The Fourth U.S. "Supreme International Crime" in 7 Years
Is already Underway
U.S. Aggression-Time Once Again: The Fourth U.S. "Supreme International
Crime" in Seven Years Is Already Underway, With the Support of the Free
Press and "International Community"
With the United States having initiated wars in violation of the UN Charter,
and hence engaged in the "supreme international crime,"1
against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq in 1999, 2001, and 2003, one might
have expected that its commencement of a fourth aggression only a few years
later against Iran would arouse the UN, EU, other international institutions
and NGOs, and even the supposedly moral and independent Free Press, to serious
protest and counter-action, including referral to the UN Security Council under
Chapter VII’s "threat of peace" articles and support of possible
diplomatic and economic sanctions. This has not happened, and in fact the Bush
administration has successfully mobilized the UN, whose "primary responsibility"
is the "maintenance of international peace and security," and the
EU, as well as the Free Press, to facilitate its fourth attack.
We say that the fourth aggression is already underway, because once again,
as in the Iraq case, the United States has been attacking Iran for many months,
and not just with verbal insults and threats. It has been flying unmanned aerial
surveillance drones over Iran since 2004; it has infiltrated combat and reconnaissance
teams into Iran "to collect targeting data and to establish contact with
anti-government ethnic minority groups" (Seymour Hersh);2 it
has bestowed an ambiguous "protected" status upon the Mujahedin-e
Khalq, a group which, since 1997, the U.S. Department of State has designated
a Foreign Terrorist Organization, but a group that the Washington regime now
uses to launch cross-border attacks on Iran from within U.S.-occupied Iraq;3
and it and its Israeli client have repeatedly threatened larger scale and more
open attacks. This pre-invasion aggression was an important feature of the overall
aggression against Iraq, where the US and British greatly increased their "spikes
of activity" with massive bombing well before the March 19, 2003 invasion4—major
acts of war and aggression begun as early as April 2002, that were almost wholly
ignored by the Free Press and "international community."
What is mind-boggling in all this is that new attacks and threats by a country
that is in the midst of a serial aggression program, that runs a well ocumented
and widely condemned global gulag of torture,5 that has committed
major war crimes in Iraq—Fallujah may well replace Guernica as a symbol
of murderous warfare unleashed against civilians6—and
that openly declares itself exempt from international law and states that the
UN is only relevant when it supports U.S. policy,7 is not only
not condemned for its Iran aggression, but is able to enlist support for it
in the EU, UN and global media. This enlistment of support occurs despite the
further fact that it is now generally recognized that the Bush and Blair administrations
lied their way into the Iraq invasion-occupation (but still quickly obtained
UN and EU acceptance of the occupation and ensuing ruthless pacification program),8
and that they cynically misused the inspections program, all of which
makes the new accommodation to the aggression-in-process and planned larger
attack truly frightening.
The mechanism by which this is accomplished by the aggressor state is to cry-up
an allegedly dire threat that Iran might be embarking on a program to obtain
nuclear weapons—it might be doing this secretively, and although it has
submitted itself to IAEA inspections for the past three years, it has not been
100 percent cooperative with the Agency.9 Combining this with
demonization,10 intensive and repeated expressions of indignation
and fear, and threats to do something about the intolerable threat, the Washington
regime has managed to produce a contrived "crisis," with huge spikes
in media attention and supportive expressions of concern and actions by the
UN, IAEA, and international community.11 These groups join
the aggressor partly to avoid offending it, but also to try to constrain its
determination to get its way—but in the process they accept its premises
that there is a real threat and hence give at least tacit support to its aggression
program, and sometimes more. On the home front, with the acceptance of the seriousness
of the manufactured crisis by the mainstream media and Democrats, and with leading
politicos like Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh even egging Bush on, the noise
creates its own self-fulfilling pressures on the leadership that manufactured
the crisis, who now must "do something" about it to avoid political
This time, the EU appears to be cooperating even more fully in the developing
aggression against Iran than it did in the Iraq case. Although Iran has an absolute
and "inalienable" right to enrich uranium under NPT rules (i.e., the
NPT’s sole condition is that the enrichment can only be "for peaceful
purposes"), and although the NPT imposes upon other parties to the treaty
the obligation to "facilitate…the fullest possible exchange of equipment,
materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses
of nuclear energy,"13 under British, French and German
urging Iran, in November 2004, agreed "on a voluntary basis to continue
and extend its suspension to include all enrichment related and reprocessing
activities," while these states agreed to continue negotiations in good
faith for the sake of an agreement that "will provide objective guarantees
that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes," and
"firm guarantees on nuclear, technological and economic cooperation and
firm commitments on security issues."14
But subsequent stages of negotiations foundered mainly because the three EU
states could not provide Iran with guarantees on security-related issues without
also securing U.S. guarantees for the same—and not only were U.S. guarantees
never forthcoming, but Washington and Israel escalated their threats instead.
