As the American/Israeli war drums beat more loudly over Iran, the U.S. public is being told that this time the warnings about nuclear weapons are right, that no one should listen to Iranian denials, that ratcheting up tensions toward war is the only way. But William Blum recalls the similar false certainty about Iraq.
By William Blum
There’s no letup, is there? The preparation of the American mind, the world mind, for the next gala performance of D&D, Death and Destruction. The Bunker Buster bombs are now 30,000 pounds each one, six times as heavy as the previous delightful model..
But the Masters of War still want to be loved; they need for you to believe them when they say they have no choice, that Iran is the latest threat to life as we know it, no time to waste.
The preparation of minds was just as fervent before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. And when it turned out that Iraq did not have any kind of arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) … well, our power elite found other justifications for the invasion, and didn’t look back. Some berated Iraq: “Why didn’t they tell us that? Did they want us to bomb them?”
In actuality, before the U.S. invasion high Iraqi officials had stated clearly on repeated occasions that they had no such weapons. In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.” [CBS Evening News, Aug. 20, 2002]
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.” [ABC Nightline, Dec. 4, 2002]
Hussein himself told Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.” [60 Minutes II, Feb. 26, 2003]
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991. [Washington Post, March 1, 2003]
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world that the WMD were non-existent.
And if there were still any uncertainty remaining, last year Hans Blix, former chief United Nations weapons inspector, who led a doomed hunt for WMD in Iraq, told a British inquiry into the 2003 invasion that those who were “100 percent certain there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq turned out to have “less than zero percent knowledge” of where the purported hidden caches might be.
Blix testified that he had warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a February 2003 meeting, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in separate talks, that Hussein might have no weapons of mass destruction. [Associated Press, July 28, 2010]
Those of who you don’t already have serious doubts about the American mainstream media’s knowledge and understanding of U.S. foreign policy, should consider this: Despite the two revelations on Dan Rather’s CBS programs, and the other revelations noted above, in January 2008 we find CBS reporter Scott Pelley interviewing FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade? [60 Minutes, Jan. 27, 2008. See also: Consortiumnews.com’s “CBS Falsifies Iraq History,” Jan. 28, 2008; Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR] Action Alert, Feb. 1, 2008]
[Scott Pelley is now the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News and a correspondent on 60 Minutes. He previously was a correspondent on 60 Minutes II and a White House correspondent.]
The United States and Israel are preparing to attack Iran because of its alleged development of nuclear weapons, which Iran has denied on many occasions. Of the Iraqis who warned the United States that it was mistaken about the WMD, Saddam Hussein was executed, Tariq Aziz is awaiting execution. Which Iranian officials is U.S./Israel going to hang after their country is laid to waste?
Would it have mattered if the Bush administration had fully believed Iraq when it said it had no WMD? Probably not. There is ample evidence that Bush knew this to be the case, or at a minimum should have seriously suspected it; the same applies to Tony Blair. Saddam Hussein did not sufficiently appreciate just how psychopathic his two adversaries were.
Bush was determined to vanquish Iraq, for the sake of Israel, for control of oil, and for expanding the empire with new bases, though in the end most of this didn’t work out as the empire expected; for some odd reason, it seems that the Iraqi people resented being bombed, invaded, occupied, demolished, and tortured.
But if Iran is in fact building nuclear weapons, we have to ask: Is there some international law that says that the U.S., the UK, Russia, China, Israel, France, Pakistan, and India are entitled to nuclear weapons, but Iran is not? If the United States had known that the Japanese had deliverable atomic bombs, would Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been destroyed?
Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld, has written: “The world has witnessed how the United States attacked Iraq for, as it turned out, no reason at all. Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy.”7
It cannot be repeated too often: The secret to understanding U.S. foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away.
Examine a map: Iran sits directly between two of the United States’ great obsessions, Iraq and Afghanistan … directly between two of the world’s greatest oil regions, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea areas … it’s part of the encirclement of the two leading potential threats to American world domination, Russia and China … Tehran will never be a client state or obedient poodle to Washington.
How could any good, self-respecting Washington imperialist resist such a target? Bombs Away!
William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2; Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower; West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir; Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org. [This story first appeared at Anti-Empire Report.]
Do not forget Rachel Corrie killed run over by a bull dozer,And REMEMBER the LIBERTY attacted by israel in open waters killing 34 and wounding many more, also the NEW BERLIN WALL ECT ECT .
With israel having a record “58 Massacre from THE KING DAVID MASSACRE TO THE WESTERN LAST ONE WESTERNBEKAA VILLAGES MASSACRE,S. kILLING OVER ONE MILLION PALISTIANS,STEALING THEIR LAND AND BUILDING THE NEW BERLIN WALL. What is their to be PROUD off.The state of israel will be wiped off the EARTH.
Thank you for your well researched and compassionate article.
