In his 2002
State of the Union Address, President Bush threw down the gauntlet before
Iraq, North Korea and Iran.
"States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil,
arming to threaten the peace of the world.
"I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as
peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit
the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive
He claimed to have "intelligence" that Iraq, North Korea [DPRK] and Iran –
all signatories to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and subject
to the Safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency – each had
illicit un-detected nuke development programs.
We now know that by September, 2002, Bush had already made the decision to
effect "regime change" in Iraq by launching a pre-emptive invasion.
Bush-Cheney intended to use as their principal rationale their "intelligence"
that Saddam intended to give the nukes he was allegedly constructing to terrorists.
You see, the public opinion polls told them the only rationale acceptable to
you soccer-moms for launching pre-emptive attacks on Iraq, Iran and DPRK would
be the prospect of being nuked in your jammies by terrorists.
Of course, to get you soccer-moms really scared, they would have to either
discredit the IAEA or provoke Iraq, Iran and DPRK into withdrawing from the
NPT (and, hence, the IAEA Safeguards regime).
So, in September 2002, a Bush-Cheney munchkin claimed that a DPRK diplomat
told him at a cocktail party that the DPRK had a secret uranium-enrichment program.
DPRK officials immediately and vehemently denied it. All DPRK nuclear programs
had been subject to IAEA lock, seal and continuous surveillance under the US-IAEA-DPRK
Agreed Framework of 1994.
If Bush-Cheney actually had such intelligence, it should have been provided
– as the NPT requires – to the IAEA to be checked out. But apparently there
was no intelligence to provide.
Nevertheless, in October, Bush-Cheney unilaterally abrogated the Agreed Framework
– by ceasing requisite oil shipments – and in November DPRK gave notice it was
withdrawing from the NPT.
There is no doubt that – thanks to Bush-Cheney – DPRK now has sufficient fissile
material to make 10-12 nukes, and may have the nukes, themselves.
In November, Bush-Cheney demanded that Saddam allow unconditional inspections
of Iraq by the IAEA, never dreaming Saddam, having (literally)
nothing to hide, would welcome such inspections.
So, by March, when Bush-Cheney launched an unauthorized [by either Congress
or the UN Security Council] war of aggression against Iraq, everybody except
perhaps you soccer-moms knew Saddam didn’t have a secret nuke program.
That knowledge has made it somewhat difficult for Bush-Cheney to use the same
"secret nuke program" script – with "Iran" substituted for "Iraq, and "mullahs"
substituted for "Saddam" everywhere those words appear – to scare you into supporting
another war of aggression and/or to provoke Iran into withdrawing from the NPT.
But, fortunately for Bush-Cheney, the Islamic jihadists in the Middle East
have provided Israel an excuse – the capture of two Israeli soldiers – to invade
the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and perhaps attack Syria and Iran.
And that, in turn, provides Bush-Cheney and Congress a rationale – much, much
better than a non-existent nuclear weapons program – to launch a pre-emptive
attack against Iran.
Last week, by an overwhelming margin, the House passed HR
922 [.pdf]: "Condemning cross-border terrorism against Israel by Hamas and
Hezbollah and the complicity in these acts of terrorist aggression by Syria
"Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas are both responsible for the murder of dozens
of United States citizens;
"Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas have regularly declared their enmity for the
United States and their unwavering opposition to a negotiated settlement of
the Arab-Israeli conflict that will result in the State of Israel living side-by-side
in peace with all of its neighbors, including a separate Palestinian state;
"Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to acknowledge the sovereignty of Israel
and its right to exist;
"Whereas Hezbollah and Hamas are known proxies, and nearly wholly dependent
on the patronage of Iran and Syria for arms, political direction and support,
intelligence, and financial assistance; and
"Whereas Iran and Syria are the most active state sponsors of terrorism
in the world
The House, inter allia,
"calls upon the international community to join with the United States in
holding Iran and Syria accountable for their support for unprovoked international
terrorist aggression against Israel."
So, perhaps Bush-Cheney can now nuke
Iran, even though the IAEA has verified Iran to be nuke-less.