Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again

by Ralph Nader

The same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul’s inimitable words, “lie their way into invading Iraq” in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran. It is remarkable how many of these war-mongers are former draft dodgers who wanted other Americans to fight the war in Vietnam.

With the exception of Ron Paul, who actually knows the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, the Republican presidential contenders have declared their belligerency toward Iranian officials who they accuse of moving toward nuclear weapons.

The Iranian regime disputes that charge, claiming they are developing the technology for nuclear power and nuclear medicine.

The inspection teams of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) that monitor compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran belongs, have entered Iran numerous times and, while remaining suspicious, have not been able to find that country on the direct road to the Bomb.

While many western and some Arab countries in the Gulf region have condemned Iran’s alleged nuclear arms quest, Israel maintains some 200 ready nuclear weapons and has refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty, thereby avoiding the IAEA inspectors.

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Under Control: the Arms of the Lebanese Resistance

by Brenda Heard

The arms of the Resistance, it has been suggested, should be abandoned as a matter of principle.  ‘From now on’, explains Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, ‘the possession of weapons, decision of war and peace, and defending the country should only be under the state’s control’.  Political principles, it would seem, can be slippery.  ‘From now on’?  Perhaps this disclaimer is meant to ease the turnabout from the Hariri-Ministerial Cabinet Statement issued just over a year ago:

Based on the Cabinet’s responsibility to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty, its independence, unity and the safety of its land, the government underscores Lebanon’s right through its people, army and resistance to liberate or regain authority of Shebaa Farms, Kfarshouba hills and the occupied part of Ghajar village and defend the country against any aggression’.

For the sake of argument, however, let us set aside the dictates of political expediency.  Let us look at the reality of what this stance entails.

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Smoke and Mirrors – On the Hardships of Self-Inquiry

Looking in the mirror is no easy task. Especially when your eyes are smoked by Zionism. Now that impunity is slowly diminishing, Israel finds itself stuck between the Goldstone and a hard place. How does the spoiled brat of the Middle East deal with the fact that years of stealing cookies from the cookie jar have left its face covered in damning chocolate?

Common Sense Solutions to Self-Inquiry

For weeks now, the Goldstone report has gained its rightful place in the Israeli mainstream media- the front page. At first, articles were all about the “one-sidedness” and the “antesemitism” of the report. Now, what we’re seeing is a consistent media push for self-inquiry. Not because we have some ethical ‘splaining to do, mind you, but because Israel’s public image is in jeopardy. Ha’aretz’s diplomatic correspondent (and a fellow at the Israeli Institute For National Security Studies), Aluf Benn- a shining example of this “practical strategic thinking”- finally remembers to ask some tough questions:

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With a Shield or Upon It – Impressions from the Spartan State

With a Shield or Upon It
When Spartan men went to war, their wives (or another women of some significance) would customarily present them with their shield and say: "With this, or upon this", meaning that true Spartans could only return to Sparta either victorious (with their shield in hand) or dead (carried upon it).

Sometimes I toy with he idea of suing my government in international court. If you take a good look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you reach a firm conclusion that, inherently, conscription is in fact illegal (I skip articles 1, 2, 28, 29 and 30, as they are unavoidably violated if any of the others are):

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. [Art. 3]
  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude [Art. 4 – a conscripted soldier earns the equivalent of $0.026 an hour (the army does provide certain services at the time of service, but I’ll leave it to you to refute this as slavery)]
  • No one shall be subjected to… degrading treatment… [Art. 5]
  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement… within the borders of each state.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own… [Art. 13 – a conscripted soldier must be at base at designated times, otherwise considered “absentee”, which is an offense punishable by prison time]

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