The Armageddon Shuffle
By Douglas Johnson
War drums are once again pounding in America; this time the target is Iran. Iran is a rogue state, they say, hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, headed by a Hitler-like lunatic who calls the holocaust a fairy-tale and who vows to wipe Israel off the map. A US naval fleet has moved within close proximity of Iran and economic sanctions have been levied. If not for the blowback from 17 years of US genocide in Iraq – which is crippling the US' military, literally and figuratively, no doubt US leaders would have already begun raining bombs on Iran.
I'm praying that never happens. Hopefully enough Americans will begin to see the insanity of it. First of all, although I acknowledge that Ahmadinijad lacks common sense (as well as charisma… and intelligence), he's not a monster as he's portrayed. Ahmadinijad never said anything about wiping Israel off the map and his comments on the 'myth' of the holocaust were misconstrued. Instead, he advocated the kind of "regime change" which has occurred in the former Soviet Union and in Iran itself, and he labels the holocaust a "crime" for which the perpetrators – rather than Palestinians – should be punished. Furthermore, the 'myth' of the holocaust (i.e., a story rooted in real events that teaches a lesson) refers to Israel's constant use of their unparalleled atrocity to label ANY dissent or criticism of its policies as anti-Semitic. The complicit western media altered translations of Ahmadinijad's speeches into something that's, well, monstrous, in order to keep the drumbeats pounding.
Nobody wants a madman at the helm of a nuclear armed country, right? I certainly don't, yet I can't understand how Americans tolerate the outrageous hypocrisy of George Bush calling Ahmadinijad a dangerous madman.
After all, it was America who invented the "madman theory" of nuclear deterrence. A study was issued by the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in 1995, which states that "nuclear weapons always cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict," and therefore should be very visible and ready. Remarkably, the study advises military planners to not come across "as too fully rational and cool-headed." It adds that "the image [T]hat the US may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project." It further advises that "some elements" of nuclear protocol seem "out of control." After all, what value is the deterrence if rogue countries don't believe the US is crazy enough to nuke them? This policy finds Bush as a perfect (albeit unwitting) stooge, and is modeled on the Nixon/Kissinger "madman theory," first applied in 1969. STRATCOM also advises that the US retain the right to use nuclear weapons as a first strike, even against countries which have no nuclear weapons and which signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970. (Hegemony or Survival, Chomsky)
Amazingly, (yet perhaps not so amazing when you understand US doctrine), the US invoked Security Council Resolution 687 (Article 14) to justify the Shock and Awe campaign of 2003. This article seeks the "goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery." That's a goal we should all strive for, but how can we expect Middle Eastern countries to refrain from arming themselves when they see countries like nuclear North Korea and Pakistan escaping the 'irrational and vindictive' wrath of a nuclear armed US, while unarmed countries like Iraq get decimated. It's interesting to note that after Iraq's disastrous foray into Kuwait, Saddam Hussein made an offer to withdraw his army (and avoid what turned out to be the deaths of over 1 million innocents), provided Article 14 were applied to all countries in the Middle East. Given the article's goal, this made sense. (This offer was never made known to the American public.) But the two madmen, one powerful and the other weak, couldn't come to terms, I guess.
Besides, everyone knows that Israel has at least two hundred illegal nuclear weapons, but of course Israelis aren't subject to international law; they ARE the law (or at least the deputy). They never signed the NNPT, have never permitted inspections of their facilities, and in fact, have never even admitted that they have nuclear weapons. They're not only in violation of SCR 687, they are the main reason the article was written. The neighbors of Israel no doubt feel threatened by its arsenal, especially given Israel's expansionist foreign policy. In fact, according to the kind of madman logic the US endorses, a "rational" response by Iran to Israel's "secret" arsenal would be to develop their own secret, illegal arsenal. This is why Israel's and the US' hypocrisy precludes the enforcement of any principle of nonproliferation, because principles by definition must be universally applied.
I guess this means we're living in a world where power prevails over principle, leaders delight over their boundless insanity, and followers shuffle complacently towards nuclear Armageddon.