Romney & Obama Agree on Iran: Keep Up Aggression, Impede Peace

John Glaser, December 20, 2011

Eli Clifton at ThinkProgress directs us to a recent interview with Mitt Romney on Bill O’Reilly’s show in which Romney’s war rhetoric gets “challenged by an unlikely source”:

Interesting. Romney doesn’t really respond to O’Reilly’s estimation of the consequences of war on Iran, but it does make him roll back his overt threat of preemptive attack and stick with “crippling sanctions, treating them like a pariah, and preparing military options.”

First of all, Romney has spent months in the campaign trying to sell the lie that Obama is somehow soft on Iran and Americans need a strong warrior Republican in the White House in order to appropriately confront them. But once this “unlikely source” gives Romney a slice of reality regarding war with Iran, he literally reiterates the exact policy of the Obama administration. I’ve written about this before, but it should be clear to Republican voters (I pity you) that there is exactly zero space between the GOP establishment and Obama on what we’re all supposed to believe is the greatest threat to life on Earth, Iran. Their politicking is in vain, because Barack Obama is all the warmonger the mainstream can handle at this point.

Secondly, Romney’s policy prescription at the end of the clip is rather interesting. He says we have to engage in “crippling sanctions,” treating Iran like a “pariah,” and “preparing military options” or else they will get a nuclear weapon. For thirty years, the War Party has been predicting that Iran’s nuclear achievement is within two or three year’s reach. And for that same thirty years, the policy of the United States has been sanctions, isolation, and preparing military options. Hmm…something fishy in ol’ Mitt’s analysis.

As Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett wrote after the release of the recent hyperbolic IAEA report, Iran’s strategy is probably “to create perceptions on the part of potential adversaries that Tehran is capable of building nuclear weapons in a finite period of time, without actually building them.” The reason for this strategy is because, as former IAEA chief Hans Blix recently said, Tehran is acting out of a perception of threat.

Namely, U.S. policy – which Romney regurgitates so eloquently – influences Iran strongly towards this defensive strategy. The U.S. has waged two aggressive, unnecessary wars directly along Iran’s east and west borders, constantly floods the Persian Gulf with fleets of navy warships, bribes client states surrounding Iranian territory with weapons systems and money to be subservient to U.S. interests and allow U.S. military bases there, and heaps restrictive sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking industries. Despite reprehensible policies of both governments, the U.S. is very close friends with Saudi Arabia and Israel, two of Iran’s top security threats, one of which the U.S. lets have nuclear weapons and both of which have recently called for unilateral strikes against Iran. In addition, the Bush administration asked Congress for funding for a program of support for anti-Tehran rebel ethnic groups to work to undermine the government, as well as for intelligence gathering and sabotage of the nuclear program. For years now, a concerted covert U.S. campaign of cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars has been under way in Iran. Add to that the constant public statements by U.S. officials of the highest order literally urging military attack and regime change in Iran. This is the status quo, and its continuation will result in a status quo strategy on the part of Iran.

This is the problem with the war hawks. They fail to see that there is another way. Other than refusing to simply deescalate aggressive militaristic postures, the U.S. has also had the opportunity to push for an agreement that would make the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free-zone. Iran has repeatedly voiced support for such an agreement, so long as Israel complies as well. Ah, there’s the rub.




14 Responses to “Romney & Obama Agree on Iran: Keep Up Aggression, Impede Peace”

  1. Excellent post, Iran hasn’t attacked anyone in two hundred years. Compare that to the history of the US for the last two hundred years. Their government may suck but whose doesn’t? In the end it matters not at all if Iran has a nuclear bomb or not, though Israel of course feels threatened by just about anything you can name. This doesn’t mean we should shoot ourselves in the foot just to please Israel even though that is exactly what we have been doing. In the end this is all about Israel’s undue influence on US politics, it’s time to let Israel go. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen so sooner or later we will be attacking Iran. If this is precipitated by the US or a unilateral attack by Israel (which would draw the US into war with Iran) the results shall be the same.

