Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How to Start a War with Iran

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Amidst all the denials by U.S. officials of an intent to attack Iran, another country that has never attacked the United States, perhaps this would be an appropriate time to recall the words of Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reichsmarshall:

“Why, of course, the ‘people’ don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship…. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

If President Bush wants war with Iran, he has several avenues to bring it about.

One, he can manipulate and squeeze Iran with sanctions, embargoes, and humiliations, the tactics that Franklin Roosevelt successfully employed to secure a Japanese attack on U.S. forces in the Pacific, thereby enabling Roosevelt to secure U.S. entry into World War II.

Or Bush could simply do what another Texas president — Lyndon Johnson — did to escalate U.S. involvement in Vietnam — just make up an attack, like Johnson did with the fake Gulf of Tonkin attack.

In either event, the president would be able to excitedly exclaim, “We’ve been attacked! We’ve been attacked! Iran has attacked us! We’re innocent! It’s another day that will live in infamy.”

Or President Bush could simply do to Iran what he did to Iraq — attack a country that has never attacked the United States, killing and maiming countless Iranian people, many of whom have nothing but the utmost respect for our country (but not for our government).

However the war with Iran would come, Bush and other U.S. officials would be certain that they could count on a certain segment of American society, including many in the press, that, once again infected by war fever, would excitedly exclaim, “The time for debate and discussion is over. We are now at war and we must support the troops, as they drop their bombs on the Iranian people. We’ve got to help the president and the troops win their war against Iran. They’re our team. That’s what ‘morality’ and ‘patriotism’ are all about.”

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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