Moreover, it is the longstanding U.S. position that "no enrichment in Iran
is permissible," in the words of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
John Bolton. "The reason for that," he added, "is that even a
small so-called research enrichment program could give Iran the possibility
of mastering the technical deficiencies it's currently encountering in its program.
Once Iran has the scientific and technological capability to do even laboratory
size enrichment, that knowledge could be replicated in industrial-size enrichment
activities elsewhere, that's why we've felt very strongly that no enrichment
inside Iran should be permitted, and that remains our position."15
In short, the United States unilaterally refuses to allow Iran its rights granted
it by the NPT.
Now some 18 months later, a U.S.-led consortium of states has introduced a
draft resolution within the UN Security Council with the intent of imposing
upon Iran a deadline for terminating all indigenous "enrichment-related
and reprocessing activities" (pars. 1-2), as well as calling on all states
to prevent the transfer of the technology and the expertise "that could
contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and
missile program" (par. 4)—thereby following the U.S. lead and criminalizing
Iran’s and only Iran’s pursuit of its "inalienable" rights
under Article IV of the NPT, and treating Iran’s otherwise legal, NPT-sanctioned
enrichment program as a Chapter VII threat to international peace and security.
Equally striking, this draft resolution also expresses the Security Council’s
"intention to consider such further measures as may be necessary to ensure
compliance with this resolution…" (par. 7).16 This
is exactly the kind of phraseology that, if adopted, the Washington regime would
have be eager to interpret as a use-of-force type resolution, regardless of
whether other members of the Security Council went along with it.
We regard the terms of this draft resolution as well as the general thrust
of British, French, German, and European Union diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear
issue to be a perfect accommodation to the needs of the aggressor state, which
openly denies Iran its "inalienable" rights under NPT rules. This
also constitutes a death-blow-by-politicization to the NPT and a gross abuse
of the functions and powers of the Security Council, all in deference and service
to a program in violation of the most basic principle of the UN Charter—that
all members "shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means"
and refrain from the "threat or use of force" (Article 2).
Since the spring of 2003, U.S. power has produced a steady and indignant focus
on Iran’s alleged foot-dragging on inspections. As in the case of Iraq’s
failure through March 2003 to prove that it did not possess any "weapons
of mass destruction" (WMD), the U.S.-driven allegations and inspections
regime channeled through the IAEA have focused on Iran’s parallel failure
to disprove a negative—namely, that Iran prove that it is not secretly
engaging in practices that are prohibited under the NPT and subsequent Safeguards
Agreement (May 15, 1974) and the Additional Protocols (signed December 18, 2003,
though only observed "on a voluntary basis"). Moreover, throughout
the current 38-month cycle of allegations and inspections to which the IAEA
has now subjected Iran, the IAEA has repeatedly adopted a phraseology to the
effect that the IAEA is "unable to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear
material and activities inside Iran"—an inherently politicized condition
that no state would be capable of meeting, no matter what it agreed to do, and
whose application depends ultimately on the strength of the political forces
that pressure the IAEA to continue the search.17 With enough
political pressure, no amount of "transparency" and "confidence-building"
measures on the part of the accused state can meet it, as was evident in the
Iraq case. And as long as the IAEA reports that it is unable to confirm the
absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities inside Iran, Iran is helpless
before the IAEA’s negative condition.
