Friday 13 January 2012

Iran has NOT even attempted to build a nuclear weapon -- but does the average person know that based on current news headlines ?!

Today I sent the following as a letter to the editor of the main newspaper here in Canberra, asking that if they choose not to print it (due to it's length) that they seriously consider writing their own editorial to help bring the public's attention around on this issue.   I hope my friends who share these convictions will follow suit in their own contexts, as I fear that we have entered very dangerous territory.  May cool heads prevail!   
Cheers, -Clair

Letter to the Editor - The Canberra Times - 13 January 2012

The top US military official seemed to confirm in a New York Times article Monday that war plans against Iran are indeed moving forward.   [1]   

“When asked on [CBS’s] Face the Nation about the how difficult it would be to take out Iran’s nuclear ability in a military strike, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: ‘Well, I would rather not discuss the degree of difficulty...  But I will say that my responsibility is to encourage the right degree of planning, to understand the risks associated with any kind of military option, in some cases to position assets, to provide those options in a timely fashion. And all those activities are going on.’”

Have the editors at the NYT become so inured to such an admission they don’t think it worth any higher prominence than to be buried in a final paragraph?!

However, near the end of the same story the NYT quotes US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta who makes a striking admission which should be worth a headline: Iran does NOT have a nuclear weapon.  Panetta says: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

American intelligence agencies in at least two US National Intelligence Estimates in 2007 and 2010 – have determined that Iran has not even attempted to develop a nuclear weapon, yet look at the title given to that article within the NYT.  Sadly, the tone of much of our mainstream corporate-controlled media simply reflects the ongoing bellicose attitude of the US Administration in response to similar attitudes exhibited by Iranian leadership and has the general public believing otherwise.  Have we learned nothing from similar mistakes in the run-up to the Iraq War? (Major media organisations later admitted "we should have been more responsible!")

Facts are important: As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the legal right to develop nuclear capability for civilian purposes. This is what Iran has consistently said it is doing and what countless UN inspections of facilities over many years, including the new plant at Qom, have verified.  The enrichment of uranium constitutes “nuclear capability” and is an essential part of harnessing nuclear energy for civilian energy generation and for making medical isotopes.  That Iran has managed to achieve this in spite of years of sanctions imposed by the US its Western allies is remarkable. 

Instead, because of overarching geopolitical interests, the United States and its allies are portraying Iran’s legitimate nuclear capability as a diabolical threat.  Yes - Iran's leadership is difficult to deal with, but whatever happened to the art of strategic diplomacy to defuse conflicts?  Instead we now have escalating tensions, assassinations of scientists, and sabre-rattling standoffs in the Gulf of Hormuz.  I almost feel ashamed to say it, but the country which still claims me as a citizen is virtually confirming diplomatic and moral bankruptcy if it proceeds with these war plans, which could realistically push us all into a World War III scenario on the basis of a spurious claim that even its own top brass do not believe!  

Australians who see the truth for what it is - speak up now before the leaders of your great country allow it to get dragged once again into another needless and costly international conflict.  The minority voice of dissent is far more valued here at this point, so exercise it.  This is not about disturbing the peace -- it's about disturbing the war!

Clair Hochstetler,
Canberra, AUS

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