">

Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Iran: Here We Go…

When the International Atomic Energy Agency released its report this week claiming “credible” evidence that Iran has been seeking to develop a nuclear weapon since at least 2003, the responses of right-wing demagogues were predictable, if alarming.

 

The narrative was simple, echoing an old trope most recently rehashed after the United States claimed to have foiled an Iranian assassination plot in Washington: sanctions have failed, Iran will never “respond” to diplomacy, and war is the only option. “Diplomacy has never resolved problems with Iran,” writes Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute. “Only overwhelming pain will convince the supreme leader that the Islamic Republic cannot shoulder the costs of his quest.” (Rubin once wrote to Right Web complaining that we unfairly accused him of wanting to attack Iran.)

 

Rubin’s apparent bloodlust might seem marginal in a less toxic diplomatic environment. But his comments come amid a flurry of anti-Iranian posturing in Washington as well as Tel Aviv, where factions of Netanyahu’s cabinet have reportedly been pressing for a unilateral strike on Iran. Defying the Israeli government’s official silence in response to the report, Defense Minister Ehud Barak insisted that Israel could attack Iran and suffer “not even 500” casualties, and President Simon Peres remarked earlier this week that "The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option.”

 

Meanwhile in Washington, while neoconservative commentators were preparing their remarks that diplomacy doesn’t work with Iran, members of Congress were setting about ensuring that it wouldn’t. Led by the hard-right Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced last week a harsh sanctions bill that would effectively criminalize most contact between U.S. diplomats and Iranian officials. Paul Pillar noted at the National Interest that the bill “would prevent any exploration of ways to resolve disagreement over that Iranian nuclear program that we are supposedly so intensely concerned about,” concluding that it “vividly illustrates how mindless the pressuring and isolation of Iran has become.” Another bill passed by the committee would impose stringent sanctions on Iran’s central bank, something Iran previously said it would consider an act of war.

 

Even the United Kingdom is reportedly preparing plans to attack Iran.

 

Although a few doubts have been raised about the report’s findings and implications, John Glaser has ventured a possible rationale for Iran’s nuclear ambitions: namely, the U.S. has invaded and occupied the countries to Iran’s east and west, continues to run warships in the Persian Gulf, has cultivated client states hostile to Iran, and has waged a covert campaign of assassination and cyber warfare against the country. “In such an environment,” Glaser asks, “why wouldn’t the Iranian government want a nuclear weapon?”

 

Still, Mark Dubowitz of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin that “no one can reasonably argue that countries threatened by Iran have not tried all peaceful alternatives.”

 

Well, by that measure of “peaceful,” all but one.

 

—Peter Certo

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Update was slow, but still no lag in the editor window, and footnotes are intact.     This has been updated – Bernard Lewis, who passed away in May 2018, was a renowned British-American historian of Islam and the Middle East. A former British intelligence officer, Foreign Office staffer, and Princeton University professor, Lewis was…


Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


RightWeb
share