Obama's Hell-Ride to War on Iran

Daniel McAdams
LRC Blog
September 26, 2009

Faced with the uncomfortable and politically unacceptable reality that there exists no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, confirmed by his own intelligence community, President Obama has taken a page from the book of his predecessors FDR, LBJ, GWB, and so on: he simply made something really scary-sounding up to justify his push toward war.

It is 2002 all over again, but worse.
This time it is the artificially manufactured hype around an Iranian uranium enrichment facility that is under construction. Keep in mind that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Iran, under Article IV of said treaty, has every right to enrich uranium to its heart’s content. The treaty clearly states: “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.”

Iran has, dutifully and ahead of required schedule, notified the International Atomic Energy Agency, tasked with monitoring adherence to the NPT, of its intent to bring this enrichment facility online in approximately 18 months. But where there is no smoking gun, lighter fluid must be ignited: to undercut the Five Plus One talks with Iran scheduled to begin on October first, the Obama administration has invented indignation over discovery of this plant while at the same time holding to the story that the US Intelligence Community has known about this facility, which Obama says is “inconsistent with a peaceful (nuclear) program,” since 2006. As one administration official stated regarding the upcoming talks in light of his “discovery”: “Everybody’s been asking, ‘Where’s our leverage?’ Well, now we just got that leverage.” And right in the nick of time!

But hang on a minute: the US Intelligence Community has known since 2006 that Iran is building a facility to manufacture nuclear weapons but still in 2007 allowed a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran to conclude with “high confidence” that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapons program? Considering the discrepancy, one could be forgiven for concluding that either deception or incompetence is the order of the day in our enormously expensive Intelligence Community.

It is 2002 all over again, but worse: this time a good chunk of the antiwar movement will have been sidelined over its fatally wrong-headed decision to sign on with the pied pipers of the war party over the Iranian elections in June. By “going Green” (going pro-opposition instead of remaining neutral) much of the antiwar movement has been effectively silenced, its side-taking giving voice to one of the war party’s most critical claims: “any government that will cheat as horrifically as it did on these elections will certainly cheat on its IAEA reporting obligations.” No further proof needed. It is a refrain we have heard time and time again since June: “you mean you are going to believe them about their nuclear program? A regime that would cheat like that in its elections?” Antiwar movement: largely silenced. Credible proof of outcome-changing fraud: none. Coming cost in death and destruction: priceless.


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