Dear Friend of Radio Liberty,
“The strength of the State we'll lavish on more, Than making of wealth and making of war; We are learning at last, though the lesson comes late, That the making of man is the task of the State.”
Christian Century, April 26, 1917
“[A] true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified ... with this need of raising the State to its rightful position.” –Mario Palmieri, advisor to Benito Mussolini, in The Philosophy of Fascism (1936)
“Every man's life is at the call of the nation and so must be every man's property. We are living today in a highly organized state of socialism. The state is all; the individual is of importance only as he contributes to the welfare of the state. His property is his only as the state does not need it. He must hold his life and possessions at the call of the state.” – Bernard Baruch, Chairman of Woodrow Wilson’s War Industries Board, August 7, 1918
“The true means of setting the realm at rest is by keeping up a foreign war, towards which one can direct, like water in a gutter, all the turbulent humors of the kingdom.” Duke of Sully, chief minister of France, to King Henry V; cited in Bruce D. Porter, War and the Rise of the State (1)
Rev. Clarence Waldron of the First Baptist Church in Windsor, Vermont, was vaguely Pentecostal in his worship style, but solidly conservative in terms of his theology and moral views. He was also resolutely opposed to American involvement in World War I. Waldron’s devotion to the Bible and the Constitution as sources of moral and political authority put him in conflict with those who believed that the State is a divine institution, and that war serves a sacramental function.
In October 1917, the unutterably vile Woodrow Wilson, acting as Pontifex Maximus of the American Civil Religion, urged churches across the nation to decorate their sanctuaries in Red, White and Blue on the twenty-first and lead their congregations in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then a collection was to be taken up as part of “Liberty Loan Sunday," with the proceeds to be sent as war tribute to Washington.
Like the saints of the Early Church who refused to offer a pinch of incense on Caesar’s altar, Waldron rejected that blasphemous demand. When the twenty-first arrived, he preached a gospel message in a chapel blessedly bereft of jingoistic adornments. As Vermont historian Mark Bushnell recalls, after the service a mob descended on Waldron in front of the church and forced the pastor to wrap himself in the flag and sing the National Anthem.
Shortly thereafter, Waldron was removed as pastor, in large measure because of suspicions about his "loyalty" - not his loyalty to Christ, or his fidelity to Christian precepts, mind you, but his loyalty to the "god" revered by adherents of the Hegelian heresy called the “Social Gospel” – an idol called the State.
In December 1917, Waldron was indicted by a federal grand jury for violating the Espionage Act. Passed the previous June, that measure imposed prison terms of up to 20 years for any act or statement perceived as willfully obstructing "the recruiting or enlistment service of the U.S."
The specification against Waldron was that "he had once been heard to say 'to hell with patriotism.'" To his undying credit, Waldron admitted on the stand that he had said those words - in condemnation of the cultish Gott mitt uns nationalism promoted by Kaiser Wilhelm's regime in Germany.
"If this is patriotism," a disgusted Waldron had told his acquaintances, "to hell with patriotism."
Apparently, it was a crime and a sin in Wilson's America to impugn nationalism of any variety.
Waldron was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, eventually serving a little more than a year. Of the roughly 1,000 Americans convicted under the World War I Espionage and Sedition Acts, Waldron was the first to be imprisoned exclusively for his religious beliefs. He was hardly the only Christian patriot to suffer for his principles.
The roster of martyrs includes John Witmer, a Mennonite from the tiny town of Colombiana, Pennsylvania. Like thousands of others who shared his faith, John had been kidnapped at gunpoint from his family farm by the World War I-era draft. The local draft board had turned down John's appeal for Conscientious Objector status, telling him that once he had enlisted he could seek recognition as a CO and receive a non-combat assignment.
Like nearly everything else originating from any government entity, the draft board's assurance was a lie, of course.
John's refusal to undergo military training forbidden by his religious convictions marked him as a “slacker” in the eyes of the command staff at Camp Sherman, a large training base outside of Columbus, Ohio. The reaction on the part of fellow inductees was immediate and violent, beginning on the train trip to Columbus: When John and a Mennonite friend named Harvey Blosser said grace over their meal, they were immediately singled out as “preacher boys” and treated to a fusillade of profane abuse.
