by Brandon Turbeville
October 4, 2012
As the war drums beat faster and louder for an
aggressive assault against Iran amidst the shock and horror at the mere
thought of Iran gaining an unproven and currently unfeasible nuclear weapon,
there remains the occasional kernel of truth that manages to slip through
the firewall of the mainstream media.
For instance, in an article published on October 2 in the Guardian entitled,
true reason U.S. fears Iranian nukes: they can deter U.S. attacks,” Glenn
Greenwald points out the fact that the main concern is not necessarily
that Iran may be able to attack the United States or its allies (meaning
Israel) with a nuclear bomb, but simply the fact that if Iran were to obtain
such a weapon, it would be able to resist U.S. dominance and aggression more
Although clearly not the sole reason for a Western attack on Iran, Greenwald
is correct to point out that destroying the ability of Iran to resist
American assault is indeed part of the overarching agenda.
Thus, soon after
introducing the thesis of the article, Greenwald asks an important question.
That Iran will use its nuclear weapons
against the U.S. and Israel is rather obviously the centerpiece of the
fear-mongering campaign against Tehran, to build popular support for
threats to launch an aggressive attack in order to prevent them from
acquiring that weapon.
So what, then, is the real reason that so many
people in both the U.S. and Israeli governments are so desperate to stop
He goes on to answer this question by writing,
“Iranian nuclear weapons would prevent the
U.S. from attacking Iran at will,
and that is what is intolerable.”
Ironically, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whom Greenwald
accurately refers to as,
“one of the U.S.’s most reliable and bloodthirsty
warmongers,” seems to agree with Greenwald’s thesis.
Recently, Graham gave a speech in North Augusta,
South Carolina where he was asked about the sanctions implemented against
Iran and how these sanctions were affecting the average Iranian.
In response and, after heaping praise on Obama for continuing the head-on
charge toward WW3, Graham stated that,
“the Iranian people should be willing
to suffer now for a better future.”
He then went on to compare Iranian
nuclear capacity with the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s - a tale that
is often told when war proponents are backing up their case for wholesale
slaughter of innocent people in third world countries or developing nations
for the benefit of Wall Street, corporations, and other interested parties.
Of course, what is so ironic about the analogy is the fact that, in 2012, it
is not Iran that the world should fear appeasing - it is the United States
and its associates in NATO.
Indeed, it is the United States who most
resembles the Nazi regime as it steamrolls across the Middle East and Africa
with reckless abandon waging war, destabilizations, and political and
Regardless, Graham stated:
They have two goals: one, regime survival.
The best way for the regime surviving, in their mind, is having a
nuclear weapon, because when you have a nuclear weapons, nobody attacks
Unwittingly, Graham only confirms the
suggestions made by Greenwald in his article - i.e.,
“the true threat of
nuclear proliferation is that it can deter American aggression.”
“In other words, we cannot let Iran acquire nuclear
weapons because if they get them, we can no longer attack them when we want
to and can no longer bully them in their own region.”
This thesis is by no means the monopoly of Greenwald, however.
scholars such as Dr. David Ray Griffin, author of
The New Pearl Harbor
and dispeller of the 9/11 myth, as well as prominent Neo-Cons and war
proponents have all forwarded the concept of nuclear weapon prevention as an
act of establishing “full spectrum dominance” and the prevention of nuclear
For instance, Neo-Con Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute
and the now infamous Project for the New American Century has
previously (in regards to Iranian nuclear capability) in his 2004
strategy paper entitled, “Strategy
For A Nuclear Iran:
The surest deterrent to American action is a
functioning nuclear arsenal...
To be sure, the prospect of a nuclear Iran
is a nightmare. But it is less a nightmare because of the high
likelihood that Tehran would employ its weapons or pass them on to
terrorist groups - although that is not beyond the realm of
possibility - and more because of the constraining effect it threatens to
impose upon U.S. strategy for the greater Middle East.
The danger is
that Iran will “extend” its deterrence, either directly or de facto, to
a variety of states and other actors throughout the region. This would
be an ironic echo of the extended deterrence thought to
to U.S. allies during the Cold War.
Most notably, Donnelly echoes the same sentiment
Project for a New American Century’s most famous document, Rebuilding America's Defenses, a paper that has been eerily prophetic ever since
Keep in mind, this was the very same paper that called for
a “new pearl harbor” shortly before the “new pearl harbor” of the 21st
happened on September 11, 2001.
In that document,
When their missiles are tipped with warheads
carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, even weak regional
powers have a credible deterrent regardless of the balance of
In the post cold war era, America and its
allies, rather than the Soviet Union, have become the primary objects of
deterrence and it is states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea who most
wish to develop deterrent capabilities.
...the United States also must counteract the
effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass
destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military
action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself. Of
all the new and current missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have
...effective ballistic missile defenses will be
the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection
of U.S. military forces abroad.
Without it, weak states operating small
arsenals of crude ballistic missiles, armed with basic nuclear warheads
or other weapons of mass destruction, will be in a strong position to
deter the United States from using conventional force, no matter the
technological or other advantages we may enjoy.
Even if such enemies are
merely able to threaten American allies rather than the United States
homeland itself, America’s ability to project power will be deeply
As David Ray Griffin comments in The New
“This statement further suggests that Iran, Iraq, and
North Korea were later determined by President Bush to deserve the title of
‘axis of evil’ because of their perverse wish to develop the capacity to
deter the United States from projecting military force against them.” 
