It’s hard to believe, especially after the tragic decision to invade Iraq over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, that the Republican candidates for president and even the Republican candidates for Wisconsin’s soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat appear all to be on the same page — we’ve got to attack Iran to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon.
This, despite everyone from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the heads of this country’s intelligence agencies insisting that attacking Iran would be a foolish thing for the United States — or Israel, for that matter — to do.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, claims that despite all the rhetoric that emanates from Iran, “We are of the opinion that Iran is a rational actor.” But, if Iran is attacked, the results would destabilize not only that country, but the entire region, he said in a CNN interview.
An attack on Iran would “guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon,” former CIA chief Michael Hayden commented last month, adding that the intelligence community isn’t at all sure that Iran is even trying to build an atomic bomb.
In a report last week in The New York Times, U.S. intelligence analysts say they continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear weapon. Yes, the country seems to be preserving its options to build a bomb, they admit, but that decision has been put off for sometime in the future, they believe.
Ron Burgess, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress that “the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or provoke a conflict.” Even Meir Deagan, who headed Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad until last year warns that attacking Iran “would mean regional war, and in that case you would have given Iran the best possible reason to continue the nuclear program.”
Peter Beinart of the Web magazine the Daily Beast remarked: “I’ve never seen a more lopsided debate among the experts paid to make these judgments. Yet it barely matters. So far, the Iran debate has been a rout, with the Republican presidential candidates loudly declaring their openness to war and President Obama unwilling to even echo the skepticism of his own security chiefs.”
Yes, the usual suspects are all there, from Elliott Abrams to John Bolton, the same neo-cons who sold us on Iraq, pounding the drums to once again attack another Mideastern country, apparently not learning anything from the a 10-year war that cost America trillions of dollars and many thousands of dead and maimed young people.
“How can it be, less than a decade after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that the Iran debate is breaking down along largely the same lines?” asked Beinart.
What would make it worse is if the country once again accepts their flawed advice.