[extropy-chat] setting us up for war against Iran?

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Jan 17 00:40:36 UTC 2006

Apparently this didn't get through when I sent it earlier.  This is  
an excellent piece on the ways we may be being marched toward  
military action against Iran.  I hope we do not let ourselves be led  
blindly into such a conflict.


The Power of The Lie

Remember the movie "Groundhog Day"? It was the story of a man (Bill  
Murray) who was forced to continuously relive the worst day of his  
life, until he learned to become a better person.

As we launch into 2006, it already has the feeling of deja vu, of a  
groundhog day in the making.

I recall my intense scepticism when pressure was being put on Iraq,  
in the first stages of that relentless momentum to a pre-planned goal  
- war.

I also recall joining tens of thousands of people in a street protest  
against the impending war. That was a first for me - as I'm not a  
"protest" sort of person. But I was so angry that I took the only  
option available to me to voice such anger. Not that it did any good  
of course!

Now we know that all that hoopla was a fabrication, that there were  
no WMD in Iraq, and no impending attack from that country. Doesn't  
matter, Saddam was a bad man, and the world is better off with one  
less bad man - so the revised story goes.

You'd think that experience would cause our leaders to tread more  
carefully in future - to at least learn from past mistakes. But this  
appears not to be the case.

Right now, a new campaign is under way - the first steps in another  
relentless drive to full military confrontation with that other  
Middle East country, Iran.

As with Iraq, the military option is being played down, and our  
leaders claim to be seeking a "diplomatic" solution. Listen not to  
words however, but observe actions.

You can witness this momentum building each passing day, as the  
phrase, "Iran is seeking to build a nuclear weapon" passes into the  
common consciousness.

It's not even necessary to state it as a fact (as the American  
administration does). All that's required is to massage these words  
in different ways, and present them with various shades of meaning -  
like how Iran is "suspected" of building a nuclear weapon, or how  
Iran has the "potential" to build such a weapon in the near future.  
Or even simply, the US administration "believes" Iran has a secret  
plan to build a nuclear weapon.

Each headline, each newspaper editorial, and each political utterance  
has the mesmerising effect of slowly, but surely, imprinting in the  
public's mind the belief that this surely must be the case - that  
Iran is either planning to build, or has built, a nuclear weapon.

For its part, Iran states that it is not building or thinking of  
building a nuclear weapon - and is prepared to allow full IAEA  
inspections to prove its point. It also stands firm and asserts its  
right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful means - i.e.  
electricity generation - a right it is granted as a signatory to the  
NPT (Nuclear Proliferation Treaty).

But all of this counts for nought in the face of a persistent,  
relentless lie. It seems as if the human psyche is programmed to  
believe a repeated lie - when uttered by authority figures. It's a  
form of crude brainwashing, which politicians learn to use early on  
in their careers.

Think back to Saddam Hussein again - when he was accused of  
harbouring WMD. Our leaders asserted he did have them. He asserted he  
did not. Who was telling the truth then?

The best way to get a handle on this whole issue is to make an  
attempt to stand in another's shoes - Iran's shoes in this case. Just  
imagine yourself as an Iranian and consider your options.

You live in a hostile environment. Your foes, Israel and the USA, are  
armed to the teeth and Israel is not a signatory to the NPT. It  
regularly threatens to attack you, and in fact has done so in the past.

You ponder on the inconsistencies of this world - a world where other  
nations are allowed to develop nuclear power and nuclear weapons. A  
world where other countries regularly use force to achieve their  
objectives. And a world where such countries assume the right to tell  
your country what it can and cannot do.

You are outraged. You believe that if it's good enough for other  
countries to develop their nuclear technology, to meet their energy  
needs, then it's good enough for Iran to do likewise. If pressed, you  
may even assert that even though your country has no intention of  
building nukes - you have the right to do so for self-defence,  
especially when facing aggressive, nuclear-armed foes.

 From your viewpoint, the growing world opinion against your country  
is a form of mass hypocrisy. Who decided that certain nations can  
browbeat and bully others into submission - to conform to standards  
which they themselves do not observe? Who decided who should or  
should not be able to develop nuclear power, or even a nuclear  
deterrent? Are you not a member of a sovereign nation - a country  
with certain rights, just like other countries?

