Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trash talking us into war

I think most reasonable people, at least in hindsight, would agree that one of the things the Liberals' got right under Chretien and Martin was keeping Canada out of the gigantic deadly goat rodeo known as the Iraq War.
Remember how in the months that lead up to the invasion we were told again and again that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, that there was no question he was working on 'nookyalur' weapons, that Saddam Hussein was seen french kissing Osama Bin Laden under the bleachers during the homecoming game. This was all given as gospel truth by the White House, Pentagon, CIA and about 90% of the Western Media.
And yet, hundreds of billions of dollars and a million or so deaths later, we know it was all bullshit. They were wrong or lying or both.
Iraq was about as close to having nukes or a means to deliver them as say, Guatemala is and was about as much a military threat to its neighbours at that point as Belgium is to France, Germany and Britain.
Outside of a very few conservative true believers and George W. Bush's inner circle, no one, least of all the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, think the invasion of Iraq worked out well.
Remember too, that Stephen Harper very much wanted Canada to take part in the Iraq War.
Now that Harper has his majority, he cannot and will not be denied his opportunity to show the world that Canada is a major player on the world stage just as capable of killing lots of non-Western Nogoodniks and Nogoodnik women and terrorist children as any other NATO member and not just some namby-pambly peacekeeper. Truly, lives could be saved if someone would just give the man a ruler, tell him the centimetres are really inches and send him off to measure his little Cheney.
Even though the current U.S. president is likely to be reelected without having start a war with Iran, Harper, ever hopeful of a victory for his Republican fellow travellers, is already laying the groundwork to take Canada into the next war of choice.

  “I’ve raised the alarm as much as I can, but obviously I don’t advocate particular actions publicly. I work with our allies to see if we get consensus on actions,” he said.
Mr. Harper said he has no doubt that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. “There is absolutely no doubt they are lying,” Mr. Harper said, referring to statements by Iran that the nuclear program is for peaceful uses.
“The evidence is just growing overwhelming. This is not, as was the case of Iraq, merely the opinion of allies,” he said.
The development of nuclear weapons as one of the purposes of Iran’s nuclear program “is just beyond dispute at this point,” he said. “The only dispute is how far advanced it is and how far off it will be until they actually develop those weapons and develop the capability of delivering the weapons.” 
Given that Israeli and U.S. conservative hawks have been warnings Iran is just x-number of years/months/weeks/days/hours away from "getting the bomb" roughly every two weeks since the Shah was chased out of Tehran, I tend to take such certainty with a bushel or two of salt.
Given the number of sabres being rattled at it, Iran would be wise to follow North Korea's example and actually get hold of some nukes. Saddam Hussein didn't and look what happened to him.
Mind you, it isn't just that Harper want to get his war on for its own sake, he also thinks he sees a way to turn a dollar or three for his oil-patch pals:

Also during the interview, Mr. Harper linked the debate over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas with concern over Iran’s threat to blockade the main shipping route for oil in the Middle East. “It’s pretty obvious what the right decision is … not just from an economic and environmental standpoint, but from an energy security standpoint,” Mr. Harper said. “When you look at the Iranians threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, I think that just illustrates how critical it is that supply for the United States be North American,” Mr. Harper said.
The winning quote from the interview though, by far was this bit of classic right wing projection. The same comment could have come from any leader in the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, South America or Africa in discussing the United States and conservative Canada.
“In my judgment, these are people who have a particular, you know, fanatically religious worldview, and their statements imply to me no hesitation of using nuclear weapons if they see them achieving their religious or political purposes,” 

Crossposted from The Woodshed


double nickel said...

Remind me again which country is the only one to use nuclear weapons against another country?'s not a middle east country.

Dave said...

“When you look at the Iranians threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, I think that just illustrates how critical it is that supply for the United States be North American,” Mr. Harper said.

No. What it illustrates is that Harper believes that everyone is so stupid that they will believe his hyperbolic fear mongering.

The Iranians are well aware that any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz would be a strategic, economic and tactical blunder on their part.

Rev.Paperboy said...

Double Nickel,
Not once, but twice and if the granddaddy of the current conservative movement, Barry Goldwater, had been elected they likely would have used it on Hanoi, too. In your heart, you know they're nuts.

the Iranians are about as likely to close the Strait of Hormuz as the Egyptians are to try to close Suez again. But the only way that Harper knows how to get what he wants is to scare people. It is the classic neofascist tactics - Rant and rave about the dire peril the country faces until you get everyone scared shitless and then rescue them from the threat you've ginned up with some policy you could never have sold otherwise.