The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Still no evidence against Iran; US public resisting war

with 5 comments

Cole Juan with captionUniversity 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: , , , , Monte Asbury

Written by Monte

October 24, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Islam, Politics, Terrorism

5 Responses

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  1. Dear Monte,

    I am most honored that you accepted my invitation.
    all the best.


    Monte says: The honor is mine! Thank you for the invitation. That you would trust me to write there is a compliment that means much!


    November 5, 2007 at 1:29 pm

  2. I think we need to start a “Stop Second Holocaust!” campaign. You see, the Israel lobby is trying to prep the facile minds by propagating the false idea that Iran is going to cause teh second holocaust.

    I think it is high time to draw the very tangible parallels between the military might of Hitler and the military might of the US, the hegemonic aspirations of Hitler and the hegemonic aspirations of Bush, the ideological convictions of Hilter against gays, communists, semetics, liberals and the ideological convictions of the Washington against all those.

    The second holocaust is in making; and dictatorship is standing at the door of entry to America. This is cause for grave concern!
    Second holocaust MUST be stopped.

    Resisting is not enough anymore, it’s time for pro-action!


    November 3, 2007 at 9:45 am

  3. Monte,

    I really suggest you read this book: Treacherous Alliance, by Trita Parsi.

    The boy is an Iranian, a student of Fukuyama, and he has created an excellent document, testimonial of the ugly politics of middle east, the beneficiary’s of which are no one other than the arms dealers of the world, masquerading behind AEI, and AIPAC.

    (the boy is loyal to these dudes and is not naming names, but it is so easy to extrapolate to the source of conflict)

    Monte Says: Thanks for the tip, I’ll look for it!


    October 26, 2007 at 9:23 pm

  4. I’ve wondered if what Bush is up to is trying to start something that will mean that he has to stay in office longer than his term. That might be a long shot, I don’t know, but he seems to really enjoy his power.

    Monte Says: Yow, that’s a scary thought. Let’s hope not.


    October 24, 2007 at 11:55 pm

  5. That’s right – no real evidence against Iran, but as Cole and Goodman hint at, a whole mountain of evidence against the Saudis:

    Iran (and Iraq, for that matter) had nothing to with Al Qaeda or 9/11. But time and again, the trail does indeed lead back to the exact same place.

    Monte Says: Thanks, Bill. Useful comment and link! Clearly, the President is up to something other than simple threat analysis.

    Bill in Chicago

    October 24, 2007 at 2:50 pm

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