The Elephant in the room or the enormous DIRTY SECRET.
With the amounts of depleted Uranium “we” have deposited in Iraq , Afghanistan , Lebanon & Palestine we may expect soaring rates in WORLD WIDE birth defects & cancers.
For for generations & generations.
This is a human disaster of enormous proportions that MSM & OUR Government keeps from “we the people”.
It is reported that the United States and Britain used up to 2,000 tons of DU during the Iraq war.
Yes. But as long as the human disaster is inflicted on another country, it does not matter, does it?
“I donâ€™t think pissing off Iran will benefit anyone. And thoughtless warmongering is just foolish anyway.”
Unfortunately those who opt for war have cushy desk jobs and look at the effects of the killings on their computer monitors, as if watching a video game. They have no idea what it is like to suffer personally and physically for years in a war.
The chickenhawks who are clamoring for another war are the same ones who did not see fit to serve in any of the other wars. Neither will their little bundles of job find reason to serve their country in any future wars.
Preventing Iran from getting the a-bomb, may be a diversion away from a much more malignant purpose by the west. It’s an established fact that bombing will only delay Iran’s nuclear program by a few years. The actual intention is to blanket surface areas of Iran with uranium and fission products. Everyone has seen the long term economic, biological and social effects of radioactivity in southern Iraq(DU-38), Chernobyl and Fukushima. Any military action now will simulate these events by spewing the contents of the reactor core (enrichment facilities too) over great distances (in effect a dirty bomb). The objective would be to induce a financial and environmental disaster that Iran would be unable to emerge from.
Israel isn’t hesitant to attack, it’s simply waiting to inflict the maximum effect.
Do you know how big Iran is?
I gather from your question Mr. none?, that my statements were vague or unclear, so I’ll be specific. Military attacks against Iran would initially target (roughly) seventy separate nuclear research sites and dozens of scattered air force bases. The attack weapons of choice would be DU-38 munitions and huge bombs. Again, I repeat, DU has a proven record against fortified concrete and armored structures. It has an infamous one for leaving permanent, radioactive “groundshine” wherever used. The new 15-ton massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) bomb is guided by GPS, yields 5,300 pounds of high explosive ordinance. It can penetrate up to two hundred feet of reinforced concrete. Thus, the entire reactor core at Bushehr would become atomized and airborne, all at once. The effected areas would include both land and sea. Radiation levels could easily be in the tens of trillions of Becquerels! And speaking of trillions, that’s what it would cost in dollars to make Iran livable again. The Japanese are flirting with wild schemes building special roving “washing machines?!” to clean contaminated surfaces and seeding soils with mushrooms to absorb the Fukushima mess. Could one advance the idea of growing mushrooms in arid or desert areas? Could the GNP or human resources Iran be equated with that of Japan? I hope this clearly brings home to you the utter insanity of this attack and how difficult recovery would be for the Iranians.
Well, Let’s assume that your hypothesized attack actually happens and it effectively renders all of the ~600,000 square miles of Iranian land uninhabitable.
I would assume that the retaliation will be just as extreme, maybe a little less idiotic though.
I think it’s safe to assume that the Iranians are capable of closing off the strait of hormuz (for good) by the mere push of a button.
Is the US really ready to pay 500+ dollars for a barrel of oil?
I don’t think pissing off Iran will benefit anyone. And thoughtless warmongering is just foolish anyway.
Thanks for your thoughts.
You bet! Only days before the rush-rush invasion Bush in a fantastic bit o’ mind reading explained, “Saddam Hussein wants ‘nukler’ weapons and can have them in TEN YEARS!” Hussein’s real threat was opening oil exploration bids to include China. A couple of weeks ago Democracy Now! aired a disturbing discussion as Seymour Hersh questions the growing consensus on Iranâ€™s alleged nuclear weapons program
Since humans have organized into large non tribal communities, royalty and the wealthy have found ways of sending the peasants off to fight wars. It amuses them, makes them feel like real men and enriches them. If the U.S. is preparing for another war then I am preparing to hit the streets with the anti war movement. I think our PTSDed men and women of our military have had enough, the economy has had enough and the 99% has had enough of perpetual war. The next war we engage in should be against the S.O.B. leaders of the military industrial complex. Anyone got a rope?
The war is with The Hezbollah Party in Iran, who are “The Taliban of Iran”. Once the media learns to put things in the correct context, then matters will not be literally “blown out of proportion”. Do not use the word “Iran”.
a civilized people actually look 4 ways to make their society and others around them better for their.any weapons they may have wil be purely for defencive purposes. history is loaded with barbarians,inventing new ways to kill people. those governments in d west who claim to be civilized;we are in serious danger.