You look at America and you cannot understand it. While it builds its  
case against your country, it continues to support other nations  
which already have nuclear weapons, which are not signatories to the  
NPT, and which are often not even democracies. You revert to your  
religion to explain all this - and perhaps you're right. Perhaps the  
west really IS at war with Islam!

Right now we've reached phase one of the strategy to militarily  
confront Iran - with the threat of sanctions and of it being referred  
to the United Nations Security Council.

All this happened to Iraq as well. We've been there, done that.

In this case, the US and its EU allies face some opposition - most  
likely from China and possibly Russia. China has an ongoing and  
friendly relationship with Iran - not to mention important economic  
and energy-related business dealings. China has the power to veto any  
UN Security Council resolution - and is now the focus of intense  
diplomatic pressure from the USA, in an attempt to bring them on  
board with the growing "consensus".

We will hear a lot about this "consensus" in coming weeks and months.

The next stage will likely involve the "uncovering" of new  
intelligence, which will "prove" that Iran is indeed operating a  
secret nuclear weapons programme. This will sway any doubters and  
lingering dissidents - and pull world opinion into line. The clincher  
may come with information obtained from certain Iranians themselves -  
perhaps defectors from the regime. Shades of Iraq all over again.

The major media - Fox News, BBC, New York Times, The Washington Post  
and TV and newsprint media in general, will parrot the official line,  
and confirm our worst fears - that Iran really does have the capacity  
to threaten us, and is very likely to attack us in the future.

We will be told this situation is NOT like Iraq, that it is a  
different ball game. And most will believe it.

The only medium to offer any counter to the official line will, of  
course, be the internet - that damn, uncontrollable cyberspace! But  
when it comes to impact, the internet is still not capable of truly  
shaping world opinion. Yes, it's a haven for dissidents and  
independent thinkers - but they are still the minority, and a "fly in  
the ointment" as far as the campaign for total global information  
control is concerned.

You and I will have no means of verifying this type of military  
intelligence of course, and will be faced with the choice of either  
accepting or rejecting it. But I know one thing, most people will  
accept it as true - simply because it is asserted by their rulers. It  
will be believed because it is stated by those in power - those who  
MUST be believed. God knows why, but that's the way it is.

Each stage of this strategy will move the western powers ever closer  
to the final goal - that of attacking Iran. Any attack will likely  
not be the same as the war waged on Iraq, as that has been a  
disaster. Besides, the USA simply does not have the manpower to wage  
that type of ground war all over again. No, what is more likely is an  
attack on strategic and/or nuclear sites - a targeted aerial  
bombardment to "neutralise" Iran's nascent nuclear industry.

The world will cheer. Another potential threat to world peace will  
have been taken out. Another victory in the war on terror!

Or ... it could be a fatal conceit. It could trigger a war between  
Israel and Iran. It could be the beginning of a general Middle East  
conflagration. It could cause Iran to "trigger" its support base in  
Iraq, and lead to a general uprising against US forces in that region.

It could lead to the world's first nuclear war. It could be the  
Armageddon that so may fundamentalist Christians believe is the  
essential precursor to a better world. And it could also be the  
catalyst that sends the global economy into a tailspin - and impacts  
on the entire world.

Take your pick.

But for the serious freedom seeker, war is an anathema. War is never  
a cause for celebration. As Randolph Bourne said, "War is the health  
of the state". War always benefits the state and its apparatus of  
control. Every war has strengthened the state's hand in public  
affairs and private life. And an ever-more powerful state is NEVER in  
the interest of the freedom seeker.

So, in 2006, keep your wits about you. Keep your eyes open. Don't  
believe every word you read or are told. Seek alternative sources of  
information to at least provide a "second opinion". And most of all,  
remember that politicians DO lie. They've been caught out time and  
time again. Lying is the name of their game. There is simply no  
reason to have faith in them - and even less reason to follow them  
blindly into the abyss.

The only possible cause for long range optimism in all this, is that  
making the same mistake over and over again, and reliving (as in  
Groundhog Day) the "worst" day in our collective lives - in mayhem  
and war - could lead us to seek a "better" form of social order in  
the future. It could lead to a significant number of the world's  
people rejecting the warfare state as the optimum organisational  
model for a modern, progressive, free and peaceful world. I live in  

Yours in freedom

David MacGregor

David MacGregor operates an information service
which is designed for all those who seek more
practical and financial freedom in their lives.

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