Still no evidence against Iran; US public resisting war
University of Michigan Middle East expert Juan Cole revealed the elephant in the room during an important interview on DemocracyNow! yesterday. While President Bush has convinced a majority of Americans that Iran seeks a nuclear weapon and is killing US soldiers, the objective truth is:
JUAN COLE: Neither thing is actually in evidence. …
AMY GOODMAN: And the fact that there are more Saudi fighters in Iraq than Iranian, but that is almost never raised, either in the press or by the administration?
JUAN COLE: To my knowledge, the United States has never captured any Iranian with arms. There were 136 foreign detainees, the last we knew. There are 24,000 Iraqi ones. And the 136 contain no Iranians at all. 45% of them, earlier in the summer, were Saudis. I think that proportion has changed, but it’s such a small number. But, in any case, there is no proof of any actual Iranian military activity inside Iraq whatsoever. …
But isn’t Ahmadinejad an obvious threat?
AMY GOODMAN: What about Ahmadinejad’s power in Iran?
JUAN COLE: Well, Ahmadinejad is a ceremonial president. He is a little bit more active, has stronger links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps than his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, who, by the way — the previous president of Iran — has upbraided Ahmadinejad for his comments regarding Holocaust denial. So Ahmadinejad is — he is not commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He can’t order anybody to kill anybody. He can’t launch a war. He can’t launch missiles. Those powers are vested in the Supreme Jurisprudent, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad can, you know, cut the ribbons and open bridges and things like that. So the American right’s fascination with him is entirely misplaced, and it’s because he’s a quirky character and he has objectionable views, and so it’s easy to use him to demonize Iran.
There is some good news. The President has succeeded in convincing the American public that Iran wants nukes and is killing US soldiers, and yet:
JUAN COLE: And yet, 78% of Americans say that they don’t want a US attack on Iran. So, so far, all of the rationales that they have trotted out and trumpeted through the media for attacking Iran have not been sufficient to convince the American people that action is necessary.
Right on, America. Politicians R Us: they do what they think we’ll let them do.
Make sure they know.
Related posts: A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 1: Constitution to Khatami;
A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 2: Ahmedinejad, nukes, and weapons
Tags: war+on+terror, Ahmadinejad, Juan+Cole, DemocracyNow!, Monte Asbury