The "threat" and crisis have been sustained in the media by the
use of patriotic and fear-mongering frames and suppressions of relevant fact
that may even be more brazen and misleading than those justifying the invasion
of Iraq. The crisis-supporting frames are: (1) that Iran is
a dangerous theocratic state, with an irrational and unstable political and
clerical leadership that has supported terrorists and threatened Israel and
is therefore not to be trusted with a nuclear program; (2)
that it has been secretive about its nuclear program, has not been fully cooperative
with the inspections program of the IAEA, and that the reason for this secrecy
is Iran’s intention to develop nuclear weapons; (3) that
its acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability would be intolerable, would
destabilize the Middle East if not the whole of Western Civilization, and must
In sustaining these frames it is necessary to suppress major facts, such as:
(1) that there is no proof that Iran plans to go beyond the
civilian uses of nuclear materials to which it is entitled under the NPT and
the IAEA has never claimed that it has evidence of such weapons efforts or plans;
(2) that both the United States and Israel possess large and
usable nuclear arsenals,18 and both have attacked other countries
in violation of the UN Charter, which Iran has not yet done; (3)
that Iran is far less dangerous than Israel and the United States because it
is very much weaker than the two that threaten it, and could only use nuclear
weapons in self-defense—offensive use would be suicidal, which is not
the case should the United States and Israel attack Iran; (4)
that Iran was secretive about its nuclear program because it recognized that
the United States and Israel would have opposed it bitterly, but Iran at least
did sign up with the NPT and has allowed numerous intrusive inspections, whereas
Israel was allowed to develop a nuclear weapons program secretly, with U.S.,
U.K., French and Norwegian aid, refused to join the NPT, and remains outside
the inspections system;19 (5) that both the
United States and Israel are virtual theocratic states, profoundly influenced
by religious parties whose leaders are arrogant, racist, and militaristic, and
who have posed persistent threats to international peace and security; (6)
that both the United States and Israel have supported terrorists on a larger
scale than Iran (e.g., Posada, Bosch and the Cuban terrorist network, the Nicaraguan
contras, Savimbi and UNITA, the South Lebanon Army, among many others); and
(7) that it is the United States and Israel that have destabilized
the Middle East, by aggression and ethnic cleansing in violation of international
law and by forcing a huge imbalance in which only Israel is allowed nuclear
weapons among the countries of the Middle East, a condition which allowed Israel
to invade Lebanon and enables it to ethnically cleanse the West Bank without
threat of retaliation.
A first alternative-frame that might be used but is not to be found in the
mainstream media is based on the fact that, year-in and year-out, the United
States has been a chronic violator of the NPT’s Article VI requirement
that all parties "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures
relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear
disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict
and effective international control." In the context of the U.S.-driven
accusations about Iran’s violations of the NPT, it is worth emphasizing
that in a 1996 decision by the International Court of Justice, the fourteen
judges on the Court ruled unanimously that "There exists an obligation
to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear
disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control."20
The United States has brazenly ignored this ruling, refusing to countenance
any form of disarmament or international control over its sovereign rights on
questions of war and peace, openly working on improving its nuclear weapons,21
and even threatening to use them against Iran.22
Hence the United States not only has unclean hands, but its own illegal policies
and threats pose a clear and present danger that the UN and international community
should be addressing right now. Furthermore, not only is Iran not an immediate
threat, but given the U.S. threat to Iran and the U.S. refusal to work toward
the elimination of nuclear weapons and to pledge non-use against nuclear weapons-free
countries like Iran, Iran has a moral right to try to acquire such weapons for
self-defense. Noting what the Americans had done to a nuclear-weaponless Iraq
in 2003, the Israeli historian Martin van Creveld has written, "Had the
Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy."23
This point is reinforced by a second alternative frame: namely, that the United
States is using the Iran nuclear threat as a gambit closely analogous to the
WMD claim that it employed as the lying rationale for the invasion-occupation
of Iraq. As before, the gambit is a cover for a desire to force a "regime
change" in Iran to make it into another amenable client state. This is
sometimes even openly acknowledged, and helps explain the frenzied threat-inflation
and artificial creation of a crisis that can be used as the pretext for an attack
and possibly produce turmoil and political change in Iran. It also helps us
understand the continual U.S. refusal to negotiate with Iran and/or to offer
a security guarantee in exchange for possible Iranian concessions on its nuclear
plans. The same process occurred in the run-up to the Iraq invasion—the
United States inflated the threat, created a crisis, refused to negotiate with
Iraq, and would not allow inspectors to complete their search for WMD allegedly
because of the dire threat, but more plausibly because of a longstanding U.S.
