Monday, April 12, 2010

War with Iran? Another racket for war profiteers

Everybody “knows” that Iran is thinking of developing nuclear weapons, but no one seems to have solid information to back it up. Okay, they’ve been enriching uranium to 20%. That’s pure enough for use in hospitals and medical research, both of which Iran has in abundance. After all, Iran is a modern nation with modern hospitals. (I’ll bet that some of you didn’t know that.)
The most oft-given “reason” for believing that Iran is building nuclear weapons runs something like, “With all that oil Iran has, they have no need of nuclear power plants; therefore, they must be planning to build nuclear weapons.” There are three problems with that argument.
1. It’s based on a lack of knowledge rather than fact. The speaker says, in effect, “I don’t know what else it could be; therefore, it must be what I suspect it is.” The fact is, there are uses for radiation other than bombs and power plants.
2. It presupposes that the more oil a country has, the less need it has for nuclear power plants. The fact is, the United States is awash with oil, yet the United States claims need of nuclear power plants.
3. Finally, the argument is based on the idea that anything that seems to be true must be true. Experience has often shown otherwise.
But aren’t our government leaders telling us that Iran is working on a nuclear bomb? Yes, they are. They also told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Afghanistan wasn’t willing to cooperate with the United States in dealing with Al Qaeda; and they knew at the time that these claims were lies.
What about the United Nations inspectors? In paragraphs 2-13 of the UN’s IAEA Report on Iran, the UN said that there was no evidence that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb.
Why would our government lie to us about something as serious as this? I could suggest possible answers to that question, but I could be wrong. We do know, though, that they have lied before and that they’re lying now.
Iran hasn’t started a war in 360 years. How many wars have the United States, England, and Israel started in the last 65 years?
The words of Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, spoken in 1935, speak to our time. A career marine officer from 1898-1931, Butler was one of only 19 people who received the Medal of Honor twice. Early in his career, he was brevetted because, at the time, marine officers weren’t allowed to receive the Medal of Honor. So, he was only one of two men who earned the Medal of Honor three times. He became an outspoken opponent of America’s meddling in other countries’ affairs, and this often got him into trouble with American political leaders. At an American Legion meeting, he made a memorable speech called “War is a Racket.”On YouTube, an actor performs his speech. General Butler later expanded his speech and had it published as a book.
Here’s the late George Carlin’s take on it (Be prepared for rough language if you view this clip.)
I’m a Vietnam combat veteran—a four-time volunteer who fought as part of Task Force 117, Mobile Riverine Force, Mekong Delta. I also served in Danang and the Parrot’s Beak. Having invested that much of myself in a war, it’s hard to accept that war is a racket—but war is a racket.
I don’t want to visit that kind of evil on this generation of young people. The best way we can support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is to bring them home. We can support the troops or we can support the war; we can’t do both. And we certainly don’t need another war based on lies.
War is a racket. Under Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution, only Congress can declare war. They can also refuse to declare war. "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Click here to write your congressman.

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