The hostility escalated to physical assaults and even murder attempts before John and Harvey were reassigned to a CO Camp, which was essentially a prison, given that the same facility was used to house German prisoners of war. The weather grew colder and influenza began to incubate in Camp Sherman, but John was denied requests for adequate bedding and even dry clothes. Predictably, the young man contracted the Spanish Flu – which had been imported to the U.S. because of our foolish involvement in World War I – and died.
Those gathered to receive John’s mortal remains on October 10, 1918 included his father Dan, his siblings, and his would-be fiancee, Nola, all of whom were members of a local Mennonite congregation.
John's body was returned in a flag-shrouded coffin – a gesture considered an honor by most Americans, but an affront to his family's religious sensibilities, which didn't permit them to offer acts of allegiance to anyone or anything but God. In a sense, wrapping John's body in the U.S. flag was one final proprietary gesture by the government that had stolen the young man from the family who loved him, the community that had raised him, and the young girl who wanted to be his wife.
A crowd had gathered at the train station to witness the arrival of John Witmer's body, and the reaction of his Mennonite family. Most of the spectators knew that the Mennonites didn't support the war, and their principled pacifism and insularity had provoked both curiosity and suspicion. The Witmers enjoyed what could be called probationary sympathy from the crowd.
As John's family was about to learn, few things are likelier to provoke sanctimonious violence from war-maddened Americans than a conspicuous lack of enthusiasm for killing foreigners whom the State has designated the “enemy.”
Dan Witmer sadly approached the coffin bearing his son's body and carefully removed the flag. Given his ignorance of proper flag etiquette, it's not surprising that Dan folded the banner as he would a blanket.
This act of perceived, but not intended, sacrilege was too much for the crowd to endure.
“The mood of the onlookers turned from one of sympathy to hostility,” recounts Lily A. Bear in her book Report for Duty.
“Mennonites!” hissed one disgusted onlooker.
“Got what he deserved!” declared another of Dan's dead son.
“Traitor!” bellowed another outraged pseudo-patriot.
Someone hurled a stone that hit John's younger brother in the shoulder. A second stone, missing its target, landed at the feet of the mourning father. John's young sister Mary, puzzled and hurt by this display of murderous hatred, began to cry. After making arrangements for his son's funeral, Dan took his family home.
When the Duke of Sully described war as a means of “setting the realm at rest” and disposing of “turbulent humors,” he wasn’t talking about encouraging domestic tranquility, or abating the prejudices that can lead to criminal violence. He was talking about catalyzing the worst impulses of the human soul and mobilizing them in the service of the State.
Those who presume to rule us regard us to be, at best, useful raw material to be used as they see fit – and, at worst, as human sewage, fit only for the gutter. This is why war is so useful to them: It expands and fortifies their power, while providing a rationale for the suppression of “turbulent humors” in the body politic – or for purging them violently, should this be deemed necessary.
Rulers of all varieties have always appreciated the utility of war as an instrument of power. Since the late 19th Century – beginning with the Spanish-American War of 1898, and continuing with the effort to back Iran into a war today - the partially submerged Power Elite controlling the U.S. Government has diligently cultivated foreign conflict as its chief political cash crop. It has proven to be both immensely lucrative and a highly effective means of social control. So it shouldn’t surprise us at all to see how the War Party – a very prominent element of the permanent elite – has treated the Ron Paul presidential campaign and the larger movement supporting it.
No presidential candidate in history has been as forthright in condemning the Military-Industrial Complex, the Federal Reserve System, and the entire apparatus of imperial power projection and domestic regimentation. This is why liars and lickspittles of every variety have spared no effort to denigrate this placid and respectful septuagenarian as a domestic terrorist – or worse.
