by Jim Fetzer
The historic agreement between the P5 +1 according to which Iran will constrain its processing of nuclear materials and the sanctions imposed upon it will be lifted has created an enormous outcry of protest from politicians of both parties, where the usual Neo-Con hawks have been joined by the non-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul and the more liberal Sen. Jim Webb, who are competing in their denunciation of the outcome of arduous negotiations that not only deserves support world-wide but the history of which reflects deception and duplicity, not by Iran, but by the United States and Israel.
It comes as no surprise that AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, which exercises enormous influence over the Congress, has declared it plans to spend $10-20 million dollars to defeat the agreement, which the administration has expressed determination to defend. But, for reasons that I do not feign to fathom, neither the Secretary of State nor the President have made the most obvious and telling arguments:
(1) all 16 US intelligence agencies concluded in 2007 that Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons, which they reaffirmed in 2011; even the Mossad reported the same finding to Israel in 2012; and,
(2) the sanctions being imposed on Iran, like those imposed on Iraq, violate the Geneva Conventions of 1949, by punishing persons for crimes they did not personally commit: they qualify as war crimes.
Indeed, I have been so troubled by the apparent ignorance of the Senate that I spent several hours at the computer sending the message that our own intel agencies had concluded that Iran was not going after the bomb and that the sanctions we are imposing are a form of collective punishment that, under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, qualify as "collective punishment", adding a link to this interview:
But the situation turns out to be even more incomprehensible, because the Senate is in a uproar over whether the sanctions imposed upon Iran should be strengthened rather than removed, when they were violations of international law from the beginning! The Geneva Conventions of 1949 specify that no one may be punished for a crime that they did not personally commit, which makes the kind of collective punishment we are inflicting upon Iran a war crime! I did not just "make this up": It has been a fundamental principle of international law since 1949--where I have yet to hear any member of the Senate--or commentator in the national media--mention it once! [Click to enlarge the image:]
Israel vs. Iran on nukesI would not have bothered to write to them all were I confident that they know the facts and the law. It's not just that Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and Israel has not; that Iran has allowed inspectors and Israel has not; but we have a report that was quietly released by the Pentagon earlier this year from the Defense Intelligence Agency, which was prepared in 1987 and explained that Israel already had a stockpile of nuclear weapons and, in fact, had the technology available then to produce hydrogen bombs. But the public hears none of this--and I have been dumbfounded that even members of the United States Senate act as though they know nothing of the most basic elements of the matter.
Even more stunning, all 16 US intel agencies converged in the conclusion that Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons in 2007, a conclusion which they reaffirmed in 2011. Even the Mossad reported to the Israeli government their identical conclusion in 2012, only three weeks before Bibi Netanyahu went to the United Nations and--in an act of breathtaking hypocrisy--asserted precisely the opposite. Not only is there is no "existential threat" to Israel, which was predicated upon a false translation of a statement by Iran's past president, but every expert on Middle East policy knows this is simply false:
The Case of Sen. Rand PaulIndeed, as I observed in my earlier study, "The Netanyahu Speech: A 10-Point Deconstruction", Iran has not attacked any other nation since 1775. To appreciate the significance of this historical point, the ratification of the Constitution began in 1787 and George Washington was inaugurated as our first President in 1789! It defended itself from the attack initiated by Iraq upon Iran, of course, but that was an act of self-defense, not a war of aggression. So for longer than the United States of America has existed as a constitutional republic, Iran has not attacked any other nation. Would that the same could be said of us.
President Obama has called upon Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for support, which might well have been expected, since the senator had been a consistent non-interventionist in his foreign policy, which has made him an exception in a crowded field of contenders for the GOP nomination, where, as in the past, they have been vying to out do one another in denouncing the agreement and declaring their opposition. It was therefore immensely disappointing to those of us who have been following his career, which has included preventing the renewal of The PATRIOT ACT (but only to be reincarnated in the virtually equally pernicious FREEDOM ACT), when he came out in opposition to the Iran nuclear proposal.
But Justin Raimondo, writing for antiwar.com, has demonstrated that none of the three reasons Sen. Paul has given for his opposition are good reasons, where he needs to give this issue further consideration:
(1) contrary to Rand's assertion, sanctions relief does not "precede evidence of compliance", as the accord clearly states;
(2) again, Iran is not "left with significant nuclear capacity", having to cut their stockpile by 98%, for example; and,
(3) while the sanctions do lift restrictions on the sale of advanced arms to Iran, no nation would agree to that condition.
Since Iran has not in fact been pursuing nukes and these sanctions violate international law, perhaps Rand will come to his senses, reverse his position, accept a leadership role--and salvage his candidacy.
Bibi, of course, has been rattling the sabers for too long and would like nothing better than to launch an attack on Iran, provided only it were supported by the United States! A new poll in Israel shows more Israelis support the idea than oppose it, which is rather stunning considering that 1,000,000 Iranians would be killed outright and, as the cloud of nuclear contamination swept across Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indian, another 35,000,000 would incur premature deaths. With the Senate in an uproar based upon its own profound ignorance of the historical facts and of international law, perhaps it will contribute to the demise of 36,000,000 and solidify our nation as the greatest terrorist state the world has ever known.