determination to engineer a regime change.
As noted, the mainstream media have followed the party line on the Iran "crisis"
and failed almost without exception to note the problems and deal with matters
raised in the alternative frames. Remarkably, despite their acknowledged massive
failures as news organizations and de facto propaganda service for the Bush
administration in the lead up to the Iraq invasion,24 with
the administration refocusing on the new dire threat from Iran it took the mainstream
media no time whatsoever to fall into party-line formation—from which
they have not deviated. Thus, they never go into the U.S. violations of its
NPT obligations, never discuss international law and its possible application
to U.S. pre-invasion aggression and threats of open attack, just as they ignored
the subject in reference to the Iraq invasion.25 They never
challenge the threat-inflation or consider any possible Iranian right of self-defense.
(We may recall that the Free Press was able to make an almost completely disarmed
Guatemala a frightening threat back in 1954, as well as the badly weakened Iraq
in 2002-3.) The media never suggest that the United States may be abusing the
inspections process—never harking back to its abuses and outright lying
as regard the Iraq inspections effort—and they never suggest ulterior
motives for the aggressor.
In treating EU, UN and IAEA responses, the media never suggest that the real
problem is containing the United States. In the comical version offered and
hardly contested in the media, it is often suggested that there is a threat
of "appeasement" of Iran, and that if the world is "to avoid
another Munich," and the "Security Council fails to confront the Iranian
threat," it is up to the United States to "form an international coalition
to disarm the regime."26 But there is never a hint that
the problem might be appeasement of the United States. Or that the applicable
Munich analogy might not apply to the Iranian nuclear program at all, as the
1938 Pact among the European powers that impelled Czechoslovakia to accept the
cession of the Sudetenland to the Nazis is analogous to the ongoing UN and EU
role in facilitating the designs the United States is pursuing toward Iranian
Pravda could not have done a better job for any planned Soviet venture abroad
than the Free Press is once again doing for the Bush administration.
It is clear that when it comes to actions that the superpower (or its leading
client states) chooses to take, international law is completely inoperative,
and that this has become institutionalized and accepted by the "international
community" (which doesn’t include the global underlying population).
In the case of Iran, it is as if the lessons of the recent past, and even of
the ongoing present in Iraq, simply disappear, and similar imaginary "threats"
and misuse of supposedly neutral international bodies like the IAEA and its
"inspections" can be re-run in a miasma of hypocrisy. In fact, as
we have noted, the situation has deteriorated, with the UN and EU now playing
an active aggression-supportive role, following the U.S. lead in denying Iran
its "inalienable" rights under the NPT and making its pursuit of those
rights into a criminalized "threat to peace," setting the stage for
a more direct U.S. attack.
