Last December and January, the sabre-rattling started between the United States and Iran. Just last week, Condoleeza Rice retooled a familiar statement once applied to Iraq to our new enemy: “We do not have a problem with the Iranian people. We want the Iranian people to be free. Our problem is with the Iranian regime.”
Iran, of course, is the second member of the Axis of Evil. The U.S. is trying to gain multilateral support for action against Iran, but is currently batting 0-for-1 on WMD accuracy with its pitiful performance in Iraq. Congress, and the American people, should be infinitely more cautious this time, even though it was made somewhat clear that the “Experts” viewed Iran as more of a real threat than Iraq in the first place.
What is the threat to the United States of Iran having one or more nuclear weapons? According to the Federation of American Scientists, not much. Even with long range missles from North Korea in a hypothetical “axis of evil” trade, Iran could not reach westward past Greenland from their own territory. Therefore, at the moment there’s no good reason to feel that the mainland United States is in any way threatened. The lands that are actually threatened are Europe and, most importantly, Israel.
Israel is scared, and the United States is backing it up 150%. Israel’s defense minister stepped out on his own limb, confrontationally stating “If the UN Security Council is incapable of taking action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself.” However, the AP reported that the IAEA has found no evidence “that Teheran had diverted material towards making atomic weapons.” Is Israel scared, or are they just pretending to be?
There’s another important factor at play, the Iranian oil bourse. Simply put, this is an alternate trading mechanism for oil that is being set up by Iran, using the euro rather than the U.S. dollar as its base currency. Iraq attempted to make the same change, but it was reversed back to the dollar in 2003; is that why the Bush Administration was dead set on war with Iraq from they day they entered office? Iran’s potential move is a threat to the economic well-being of the United States as our global neighbors could trade in their dollars for Euros to buy oil, in which case the dollars would flood the U.S. and could bring about deflation and even depression. Others have written about the economic threat, and it should not be taken lightly.
America has long supported Israel, and two significant groups are influential in ensuring its continued support: Jewish and Christian Zionists.
Jewish Zionists believe in Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people; Jerusalem has long been ground zero between Jews and Muslims, and is currently on the border of the state of Israel and the occupied territories (the West Bank). Jerusalem is considered the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem is to be the future capital of the Palestinian state potentially to be established on the West Bank. It is in everyone’s best interest that the Road Map for Peace leads to a peaceful outcome for all involved.
Many issues surround the fate of Jerusalem, and its significance in the Christian faith cannot be underestimated. Christian Zionists believe the return of the Jews to Israel, the holy land, is the fulfillment of prophesy and is a necessary step on the road to the Rapture; the Left Behind series of books is influenced by this line of thought. If the right-wing Christians with heavy influence on the Bush administration are determined to see the success of the state of Israel as a precursor to the start of the Rapture, it would not be a stretch to assume that this would motivate U.S. policy to support protection of Israel from real or perceived threats such as Iran.
Some have argued that the “War on Terror” was engineered for the benefit of Israel, that 9/11 was perpetrated to provide cover for the U.S. fighting Israel’s enemies on its behalf. There were allegations of dancing Israelis in a white van across from the burning twin towers, and that two employees of Israeli instant messaging company Odigo received a two-hour warning of the impending attack. It is likely these can be written off as the fantasies of “conspiracy nuts,” but if these stories were true, it would imply Israeli complicity in the events of 9/11 perhaps in order to ensure U.S. cooperation against its enemies.
Project Censored revealed in 2003 that the Energy Task Force run by Dick Cheney immediately after the Bush inauguration included maps of Iraqi oil fields in its documentation. The administration has been widely accused of intending to go to war with Iraq upon setting foot in the White House. We know that Osama Bin Laden, far from “hating us for our freedom” as we are told, is strongly against US and Israeli policy in Palestine, and is against the U.S. presence in the Middle East.
Two questions come to mind considering all these puzzle pieces. 1) Is more violence in the Middle East actually going to help U.S. security, or destabilize the region further? And 2) Is it really our physical security, or economic security, that is at stake here?Powered by Sidelines