There is a dangerous mythology that exists about Iran, and which refuses to go away. It is irresponsibly perpetuated by many in the media, reminiscent of the Neo-Con propaganda which we became familiar with in the run up the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It's the kind of mythology which seeps too easily from the front pages of the red tops and into popular discourse, and which needs to be confronted by reason and with facts. That mythology is the idea that Iran is somehow a threat to us here in the UK; this is a myth which is underpinned by falsehoods and disinformation.
If we have learned anything from the crimes committed in Iraq, it is that we must question at all costs the constant assertion that Iran as a sovereign country poses a threat to us. To not do so is to risk sleepwalking into the same sequence events that led to the heinous and despicable crimes committed against the Iraqi people at the behest of our government.
In the run up to the invasion of Iraq, the British people were privy to a stream of lies peddled by Tony Blair and the then Labour government in an attempt to convince the public that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and had the capability and inclination to use them-thereby justifying a preemptive illegal attack.
We now know of course, that these were untruths designed whip up a popular frenzy; the dossier claiming that Iraq could mobilize the weapons of non-existence; the infamous Downing Street memo encouraging 'facts' and so-called 'intelligence' on Iraq to be fit around a pre-determined and already decided policy. War.
Despite the lies from the government and media, and attempts to convince people that the illegal invasion of Iraq was somehow just, more than a million people marched against it. Despite Bush and Blair's campaign to present Iraq to the world as a threat, Britain at the time of the illegal invasion in 2003 was home to a sizable ant-war movement.
We know the illegal war waged against Iraq was primarily about Oil and the long term geo-political strategy of the international Western power structure. But war is also the most profitable industry in the world, and one of the things that is clear from the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 is that broadly speaking, the military industrial complex is concerned only with steering public opinion toward supporting war, and isn't subject to observing any semblance of international law.
Indeed, with hindsight it's easy to see how the big players in the media went along with the Neo-Con agenda compared a handful of brave exceptions who sought to expose power rather than to serve it.
That is why, when we see the same kind of war mongering hyperbole aimed squarely at Iran periodically surface in the mainstream media, implying that a preemptive strike might be a sane course of action, we need to consider both recent history and the facts.
For all of the propaganda perpetuating from the hawks in Washington, baying desperately for another profitable war to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the defense budget, so far the Obama administration hasn't succumbed (fully) to the whim of AIPAC, and the unrelenting pressure from Netanyahu and Israeli government to begin an all-out war.
But the mythology about a threat from Iran persists and lingers, becoming legitimized with every passing minute that it remains challenged.
Cutting through the quagmire of the corporate media, and focusing solely on what matters, the facts are clear.
The IAEA (The International Atomic Energy Agency) has not stated that Iran possess a nuclear weapon; Iran is a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty-unlike Israel which is widely acknowledged to possess nuclear weapons.
But in any case, the idea that we should support an invasion of Iran on the basis that Iran might be seeking such a weapon is ludicrous. You couldn't make it up.
When Iran's neighbours across the Gulf host the US's military bases, could Iran be blamed if it wanted to be in a position to defend itself and have a deterrent? Iran has after all witnessed two imperial occupations take place within its bordering countries in Iraq and Afghanistan in as many years.
Who should we fear more, Iran, a country that hasn't attacked another country for hundreds of years, or the US which supports terror all over the world and which in the past, actually used its Nuclear weapons dropping them on Nagasaki and Hiroshima?
One of the falsehoods commonly put forward in this debate is that the Iranian president Ahmadinejad has said he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This too is a lie, admitted here by former Israeli deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor.
The US has never supported democracy in Iran. When Mossadegh was in power in Iran and wanted to nationalise Iran's oil to cut out corporations like BP, the US and the CIA supported a coup to topple the government, installing a regime favourable to their own interests.
I'm not a fan of the Iranian government. But the idea that we should take seriously, sabre rattling from those who have never supported democracy in Iran-but which do support dictatorial regimes all over the world-is ludicrous.
Claims that attacking other countries is a means to bring about democracy are always without foundation; we are not, and have never been interested in occupying other people's countries to bring about peace. Such claims reflect a benign form of narcissism, a belief that those who we deem inferior to ourselves become our burden and our obligation to 'democratise'- this thinking always precedes the eventual acts of actual terrorism. As John Pilger once quipped "It isn't a war on terror, it's a war of terror"
We need only take a look around the world at the state terror we support, and the crimes we turn a blind eye to, to know this to be true.
No, before we go meddling in other people's countries, and talking (however tacitly) about attacking them, we need to get our own house in order. Spending money to maintain a military presence around the World when we can't even keep our pensioners warm in the winter and prioritise free education for our poorest doesn't make sense.
We don't need to be thinking about supporting a US/Israeli attack on Iran, or thinking about regime change anywhere else in the World. The truth is we need to be thinking about regime change here in the UK.
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