For all the hawks out there claiming Iran will bomb Israel into oblivion with a nuke:
“[Iran] supports by far the largest Jewish population of any Muslim country.” (http://www.sephardicstudies.org/iran.html)
If they were really out to exterminate an entire race, you’d think they might have started in their own backyard by now…For your consideration.
Exactly. I think that information escapes most Israelis.
Great article. Enjoyed reading it. Thanks for writing.
If Iran can build a nuclear bomb, I will promise you they will start a war, the best way is preventing them from such capabilities.
You don’t believe it, just watch their state TV (IRIB TV1~5, IRNN), they think they are the best race and must expand their idea around the world. they are not real Muslims. (“They” refers to those who are ruling the country now, the hard-liners not all Iranian people not all Persians)
That a reality, yet don’t believe? go and live in Iran to understand it…
By the way, it is not a good reason to do something wrong cuz others did; the world must not sit and let another irresponsible country build an atomic bomb. (you may drive your sport car but Iâ€™m sure you wonâ€™t let you 8-year old child try it)
I believe the last time Iran/Persia “started a war” was well over a thousand years ago.
When was the last time America started a war? hmm.. Libya? Iraq? Afghanistan? Vietnam? Korea? — all this in less than a hundred years.
And how ’bout those Zionists? How many wars have they started?
Truth be told, I’m worried about America attacking Iran and starting yet another war..
The fact is, the US and the Zionist state haven’t been in existence nearly as long as the Iranian nation-state and yet they’ve started more wars.
To me all this is a clear indication that the Iranian people have no interest in invading other countries whereas the US and the Zionists seem to love it.
Consider the US arms industry and what would happen to it if there were to be no more wars.
You my friend are very ignorant to make such childish comments.
you are just another antisemetic asshole. “Zionists” never started any wars. They were attacked by Arab countries, and defended themselves against annihilation. F. U.
First of all, the Arabs are in fact a Semitic people of the tribe of Abraham. — so don’t give me that anti-semitic BS.
And secondly, the Zionist state is a war machine. This is so obvious that I don’t really feel like I have to prove it at all.
It would do you good to do some research buddy. And Fox News doesn’t count as a source of information!
Who uses Faux News as a source you antisemitic asshole?
@flat5: Where else could you have gotten the idea that being opposed to the Zionist apartheid regime is equivalent to being anti-semitic?
You seem to be so geared to insult someone who does not agree with your point of view, which is rather naive and very subjective. You cry “antisemitic” every chance you get.
The more you keep your loud mouth open and shout ‘antisemitic’ at every criticism, the more people will despise you.
@flat5: your “anti-Semitic” is an expired coin now. It doesn’t buy anything anymore.
Thank you for your reply,
1) You really think my comment is childish and Iâ€™m ignorant! A wise man never calls anyone ignorant, Haha, but I think your reply was more childish than mine! Check it out:
You said: â€œI believe the last time Iran/Persia â€œstarted a warâ€ was well over a thousand years ago.â€
Are you kidding me? More than 1000 years are goneâ€¦people changed, many governments changed, their beliefs changed,â€¦
2) I respect Iranians, Americans, Europeans, Russians, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese people, but the government ideals and goals are not always same as their people, Iranian gov. is misusing Islam, try to cheat its people, and restrict their access to information freely, etc.
3) The recent Iranian government is a big liar; pres. Ahmadinejad told CNN during his trip to US that the Iranian people have free access to information! Ask Iranian people to understand the truth. They say they donâ€™t need atomic bombs, why not? When they got it, they will say we need it for defensive purposes! Nice! They probably will give you reasons for using itâ€¦
4) They already have started the war! What is your idea about a country that behaves irresponsibly in global community? they obviously support terrorist groups, their state media shows killing of Bahraini teenager while never talk about what is happening in Syria, because Syrian government is their best ally.
5) Asking about the wars in Libya? Iraq? Afghanistan? Do you approve Ghaddafi? Or Saddam Hossein? Or Taliban? Do you call them â€œUS warâ€!? Do you know ancient wars? As I know, the rule was invade, kill and occupancy, then the land was a part of invader, not just kicking out a dictator and leaving the country after a few years!
6) Not just USA but every other country in the world cares about its security and tries to protect its land before something uncontrollable and costly happens because preventing one country is better than falling into another world war.
7) Iranian policies are ridicules, what is your idea about the recent attack on the UK embassy? Iranian people did that!? Watch the pictures again and again? The police! The attackers! And react of Iranian politiciansâ€¦ shameâ€¦
8) You said â€œThe fact is, the US and the Zionist state havenâ€™t been in existence nearly as long as the Iranian nation-stateâ€! I bet you are an Iranianâ€¦whatâ€™s wrong with you! All of us are human; the US hasnâ€™t been in existence!!! The land or the people? Which one? Are the Americans and Iranians two different thing? Do you know biology? You are not better than any other nationâ€¦ it doesnâ€™t matter when we came on the earth, the important part is what we did, the Internet which you are using, the laptop which you used to enter your comments, your mobile phone, the GPS system, even Iranian F-14 fighters and many other researches and technologies are coming out of the US, they had spend a lot on them.
