US Republican Congressman and past Presidential contender, Ron Paul opposes a bill to impose sanctions against Iran. In his speech, he describes how exactly the same bogus justifications were used for the imposition of sanctions against Iraq. Rather than satisfying the demands of the warmongers wielding power in the US at the time, they only paved the way for the subsequent illegal invasion.
An Act Of War
By Congressman Ron Paul
Statement of Congressman Ron Paul - United States House of Representatives
Statement on Motion to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act - April 22, 2010
April 23, 2010 "United States House of Representatives" -- Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.
We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack us? These “drones” ended up being pure propaganda – the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.
We hear war advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s oft-repeated quip about Iraq: that we cannot wait for the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud.
We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.
Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.
Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to “work” – to change the regime – war became the only remaining regime-change option.
This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.
#AndWhatIf" id="AndWhatIf">And what if, contrary all to the known evidence, Iran was found to be pursuing a nuclear weapons program?
Although the claims that Iran may obtain nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future are every bit as bogus as claims made about Iraq prior to the invasion of 2003, this poses the question: What would be an appropriate response on the part of the US if, instead, evidence of a program to build nuclear weapons had been found?
Arguably, an outright invasion and obliteration of much of Iran costing, perhaps, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iranians, and at the risk of igniting a larger world-wide conflageration, most likely involving NATO, Russia, China, India and Pakistan, would remove from the world the nuclear threat posed by such an Iranian nuclear weapons program, but any reasonable person would consider such a cost and such risks completely unacceptable.
His selfless courage and ultimate sacrifice spared the world
on at least three occasions from the unthinkable horror of
all-out nuclear war.
The fact remains that, as unsettling as the prospect of states such as Iran, or for that matter, India, Pakistan, France, and even Israel obtaining or already possessing nuclear weapons, is, the vastly greater threat of nuclear war posed to the world is by the US itself.
As James Douglass has shown in his monumental JFK and the Unspeakable - Why he died and why it matters, published by Orbis books in 2008 and 2009 on pages 28 to 29 and elsewhere, the US Joint Chiefs of staff were fully resolved, on at least three occasians in the early 1960's, to launch an all out nuclear strike against the USSR. It was only very good luck, combined with the extraordinary and unique courage of President Kennedy, which prevented that from occurring.
Also, according to retired CIA analyst, #McGovern">Ray McGovern in a videoed talk, embedded below, only a handful of principled senior military and intelligence professionals within the US, who refused tell Vice President Dick Cheney and former President George W Bush, the lies that they needed to hear, have prevented an invasion of Iran and possibly World War 3.
Clearly the greatest nuclear threat posed to humankind was and remains the US nuclear arsenal in the hands of the very military-industrial complex against which former President Eisenhower warned in his final address to the nation in 1961.
If President Kennedy had not been murdered by that military industrial complex on 22 November 1963, he would have been able to continue on his quest to rid the world of the scourge of nuclear weapons, the first step of which was his Government's ratification of the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty with the USSR in 1963.
Today, only the US has within its power to comprehensively remove the threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanknd. To achive that would require another national leader as visionary and courageous as was President Kennedy was.
#democracy" id="democracy">Wouldn't a US invasion bring democracy to Iran?
The other implicit justification for an invasion of Iran is that it is necessary to re-establish democracy. In truth, the election victory that allowed the current Government to retain power is questionable, and it remains the heir of the astonishingly brutal regime of Ayatollah Khomeini which came to power after the overthrow of the dictatorship of the Shah in 1979. (The Shah, himself, was imposed as the result of a CIA-orchestrated coup against the popular elected Government of Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953.)
Nevertheless, to accept that western Governments, who routinely act contrary to the democratically expressed wishes of their consituents, as examples, against the bail-out of the Wall Street financial racketeers in September 2008, and against the fire sale of AU$15 billion of publicly owned assets in Queensland in 2009 and 2010, have any intention of bring democracy to Iran, would require an enormous degree of credulity.
Whatever 'democracy' may emerge from the ruins of a conquered Iran will, at the very best, be no better than the formal supposed democracies that exist in the US and Australia and, far more likely, akin to the dictatorship of Paul Bremer over Iraq of 2003-2005, which oversaw the ransacking of public wealth by crony US capitalists and the consequent impoverishment of Iraqis. (The Shock Doctrine, (2007) Naomi Klein, pp 325-422)