Dorothy Rabbinowitz of the Wall Street Journal traduced Dr. Paul by describing him as “the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world.” That libel was flung in his face when the candidate had the temerity to note – correctly – that at least some of Iran’s long-standing grievances against the U.S. government have merit. (2) In a subsequent Fox News panel discussion, Rabbinowitz – her features contorted into an unpleasant amalgam of disgusted scowl and arrogant smirk, violated “Godwin’s Law”(3) by obliquely comparing Dr. Paul to Hitler and Mussolini. (4)
Michael Tomasky, whose puerile screeds pollute the Newsweek-affiliated bandwidth of The Daily Beast, distinguished himself in the annals of hypocrisy in a December 14 essay. Just a few sentences after denouncing Dr. Paul for the latter’s principled refusal to support hate-crime laws, Tomasky – who committed what people of his ilk would usually denounce as “ageism” by referring to Dr. Paul as a “Batty Old Reactionary” – frankly dehumanized the candidate: “I long for the day I no longer have to think about this pestilential little locust. In the meantime, I do kind of hope he wins Iowa, so that he can spread some of that pestilence around the GOP.” (5)
Tomasky, whose capacious ignorance encompasses everything but his inherited political prejudices, is probably unaware that the rhetorical trick of describing political opponents as vermin has a long and bloody pedigree – not merely in Soviet and Nazi propaganda films, but more recently in Rwanda under the “Hutu Power” regime, in which paid propagandists for the ruling party denounced Tutsis as “cockroaches” and urged their followers to put them to the blade. (6) Tomasky, of course, is the kind of uber-sanctimonious left-wing scold who insists that Ron Paul must be considered a loathsome bigot on the basis of a handful of salty but innocuous lines culled from decades-old newsletters – and then has no compunctions against trafficking in extermination-flavored rhetoric intended to depict the candidate as part of a human infestation.
In a gesture of bipartisan solidarity among Establishment hacks, The Daily Beast also provided a forum for Republican-aligned radio host Michael Medved to assail Paul and his supporters. In the course of claiming that Dr. Paul’s political ascent injures the GOP’s chances against President Obama in November 2012, Medved casually labeled the candidate’s supporters as “Paulestinians.” For warmed-over Trotskyites of Medved’s stripe, that epithet, an insipid play on “Palestinians,” is meant to connote that those to whom it is attached are a terrorist rabble. (7)
If Paul’s supporters are a “rabble,” they’re unique among such movements in history, one that comprehensively rejects violence, unambiguously exalts the primacy of individual liberty and property rights, and explicitly repudiates the idea of conquest, either foreign or domestic. Yet it is treated as a threat – the manifestation of “a very sinister side of the U.S. electorate,” as one commentator said several years ago, or people whose views denote them as unsuitable for the company of “every decent American,” as GOP contender Newt Gingrich said on CNN. (8)
This is in keeping with a longstanding tradition. One consistent theme in American war propaganda is that the American public is simply too dangerous to be permitted to manage its own affairs, and must therefore be regimented in the name of some great collective undertaking – either a war or the “moral equivalent” thereof.
The tiresome “moral equivalent of war” trope has been used with reference to every conceivable national campaign – from the “War on Poverty” to the “War on Drugs,” with a brief and entirely pointless “War on Inflation” during the mini-presidency of Gerald Ford - whose administration produced “Whip Inflation Now!” buttons and went so far as to ask Meredith Willson, creator of “The Music Man,” to compose a WIN march. (9)
The concept of a “moral equivalent” of war – comprehensive social regimentation in the service of a centrally defined objective, without the mass slaughter, disease, and violent property destruction - was inflicted on the world by social philosopher and psychologist William James. In his 1910 essay of the same name, James – who described himself as a pacifist - sought to extract "the higher aspects of military sentiment" from the "bestial side of the war-regime." Like many social engineers who write with extended pinky fingers, James found that there was something about the regimentation and pageantry of militarism that stirred his loins. He mused that there must be some way to preserve the collectivist advantages of war, without all of that icky bloodshed.
Why not have "a conscription of the whole youthful [male] population to form for a certain number of years a part of the army enlisted against Nature," James suggested, using the term to describe both the physical challenges of a country that was still part wilderness, and those elements of youthful human nature James found disagreeable.
"To coal and iron mines, to freight trains, to fishing fleets in December, to dish-washing, clothes-washing, and window-washing, to road-building and tunnel-making, to foundries and stoke-holes, and to the frames of skyscrapers, would our gilded youths be drafted off, according to their choice, to get the childishness knocked out of them, and to come back into society with healthier sympathies and soberer ideas," wrote James. "They would have paid their blood-tax.... Such a conscription, with the state of public opinion that would have required it, and the many moral fruits it would bear, would preserve in the midst of a pacific civilization the manly virtues which the military party is so afraid of seeing disappear in peace."