  2. Glaser notes that Iran has repeatedly expressed support for a nuclear-free Middle East, so long as Israel complies as well. Of course, the boys in Tel Aviv don't want that. They're sittin' pretty with hundreds of nukes, and that's just the way they like it. And the U.S. Government–which grovels in the dirt to Israel–isn't going to say no to anything Israel demands.

    Mitt Romney–like the rest of the GOP candidates, except Ron Paul–is a lying, warmongering, chickenhawk scumbag.

  3. RE: "This is the problem with the war hawks. They fail to see that there is another way." ~ Glaser

    FROM TED RALL, 07/22/10: …Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay Eternal Fascism describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
    SOURCE – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/22-1

  4. Just remember: The calls for attacks on Iran are not coming from the US intelligence community. They are coming from elected officials, pundits, think tanks, and the media. Where are they getting their information from?

  5. "Just remember: The calls for attacks on Iran are not coming from the US intelligence community. They are coming from elected officials, pundits, think tanks, and the media. Where are they getting their information from?"

    From their corporate sponsors, the military-industrial complex that needs war for its own survival. Throw in that industry's dependence on oil and the oil industry's history of profiting from our Middle East conflicts, and it's not to hard to see who's driving the bus.

  6. The stated reason of 'preventing Iran from obtaining nukes' may not be the whole story. Taking the assumption at face value that the 'official reason' for enmity with Iran is nukes, is not the whole story.

    The warmongers are keeping that narrative alive. Anti-war commentators might want to stop the regurgitation-refutation cycle on those 'iran-nukes-bad' talking points, even refuting them keeps the dialogue focused on the hysterical fear side of those arguments. Not that they shouldn't be refuted.

    It might be worth exploring other less 'manichean' geopolitical narratives which underlie the warmongers motives, instead of continue to play cards with the stacked deck of hysterical and hypocritical anti-proliferation rhetoric.

    The rhetorical wash-rinse-repeat propaganda cycle doesn't seem amenable to contradiction or introspection. That cycle is all about pushing easy-to-sell compelling narratives. Like cheap sales spiels, that are used as ammunition to overcome resistance. Countering that narrative requires other 'easy-to-sell' narratives.

    For example, the argument could be made that the U.S. see's industrialized secular Islamic middle eastern states as the real threat to hegemony in the region, never-mind the nukes. It would be interesting to see that come up as a talking point because the idea had entered the dialogue.

    The 'debate' on this deceptive anti-iran hysteria is a bad case of 'pearls before swine'. The people who are enamored of the warmonger hysteria are not going to be swayed by punching holes in their arguments, that's the whole reason for 'talking points', they're like verbal whack-a-mole.

  7. "but it should be clear to Republican voters (I pity you) that there is exactly zero space between the GOP establishment and Obama on what we’re all supposed to believe is the greatest threat to life on Earth, Iran." Wrong!. There is Ron Paul, who actually talks about my constitution, and my rights. A man who meant what he said when he took the oath of office. Oh but hes crazy ROFLMAO! You will see crazy soon because not only does the world hate our govt they have a 17% aproval rating.

  8. Ahhhh….. nothing like a good dose of complacency. It deafens our ears to what Iran has been saying for the last 20 years. One of these day we just might learn that the ostrich position is the most pitiful posture.

  9. A PLEE FROM YOUR AUSTRALIAN BROTHER
    rob payne speaks the truth. you have a chance to stop the bloodshed and retake your republic. you must act now. i ask that you look outside your lifes and look at the big picture. your current and past government and the media have been sleeping together, as well as a few senators and industrialists and so on. it has been this way since ww2. they manipulate the world to suit their bottom lines. you have a chance to change the status quo and elect a president that has honour, disipline and integrity. i see a man who can help you with this challenge, but to do so you will have to ignore the lies the the media tells you and embrace the truth. search your soul and find the truth. please stop all your wars. please take your soldiers home. please stay away from iran.

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  13. Every time Obummer, Tony Blair, Bush41, Bush43, Prince ChaalllZ, Trent Lott, lindsey whatzizname, and their ilk think of desperate sweaty soldiers, they lose their train of thought. They just want more.

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