"Real men go to Tehran!" brayed the neoconservatives, after the success of their propaganda campaign to have America march on Baghdad and into an unnecessary war that has forfeited all the fruits of our Cold War victory.
Now they are back, in pursuit of what has always been their great goal: an American war on Iran. It would be a mistake to believe they and their collaborators cannot succeed a second time. Consider:
On being chosen by Israel's President Shimon Peres to form the new regime, Likud's "Bibi" Netanyahu declared, "Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence."
Echoing Netanyahu, headlines last week screamed of a startling new nuclear breakthrough by the mullahs. "Iran ready to build nuclear weapon, analysts say," said CNN. "Iran has enough uranium to make a bomb," said the Los Angeles Times. Armageddon appeared imminent.
Asked about Iran's nukes in his confirmation testimony, CIA Director Leon Panetta blurted, "From all the information I've seen, I think there is no question that they are seeking that capability."
Tuesday, Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a front spawned by the Israeli lobby AIPAC, was given the Iranian portfolio. AIPAC's top agenda item? A U.S. collision with Iran.
In the neocon Weekly Standard, Elliot Abrams of the Bush White House parrots Netanyahu, urging Obama to put any land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians on a back burner. Why?
"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now part of a broader struggle in the region over Iranian extremism and power. Israeli withdrawals now risk opening the door not only to Palestinian terrorists but to Iranian proxies."
The campaign to conflate Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria as a new axis of evil, a terrorist cartel led by Iranian mullahs hell-bent on building a nuclear bomb and using it on Israel and America, has begun. The full-page ads and syndicated columns calling on Obama to eradicate this mortal peril before it destroys us all cannot be far off.
But before we let ourselves be stampeded into another unnecessary war, let us review a few facts that seem to contradict the war propaganda.
First, last week's acknowledgement that Iran has enough enriched uranium for one atom bomb does not mean Iran is building an atom bomb.
To construct a nuclear device, the ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz would have to be run through a second cascade of high-speed centrifuges to produce 55 pounds of highly enriched uranium (HUE).
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