Iran has Weapons of Mass Destruction! Iran is involved with Al Qaeda and international terrorism! The Iranian government has slaughtered millions of its own people!
No, we haven’t started hearing this yet, but the parallels are pretty eerie. This time three years ago, the Iraqi invasion was just a “rumor” which would be denied any time a reporter asked about it. Summer of 2002 was when Bush hit the campaign trail to drum up hysteria about Iraq (and to get Enron, Halliburton and Harken off the front pages).
So, is Iran next? Bush and the neo-cons deny it, but that’s kind of like Scott Peterson being described as “not a suspect” when his wife was first reported missing.
For the past year, our government has been flying pilotless surveillance planes over Iran, looking for evidence of nuclear weapons “program related activities” and also trying to find weaknesses in Iran’s air defense system. This aerial espionage is standard operating procedure when preparing for an eventual attack.
Rumsfeld and Rice have both stated that an attack on Iran is not imminent, but the option remains available. That’s encouraging.
The Shah of Iran (overthrown in 1979) and his successor, Ayatollah Khomeini (who died in 1989) had some of the worst human rights violations in modern history. You can expect the Bush administration to highlight this (even though Iran’s current government is somewhat more humane than Khomeini or the Shah) when they’re whipping up the proper hysteria for an Iranian invasion. After all, one of their rallying cries against Saddam Hussein — “he gassed his own people!” — referred to the 1980s when Hussein was our ally against Iran.
Right now it’s impossible to imagine a broke, war-weary nation being motivated to attack yet another country. But then, four months ago who could have imagined a president being re-elected (on the basis of gay marriage and "family values") after killing over 1,000 American troops and driving this nation nearly to bankruptcy by staging a pre-emptive war.
The painful lesson should be getting clearer and clearer: what George W. Bush and Karl Rove-Goebbels want, they get.