As the leading voice for the newly minted school of philosophy called “pragmatism,” James had influence far beyond the U.S. His template for social regimentation was eagerly embraced by a Marxist agitator and sometime-schoolteacher from Italy who broke with the international Socialist movement by supporting his national government in World War I – and then seized control of that government a few years after the war following a dramatic march on Rome. Benito Mussolini used James’ “moral equivalent of war” refrain in support of several campaigns to regiment various parts of the ailing Italian economy – thereby inspiring FDR, who came to power in 1933, to describe his New Deal as the “moral equivalent” of a war on the economic crisis.
For the ruling elite, few things are more horrible to contemplate than the idea of an American population left unmolested to pursue its own happiness in peace, free from the paternalistic supervision of their supposed betters in the political class. This is one reason why our self-appointed rulers consider it their duty to do everything possible to prevent peace from breaking out. But let’s not discount or understate the role played by simple hatred – something very memorably expressed in Philip Roth's 2004 “alternate history” novel The Plot Against America.
For reasons that defy anyone burdened with so much as a particle of good taste, Roth is a wildly successful and well-respected novelist. The Plot Against America represents a perverse accomplishment for Roth, which is the only kind of accomplishment of which he is capable: It is so bad that it eclipses Portnoy's Complaint (which is largely an extended meditation on self-abuse) as the worst offering in Roth's oeuvre.
In The Plot Against America, Roth posits a triumphant America First movement carrying the heroic Charles Lindbergh to the Presidency in 1940, with Montana Senator Burton Wheeler as his Vice President. Lindbergh succeeds in keeping the U.S. out of World War II, thereby depriving the government of a productive outlet for the murderous impulses that Roth and his ilk just know lurk in the bosom of common Americans.
Because the dark and forbidding land West of Manhattan is thickly populated with bigoted barbarians, Lindbergh has no difficulty making the U.S. a satellite of Nazi Germany, and a benign-sounding, but unmistakably sinister federal program called “Just Folks” is set up to bring about the forcible assimilation of American Jews. The Klan and related groups are turned loose to terrorize Jews and other minorities, and prominent Jewish Americans begin to disappear quietly. The persecution intensifies even further when President Lindbergh disappears (it turns out the Nazis had kidnapped Lindbergh's infant son, using him as blackmail leverage), leaving Wheeler to ascend to the presidency.
Eventually, Lindbergh's wife sides with a group seeking to hold a special presidential election in 1942. FDR is reinstated, and reason – as Roth would see it – is restored to her throne. The Japanese do their part, tardily attacking Pearl Harbor and dragging America into the war that domesticates Middle America by placing it decisively under government's yoke while killing or maiming just enough of its sons to keep that stratum's anti-social tendencies from coalescing into something awful.
One of Roth's characters gives voice to the author's authentically hateful contempt for Middle America in a description of a typical Kentucky farmer. This unassuming figure was depicted as a vulgar specimen of the “Anglo-Saxon Protestants who ran America and would always run it ... [the kind of man who is] able to make a living right out of the earth ... eat only food that he himself has raised.”
Unless reduced to abject dependence on government, or used as the raw material for the State's mission of redemptive violence through warfare, people of that sort are dangerous, at least from the perspective of people like Roth. This is why, from time to time as our rulers see fit, they must arrange a war and use it to bleed out all of the “turbulent humors” of the union.
And there's more than a hint of that attitude in the views and policy positions espoused by the leading neo-cons, people produced in the same intellectual spawning grounds as Roth (who, although thoroughly wretched, is decidedly not a neo-con himself; that movement, after all, hasn't cornered the market on wretchedness).
Like the neo-cons and other statist bien-pensants of various hues, Roth expresses nothing but contempt for “isolationists” – meaning those Americans determined to stay out of foreign quarrels that are none of our business. Yet Roth’s is a genuinely isolationist perspective – the bigoted insularity of a certain variety of Manhattan intellectual who views “Flyover America” with a mixture of fear and contempt. And his treatment of pre-WWII Middle America as a population primed to carry out pogroms unless they were shackled to the machinery of foreign war probably prefigures the unfolding smear campaign against the Ron Paul campaign.
