The Coming War on Iran
Fox News Fans the Hysteria
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In keeping with its established role as purveyor of disinformation, Fox "News" talking head Brit Hume misreported Fox's own poll. On "Special Report" (January 26) Hume said that 51% of Americans "would now support" air strikes on Iran.
What the poll found is that if diplomacy fails, 51% would support air strikes.
Can we be optimistic and assume that diplomatic failure does not include orchestrated failure by the Bush administration? Alas, we cannot expect too much from the American people as even the corrected report indicates a majority of the population in thrall to disinformation.
The only "evidence" that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons is mere assertion by members of the Bush administration and the neoconsevative press. Iran says it is not pursuing nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors say there is no evidence of a weapons program.
Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Under the treaty, signatories have the right to develop nuclear energy. All they are required to do is to make reports to the IAEA and keep their facilities open to inspection. Iran complies with these requirements.
There is no Iranian "defiance." When news media report "defiance," they purvey disinformation. The "seals" on Iranian facilities were placed there voluntarily by the Iranians while they attempted to resolve the false charges brought by the Bush administration. The "Iran crisis" is entirely the product of the Bush administration's determination to deprive Iran of its rights as a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty. It is just another demonstration of President
Bush's opinion that his word overrules fact, law and international treaties.
Despite the clear and unambiguous facts, the Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll reports that 60% of Republicans, 41% of Independents, and 36% of Democrats support using air strikes and ground troops against Iran in order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. This poll indicates an appalling extent of ignorance and misinformation among the American public. The Bush administration will take advantage of this ignorance to initiate another war in the Middle East.
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A majority of Americans have now been deceived twice on the same issue. Just as there was no evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear
weapons, there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. There is nothing but unproven assertions, assertions, moreover, that are contradicted by the evidence that does exist. Americans, it would appear, are so anxious for wars that they welcome being fooled into them.
One wonders, also, where the 60% of Republicans, 41% of Independents, and 36% of Democrats think the US will find the ground troops with which to invade Iran. As the three-year old "cakewalk war" in Iraq has made completely clear, the US does not have enough ground troops to successfully occupy Iraq and to suppress a small insurgency drawn from a Sunni population of 5 million people.
We hear report after report from military authorities
that the Iraq war is straining our armed forces to the breaking point. For example, a Pentagon study by Andrew Krepinevich (AP news report, January 24) concludes that the US Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency.
Every military expert knows this to be true, although few can afford to say it. If we are on the breaking point from trying to deal with an insurgency drawn from 5 million people, how are we going to send ground troops into vastly larger Iran with a population of 70 million people? It boggles the mind that a majority of Americans favor an impossible policy.
The situation is even worse than it so
Another recent poll, a LA Times/Bloomberg poll, finds, according to the LA Times, that 57% of the respondents "favor military intervention if Iran's government pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms." These are the same respondents, 53% of whom believe it was not worth going to war against Iraq.