Drumbeats of war are sounding, this time over Iran
Max Blaska, Staff writer
March 6, 2012
Filed under Opinions
Nine years ago, the drumbeats of war were beating loud. We were told about Uranium in Africa, and weapons of mass destruction and we were eventually led into an unnecessary war with Iraq.
The drumbeats of war are beating again, this time in regards to Iran. This might not even be a war of our choosing. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that there is a “strong possibility” that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear facilities by June.
If this happens we may be dragged into another war in the Middle East. Dmitry Rogozin, a Russian Diplomat who was recently appointed to be Deputy Prime Minister, said, “Iran is our neighbor … And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.” If Israel does attack Iran and if Russia gets involved on the side of Iran, this could easily escalate to World War III.
Iran would strike back. They already have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off most of the oil from the Middle East and they could strike Israel with rockets containing chemical armaments. They also would not hesitate to use terrorist surrogates against the U.S. and our interests across the globe.
The sad thing is, we wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for the war in Iraq and a phrase now made famous in a state of the union speech “axis of evil.” After 9/11 there were bilateral talks between our nation and Iran. It was the closest we got to being on good terms. There was a moderate president, the Supreme Leader was making overtures, and then Bush called them evil. Then we launched an unprovoked war against Iraq.
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ran for President of Iran, he was the candidate against having further relations with our nation. Then Iran started work on its nuclear program in earnest.
Nobody wants Ahmadinejad with a nuclear bomb, but I don’t believe that he would use it though. He knows that if he does, that we will attack them in return and Iran will be destroyed.
There is some talk that mutual assured destruction does not apply in Ahmadinejad’s case. He is a devout Shia who believes that the 12th imam will return and lead an apocalyptic war with Jesus at his side.
The problem is that many of the people who are calling on a strike on Iran are also Christian fundamentalists who believe that there will be a huge war that will engulf the Middle East and will eventually lead to the return of Jesus Christ.
This belief also shapes our relationship with the nation of Israel. We have a very strong political and military relationship with Israel; we gave them $2.4 billion in military aid in 2007.
We like to paint ourselves as an honest broker but the fact is we are an enabler to a nation whose actions toward the Palestinians are unjust.
They build settlements in the West Bank against international law and destroy Palestinian houses in order to build settlements and Israeli-only apartments. The Israeli government uses American made Caterpillar bulldozers to bring down Palestinian homes.
They have created freeways that only Israeli citizens can use, while the native Palestinians have to use dilapidated roads that take them half a day to get to their jobs.
There is also a separate justice system for Israelis and Palestinians. For example, both an Israeli and a Palestinian are accused of murdering an unfaithful wife. An Israeli would face a civilian court and face a maximum of 20 years in jail and the Palestinian would face a military court and face a possible life sentence.
Palestinians are caught between a rock and a hard place, in a war between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants.
Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem, lost his father-in-law because an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officer would not let his red crescent ambulance cross a checkpoint to go to a Jerusalem hospital. His church was also occupied by the IDF in 2002 during a siege of Bethlehem and became a battleground between the IDF and Palestinian gunmen.
I understand that Israel needs to protect itself but their military should only be used in a defensive manner, not to justify abuse of the Palestinian population.
If any other country acted this way, we would speak out against it. But if a politician or journalist brings these facts up, they are labeled as anti-Semites. And if a Jewish person speaks out, they are labeled as a self-loathing Jew. If a politician does speak up in an honest way about Israel then the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group that spent $21,666,483 on lobbying, will attack them.
Former President Jimmy Carter called Israeli an apartheid state and was ridiculed for it.
You can be against Zionism, the ideology that Israel proper, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank belong to the Jewish people by a divine mandate, and not be anti-Semitic. It is sad that a state that was created to be a safe haven for one of the most persecuted peoples became home to persecutors themselves.
Israel and Palestine can exist as two neighboring states. Hamas, the governing Palestinian authority has recognized Israel’s right to exist. Israel can do the same for Palestine.
What is happening in Palestine helps Islamic fundamentalists like Ahmadinejad, and fundamentalists from the three major religions are leading us on a dangerous path.
The Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark and I am afraid that spark is just around the corner.