We are told that if Americans embrace “Liberty, prosperity, and peace,” we will be shirking our “historic responsibilities” to pacify and democratize the world – disarming “rogue” regimes through pre-emptive wars, micro-managing the affairs of practically every other nation – even nuclear-armed powers such as Russia – and bailing out foreign banks and the corporatist entities attached to them.
Paul and his supporters have been reviled as “appeasers,” “defeatists,” and even “fifth columnists” in the service of the global Jihad. All manner of invidious racial and religious motives have been imputed to the movement, despite the fact that Ron Paul's campaign is a net drawing of every kind. This is why, during a week that witnessed the death of North Korea’s mass-murdering dictator – who was officially mourned by the UN, which displayed its flags at half-mast (10) - and open discussion of the impending war with Iran, brandishing a handful of inconsequential quotes from ancient newsletters, tried to pretend that Ron Paul is a covert racist who secretly pines for a “race war” in the United States.
The coordinated assault on Dr. Paul rehashed a smear that was first deployed in a 1996 congressional campaign, was revived in 2007 by a militant homosexual neo-con named Jaime Kirchick, and was revisited by Fox “News” media personality Sean Hannity, whose unabashed whorishness would bring down the moral tone of a Bangkok brothel. For several days following Dr. Paul’s emergence as front-runner in the Iowa caucus polls, Hannity tirelessly flogged the supposedly scandalous Ron Paul newsletters on his radio program and TV show.
From there this reheated pseudo-scandal – a casserole of stale, leftover smears from the 2008 campaign – was taken up by the entire corporate media establishment, from the neo-Trotskyite Weekly Standard and the CIA-controlled National Review and CNN. Huge amounts of bandwidth, broadcast time, and column inches have been devoted to affected outrage over the idea that Ron Paul once permitted “insensitive” things to be published in a newsletter bearing his name. Newt Gingrich - who was paid a sultan’s ransom to advise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – pretended that there was something scandalous about Ron Paul, as a private citizen, selling an investment newsletter to willing subscribers.
In apportioning moral outrage, the collectivist left employs a sliding scale. The late Ted Kennedy killed an innocent girl through depraved indifference and lived a life of impenitent debauchery, and yet was hailed as a moral titan because of his devotion to official plunder and regimentation. The same devotion to the holy cause of State-sanctified theft purchased Robert Byrd a plenary indulgence for his membership in the Ku Klux Klan as a young adult – a background he shared with more than a few Democratic Party luminaries.
President Obama is presently slaughtering innocent “people of color” in at least three countries. His administration continues to imprison young black and Hispanic men for drug “offenses.” This is done by way of a “Justice” system riddled with racial profiling and sentencing guidelines that result in wildly disproportionate sentences for black offenders – a system that has been denounced, in detail, by Dr. Paul, who has called for an end to the insane and terminally corrupt exercise called the “War on Drugs.”
Nelson Linder, president of the Austin, Texas chapter of the NAACP, has known Dr. Paul for decades. Speaking for himself on the basis of that long and close association, Linder emphatically denies that the mild and avuncular Congressman is a racist or bigot of any kind, and commends him for his repeated denunciation of police repression of black people.
Linder points out that Dr. Paul has made powerful enemies by his public opposition to the Federal Reserve System and its allied War Lobby. In a development that has certainly alarmed the Power Elite, the message of national independence and constitutional fidelity has found an audience among those who are among the first to suffer when the Regime embarks on an imperial crusade – the military rank-and-file. “As of the last reporting date, at the end of September, Paul leads all candidates by far in donations from service members,” observed Tim Egan of the New York Times. “This trend has been in place since 2008, when Paul ran for president with a similar stance: calling nonsense at hawk squawk from both parties. This year, Paul has 10 times the individual donations - totaling $113,739 - from the military as does Mitt Romney. And he has a hundred times more than Newt Gingrich, who sat out the Vietnam War with college deferments and now promises he would strike foes at the slightest provocation.
