How to Get Into a War With Iran

This video of Patrick Clawson speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is just vile:

I frankly think that crisis initiation is really tough, and it’s very hard for me to see how the United States at present can get us to war with Iran.

Crisis initiation? This is pure warmongering, pure belligerence. This is bad-guy mentality, war-profiteering-mentality, unjustified-slaughter-mentality — a point that future historians will relish.

There is a very clear protocol as to how the United States would go to war with Iran, or any other country. If a country were to attack the United States or her allies, or to pose an imminent and immediate threat of attack — defined in international law as a threat that is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation” — then the United States could following an Act of Congress go to war.

Article 51 of the UN Charter states the following:

Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by members in exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Anything else — including any of the provocations and covert operations that Clawson is advocating — is pure warmongering and pure belligerence by the standards of international law, as well as any traditional standard of morality. The doctrine of preemptive war was raised as a defence by Nazis at the Nuremberg trials, and rejected out of hand.

It should only be expected that were a future administration to launch a belligerent war against any nation, that those lobbyists who lobbied for it and those policymakers who enacted it would at least be prepared to fight and die — and send their children to fight and die— on the front line. Anything less than that is pure and utter chickenhawkery.

32 thoughts on “How to Get Into a War With Iran

  1. It is true. Those who cry loudest for yet another mindless war would be the very last to go.
    We would have far fewer wars if anyone voting for one had to serve in one.

  2. Pingback: How to Get Into a War With Iran « Silver For The People – The Blog

  3. Aziz: As discussed, deterrence (100% credible threat of annihilation by Israel plus western powers) is the solution to the threat of nuke attack by Iran. Your quotes from international “law” and the U.N. Charter are pertinent and timely reminders. After the western coalition conquered Iraq and established a legitimate government, they probably had just cause to retaliate against Iran for attacking an ally — and possibly even the same for Afghanistan. But it is too late now to even consider or it, even if the U.S. gets rid of its former(?) Muslim president.

    It is reassuring that, so far, this thread has no accusations that Romney is itching to start a war. There is every reason to expect that he, unlike Obama, would practice “Peace through strength and the will to use it”. In the 1930s, Britain, France, et al did not. Israel does, even though their “peace” requires accepting constant murder and occasional attack, a policy that I and most Americans would never tolerate.

    Strength developed by Hitler and sought by Iran was/is NOT to keep peace, but to intimidate and conquer. How does one know? By Hitler’s actions and Iran’s threats and sponsorship of terrorism. Let’s try to keep the obvious white-hats and black-hats straight; formidable totalitarian nations Russia and China provide plenty of opportunity for speculation on intent.

  4. DG, so let me get this correct. In the U.S., we have all this power to keep the peace, and everybody else has it to intimidate and conquer?

    If this is the case, then why do we pretty have everything? Don’t we have military bases in 140+ countries? Is this to keep the peace, or instead, to keep the U.S.- centric world intact?

    • What IS “the U.S.-centric world” other than peace — and opportunity for prosperity through free oceans, skies, and access to resources? Have you already forgotten that facing down the USSR liberated* hundreds of millions of people from tyranny and poverty? Have you been fed revisionist history that Germany**, Japan** and Italy weren’t aggressors and U.S. U.K., Australia, New Zealand, et al weren’t liberators?

      I suspect that 140+ is an exaggerated number, but certainly we spend a LOT of money we can’t afford. And some of it has been counter-productive, e.g., helping Afghanistan repel the USSR, Viet Nam, and remaining in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      I wrote that “Hitler and Iran” use(d) strength to intimidate and conquer, not “everybody else” as you (deliberately?) misrepresent. If you don’t appreciate U.S. and Israeli Peace through Strength, try Switzerland.

      * China’s graduated switch to capitalism is also liberating > a billion people from poverty and toward less tyranny.

      ** Before and during WW II, Germany (yes, the Holocaust was real!) and Japan were savage exterminators of people. Communist USSR and China exterminated many millions of their own people.

      If you try, maybe you can see the differences between despotic and democratic societies. If not, ask North Koreans, Syrians, Iranians, and former East Germans. Americans who are not brainwashed or asleep (pray we are > 50% of voters) face the choice in this year’s election: the Obama regime and campaign have taken off the kid gloves in their drive to impose Communist-Nazi-Fascist-Imperial-theocratic-racist-corrupt government.

      • DG, I am not equating the U.S. and the USSR or Nazi Germany. But, if you look at our history, you will note that we have done a great deal of slaughtering, but in a different way. Although, look at what we did to ourselves during the Civil War.

        You don’t get to be as wealthy as the U.S. became by being a nice guy. Nations take advantage of situations, as do individuals. Simply look at the IMF and the World Bank as a great example.

        These two U.S. controlled [centric] organizations have done incredible harm to many, many countries via creating massive debt through loans mostly designed to help our corporations. Once these countries get into trouble paying back these loans, then the sharks attack, and take-over whatever they can [privatize, assume control over natural resources etc].

        One of my favorite economists is Michael Hudson [] who worked for several large money-center banks in N.Y. during the 60’s and 70’s. His job was to calculate the amount of national income [above subsistence] that Central and South American countries had so the World Bank and the IMF knew exactly how much debt they could impose!

        This is a heinous social crime [in my book]; again, its not lining people up and mowing them down with machine guns, instead, its creating massive regional poverty. This is but one of the reasons that the U.S. became as wealthy as it did. There are many, many other reasons, some good, some not so wonderful [like all things].

        You call what the U.S. has imposed as “peace,” but we have been in war after war after war. But, I know what you mean. The peace we have been able to keep is through the threat of military/financial destruction.

        DG, you might call this peace, but it has come at the cost of freedom.

      • “(yes, the Holocaust was real!)”

        I concur. For the first time in my life I pressured my Grandmother to tell me what happened when the Germans entered Ukraine. She said they rounded up the Jews herded them into houses and poured gasoline over the buildings. Burned them alive inside. She said I saw this with my own eyes. For years I wanted to know what happened why she was so traumatised.

        This was clear genocide. I read Mein Kampf. Hitler despised Jews so his chain of command would have wanted career progression.

  5. Despite what seems to my mind to be his thinking to the contrary, amongst a global economy of competing States it is perhaps not very easy to actually “suppress supervisory arbitrage”. The upshot? The 1st State to institute legal frameworks deriving from private sector initiative which in principle has as its guiding light the respect for private property will experience a huge capital inflow, triggering the Enlightenment. Another reason why I think that America remains the not only the most important State on Earth, but also the one which is most likely to in this new normal harness global respect through supplying solutions to this economic mess.

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  7. Israel has the bomb and hasn’t used it. Iran says it isn’t developing the bomb, but is. Iranian leaders have explicitly said they want to destroy Israel. I know who I prefer.

      • Often “intel” (interpreted raw information) is just the best available — sometimes far short of certainty. Iran’s refusing inspection is one such partial “proof”.

        Israel’s threats are to destroy/delay nuke weapons development, NOT kill all Iranians. Long ago Israel successfully destroyed Iraq’s nuke weapons plant, to negligible international outrage as I recall.

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