Remember, John McCain singing Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran in 2008? Recall that Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team are all former Bush Neo-Cons who support military action against Iran and regime change? Do you know that Mitt himself has stated that ““Right now, the greatest danger that America faces and the world faces is a nuclear Iran” in a speech he gave last December? I bet the people of Iran do.
Nonetheless, the Iran Red Crescent Society pledged humanitarian aid to the victims of Sandy.
TEHRAN — Iranian rescuers and aid workers are on standby to fly to New York City to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Organization said on Wednesday.
“We are ready to help the flood-stricken people of America,” Mahmud Mozaffar, who leads the organization, told the semiofficial Fars News Agency.
His men stand ready to board planes and fly to the United States to help out, assuming the American government accepts Iran’s offer, he said.
A senior Vice president at the American Red Cross, David Meltzer, thanked the IRCS for their offer. Sometimes, amid all the noise and warmongering from the right about Iran, we forget that there are real people, human beings with the same hopes and dreams for their families who live there. People who remember that in 2003 America sent a C-130 military transport plane to Iran with a rescue team to aid the victims of a devastating earthquake in the city of Bam. People who do not want to be our our enemy anymore than many Americans do not to want make Iran the center of next US war in the Mideast. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people who will die or otherwise suffer horribly if we bomb them, and initiate a another destructive military conflict, despite the fact that even experts can’t predict than any attack would eliminate Iran’s civilian nuclear research program, much less any clandestine military development one, and would have extreme deleterious effects both economically and militarily for the United States and its allies. From the white paper “Weighing Benefits and Costs of Military Action Against Iran” prepared by a committee of former US government officials and professionals on foreign policy:
After reviewing many studies on this controversial question, we have come to believe that extended military strikes by the U.S. alone or in concert with Israel could destroy or severely damage the six most important known nuclear facilities in Iran, setting back Iran’s nuclear program for up to four years. Our informed estimate is that a military strike by Israel alone could delay Iran’s ability to build a bomb for up to two years. In our view, Israel could not replicate the success of its earlier surgical strikes against single reactors in Iraq and Syria, since Iran’s nuclear sites are numerous and widely dispersed, with one (Fordow) buried deep underground. If no lasting resolution of tensions over Iran’s nuclear program can be achieved in the aftermath of U.S. and/or Israeli attacks (as discussed below, we believe military action is more likely to reduce than enhance the prospects for such a political resolution), attacks might need to be resumed at some future point. […]
In addition to the financial costs of conducting military attacks against Iran, which would be significant (particularly if the U.S. had to carry out thousands of sorties and if it had to return to the use of force periodically for years to come), there would likely be near-term costs associated with Iranian retaliation, through both direct and surrogate asymmetrical attacks. Serious costs to U.S. interests would also be felt over the longer term, we believe, with problematic consequences for global and regional stability, including economic stability. A dynamic of escalation, action, and counteraction could produce serious unintended consequences that would significantly increase all of these costs and lead, potentially, to all-out regional war. […]
[W]e believe that military action probably would reduce the possibility of reaching a more permanent political resolution of concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. In fact, we believe that a U.S. attack on Iran would increase Iran’s motivation to build a bomb, because 1) the Iranian leadership would become more convinced than ever that regime change is the goal of U.S. policy, and 2) building a bomb would be seen as a way to inhibit future attacks and redress the humiliation of being attacked. Iran could also withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and end all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), leaving the international community with greatly reduced knowledge of Iran’s nuclear program.
Global political and economic instability, including disruptions in energy supply and security. A U.S. and/or Israeli attack on Iran could introduce destabilizing political and economic forces in a region already experiencing major transformations. In addition to costing the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars yearly, a sustained conflict would boost the price of oil and further disrupt an already fragile world economy.
Unfortunately, if President Romney tales the oath of office in January, the likelihood of another war, this one an attack on Iran, will increase exponentially, because the foreign policy team Mitt has surrounded himself with includes many former Bush administration figures and other prominent neoconservatives desperate for another war, just as Vice President Cheney was back in the day. Indeed, the only smart foreign policy decision George Bush ever made was to reject Cheney’s advice and follow the views of of the Joint Chiefs, who told him such a war would be a disaster far worse than Iraq. What would Mitt Romney do, however, as Commander in Chief? Would he show the same restraint as Bush and Obama or would he, a man not particularly knowledgeable regarding foreign affairs (we all saw that in the debate), follow the path his neocon advisers undoubtedly will recommend – another regional war, this time against Iran?
The Iranian leaders are despicable, but then so were the Soviet leaders and Nixon and Reagan both cut deals with them. Iran is no threat to us. It doesn’t have a bomb. Even the Israeli officials admit this.
Iran quietly chose recently to use more than a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes, thus delaying their ability to make a nuclear bomb, said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
War should be a last resort. To paraphrase Muhammed Ali’s famous line about the Vietnam War, “We ain’t got no quarrel with the Iranian people.” And aside from the overblown bloviating by some of their leadership, designed more for internal political reasons than to actually threaten nuking Tel Aviv or our forces in the region, the Iranians, people and leadership alike, have shown no inclination for war with the US. The threat has been overblown for years because of the far right’s agenda, from the neocons to military contractors to the Christian fundamentalists who believe a war with Iran will bring on the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus (Google “John Hagee” if you doubt me).
We know President Obama wants to continue diplomacy to deal with Iran. A policy that is working. So the real question is what would Mitt, the ultimate Hollow Man, do, if given command of the world’s largest military? Would he take his neo-con friends’ advice, bomb Iran and seek regime change? Do you really want to take that chance? I sure don’t.