Our conclusion is twofold. First, given the U.S. and Israeli possession of
nuclear weapons, their threat to possibly use them in attacking Iran, and the
record of both countries in major law violations such as the U.S. violation
of the UN Charter prohibition of aggression and the Israeli violations of the
Fourth Geneva Convention on obligations of an occupying power, and given the
fact that the Washington regime is already in the early phases of aggression
against Iran, the UN and Security Council should be urgently focusing on the
U.S. aggression instead of some minor inspection delinquencies on the part of
Iran (and it goes without saying, instead of giving positive aid to the aggressor’s
Second, if there is a concern over violations of the NPT, far more important
than Iran’s deficiencies are the U.S. failure to undertake any measures
to eliminate nuclear weapons and its protection of Israel as the sole nuclear
power in the Middle East, and remaining outside IAEA jurisdiction. In fact,
the United States is improving its nuclear arsenal with the express intention
of making nuclear strikes more "practicable." As these threaten Iran
as well as many other countries, common sense dictates that this violation of
the NPT is vastly more important than any attributable to Iran—real or
In a decent and sane world, bringing the U.S. violations of the NPT and its
nuclear improvement actions before the UN and Security Council ought to have
a very high priority, second only to stopping the U.S. aggression already underway
against Iran and which threatens an enlargement of the conflagration begun by
its prior and still raging "supreme international crime" in Iraq.
1. "To initiate a war of aggression…is not only
an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only
from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil
of the whole." See "The
Common Plan or Conspiracy and Aggressive War ," in Judgment of the
International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals
, part of the Nuremberg
War Crimes Trials website maintained by the Avalon
Project at Yale Law School .
2. Seymour Hersh, "The
Iran Plans ," New Yorker, April 17, 2006.
3. See "Foreign
Terrorist Organizations ," Ch. 8 of Country
Reports on Terrorism 2005 , U.S. Department of State, April, 2006, pp. 30/212
– 31/213. On the U.S. Government’s decision in July 2004 to grant
"protected" status to the MEK members semi-permanently encamped at
Ashraf in eastern Iraq, see "Daily
Press Briefing ," Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, U.S. Department of
State, July 26, 2004. As the spokesman for Tehran’s Foreign Ministry noted
in reaction, "The United States is using its fight against terrorism as
a tool, and we knew from the beginning that this fight is void and they are
not serious. Using the Geneva Convention to protect this terrorist group is
naive and unacceptable." "U.S.
war on terror is a sham, says Iran ," Daily Times (Pakistan), July
4. See Matthew Rycroft, "The
secret Downing Street memo ," July 23, 2002 (as posted to the Times
Online, May 1, 2005); also Michael Smith, "The
war before the war ," New Statesman, May 30, 2005; Michael Smith, "General
admits to secret air war ," Sunday Times, June 26, 2005; David Peterson,
Activity' ," ZNet, July, 2005; and David Peterson, "British
Records on the Prewar Bombing of Iraq ," ZNet, July, 2005.
5. Jonathan Steele and Dahr Jamail, "This
is our Guernica ," The Guardian, April 27, 2005; Mike Marqusee, "A
name that lives in infamy ," The Guardian, November 10, 2005.
6. See, e.g., Gretchen Borchelt et al., Break
Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by U.S. Forces , Physicians
for Human Rights, May, 2005; Leila Zerrougui et al.,
Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay (E/CN.4/2006/120
), UN Commission on Human Rights, February 15, 2006; and By
the Numbers: Findings of the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project ,
Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Human Rights First, and Human Rights
Watch, February, 2006.
7. At a symposium in 1994 titled "Global Structures:
A Convocation: Human Rights, Global Governance and Strengthening the UN,"
the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton stated: "The
United States makes the U.N. work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly
the way it should be, because the only question -- the only question -- for
the United States is what's in our national interest? And if you don't like
that, I'm sorry. But that is the fact." See Nomination of John R. Bolton,
Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, April 11, 2005.
8. The blood spilled during the criminal U.S. and U.K. military
seizure of Iraq had yet to dry before the UN Security Council placed its stamp
upon the occupation with a litany of scramble-for-Iraq resolutions, beginning
1483 (May 22, 2003), lifting economic sanctions that dated all the way back
661 (August 6, 1990).