9) â€œTo me all this is a clear indication that the Iranian people have no interest in invadingâ€ why not? Donâ€™t you want to get back the Persian Empire lands? Donâ€™t you want to promote your idea around the world? Donâ€™t tell me no, it is the Iranian hard-line clerics dream to lead the world as they want; you better listen to their speeches.
10) â€œConsider the US arms industry and what would happen to it ifâ€¦â€ and what about Iran, if Iran had such an industry and was a superpower? They would force all countries to buy their defected weapons!!! Iâ€™m not kidding; the example is their Auto making industries! Iranian people have to buy a home made car or they must pay 2x for a foreign made car. And a note, it is not just limited to auto industries.
And finally, I donâ€™t think the US has any plans to attack Iran at this time, as I told you before, it is not cost efficient yet, so donâ€™t be worry (now, you just may be a bit worry about the Israel)
I was starting to feel lonely on this site but my faith has been restored!
“A wise man never calls anyone ignorant…”
Just another platitude you did not invent. You need to find out exactly what you will get credit for, in terms of ideas. There is not much, I am afraid.
“Iranian people have to buy a home made car or they must pay 2x for a foreign made car.” Have you heard of the sanctions?
And what cars do ‘you’ have to offer that were invented by “your” people? What gets exported from your wonderful country that has nothing to offer besides weapons?
What would your country do if it had sanctions like Iran has?
We want to prevent stupid wars now.
And I advise you to listen to the speeches of the clerics (the Republicans)in the USA.
Going back to the dark ages, they are. They are stupid beyond belief, and they want to start another war because they need the money to get rid of their weapons, their only export. Without that revenue, what do you think they will do to solve the crises of no work, no money,no education?
A war employs a lot of people and kills a lot of people. Problem solved.
find out one more invention by me below… my reply to “Ma”
haha, you wars stopper! To stop war, stop the causes…
baselessâ€¦ you really believe Iranians pay 2x for cars because of sanctions? Read more before writingâ€¦ no that is heavy duty on the imported cars to Iran because the country needs to sell local made cars.
“Without that revenue, what do you think they will do to solve the crises of no work, no money,no education?”
it seems you believe war will improve the technology
“A war employs a lot of people and kills a lot of people. Problem solved.”
Oops master! one more question! do we need a war to reduce the world population???!!!! no. problem solved.
1) Some things never change.
2&3) I am Iranian and I can access whatever information I please.
4) Iran has stood opposed to the capitalist imperialist war machine for over 30 years, all alone. I commend them for that.
5) Ghaddafi and Saddam were American screw-ups.
7) Unless you can prove that the attack was organized by the government, I’m afraid you have no case.
8) We are talking about nations.
9) Do you want to live under the capitalist materialist new world order?
10) If? We are talking about facts, not fantasy theories. And I think the Iranian people are doing just fine. Take a walk through Tehran and tell me how many $100,000+USD cars you can spot.
And finally, just because you are having a tough time doesn’t mean the Iranian government is to blame. Maybe you need to work harder and make better choices.
2&3) Respect you and happy to hear that
4) your stand could be better than this, many other ways to do that, you called the US an enemy, and I’m sure you would like your enemy to exist… so this will be enough for US to prep for a war
5) unless you can prove it, Iâ€™m afraid you have no case!
7) check the captured movies, think… and think again, sometimes you need to review the history, who will benefit from that.
8) nations are made of peoples
9) you guess, but I’m not a extremist
10) I never meant you can’t find a Lamborghini or Ferrari on Tehran streets, I gave you a reply to what you had claimed; one more time, doesn’t your country sell anything to other countries? doesn’t your country like to sell them more? let’s be honest, your country will sell weapons to its friends, US will do the same.
Finally) we are doing the same, working harder, making better choices… but I will kill the Mosquito before I’m bite
People who think like a disturbed 8 year old should not have a pen which is much more destructive than any weapon. Sir you are disgrace to all men & women who hold a pen.
Yes, I shouldn’t have a pen, because you donâ€™t like what I wrote. We all have the right to express what we think, and the readers must make the final decision, so my pen will be a destructive weapon when it tells the truth.
Baby first you entered grown-up’s space without permission now you are becoming increasingly noisy. Get out and find some kid’s corner to vent your tantrum.
it seems you are worry about speeches of a baby!!! put on your headphones and calm down, you never understand why you baby is crying…
I agree with you. Of course the person above (“Hyme”,appropriate name for him,I think)with the pen thinks that it is his right to have the opinion. Of course he has the right, but that only reveals his pathetic ignorance and self importance.