…all organizations that consider themselves part of the peace movement in the United States must call for the immediate end of U.S. aid to Israel. Those organizations which fail to do so should be made pariahs, and considered to be no longer part of the peace movement.
If Israel pre-emptively attacks Iran, we can be assured that it will have done so with the permission, if not encouragement, of that master of pre-emptive war, George Bush. Israel would not jeopardize its billions in annual U.S. military and economic aid without first getting permission from the White House. A counter-attack of the peace movement demanding an immediate end to this aid should be our first order of business.
A new war on Iran would regionalize the existing Iraq and Afghanistan wars, with devastating results for both attacked and attacker. With three times the population of Iraq, Iran would be no push-over to U.S. and/or Israeli aggression.
With their own nuclear arsenals, Israel and the U.S. can claim no moral high ground over Iran, whether or not that country possesses a nuclear weapons program. Indeed, surrounded by nuclear-armed Pakistan and India on the east, nuclear-armed Russia to the north, nuclear-armed Israel to the west, U.S. nuclear-armed carrier groups cruising the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to the south, and a history of U.S. aggression against their nation, Iran's rulers understandably might be considering a nuclear arms program. Even so, Bushite "evidence" for such a program is even thinner gruel than that used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
With no one in the mainstream media noticing, alleged peace candidate Barack Obama has been worse than AWOL about the threat of war on Iran. As early as September 2004 the freshman Senator was advocating bombing Iran, and last fall, invading Pakistan. Most recently he gave a red meat address to the far-right American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) shortly after Clinton ended her White House bid, a speech that far-right politicos in Israel could only interpret as an Obama green light for just about any policy they might choose to pursue.
For anyone paying attention, Obama's anti-war credentials were incredibly weak to begin with. His vaunted anti-war speech at a peace rally at Chicago's Federal Plaza in the fall of 2002 was followed by absolute silence as the Bush administration beat the war drums in the run up to the March 19, 2003 invasion indeed he subsequently voted for almost every Bush war appropriation bill that he was present in the Senate for.
During the New Hampshire primary campaign, the "peace candidate" committed to a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq, regardless of what the Iraqi people themselves might have to say about that (they're overwhelmingly opposed to it, but their Quisling government will no doubt cut such a deal before the end of this year).
In 1968, Richard Nixon promised that he had "a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam" a position that was actually to the left of his Democratic opponent. Four years earlier, as a writer for the Left Business Observer put it, "LBJ campaigned as the peace candidate in 1964, and ended up killing a million Indochinese."
As a great statesman once said, "fool me once, shame on shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again."
"Hope" that a President Obama will bring "change" to the U.S. mission of promoting war and oppression in the Middle East is absurdly naive. Both political parties are congenitally incapable of actively fighting against a wider Middle East war.
The only time that a U.S. war has been "pre-emptively" ended has been a generation ago when millions of people around the world protested and then took direct action against it. THAT should be our model for how we can end the present wars, and stop a new war on Iran.
The writer is a co-founder of the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net), and as such, has been able to observe Barack Obama's betrayals of his anti-war and LGBT supporters up close.
* The speech was wiped off of his website and remained so well after his coming out party at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. In the run-up to the DNC, several national reporters contacted Chicago peace activists such as myself trying to get transcripts, audio or video clips of that speech, but Obama Ministry of Truth had disappeared all such embarrassing evidence until the war had a 25% approval rating. The speech itself was one of the weakest at that 2002 rally, and focussed not on opposing war, but choosing one's wars better he endorsed the Afghanistan war which, as we've seen recently, is challenging Iraq as the American failure of the decade.