confrontation [between the forces of the Apocalypse and Israel] is willed by God, who wants to use this
conflict to erase his people�s enemies before a New Age begins.� --U.S.
President George W. Bush (in a 2003 conversation with French President Jacques
�Preventive war was an invention of [Adolf]
Hitler. Frankly, I would not even
listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.� --Dwight D. Eisenhower
�We don�t desire any nuclear
proliferation in our region, and our policy is well known regardless of which
country has such programs. For us it doesn�t matter whether it is Israel or
Iran. I will call on the international community, which is so sensitive toward
Iran, to pay attention to Israel, too.� --Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey�s
�Nothing in this Treaty shall be
interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty
to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
without discrimination.� --The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
By now, most
everybody knows that the (2003-) Bush-Cheney Iraq War was based on fiction and on deception. There was no such thing
as �weapons of mass destruction� in Iraq, the rationale for an illegal attack
against that country. And Bush II and his accomplices knew that.
But incredibly, just as the Bush-Cheney administration did
in launching a war against Iraq in 2003 by (falsely) alleging that Iraq had
weapons of mass destruction, the Obama-Biden administration, in 2010, is
arguing for unilateral sanctions against Iran and even beating the drums of war
against Iran, alleging that its program to enrich uranium and operate nuclear
power plants is posing an existential threat to Israel, to Europe and to the
Besides being a blatant exaggeration, this is nevertheless
most dangerous. Indeed, such an eventual military attack -- which, by the way,
would be illegal under international law -- would also have dire economic
consequences, because it would almost certainly result in the closing of the
narrow Strait of Hormuz. Should we be reminded that it is through this strait
that roughly 40 percent of all world traded oil transits out of the Persian
Gulf to the Arabian Sea. Its closing would push the international oil price to
unheard of levels.
Therefore, if the pro-Israel lobby and the pro-war neocon press were to succeed in
2010-11 in triggering a hot war against Iran, as they did in 2002-03 against
Iraq, this could easily turn the current festering financial crisis into a
full-fledged worldwide economic depression. Believe me, the last thing the
world economy needs now is an oil-shock that would derail the present feeble
But the most disconcerting of all is no doubt the implicit
threat recently made by President Barack Obama, on Tuesday, April 6, to launch
a nuclear attack against Iran and
North Korea if these countries refuse to toe Washington�s line. That sort of
loose language is most dangerous because it may serve to trivialize the
military use of nuclear weapons, a disaster that the world must avoid. The
round of pronouncements demonizing Iran and the incessant calls for sanctions against a sovereign country by other U.S. politicians is also
most unproductive, even though that may make for good domestic politics.
This is. of course, in addition to the use of unmanned
drones to drop bombs on civilians in Pakistan and other American death squad activities in Afghanistan that the Obama
administration has intensified since gaining power. There seems to be a pattern
here: No law or moral decency seem to be taken into consideration when such
decisions, most likely illegal, are taken, no matter who is in power in Washington, D.C.
It is true that Iran�s domestic politics is not without
reproach. This is a country that is run by a mixture of democratic and
theocratic rules. However, compared to fundamentalist Islamic Saudi Arabia,
Iran is somewhat more democratic and less oppressive of women, even though it
does not satisfy all the Western criteria to be a true democratic state. But we
don�t declare war on a country because we don�t like its domestic politics.
That�s not what the U.N. Charter or the Nuremberg Charter, says.
Logic would have it that all the nuclear countries in that
part of the world (Israel, Pakistan, India,) sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
just as Iran has done, because an accidental, or worse, an intentional or
provoked, use of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat to the region and to
the world. In the long run, however, the world needs a new and expanded nuclear
non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to prevent nuclear war but, at the same time, to
make sure that no country is denied access to nuclear energy that can enhance
its economic development. Every country in the world has a right to enrich
uranium and operate nuclear power plants.
Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the
University of Montreal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He
is the author of the book "The Code for Global Ethic.s."