Iran: The Day After
by Phyllis Bennis
The airwaves and the headlines are full of talk of a U.S. military strike against Iran. That is as it should be – the danger of such a reckless move is real, and rising, and we should be talking about it. The Bush administration claims that negotiations are their first choice. But they have gone to war based on lies before, and there is no reason to believe that they are telling the truth this time.
They have put the military – and even, horrifyingly, the nuclear – option at the center of the table. Don’t worry, they say, even if a preventive military strike is needed, we’re only talking about “surgical” attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities – no one, they say, is talking about invasion. It can’t happen, some say. The military brass knows their troops are bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, they appear to be strongly opposed to a strike on Iran.
We know all that. But what if the Bush administration orders it anyway? What if they DO carry out just such a strike, nuclear or otherwise? Then what? What happens the day after?…
Yes, what happens then? In Nepal, the citizens are prepared to give their all for democracy. In France, the youth and their allies don’t give up their demands for a more humane economy. In the U.S., what will we do? Another one-day protest followed by years of hand-wringing?
I know someone who was involved in the anti-Vietnam era activism who said that back then he and all his friends had guns, and they were all agreed that if the U.S. ever dropped a nuclear bomb on Vietnam, they would get in their cars and head for Washington, DC, to try to overthrow the government. They knew their efforts would be defeated, but nuclear war was just too much to stand. Well, I don’t have a gun and have no plans on getting one, but it just makes me wonder. If the U.S. drops a nuke on Iran, that will mean that our government is as sick as Saddam Hussein’s ever was. On the holocaust scale, Bush Co. might not rate a full Nazi/Stalin/Imperial Japan 10, but they’d rate pretty durn high. As a wise man once said, “We will rid the world of the evil-doers.” Charity, my friends, begins at home.