Tuesday 1 January 2008

New threats of war against Iran

from Stop War on Iran, a US anti-war coalition July 2008 Recent news makes it clear why it is more important than ever that we take to the streets on August 2. According to press reports, President Bush has given the Israeli military the go-ahead to prepare for an imminent attack on Iran. Israel is also using U.S. bases in Iraq to prepare for the attack. The British Sunday Times of July 13, 2008 reported: "Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread skepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an "amber light" to an Israeli plan to attack Iran's main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times. "Amber means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you're ready," the official said. The Jerusalem Post of July 13, 2008 reported: "On Friday, sources in the Iraqi Defense Ministry told a local news network that IAF war planes were practicing in Iraqi airspace were landing on US airbases in the country as a preparation for a potential strike on Iran." Once again the most powerful forces of US corporate power - the military-industrial-petroleum complex -are using Israel as their proxy to threaten war on surrounding countries in the region. Israel is armed, financed, and politically and diplomatically supported by Washington. It can not act on its own or without explicit permission from Washington. U.S. tax dollars finance Israel wars against surrounding nations, and Israeli repression of the Palestinians, to keep the area "safe" for U.S. oil companies. This is why it is vital to link the struggle against the war in Iraq and a potential war against Iran with the struggle of the Palestinian people for the right to return. At the same time Washington is giving the Israeli military a go-ahead to bomb Iran, the U.S. Congress is moving ahead to escalate tensions in the region and possibly provoke an incident that would justify U.S. military action. House Resolution 362 and Senate Resolution 580 both require that the President begin blockade of Iran. The House Resolution "demands" that the President impose "stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran." Enforcing this would require a U.S. Naval blockade of the Straits of Hormuz, which is an act of war according to international law. Approximately one-fourth of the world's oil, including that from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, pass through the Straits of Hormuz, which is 21 miles across at its narrowest point (the shipping channel is less than 2 miles wide). These two resolutions have received widespread bipartisan support from members of both Houses, and are expected to pass without debate or vote. A staffer in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office said that once the Resolution hits the floor, it will "pass like a hot knife through butter." Some have speculated that the bill will be put on the floor under suspension - meaning that it will pass without even a vote. Both resolutions accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons, despite the fact that Washington's National Intelligence Estimate report last December that made it clear that every major U.S. intelligence agency believes that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Nor do the resolutions refer to the real nuclear threat in the region - the U.S., which is the only country that has used nuclear weapons and currently has a massive nuclear-armed naval armada in the region. It also does not mention the apartheid settler state of Israel, which is thought to have more than 200 nuclear weapons. At the same time, two leading Senators announced on Tuesday, July 15, that they had reached a bipartisan agreement to expand economic sanctions targeting Iran. Sens. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., called Iran "a threat to U.S. interests." Dodd, a former candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, said, "This bipartisan bill strengthens economic sanctions against Iran, and authorizes divestment from companies that do business with Iran's key oil sector." Meanwhile, the U.S. is involved in "covert operations" - acts of terrorism - inside Iran. In the July 7 New Yorker, Seymour Hersh revealed that Congress has approved $400 million to fund covert operations in Iran. These operations include: providing support to armed groups opposed to the Iranian government, kidnapping members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and taking them across the border to Iraq for interrogation, the manipulation of Iran's currency, and other acts intended to destabilize the regime. Hersh reports that these types of operations have been ongoing at least since last year, but the recent Congressional appropriation signals a significant expansion of these actions. It is clear that the Bush Administration is determined to push forward with its agenda of endless war to control the oil reserves of the Middle East. It is equally clear that members of Congress - both Democrats and Republicans - are collaborating with the Administration, just as they collaborated in authorizing and funding the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is imperative that progressive activists and organizations, particularly in the U.S., mobilize to stop another brutal war, and to demand an end to the illegal sanctions and covert operations targeting Iran. Now is the time to take to the streets, because only a massive grassroots mobilization can stop another bloody and illegal war. In the next few days and weeks, we need to do everything we can to take to the streets to Stop a War on Iran. We have a real opportunity to help build a massive grassroots movement to oppose the warmongers in Washington. Stop War on IRAN Troops Out of IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN! No to U.S. war through Israel! Money for Jobs, Housing & Healthcare, NOT War

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