Efforts to normalize a completely unnecessary war with Iran are already spreading through corporate media outlets and hawkish members of President Biden’s administration.
Newly appointed Secretary of State Antony Blinken reprised his profitable role as a war-hawk on Feb. 1, claiming Iran is well on its way to successfully constructing a nuclear weapon. According to an article published by the Independent, “Secretary of State Antony Blinken repeated warnings that Iran could be on course to … build a nuclear weapon within months, adding that if Iran continues to lift restraints from the nuclear deal, it could be a ‘matter of weeks’.”
Adding a potent level of shameless hypocrisy to Blinken’s war-mongering, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is quoted saying, “We are going to have to address Iran’s other bad behavior, malign behavior, across the region, but from our perspective, a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon.”
There is nothing more catastrophic than nuclear weaponry, and yes, it would be a world-wide calamity if that technology fell into the wrong hands. However, the United States’ foreign policy has basically set the standard for “bad behavior” through 16 years of Middle Eastern interventionist foreign policy, for which Blinken deserves much of the credit. The irrefutable examples of the U.S.’s bad behavior were shown in Iraq and Afghanistan. One could also make the case that nuclear weapons have already fallen into the wrong hands, as other countries outside of the Non-Proliferation Treaty like North Korea, India and Pakistan have openly tested their nuclear weaponry.
Moreover, since nuclear disarmament has been steadily declining across the world, and Israel is intentionally ambiguous on whether or not it possesses nuclear capability, perhaps the Iranians have a right to arm themselves. After all, Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has hinted at war with Iran for years now. In a Tweet from February 2015, on the prime minister of Israel’s official account, Netanyahu said, “What is important about this meeting and it is not a secret, there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
Wholeheartedly trusting military intelligence, and increasingly propagandistic reporting from corporate media outlets is what fueled the worst of unwinnable and devastatingly costly wars in the Middle East not that long ago. From what the intelligence and news reporting suggests, not only should Iran already have these nuclear weapons, but the supposed “nuclear crisis,” as Sullivan puts it, probably should have already happened.
On Nov. 18, 2004, MSNBC published a report with the following headline: “Powell says Iran pursuing nuclear bomb.” The report said, “The United States has intelligence that Iran is working to adapt missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon, further evidence that the Islamic republic is determined to acquire a nuclear bomb, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday.”
As another testament to media normalization efforts, Reuters published an editor’s pick story in September 2012 with the terrifying headline “Iran on brink of nuclear bomb in 6-7 months: Netanyahu.” A year later, The Times of Israel published a story in October 2013 with the headline, “New report says Iran can have a nuclear bomb in a month,” and reported a “Study by Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security claims new and advanced centrifuges have reduced possible ‘breakout’ time frame.”
Before working as the Biden administration’s secretary of state, Blinken served as Biden’s chief policy advisor in 2002, the year Biden voted in favor of military force in Iraq as a Delaware senator. Blinken also worked as the assistant secretary of state in 2015 and was openly in favor of the Obama administration’s failed efforts in Libya as well as intelligence sharing and expedited shipping of weapons to Saudi Arabia which supported the war in Yemen. Needless to say, what followed in Yemen was nothing short of disastrous.
In 2003, the Bush administration propelled the U.S. into a war that was not only unwinnable but was only made justifiable by reliable military intelligence, which found that Iraq was in possession of WMDs. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s public display of confidence in the intelligence’s findings was not enough to mask the truth, despite it working effectively in front of the U.N. The intelligence has since been called into serious questioning as has the entire war. Even support for the wars among veterans fell drastically in 2018. Data from the Pew Research Center showed 64% thought the war in Iraq was not worth fighting for. Pew Research Center conducted a separate poll earlier that year showing 62% of all Americans thought the war in Iraq was not worth fighting for.
Regardless, people like Blinken are a relic from a drastically interventionalist period in modern U.S. history. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently stated “I think he’s (Joe Biden) been wrong in nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Biden and Blinken are toying with the public, teasing possible military force at a historic time of sickness, death and division. This is not unity.