As Iran becomes a political football in Campaign 2012 – with President Obama and Mitt Romney competing to kick it the hardest and farthest – there is talk about Iran’s failure to meet its “international obligations” but little thought about what that means, notes Danny Schechter.
The twin existential threats of nuclear weapons and global warming may work together to end life on Earth because climate dislocations will make desperate national confrontations more likely. But the world’s politicians are doing little about either, writes Robert Dodge.
With U.S. politics locked in a competitive “tough-guy-ism” – as Republicans and Democrats up the ante on punishing Iran to avoid being deemed “weak” or insufficiently “pro-Israel” – no one seems to notice that the tactics are fast becoming an end in themselves, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Mitt Romney took his campaign to Israel with a belligerent speech suggesting that he, as President, would happily support an Israeli war against Iran. In a major foreign policy speech, he also ignored Palestinian rights and repeated some old Mideast canards, reports Robert Parry.
Led by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, hard-line critics of Iran were quick to jump to a conclusion blaming its operatives for a bus bombing targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Some Israeli and Western media even cited a speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad as proof, but Nima Shirazi exposed the misleading charge.
In rushing to judgment blaming Iran for a bus bombing in Bulgaria, Israeli officials and neocon writers cited the conventional wisdom about Iran’s authorship of a bombing in Argentina in 1994. However, the investigation of that case was deeply compromised by political pressure, recalls Gareth Porter for Lobelog.
Western powers test out harsh economic sanctions on Iran. Israel pins the blame for a bus bombing in Bulgaria on Iranian agents, presumably retaliating for Israeli assassinations of Iran’s scientists. As tensions ratchet up – Syria’s unraveling, too – the chances for a disastrous war escalate, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
America’s influential neocons cite the lack of progress in Iranian nuclear talks as reason for more sanctions and more threats, but the real problem is the West’s unwillingness to reward Iran’s concessions with meaningful relaxation of sanctions and threats, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The United States has threatened to impose punishing sanctions on countries importing oil from Iran and – only at the last minute on Thursday – granted China a waiver from the penalties. But these third-party sanctions are likely illegal under trade laws, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.
Exclusive: Hard-headed realism and outside-the-box thinking might be needed to avert another catastrophe in the Middle East, this time an Israeli attack on Iran and the unpredictable consequences. In that light, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern imagines a bleak report that an Iranian intelligence officer might send back to Tehran.