by Justin Raimondo
July 13, 2007
We didn’t just invade Iraq – when we launched “Operation Iraqi Freedom” the American people not only signed on to an occupation that resembles, in many respects, Israel’s occupation of Palestine, we also bought into a serial war strategy, the first of which was Gulf War I. Gulf War II landed us in our present predicament. Gulf War III – involving, at a minimum, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon – is about to break out, and no one seems willing to stand against it.Indeed, the third Gulf War has already begun, and all that remains is for the aerial phase of it to commence. The presence of three U.S. carriers in the Gulf is a prelude to a much larger operation, and, as if on cue, accusations of Iranian interference in Iraq have escalated, with the US military now echoing earlier assertions by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney that the Iranians stood behind the Iraqi insurgency. We are, of course, never allowed to see the “evidence” for this claim, and, in the long, anguishing reappraisal of the “intelligence” that rationalizes a strike at Tehran the real paucity of concrete facts backing up these statements will doubtless come out. In the meantime, however, we are supposed to accept the veracity of the charges on faith: foreign policy is this administration’s most successful faith-based program, at least in terms of getting politicians of both parties, the media, and the general public to willingly suspend their disbelief until well after the shooting starts.
The political build-up to the actual fireworks reached a crescendo of hypocritical cant in the Senate the other day, with the passage of an amendment – 97 to nada – deploring alleged Iranian perfidy in Iraq, including purported attacks on U.S. soldiers. This, while we hold their diplomats hostage in a bizarrely inverted replay of the 1970s Iranian hostage crisis that brought down Jimmy Carter. Perhaps the regime-changers in Washington are hoping the same fate awaits Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If so, they are bound to be disappointed: such provocations only enhance the authority of Iranian hard-liners, and make the prospect of conflict with the U.S. more likely. On the other hand, maybe that’s exactly the point …
The bipartisan band is striking up a war tune, as “antiwar” Senator Carl Levin co-sponsors with Joe Lieberman the Iran Amendment to the defense appropriations bill, joining with Republican Senators McCain, Kyl, and Graham in a rousing chorus of rattling sabers. The amendment accuses Iran of murdering American soldiers, and of committing other acts of war: it is, in effect, a declaration of war, and Senator Lieberman was quite clear about this on the Senate floor the other day.