Overstating Our Fear

I was surprised to find an editorial in the corporate press that has some semblance of reason to it regarding the phony war on terror. Written by a veteran CIA employee/operative/bureaucrat, several of the points bear mentioning here and any place else during this election season. It appears both of the presidential candidates are giving in to the war party in Washington which wants an indefinite war against global jihadists. Carle stresses there is no global jihad movement but rather disparate nationalist movements in various parts of the world. One could go on and speculate that what they all have in common is a desire to rid themselves of occupying forces.

The author dismisses al-Qaeda calling them small men and a secondary threat to the United States. Such a statement will not make him popular in the halls of a government that has spent the last seven years building up al-Qaeda as the second Russian coming. In fact Carle says the threat posed by al-Qaeda is an exaggerated one made by this Administration, and cautions Americans not to be fearful. The “nationalist” movements, Carle says hate America because of its freedoms, a rather typical neocon refrain, but he goes on to say such movements are neither interested in attacking America nor capable of overtaking their own societies. The unspoken point there being America need not get involved fighting them.

What I like the most about this piece is the timing. The emotional rollercoster the public has been on because of the bluffs, threats, intimidations of the Administration has taken its toll and seems to have prompted some to take a step back and call for cooler heads to prevail. The author didn’t come right out and say we’ve been fed lies by Bush and company but he says things aren’t as bad as they are made out by some to be. There is no mention of Iran in this peice, but one can certainly draw the same conclusions about that country as has been made about the global war on terror. Good editorial; it’ll take a lot more like these to restore my confidence in the main stream media so I’m not holding my breath.

The evil of Christian zionism

Two of America’s more quoted Christian evangelists are in the news for the same reason.  Pat Robertson and John Hagee are calling for another war in the Middle East against Iran.  In Robertson’s case he wants the Israelis to hit at or strike Iran.  In one of his more delusional interviews, Robertson asserts:

But with Israel, it’s not a question of whether they can be moderate or extreme. The question is the survival of their nation. And if Iran gets nuclear weapons, they have announced in advance they’re going to use them against Israel. And Israel has no choice but to make some kind of a strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities, and to do so fairly soon.

Nobody wants to do it, but nevertheless, they’re going to have no choice. They do have nuclear submarines they can launch cruise missiles from. I don’t believe the U.S. would allowing a refueling in Iraq, although some people have mentioned something like that.

This is 2002 all over again.  Completely ignoring his own country’s NIE of 2007 which states Iran does not presently have the capacity to build nuclear weapons has dismantled any weapons building program and has shown no signs of starting one, even surreptitiously, Robertson makes more than a leap of faith in his declaration, ‘ when Iranians get nuclear weapons they’ll use them against Israel’.  In fact, the leading religious figure in Iran has said his country is prohibited from using nuclear weapons, nullifying any statement anyone else may or may not make on behalf of Iran.  One interesting note about Robertson’s  statement on Israel not being able to refuel in Iraq is Israel and the US are coordinating closely on tactical issues surrounding Iran.  In fact, Israeli jets have used American military bases in Iraq for some time and the forward most base puts Israel within a 5 minute strike of an Iranian nuclear facility.

John Hagee’s Christian’s United for Israel held their convention in Washington, which could be seen as no more than a political rally for John McCain, who by the way has tried to distance himself from Hagee, and which has as its theme, ‘Your chance to vote for Israel’.  One of the workshops of the convention was Iran: Eye of the storm, which talked about the need to get rid of a “nuclear” Iran.  Israel firster Joe Lieberman spoke at the convention, despite cries from Israeli Jews for him to kick Hagee to the curb, to make the case for sanctions against Iran and warning of an attack if they don’t work.  Lieberman used the same fear mongering expressions based only on conjecture, alleging

A nuclear Iran is a mortal danger to all of our allies in the Middle East–both to the Arabs and Israel–and it is a threat to us. A nuclear Iran would transform the balance of power in the region in the worst possible way. As Iran continues to expand the reach of its missiles, it will soon not just be the Middle East that is threatened, but Europe as well.

The President of Iran has made his genocidal intentions toward Israel clear. And he regularly leads his Iranian audiences in chanting “Death to America.”

It’s interesting Americans and Israelis both want the US to attack Iran but for different reasons.  The US wants  to protect its ally, while the Israelis want Americans to do it in order to spare Israelis the nuclear option. Either way, the use of religious Christian figures to call for war increasingly makes Islam seem like the ‘religion of peace’ indeed.