Bellicose blatherskites like Gingrich and Romney are indecently eager to propagate war and bloodshed. However, those “who actually fought in Iraq know better,” Egan observes. “They can tell a phony warrior from a real one. And in Ron Paul, the veteran who served as a flight surgeon for the Air Force, the man some call crazy, they hear a voice of sanity - at least in the realm of war and peace.”(11)
For decades, as a private citizen, activist, and elected representative, Ron Paul has espoused and lived by a philosophy of individual liberty protected by law. No public figure in recent memory has more consistently preached and practiced the non-aggression axiom – more properly called the Golden Rule – than Dr. Paul. In political terms, this means the categorical rejection of aggressive violence, including state-licensed coercion.
His fidelity to principle has entailed a considerable degree of personal sacrifice: As a private obstetrician, long before he was dragged reluctantly into politics, Paul refused to accept government subsidies through Medicare or Medicaid. (12) He also refused to have anything to do with abortion – thereby displaying the same unqualified respect for the sanctity of human life that led him to become an outspoken opponent of war, and a proponent of abolishing the death penalty.
During the past two decades, those deemed to be “respectable” have supported more than a half-dozen foreign wars – two in Iraq, as well as one in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Libya, in addition to low-grade but bloody proxy conflicts in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Columbia, and Mexico – that have slaughtered millions of people. In 1996, at roughly the same time that Ron Paul’s supposedly intolerable newsletters were in circulation, Madeleine Albright, the Clinton administration’s UN representative, blithely said on 60 Minutes that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children through starvation and disease as a result of a U.S.-imposed embargo was “worth it.” Those words resonated in the Muslim world – and their deadly echoes were heard on the morning of 9-11.
Ron Paul, a guileless and principled man, has seen his reputation come under pitiless assault because he has adamantly refused to endorse genocide in Iraq, or aggressive war anywhere. According to the canons of collectivist piety, bombs and drones may break our bones, but only politically incorrect words can hurt us.
We genuinely live in trans-Orwellian times: Ron Paul, who urges free trade, open diplomacy, and a foreign policy based on “mutually assured respect” is described as “too dangerous” to be president; his GOP rivals, who seek to out-bid each other in bellicosity, are treated as “moderate,” “reasonable,” and “responsible” prospects. Never before in American history have presidential candidates sought to win public support by promising war. Indeed, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon, and George W. Bush, all of whom were surrounded by advisers plotting wars, made a point of depicting themselves as peacemakers.
One clear indication that war is in our immediate future comes in the form of a directive issued by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the self-appointed arbiter of the foreign policy “consensus.”
“The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States,” declared the January/February issue of the CFR’s flagship journal Foreign Affairs in a piece bearing the unambiguous title “Time to Attack Iran.”
While acknowledging concerns that a military strike on nuclear sites “would likely fail and, even if it succeeded, would spark a full-fledged war and a global economic crisis,” the CFR article insists that a bombing raid can be carried out with surgical precision and lightning efficiency, decapitating a potential nuclear threat with few significant after-effects.
To bolster the case for what would be an aggressive war against Iran, the CFR article alludes to the supposed Iranian conspiracy to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington — a singularly implausible (and widely discredited) plot that bears an uncanny resemblance to dozens of false-flag operations staged by the FBI since 2002. Not mentioned in the CFR’s essay is the recent “judgment by default” rendered by U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels purporting to find the Iranian government responsible for the 9-11 attacks. It’s important to recognize that this ruling didn’t prove any of the claims made by the plaintiffs, who are survivors and relatives of people murdered in the attacks; it found in favor of the plaintiffs because none of the people or organizations listed as defendants responded to the lawsuit.
In practical terms, this ruling is about as authoritative as a similar unilateral ruling by an Iranian court holding U.S. government agencies and individual officials liable for alleged abuses inflicted on Iranian citizens. For those who lust for war with Iran, Judge Daniels’ decree (which was not the first “default judgment” of its kind wheedled out of a compliant judge) will serve as a potent propaganda device - a supposedly tangible link between the war effort and the defining trauma of recent U.S. history. This would revive the twin themes used by the Bush administration in its 2002 campaign for war with Iraq: The supposed need to preempt development of weapons of mass destruction, and the mission to avenge the victims of 9-11.