9. See "The
Iran ‘Crisis’ ," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, ColdType,
10. On demonization, see David Peterson, "The
Language of Force ," ZNet, January 16, 2006.
11. For some recent opinion surveys of American beliefs and
attitudes, all of which, in the manufactured crisis of the moment, find Iran
and Muslims to be grave threats to Americans, see Jeffrey M. Jones, "Americans
Rate Iran Most Negatively of 22 Countries ," Gallup, February 23, 2006;
Joseph Carroll, "Americans
Say Iran Is Their Greatest Enemy ," Gallup, February 23, 2006; Claudia
Deane and Darryl Fears, "Negative
Perception Of Islam Increasing ," Washington Post, March 9, 2006; "States
of Insecurity ," Atlantic Monthly, April, 2006; Dana Blanton, "FOX
News Poll: Do Not Trust Iran ," FOXNews.com, May 9; "FOX
News / Opinion Dynamics Poll ," May 9.
12. On the American Democratic Party not only "not differ[ing]
significantly from the administration," but " trying to outflank the
administration by being even more hardline," see Anatol Lieven, "There
is menace in America's policy of prevention ," Financial Times, March
20, 2006 (as posted to the website of the New
American Foundation ). The lunatic (though still counterfactual) scenario
laid out by Timothy Garton Ash in "The
tragedy that followed Hillary Clinton's bombing of Iran in 2009 " (The
Guardian, April 20, 2006), is imaginable in the first place only because in
the democratically crippled American political system, what are marketed as
alternatives remain captive of the reigning de facto consensus.
13. Here quoting Article IV of the
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (effective March 5, 1970).
14. See the copy of the agreement between the E3/EU and Iran
signed in Paris on November 15, 2004, as reproduced in INFCIRC
637 , IAEA, November 26, 2004, pp. 3-4.
15. Quoted in "No uranium enrichment 'permissible' for
Iran—US envoy," Agence France Presse, March 6, 2006. Note that we
can find no entry for Bolton's remarks on the website of the United
States Mission to the United Nations , e.g., under Press Releases, January
- March, 2006 . Also see David Peterson, "Overthrowing
the NPT the American Way ," ZNet, March 7, 2006..
16. For the actual text of the draft resolution as it existed
on May 3, see "TEXT-UN
council gets draft text on Iran nuclear program ," Reuters-AlertNet,
May 3. And for reporting on the May 3 draft, see, e.g., Elaine Sciolino, "U.S.,
Britain and France Draft U.N. Resolution on Iran's Nuclear Ambitions ,"
New York Times, May 3; "UN
Security Council considers action on Iran's nuclear programme ," UN
News Center, May 3; John Ward Anderson and Colum Lynch, "U.S.
Crafts Response on Iran ," Washington Post, May 3; Maggie Farley, "Security
Council Gets Iran Nuclear Resolution ," Los Angeles Times, May 4; Warren
and France Press U.N. to Oppose Iran Nuclear Efforts ," New York Times,
May 4; Column Lynch, "Security
Council Is Given Iran Resolution ," Washington Post, May 4; Edward
Alden and Caroline Daniel, "US
pushes for Iran financial sanctions ," Financial Times, May 8. Also
see Marjorie Cohn’s "Bush
Setting up Attack on Iran ," Truthout, May 8.
17. To quote the latest installment in the IAEA’s series
of reports to its Board of Governors (at least the 17th overall), "the
Agency is unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about
the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran." Implementation
of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOV/2006/27
), April 28, 2006, par. 33, p. 7. IAEA-channeled allegations about the Iranian
nuclear program have been formulated in this manner since the very beginning.
