Republican presidential candidates were bombastic in Saturday night’s debate on the issue of Iran in light of the most recent U.N. nuclear watch-dog report on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney railed against Obama for being weak on Iran. “If we reelect Barack Obama,” he pronounced, “Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”
When asked whether he would choose to strike Iran militarily, Romney said “absolutely,” so long as aggressive sanctions and covert war failed to end their nuclear enrichment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report this week cobbling together uncorroborated intelligence from mainly U.S. and Israeli sources in an attempt to imply Iran may have a secret nuclear weapons program, although no direct evidence was offered. The political class and most of the media jumped on the opportunity to again portray Iran as on the verge of attaining nuclear weapons, as has been typical practice for war hawks for the past thirty years.
Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the House, openly advocated for increased covert terrorism against Iran. He suggested employing “maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. All of it covertly, all of it deniable.”
By “taking out their scientists” Gingrich was referring to the current U.S.-Israeli strategy of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, incidentally quintessential acts of international terrorism. By reassuring listeners that all of these actions would be deniable, he was openly advocating for this presidential administration and the next to continue to lie about its foreign policy.
He also advocated “actively funding every dissident group in Iran.” Supporting with money an weapons domestic factions in adversarial countries – essentially supporting terrorism aimed at regime change – is a long-time activity of the U.S. government, but only recently has it been so blatantly explicit.
Rick Santorum agreed with Gingrich. “You know there have been scientists turning up dead in Russia and Iran, there have been computer viruses, there have been problems at their facility.” Here again, Santorum is referring to the concerted covert U.S. campaign of cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars currently underway in Iran.
“I hope that the United States has been involved with that. I hope that we’ve been doing everything we can covertly to make sure that program doesn’t proceed forward,” Mr. Santorum said. He then explicitly advocated for a preemptive unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, which it maintains are solely for civilian purposes, a claim for which no person or organization has presented evidence disproving.
“We should be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability,” Mr. Santorum said, adding, ”Before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and the world changes.”
The feverish readiness for war or additional aggression against Iran broke only when Texas Representative Ron Paul insisted “it isn’t worth while” to go to war with Iran. “I’m afraid what’s going on right now,” Mr. Paul warned, “is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq and, you know, they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.”