Working towards peace and sustainability

Time for Action on Iran

For at least two years our government has been quietly moving toward an attack on Iran. Voices in the know have sounded a warning, but unfortunately, the public seems either oblivious or disconnected, not aware of the power we have collectively to prevent this. Just like they did five years ago, when they attempted to justify launching a war of aggression on Iraq, the U.S government is focusing on the supposed threat of weapons of mass destruction.

The hypocrisy here is rank. Of course, Iran has no nuclear weapons, while the U.S. and several of our major allies, including regional powerhouse Israel, do. Moreover, our nation is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons in war, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Further, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that the U.S. signed and ratified close to forty years ago, commits the U.S. and all nuclear weapons states to eliminate our arsenals, while it provides assurances that non-nuclear weapons states have the right to develop and utilize fuel cycle technology, including uranium enrichment, provided they agree to inspections. So, the U.S., which has absolutely no intention of ever living up to its NPT obligation by eliminating its vast arsenal of n-weapons, is vilifying Iran for doing something it is actually permitted to do under the NPT.

Given the obvious lack of legal standing under internationally law, of late our government has been focusing on Iran's alleged intervention in Iraq. While they have made repeated claims that Iran is supplying weapons to insurgent groups in Iraq, there has been no documentation. Moreover, even if the allegations are true, isn't this the classic case of the pot calling the kettle black? The illegal actions of the U.S. in invading Iraq and maintaining an occupation for four and a half years dwarf any possible meddling by Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey or any other nations in the region.

Our government, on the other hand, has been alleged by several credible sources, to be funding, arming and training armed groups--Kurds and other ethnic minorities--to destabilize Iran. These sources also maintain that U.S. covert ops forces are already on the ground in Iran.

It really appears that Bush and Cheney are looking for some provocation to justify launching an attack. While many of us hoped that a new Congress would put the brakes on Bush's push for a wider war, this, unfortunately, has not been the case. As the Democratic-majority House debated the war funding resolution, Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed a provision that would have required Bush to come to Congress for approval before attacking Iran. The Dems have, it appears, in addition to fully funding the ongoing Iraq War, have given the administration a blank check to go to war with Iran.

The consequences of this course of action would be disastrous. If the U.S. bombs Iran's nuclear facilities, there will be massive "collateral damage." Moreover, the Iranians are unlikely to let the U.S. bomb their nation without responding. The resulting war could lead to a far greater bloodbath in Iraq, where Iran has influential allies. to the blocking of oil shipments out of the Persian Gulf, and possibly to a regional war that would bring in other powers. The Bushies have miscalculated before, but this is a mistake waiting to happen that would make their attack on Iraq look like a stroke of brilliance.


While many of us are dead-set against an attack on Iran, our government either doesn't seem to recognize this, or doesn't seem to care. And after the massive groundswell of public opposition to an attack on Iraq four years ago failed to stop Bush and Co., many are dispirited and think nothing we do will make an difference anyway, so why bother.

This is exactly what they want us to feel. And we can't afford to let our past frustrations stop us from taking action now. While there is no guarantee that our actions will succeed, if those in power think they can launch another war of aggression and pay no political price, they almost surely will.


** Make your voice heard through writing letters to the editor and calling your Congressional delegation. You can letters to nearly all Missouri daily papers (Click Here) and communicate with your elected officials (Click Here)

** Join in visible demonstrations. We strongly urge you to come out any Wednesday for any time between 4:15-5:45 p.m. to the Rush Hour Peace Demonstration at B'way & Providence. We especially encourage folks to turn out the first Wednesday of each month--including Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5--as these are larger demonstrations that really get the public's attention. We also support the weekly peace vigil at the Columbia Post Office each Saturday, 10-11 a.m.

** Urge others to join in speaking out. Talk this up at your house of worship, at you workplace or school, with your family and/or neighbors, etc. Urge all to be as outspoken as possible on this matter. This is no time to be shy or to hesitate.

** Become better informed. There are lots of excellent resources on the Iran situation. On the web check out:

United for Peace & Justice Iran resources.

Council for a Livable World Iran resources.


Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Iran resources.

Hands off Iran.