18. For a current assessment of the U.S. nuclear stockpile,
see Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "U.S.
nuclear forces ," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, January/February,
2006; and for Israel’s, see Robert S. Norris et al., "Israel
nuclear forces, 2002 ," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October,
19. For a history of Israel’s development its nuclear
weapons, entirely outside the NPT and international controls, see Avner Cohen
and William Burr, "Israel
crosses the threshold ," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May/June,
2006; and "Israel
Crosses the Nuclear Threshold ," National Security Archive Update,
April 28, 2006. And on Britain’s role, see "UK
helped Israel get nuclear bomb ," BBC News, August 4, 2005.
20. See Legality
of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons , International Court of Justice,
July 8, 1996, pars. 98 – 103, and Opinion F. Although an "advisory
opinion," and thus not legally binding on states, to date this counts as
the most authoritative legal decision to have been produced on issues stemming
from the existence of nuclear weapons and states’ obligations under the
21. On U.S. plans to upgrade its already peerless nuclear
stockpile and the means of delivering it, see James Sterngold, "Upgrades
planned for U.S. nuclear stockpile ," San Francisco Chronicle, January
15; Walter Pincus, "U.S.
Plans to Modernize Nuclear Arsenal ," Washington Post, March 4.
22. On the potential U.S. threat to use nuclear weapons against
Iran—a case in which even so much as a hint or a whisper of threat is
deafening, and leaked warnings about such threats even louder—see Hersh,
Iran Plans ," New Yorker, April 17, 2006; Sarah Baxter, "Gunning
for Iran ," Sunday Times, April 9, 2006; and Peter Baker et al., "U.S.
Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran ," Washington Post, April
9, 2006. Also see the material reported under the "Divine
Strake " entry on the Weapons
of Mass Destruction webpage of GlobalSecurity.org
23. Martin van Creveld, "Sharon
on the warpath: Is Israel planning to attack Iran? " International
Herald Tribune, August 21, 2004.
24. The classic case having been "The
Times and Iraq ," New York Times, May 26, 2004; and the accompanying
webpage The Times devotes to this topic, "The
Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage ," May, 2004. Though we add
the caveat that the documents contained herein, and the conclusions affirmed
by The Times about the role that it played during the build-up for the invasion,
grossly understate The Times’s real culpability.
25. Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper:
How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (London: Verso, 2004). In
70 editorials on Iraq between September 11, 2001 and March 21, 2003, The Times
editors never once mentioned international law. See chapter 1.
26. Nile Gardiner and Joseph Loconte, "The
Gathering Storm Over Iran ," Boston Globe, May 3. Conversely, usage
of the false Munich analogy and the charge of "appeasement" abounds.
See, e.g., "Iran's
Nuclear Challenge ," Editorial, Washington Post, January 12; William
Now Iran; We can't rule out the use of military force ," Weekly Standard,
January 23; and Kim Willsher, "'Only
a fraction of Teheran's brutality has come to light' ," Daily Telegraph,
March 19. This last example was particularly revealing. In it, Maryam Rajavi,
described as the "leader of the largest exiled Iranian opposition group,"
the National Council for Resistance for Iran, reportedly "says Western
governments must end their ‘dangerous appeasement' of Iran's regime and
recognise the worth of her group…." Unmentioned is the fact that
the U.S. Government (officially, anyway) includes her group along with the Mujahedin-e
Khalq on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. See note 3, above.
27. The Iran gambit could be a cover for a partial invasion-occupation
of the geographic region of Iran where in the words of the U.S. Department of
Energy the "vast majority of Iran’s crude oil reserves are located,"
that is, "in giant onshore fields in the southwestern Khuzestan region
near the Iraqi border." Contrary to popular myth, this would not entail
going "all the way to Tehran," as a saying attributed to the Neoconservatives
has it, but only as far as the greatest concentration of Iran’s proven
oil reserves extend, where southeastern Iraq borders Khuzestan. See "Iran
," U.S. Energy Information Administration, January, 2006, p. 2. As this
same report adds, "in September 2005, several bombs were detonated near
oil wells in Khuzestan, raising concerns about unrest amongst ethnic Arabs in
the region" (p. 2).
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