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Monday, June 18, 2007
(10:45 AM) | Stephen:
Behold The Enemy

Via Matt Yglesias, here's some photos of Teheran, candid shots of an entirely normal city:

Joe Lieberman, John McCain, Dick Cheney and assorted neocon "strategists" are all calling for the US to initiate hostilities with Iran, to bomb them or send in troops. Take a look at those photos, and remember them whenever you read about "islamofascists" who "hate us for our freedoms."

In a war, people die. Buildings are destroyed. Children die. That's the reality of war, a reality that the people of the United States have not fully felt since the Civil War, and not felt even partially since Pearl Harbor. Even the attack of 9/11 doesn't compare to systemic destruction of a nation's people, infrastructure and resources like has happened in Iraq. We have 150,000 troops in Iraq right now. They don't have enough body armor. They don't have enough armor for their Humvees. Many of them are on their 3rd and 4th consecutive tours of duty. They don't have a clear mission. They train and arm Iraqi military and police units only to see their former students and equipment used against them.

And now powerful forces in our government want to expand the situation in Iraq to Iran. We're hearing the same claims of terrorist sponsorship, but I don't buy it. I don't even buy the idea that Teheran supports Syria which supports Hamas which supports Osama or Venezuela's Chavez or Michael Moore.

Pakistan is, if anything, a more repressive society than Iran. Pakistan is sheltering the Taliban and assisting their attempts to retake control over Afghanistan, and Pakistan is in continual armed conflict with India. Both of those nations are in possession of nuclear weapons. Several of the former Soviet Republics are in chaos, and we don't really know where a lot of their nuclear weapons are.

But Iran is the target, because it's easier to whip up fear and nationalistic fervor over the threat of "radical Islam" involving a well-known, fairly prosperous country than it is over little-known and highly chaotic small nations in Eastern Europe or Central Asia.

Just look at those photos and browse the others in the collection. Be sure to understand that the vast majority of the millions of Iranian citizens don't "hate us for our freedoms," and in fact even the Iranian government is not what Dick Cheney would have you believe. Remember that there are far greater nuclear threats out there than Iran, but Bush, Cheney and the neocon cabal still want to do business with them, so they will be ignored or even protected by the American government.

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