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
same sentiment in 2001 when he stated that,
“Several of these [small
enemy nations] are intensely hostile to the
United States and are
arming to deter us from bringing our conventional or nuclear power to bear
in a regional crisis.”
Rumsfeld also writes,
“These universally available [centrifugal]
technologies can be used to create ‘asymmetric’ responses that cannot defeat
our forces, but can deny access to critical areas in Europe, the Middle
East, and Asia...’asymmetric; approaches can limit our ability to apply
According to Greenwald, Philip Zelikow, former Bush administration State
Department official, Condoleeza Rice co-author, and Executive Director of
the shameful 9/11 commission cover-up, stated in regards to Iraq and the
dire possibility of allowing it to keep its non-existent WMDs,
“they now can
deter us from attacking them, because they really can retaliate against us.”
Furthermore, in 2008 in
an op-ed for the Washington Post, Senators Chuck Robb and Dan Coates
[A]n Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear
weapons capability would be strategically untenable. It would threaten
U.S. national security… While a nuclear attack is the worst-case
scenario, Iran would not need to employ a nuclear arsenal to threaten
Simply obtaining the ability to quickly assemble a nuclear
weapon would effectively give Iran a nuclear deterrent.
Thus, Greenwald concludes,
“The No 1 concern of
American national security planners appears to be that countries may be able
to prevent the U.S. from attacking them at will, whether to change their
regimes or achieve other objectives. In other words, Iranian nuclear weapons
could be used to prevent wars - ones started by the U.S. - and that, above
all, is what we must fear.”
Yet, the debate over the purpose of Iran’s nuclear weapon is one that is
built entirely upon a false foundation.
The fact is there is a startling
lack of evidence to show that Iran is, in fact, even attempting to gain a
nuclear weapon. While the warmongers in government positions like Lindsey
Graham as well as
the mainstream media and other commentators continue to
beat their chests with the claims of Iranian commitment to nuclear weapons,
the reality is quite different.
Numerous individuals close to the scene in Iran have stated on as many
occasions that Iran does not possess nor is it seeking to possess a nuclear
the statement by Israeli Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz,
the program is too vulnerable, in Iran's
If the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants, he
will advance it to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb, but the decision
must first be taken.
It will happen if Khamenei judges that he is
invulnerable to a response. I believe he would be making an enormous
mistake, and I don't think he will want to go the extra mile. I think
the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.
Even Defense Minister Ehud Barak has clearly stated
“[Iran has] not yet decided to manufacture atomic weapons.”
In addition, warmonger Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense who has been
browbeating the need to strike Iran for the better part of a year,
has stated that the Iranians do not have a nuclear weapon nor are they
attempting to build one. Nevertheless Panetta continues to promote the
coming attack if the Iranians “take the next step,” however that “step” may
This is most ironic considering his February 2012 remarks on Face The
where he stated,
“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But
we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that's what
concerns us. And our red line to Iran is do not develop a nuclear weapon.
That's a red line for us."
Yet Panetta cannot be accused of “misspeaking” on the national news show.
Indeed, he has restated his position
as quoted by The Raw Story by saying,
“I think [Iran is] developing a
nuclear capability [but] our intelligence makes clear that they haven't made
the decision to develop a nuclear weapon."
Furthermore, consider the
comments made by
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:
We continue to assess Iran is keeping open
the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various
nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons,
should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will
eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.
[…] We continue to judge
Iran's nuclear decision making is guided by a cost-benefit approach,
which offers the international community opportunities to influence
General Martin Dempsey:
In response to Fareed Zakaria's question,
'Do you think that is still unclear, that [Iran is] moving on a path for
but whether or not they choose to make a nuclear weapon is unclear?'
'It is. I believe it is unclear, and on that
basis I think it would be premature to exclusively decide that the time
for a military option was upon us.
I mean, I think that the economic
sanctions and the international cooperation that we've been able to
gather around sanctions is beginning to have an effect. I think our
diplomacy is having an effect, and our preparedness.'
As Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball of Reuters wrote
in regards to the ongoing pro-war propaganda circling the globe,
States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things
about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided
to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear
Yet, even if Iran were seeking a nuclear weapon, building one, or attained
the bomb, the fact is that, as Greenwald and others have pointed out, the
weapon would only serve as a deterrent to aggressive attacks - not as an
asset to wage Iranian imperialist wars.
Not only that, but one must
logically ask exactly what threat would one nuclear weapon pose to states
such as Israel and the United States who are known nuclear powers, with one
being the only nation in the region currently possessing the weapons and the
other existing as a powerhouse in terms of nuclear weaponry.
As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated before the UN,
imagine that we have an atomic weapon, a nuclear weapon. What would we do
with it? What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one
Ahmadinejad has hit the nail on the head with this statement.
assuming the unlikely event of a successful attack via a nuclear weapon,
such a move would be complete suicide on the part of Iran, bringing down the
wrath of the victim nation, the United States, NATO, and the entire
Considering the constant sabre-rattling of the United States, Israel, and a
gaggle of European countries regarding the impending war of aggression
against the nation of Iran which, in recent time has
significantly reduced its isolation, the country would almost be
foolhardy not to pursue a nuclear weapon.
One thing that is for certain, however, is that the United States, Israel,
and NATO have already played their hand.
If the constant political,
financial, and military harassment efforts aimed at Iran by much of the
Western world do not descend into a conflagration of global scale which
itself ends in the use of nuclear weapons, then they will have certainly
accomplished the task of providing the motivation for Iran to develop one.
 Griffin, David Ray. The New Pearl
Harbor. 2004. Interlink Publishing Group. P.54