Say ‘no’ before Bush says ‘yes’

Dr. Robert Bowman is a professor emeritus in the Music Department at Chico State University and a concert pianist.

Noam Chomsky’s “How to Stop a Showdown with Iran”

Is the Bush administration planning to attack Iran? There are several indicators saying “yes":

1. Numerous reports of covert intelligence and acts of terror in Iran by Israel’s Mossad and U.S. Special Forces; U.S. support for secessionist movements such as the PJAK (Kurds within Iran), and unofficial U.S. support for the Pakistani militant group Jundullah.

2. Recent U.S. Naval operations in the northern Persian Gulf.

3. Warnings of impending war with Iran by former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern and former UN weapons inspection chief in Iraq Scott Ritter.

4. The recent crisis over captured British sailors by Iranians and (happily) their subsequent release in exchange for an Iranian diplomat being held by the U.S. in Iraq.

5. Detentions of Iranian diplomats in Iraq.

6. The Project for the New American Century’s report “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (September 2000) advocating U.S. control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power (and specifically including Iran).

The reasons for avoiding war with Iran are numerous:

1. British military historian Corelli Barnett warns that “an attack on Iran would effectively launch World War III.”

2. If tactical nuclear weapons are used (which the U.S. has reserved as an option) and nuclear sites are hit, the resulting fallout would devastate the immediate area and could conceivably reach Europe and the U.S.

3. Ritter predicts that an immediate consequence of such an attack will be a worldwide oil shortage of crisis proportions.

4. Our military is already overextended.

What can be done to stop this madness?

1. Urge Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to implement suggestions by Navy commanders with the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain to set up a “naval hot line” between British/ U.S. and Iranian forces to help avert an accidental war.

2. Urge Congressional representatives to insist that Bush come to Congress before initiating any overt military action against Iran.

3. Also, encourage members of Congress to continue recent fact-finding and diplomatic visits to Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. The Iraq study group advocated such efforts.

4. Contact the president and say “no” to war in Iran.

5. Urge the president and Congress to work toward a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

6. Work with citizens of all political viewpoints to engage in respectful dialogue about the direction our country should take.