With the CFR openly demanding war on Iran, Washington and Tel Aviv debating “red lines” and “triggers” that could justify bombing raids, and every Republican presidential contender except Ron Paul endorsing an attack, the Iranian military is warning that it could shut down the Strait of Hormuz, thereby choking off much of the world’s commercial oil supply. Given that Iran is surrounded by U.S. military outposts and dealing with overt threats of aggression, those warnings are probably intended as a form of deterrence — yet they are being depicted by Washington as an act of aggression. Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet, reacted to the warning from Iran by declaring that any move to close down the Straits “will not be tolerated” and that the U.S. is “always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation” — including, one supposes, malevolent actions undertaken in response to Washington’s aggressive behavior in the region.
One measure of Dr. Paul’s supposed unsuitability to be president is his contention that Iran’s government, while loathsome, can be contained through conventional diplomacy. This is seen as something akin to mortal heresy by the War Lobby, which insists that Iran – like, well, every other country in which it takes a malign interest – is a singular and unprecedented threat. However, according to the Pentagon the Iranian military is not configured for apocalyptic warfare against the United States, Israel, or any other country:
“To ensure regime survival, Iran’s security strategy is based first on deterring an attack…. At present Iran’s forces are sufficient to deter or defend against conventional threats from Iran’s weaker neighbors such as post-war Iraq, the GCC, Azerbaijan or Afghanistan but lack the air power and logistical ability to power much beyond Iran’s borders or to confront regional powers such as Turkey or Israel.” (13) (Emphasis added.)
“Stated simply Iran wants to obtain the necessary weapons to defend itself in a bad neighborhood where it finds itself surrounded by a global superpowers,” summarizes Shaun Booth of the political and economic affairs blog Milwaukee Story. “The hyping of the potential nuclear program in Iran is Washington’s attempt to establish a pretext that would garner public support for a strike/destabilization campaign on Iran. The obvious goal would be regime change. So the real reason the Pentagon sees a nuclear program in Iran as a threat is not because it would be used as a first strike weapon against Israel, but because it would make it more difficult for the U.S. and its allies to take out the regime in Tehran.”
Oddly enough, this perspective is shared by some of the most impassioned supporters of war with Iran, who are worried that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime might prove to be both reasonable and impossible for Washington to push around.
The American Enterprise Institute is one of the most prominent of the Washington-based think-tanks promoting preemptive war against Iran. Danielle Pletka, who heads the group’s foreign policy section, is an unabashed war hawk regarding Iran.
In a recent address, Ms. Pletka offered a revealing assessment of the real dangers posed by a nuclear Iran: “The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it; it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it.” This would result in Iran being perceived as a “reasonable power,” rather than a rogue regime.
Thomas Donnelly, Pletka’s comrade at AEI, insists that war with Iran is necessary not to prevent nuclear genocide, but in order to preserve “the balance of power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East.”
For years, the American public has been barraged with apocalyptic predictions that a nuclear-armed Iran would launch a genocidal attack on Israel. The AEI, which is one of the most hawkish neo-con think-tanks in Washington, appears to believe that if Iran is seeking a nuclear arsenal, it’s doing so for the purposes of deterrence, not aggression.
It should be noted as well that the current Iranian regime is not the first to pursue nuclear power — or a nuclear weapons capacity.
During the administration of Gerald Ford, the U.S. government supported Iran’s nuclear program. At the time, Iran was ruled by Shah Reza Pahlavi, a brutal militarist dictator whose regime was propped up by a spectacularly vicious secret police agency, and who maintained a military configured for regional adventurism. Despite concerns over nuclear proliferation, the Ford administration encouraged the Shah’s effort to develop nuclear energy as a hedge against declining oil production.(14)
Today, the Islamic theocracy ruling the country insists that its nuclear program is a continuation of the Shah’s efforts – which were, once again, supported by Washington – to diversify its energy industry.
Where the Shah openly admitted in 1974 that his government was seeking to build nuclear weapons, the current regime insists that it has no intention of doing so. Yet Washington, which provided the Shah with a huge military establishment and supported his efforts to develop nuclear power, treats Iran’s current effort to develop nuclear power as a cause for war.
During the past sixty years, the U.S. has targeted Iran for a coup, propped up a vicious dictator, encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade that country, and threatened it with pre-emptive war. Given that none of this has worked, restoring diplomatic relations with Iran would hardly constitute appeasement.
Never forget that any time the people ruling us are promoting foreign war, the real enemy they are targeting is the American public. It is appropriate to cite, once again, the wise and prescient words of James Madison:
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.” (15) (Emphasis added.)
