Glenn Greenwald Tears Apart the Propaganda Driving the Insane Push for War With Iran
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Now that is the most important fact about Iran. Iran has completely opened up all of its nuclear facilities to the IAEA. There are inspectors on the ground at each of its nuclear facilities, and it’s impossible for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon without it being immediately known to the inspection regime that’s on the ground. The IAEA is doing a careful job in making sure there are certain processes that aren’t being invoked in terms of uranium and plutonium enrichment that would be a signal that Iran is going in the direction of weaponizing their nuclear power. They do have some questions, but the IAEA has never concluded that there’s evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. It is true that the IAEA has expressed concerns, it’s their job to express concerns, but there’s no definitive conclusion.
JH: I want to also talk about the likely outcome of an attack on Iran, whether it was from the Israeli Air Force or with the assistance of the United States. I feel like in our discourse it’s assumed, given our technological superiority and Israel’s technological superiority, they could simply wipe out their nuclear capacity like they did in Iraq in 1981.
Ephraim Halevy, Mossad director until 2002, said, “An attack on Iran could affect not only Israel but the entire region for 100 years.” He said that while Iran should certainly be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, its capabilities are, “far from an existential threat.” His successor, Meir Dagan said, “A military attack will give the Iranians the best excuse to pursue the nuclear race.” He called possibility of an Air Force attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities, “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”
Isn’t there this huge disconnect between these opinions and our media’s portrayal of the likely outcomes? Are we being given an idea of what is at risk here?
GG: One of the things that traditionally happens in American political discourse about war is that it is often depicted as this very clinical, clean and easy mission. The reason it’s able to be sold that way is because such a small portion of the population actually has any experience with war because American wars are fought with such a tiny fraction of the population actually anywhere near the scene of the combat. I do think Americans have this image of war being something where you send drone planes, or even manned aircraft, over Iran and drop a few bombs and their nuclear program is destroyed. The reality is much different as those quotes you just read from those Mossad officials indicate.
I think there is an even broader point. There’s an interesting op-ed in the Washington Post from Colin Kahl ( here), who is a former Pentagon official under the Obama administration, who explained that the Israeli attack in 1981 on a nuclear facility in Iraq -- which at the time Iraqis said was only for civilian purposes but the Israelis said it was going to be used to build a bomb -- actually completely backfired. It turned out that in 1981, when the Israelis attacked Iraq and dropped bombs on that Iraqi facility, Saddam was nowhere close to building a bomb, and it was that attack that made him realize that the only way he would ever get respect on the world stage was by developing a nuclear weapon. In 1991 when the Americans were able to overrun Iraq and drive them out of Kuwait they were able to get access to some of those labs and were shocked to discover just how close Iraq was to actually building a nuclear weapon. This is really what we’re doing. Through this aggression, through these constant threats, we’re making the motivation very high for these states to develop nuclear weapons.