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Letters to the Editor
 

No war with Iran


Mary Francis July 25th, 2012

Hawks in the U.S. and Israel believe military action against Iran is justified because Iran enriches uranium for its nuclear power plants and medical uses. This enrichment activity is entirely legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT. Nevertheless, hawks characterize this as a “nuclear weapons capability” and insist that it must cease, or be stopped by force.

The U.S. and the world cannot afford another war.

The House and Senate may already have passed a resolution (H. Res. 568, S.

Res. 380) expressing the sense of Congress that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapons capability, “containment” options are insufficient. Containment includes diplomacy, sanctions, deterrence and inspections short of war. Since some hawks in Israel and Washington, D.C., regard Iran’s enrichment facilities as already “nuclear weapons capable,” this resolution ratchets up the drift toward war.

Iran has no nuclear weapons and no program to develop them, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the International Atomic Energy Agency. These same experts agree it would take Iran more than a year to produce a nuclear weapon.

Ongoing inspections of Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities by the IAEA confirm that Iran is enriching uranium only to the levels permitted by the NPT for electrical power generation and medical purposes.

Most of America’s senior military personnel, including 11 retired military generals and admirals, and two former Secretaries of Defense, have made it clear that a war against Iran is a terrible idea. In March, on CBS’s 60 Minutes, the head of Israel’s intelligence division said that “military action against Iran would be catastrophic, possibly sparking a regional war involving the U.S. and Russia.” He also called it “the stupidest idea” he had ever heard.

Bellicose language about danger from Iran is reminiscent of claims about weapons of mass destruction made by politicians and hawks and uncritically reported in the media prior to the 2003 war against Iraq. We all remember then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s solemn warnings to the U.N. Security Council about mobile chemical labs in Iraq, only to learn later that these claims — and so many others — were based on false testimony from unreliable sources.

The media is once again reporting claims of a danger to the world (Iran) without balanced reporting of voices against war. This is a dangerous powder keg that can lead to a war everyone would regret. Attacking Iran could cause gas prices to skyrocket, sacrifice more American lives, and embroil the nation in another Middle East quagmire. War would also add billions more to our national debt and plunge our economy back into recession.

We must all tell elected officials: Not another war! America needs to come home and defend America!

—Mary Francis, Norman


 
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