Tom Engelhart wrote a great but lengthy article called The Urge to Bomb Iran. I summed up the key points here:
1) Why does the US want to go to war with Iran?
Because Iran reputedly has the fourth largest reserve of oil in the world, which is largely closed off to us. It also has the ability to shut off the Strait of Hormuz, closing off one of the world’s major energy arteries.
Because we are cultural enemies. Revolutionaries overthrew our puppet regime there in 1979 and stormed the US Embassy in Tehran. They make comments about us being evil and fund our enemies.
“Nukes.” The US government does not want Iran to have access to nuclear energy or weaponry, because they would be able to stand up to the US and tell us to stay out of their country. Until then, they are helpless against our threats and interference.
Opportunity ($$$) for the Military-Industrial Complex. The fear of an attack from Iran justifies their “missile defense” and gives the Pentagon opportunity for new budget spending on bombs, ships, etc.
Prolonged conflict opens the door for construction, occupation, private security contracts, etc for years afterwards. Just look at Iraq and Afghanistan.
2) Why does our population seem complacent and accepting of entering a war with Iran?
A large majority of Americans falsely believe that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program, despite the National Intelligence counsel affirming that it once had a program, but was closed down in 2003. US, European, and Israeli officials all confirm that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program and doesn’t intend to start one, either. Iran’s supreme leader has even issued a “Fatwa” against building nukes.
3) Why does our population falsely believe Iran has a threatening nuclear weapons program?
Wording and Propaganda: The media and government repeatedly refer to “Iran’s nuclear program.” Which, as I mentioned earlier, does not appear to exist. Iran does, however, have a civilian nuclear power program- which was started with the support of Eisenhower in 1957 as part of an “Atoms for Peace” program. Obama and Romney both refer to the non-exist weapons program, or at least mislead the entire public by excluding terms such as “civil” and “energy”.
Imagined fear of attack: Since 9/11, politicians have created and persisted with the “threat” of what would happen if Iran did gain nuclear weapons. Recently, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney have all made comment proclaiming the greatest danger to Americans being a “nuclear Iran” and have threatened that 9/11 would occur again, on a much larger scale. (“imagine 300,000 dead, half a million wounded…) Despite the leader of Iran openly stating that only an idiot would try to attack the US in the face of our military might, they continue to ensure Americans perceive Iran as bloodthirsty and murderous despite the odds against them.
Neo-Conservative Think-Tanks: The Heritage Foundation, AEI, Claremont Institute, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and other strong voices have all suggested or stated that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and also repeatedly implied that no peaceful means will ever be able to prevent Iran from attacking the US. Source to the articles and information shared by these groups can be found linked in the original article at Anti-War.com (link above.) These well-known and well-read groups continue to spread the above two conditions of improper wording and propaganda as well as fear and justification for violence.
4) What’s the truth of the matter?
No one likes the idea of a cultural enemy gaining access to nuclear weapons. But the truth is that even if Iran were to pursue them (which they are not currently), it wouldn’t present a threat to us, or anyone. Tehran’s leaders know, and have stated as I mentioned before, that an attack on America or its allies is simply going to result in their entire country being obliterated.
The only reason Iran would pursue nuclear weapons is for their own protection and as a deterrent for other countries (like ours…) to invade them. They would have the ability to stand up to us and refuse our stifling international trade regulations, especially in regard to oil.
In conclusion, the truth of the matter is that both Romney and Obama support a war with Iran and we are already on the very-near brink of it. A war with Iran is unjustified and will only promote more animosity towards the US, more blowback, more innocent casualties, and less freedom worldwide. We must oppose this propaganda and refuse the government’s motto: “War is Peace”.