(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
In his annual speech to AIPAC, President Obama said:
“Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built. Now is the time to heed that timeless advice from Teddy Roosevelt: speak softly, carry a big stick. And as we do, rest assured that the Iranian government will know our resolve – that our coordination with Israel will continue.”
If there is “too much loose talk of war”, perhaps President Obama needs to stop threatening to start one with Iran. The only ones who are driving up the price of oil with loose talk are Obama and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. The president needs to stop perpetuating lies that his own national security advisors have said are not true and of which there is no evidence:
“A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel’s security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States. Indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we have done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. It is almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon, triggering an arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world. It would embolden a regime that has brutalized its own people, and it would embolden Iran’s proxies, who have carried out terrorist attacks from the Levant to southwest Asia.”
Iran, like the United States signed and ratified the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
And this statement certainly doesn’t sound like Obama was backing away from banging the drum for a war:
“Iran’s leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment,” he said. “I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I’ve made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
Regardless of how one wants to rationalize these threats of an offensive military attack – they’re necessary to persuade the Israelis not to attack, they’re necessary to gain leverage with Iran, etc. – the U.N. Charter, to which the U.S. is a signatory, explicitly prohibits not just a military attack on another nation, but also the issuance of threats of such an attack. From Chapter II, paragraph 4:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Does this matter at all? Should we even pretend to care in any way what the U.N. Charter prohibits and whether the U.S. Government’s threats to attack Iran directly violate its core provisions? I’m not asking this simple question rhetorically but rather to hear the answer.
The UN was of little concern to George W. Bush; it’s no wonder it’s of little concern for Barack H. Obama
So what are Iran’s leaders saying? From Juan Cole:
“A week and a half ago, Khamenei gave a major foreign policy speech in which he said,
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.“
There is no evidence that Iran is trying to even develop a nuclear weapon. Getting into another war in the Middle East is not in the best interests of the US, Israel or the rest of the world.
Barack are you listening?