most wish to develop deterrent capabilities.
. . . . .
the United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority
. . . . .
effective ballistic missile defenses will be the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection of U.S. military forces abroad. Without it, weak states operating small arsenals of crude ballistic missiles, armed with basic nuclear warheads or other weapons of mass destruction, will be in a strong position to deter the United States from using conventional force, no matter the technological or other advantages we may enjoy. Even if such enemies are merely able to threaten American allies rather than the United States homeland itself, America’s ability to project power will be deeply compromised.
As David Ray Griffin comments in The New Pearl Harbor, “This statement further suggests that Iran, Iraq, and North Korea were later determined by President Bush to deserve the title of ‘axis of evil’ because of their perverse wish to develop the capacity to deter the United States from projecting military force against them.”
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld echoed the same sentiment in 2001 when he stated that, “Several of these [small enemy nations] are intensely hostile to the United States and are arming to deter us from bringing our conventional or nuclear power to bear in a regional crisis.”
Rumsfeld also writes, “These universally available [centrifugal] technologies can be used to create ‘asymmetric’ responses that cannot defeat our forces, but can deny access to critical areas in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia…’asymmetric; approaches can limit our ability to apply military power.”
According to Greenwald, Philip Zelikow, former Bush administration State Department official, Condoleeza Rice co-author, and Executive Director of the shameful 9/11 commission cover-up, stated in regards to Iraq and the dire possibility of allowing it to keep its non-existent WMDs, “they now can deter us from attacking them, because they really can retaliate against us.”
Furthermore, in 2008 in an op-ed for the Washington Post, Senators Chuck Robb and Dan Coates wrote:
[A]n Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability would be strategically untenable. It would threaten U.S. national security … While a nuclear attack is the worst-case scenario, Iran would not need to employ a nuclear arsenal to threaten US interests. Simply obtaining the ability to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon would effectively give Iran a nuclear deterrent.
Thus, Greenwald concludes, “The No 1 concern of American national security planners appears to be that countries may be able to prevent the US from attacking them at will, whether to change their regimes or achieve other objectives. In other words, Iranian nuclear weapons could be used to prevent wars – ones started by the US – and that, above all, is what we must fear.”
Yet, the debate over the purpose of Iran’s nuclear weapon is one that is built entirely upon a false foundation. The fact is there is a startling lack of evidence to show that Iran is, in fact, even attempting to gain a nuclear weapon.
While the warmongers in government positions like Lindsey Graham as well as the mainstream media and other commentators continue to beat their chests with the claims of Iranian commitment to nuclear weapons, the reality is quite different.
Numerous individuals close to the scene in Iran have stated on as many occasions that Iran does not possess nor is it seeking to possess a nuclear weapon.
the program is too vulnerable, in Iran’s view. If the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants, he will advance it to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb, but the decision must first be taken. It will happen if Khamenei judges that he is invulnerable to a response.
I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.
Even Defense Minister Ehud Barak has clearly stated that, “[Iran has] not yet decided to manufacture atomic weapons.”
In addition, warmonger Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense who has been browbeating the need to strike Iran for the better part of a year, has stated that the Iranians do not have a nuclear weapon nor are they attempting to build one.
Nevertheless Panetta continues to promote the coming attack if the Iranians “take the next step,” however that “step” may be defined.
This is most ironic considering his February 2012 remarks on Face The Nation, where he stated, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us.”
Yet Panetta cannot be accused of “misspeaking” on the national news show. Indeed, he has restated his position as quoted by The Raw Story by saying, “I think [Iran is] developing a nuclear capability [but] our intelligence makes clear that they haven’t made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon.”
Furthermore, consider the comments made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:
We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.[…] We continue to judge Iran’s nuclear decision making is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran.
Similarly, US General Martin Dempsey:
In response to Fareed Zakaria’s question, ‘Do you think that is still unclear, that [Iran is] moving on a path for nuclear technology, but whether or not they choose to make a nuclear weapon is unclear?’ Dempsey:
‘It is. I believe it is unclear, and on that basis I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time for a military option was upon us. I mean, I think that the economic sanctions and the international cooperation that we’ve been able to gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect. I think our diplomacy is having an effect, and our preparedness.’
As Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball of Reuters wrote in regards to the ongoing pro-war propaganda circling the globe, “The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.”
Yet, even if Iran were seeking a nuclear weapon, building one, or attained the bomb, the fact is that, as Greenwald and others have pointed out, the weapon would only serve as a deterrent to aggressive attacks – not as an asset to wage Iranian imperialist wars.
Not only that, but one must logically ask exactly what threat would one nuclear weapon pose to states such as Israel and the United States who are known nuclear powers, with one being the only nation in the region currently possessing the weapons and the other existing as a powerhouse in terms of nuclear weaponry.
As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated before the UN, “Let’s even imagine that we have an atomic weapon, a nuclear weapon. What would we do with it? What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?”
Ahmadinejad has hit the nail on the head with this statement. Indeed, assuming the unlikely event of a successful attack via a nuclear weapon, such a move would be complete suicide on the part of Iran, bringing down the wrath of the victim nation, the United States, NATO, and the entire international community.
Considering the constant sabre-rattling of the United States, Israel, and a gaggle of European countries regarding the impending war of aggression against the nation of Iran which, in recent time has significantly reduced its isolation, the country would almost be foolhardy not to pursue a nuclear weapon.
One thing that is for certain, however, is that the United States, Israel, and NATO have already played their hand.
If the constant political, financial, and military harassment efforts aimed at Iran by much of the Western world do not descend into a conflagration of global scale which itself ends in the use of nuclear weapons, then they will have certainly accomplished the task of providing the motivation for Iran to develop one.
 Griffin, David Ray. The New Pearl Harbor. 2004. Interlink Publishing Group. P.54