In the face of mounting international isolation, eroding popular support
and growing discontent even within the U.S. political and corporate elites,
the Bush Administration has put the nation and the world on a collision course
with Iran. This new diversionary effort to manufacture a crisis could
well lead to another act of military aggression that will needlessly sacrifice
thousands more innocent civilian lives in Iran, result in hundreds or thousands
of additional deaths among U.S. military forces, and raises the risk of escalating
into a war that could spread across the Middle East and beyond to a confrontation
with Russia, China and other major powers.
A majority of the labor movement, the American people, and even (according
to a recent survey) U.S. troops in Iraq agree, the U.S. must exit Iraq. Yet,
despite this overwhelming sentiment for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, most of the
members of both parties in Congress remain paralyzed and silent (or worse, complicit).
The invasion of Iraq was predicated on a campaign of misinformation, deception,
manipulation of public sentiment, outright lies and propaganda orchestrated
by the Bush administration and aided and abetted by the corporate media. We
must not allow that to happen again with Iran. We cannot permit the administration
to attempt to reverse its rapidly declining political fortunes by manufacturing
a rationale for military aggression against yet another country.
The real immediate threat is not Iran. The most serious threat to our
security and peace in the world is created by an administration in Washington
that sits on the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the world
and has a declared policy and practice of unilateral preemptive military action
in pursuit of its goals. Real security can only result from effective
use of diplomacy and negotiation, which should be opened with Iran without pre-conditions.
If the administration in Washington were serious about reducing the threat of
nuclear weapons, it could begin by dismantling its own nuclear arsenal, which
is larger than that of all the rest of the world combined, and cease its research
on a new generation of tactical, theater and strategic nuclear weapons. It should
renounce its threat of a preemptive or preventative attack on Iran, forswear
use of nuclear weapons of any sort, and cease its efforts at destabilization
and regime change in Iran – the very kinds of action that propel countries
to seek nuclear arms as a deterrence.
The American people must insist that Congress stand up to the administration’s
apparent determination to escalate the confrontation with Iran. Real security
for our country and the world depends on it. If the administration is navigating
our country and the world toward another disaster and Congress fails to act,
the American people must do so – with our voices, with demonstrations
and with our votes. If Congress fails to change the course of this administration,
the people must change Congress.