What was once called the “republic,” and then the “Homeland,” has now been designated a “battlefield” under the supervision of the U.S. Army’s Northern Command. The Senate chose December 15 – Bill of Rights Day – to approve a measure permitting the indefinite detention of American citizens by the U.S. military, or the rendition of detained citizens abroad to be tortured by foreign intelligence agencies. The Obama administration has summarily executed three U.S. citizens living abroad (including an indisputably innocent 16-year-old boy) by way of drone-fired missiles, and Predator drones are being integrated into routine law enforcement operations domestically. While Madison would be mortified by these developments, he wouldn’t be at all surprised by them.
(1) Porter, War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), pg. 12.
(2) Dorothy Rabbinowitz, “What Ron Paul Thinks of America,” Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2011.
(3) Also known as the “reduction ad Hitlerium,” “Godwin’s Law” holds that in any political discussion, the first debater to compare his opponent to Hitler loses the argument by revealing the intellectual poverty of his position.
(4) See -- http://www.firstpost.com/topic/place/iran-dorothy-rabinowitz-equates-ron-paul-to-hitler-mussolini-video-Y-y_IGqU0F0-32-8.html
(5) Michael Tomasky, “Ron Paul: Batty Old Reactionary for President,” The Daily Beast, December 14, 2011
(6) For one of myriad accounts illustrating the use of the term “Cockroaches” as an incitement to political murder in Rwanda, see “Cockroaches’ Beaten to Death,” Montreal Gazette, March 28, 2007 -- http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/montreal/story.html?id=e4a34801-a272-44b5-ad94-345a483e0e47
(7)Michael Medved, “Ron Paul’s Rise Hurts the GOP and Helps Obama,” The Daily Beast, December 29, 2011
(8) “Gingrich: Ron Paul’s Base is `people who want to legalize drugs,’” CBS News, December 22, 2011
(9) Bill Kauffman, “Iowa Votes for Peace,” The American Conservative, December 29, 2011.
(10) “UN flags at half-mast to mark Kim’s funeral,” AFP, December 28, 2011 – http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hsumUl-B_mluMOUKNy4z8K1rU4FA?docId=CNG.55799cfbd389f865660da24bb02616c9.4f1
(11) Timothy Egan, “Ron Paul – The Soldiers’ Choice,” New York Times, December 23, 2011.
(12) Thomas R. Eddlem, “Practicing the Medicine He Preaches: The Free Market Charity of Ron Paul,” The New American, December 30, 2011.
(13) To read the unclassified Department of Defense report on “The Military Power of Iran,” go to -- http://www.scribd.com/doc/30277432/DoD-Unclassified-Report-on-Military-Power-of-Iran
(14) Reese Erlich and Erik Leaver, “U.S. Tells Iran: Become a Nuclear Power,” Foreign Policy http://www.fpif.org/articles/us_tells_iran_become_a_nuclear_power
(15) Excerpted from “The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty,” an abridgement of Madison’s April 20, 1795 essay “Political Observations,” found at http://www.fff.org/freedom/0893e.asp
Written by William Grigg
I share William Grigg’s concern about the imminent war with Iran. The Brotherhood of Darkness wants to plunge the U.S. into another senseless conflict, kill millions of people, devastate Europe, destroy the value of our currency, and justify the implementation of martial law in the United States.
What can you do? You can distribute copies of this newsletter, and tell people about the BOD’s effort to destroy Israel. Why does the BOD want to destroy Israel? They want to establish a world government, install a world leader, and defeat God.
The Mullahs are not going to attack Israel because they know the U.S. will retaliate and destroy their country. On the other hand, if the U.S. (or Israel) attacks Iran, the Mullahs will launch 50,000 sophisticated missiles, and destroy Israel.
There is an organized effort to convince American Christians the U.S. must go to war with Iran to protect Israel, but that isn’t true. If the U.S. attacks Iran, Israel will be destroyed if God doesn’t intervene.
We live in dangerous and prophetic times. Please pray for Congressman Ron Paul, Alex Jones, Joyce Riley, Radio Liberty, and other ministries that are trying to awaken the American people.
Barbara and I appreciate your loyal support, and your faithful prayers.
Yours in Christ,
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