Officially, America is now bankrupt: financially, economically, politically – and morally. Its criminal aggression towards Iran is just one of many parts of a jigsaw that add up to a clear and grotesque picture of what the United States of America now represents in the 21st Century world.
The numbers and pictures for these constituent parts of this odious jigsaw puzzle are well known. But what has become glaringly clear is just how integrated the official image of the US now is. Bankrupt.
Terminally in debt, mass poverty at record levels, rampant militarism, draconian curbs on civil liberties, government by the rich for the rich, and lately the reactionary, debased cat-fight that passes for political debate among Republican contenders for the Presidency. Cringing is the sight of super wealthy career politicians throwing sand in each other’s eyes to scrabble up the pole for yet further personal accumulation of capital; disturbing is the easy way that psychopathic targeting of imagined enemies whether at home or abroad is worn like a badge of honour. It is a sign of how depraved the American political mind has become when would-be presidents can so openly talk of conducting foreign policy in terms of unquestioned international aggression.
Of course, this kind of political and moral bankruptcy is not just confined to those seeking office. It is the coin of those who are already in office.
In a report in the New York Times Monday we have the startling admissions that, taken together, show that the US government should be certified as criminal (if further proof were needed) .
First we have the top US military man confirming that long-averred war plans against Iran are indeed going ahead.
The NYT: “When asked on [CBS’s] Face the Nation about the how difficult it would be to take out Iran’s nuclear ability in a military strike, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: ‘Well, I would rather not discuss the degree of difficulty and in any way encourage them to read anything into that. But I will say that my responsibility is to encourage the right degree of planning, to understand the risks associated with any kind of military option, in some cases to position assets, to provide those options in a timely fashion. And all those activities are going on.’”
In other words, the US is preparing for war.
Ironically, in the above lengthy article about the imminent opening of Iran’s second uranium enrichment plant at Qom, located under a mountain and impregnable from attack, the New York Times buries General Dempsey’s admission deep within the folds of its paragraphs perhaps in a bid to make it impregnable from attack by sane readers. Granted, the bellicose talk from US Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama and his administration of all options on the table has become so routine that the editors at the NYT have probably become inured to criminal admissions and so don’t think them worth any higher prominence that a final paragraph.
But here is the second part of the equation that adds up to definite criminality.
In the same story, the New York Times quotes US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta making what should be a startling admission: that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons programme.
Panetta says: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
That Panetta finally admits what many people around the world know to be true, including American intelligence agencies in at least two US National Intelligence Estimates in 2007 and 2010 – that is, that Iran is not attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, should be a front-page headline. Especially when taken together with General Dempsey’s disclosure that war plans are afoot. From its own admission, therefore, the US government is pushing the world into possibly a World War III scenario on the basis of a totally spurious claim that even its own top brass do not believe.
Reflecting the bankruptcy that has corroded the US political establishment is the way that the New York Times – America’s self-styled premier newspaper – glides over these nuggets of self-indictment as if they were worthless banalities.
So if Iran is not even trying to develop a nuclear weapon, as Panetta now admits, what then is the criminal US warmongering predicated on?
Unofficially, the real reason is imperialist rivalry with other powers (Russia and China in particular) in the energy-rich Persian Gulf and Central Asia regions, and the attempt to engineer “regime change” in Iran to one that is pliant with Washington’s geopolitical designs.
Officially, for what it is worth, it seems now that the US is not happy even with the mere suspicion that Iran maybe, just maybe, might one day capable of developing nuclear capability.
This is where facts can be helpful. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the legal right to develop nuclear capability for civilian purposes. This is what Iran has consistently said it is doing and what countless UN inspections of facilities over many years, including the new plant at Qom, have verified. The enrichment of uranium constitutes “nuclear capability” and is an essential part of harnessing nuclear energy for civilian energy. Iran should be congratulated for this achievement given years of gratuitous sanctions by the US its Western allies.
But the way the US government and its Western allies put it, Iran’s legitimate nuclear capability is made to sound like a diabolical threat.
Panetta again: “But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us.”
There you have it. The United States can drop nuclear weapons on civilians, possess up to 10,000 nuclear warheads, supply its allies illegally with such weapons and continue to violate the purpose of the NPT by not disarming its nuclear arsenal – yet if a country uses the provisions of the NPT legitimately to pursue nuclear capability then it is reviled and made a target for an illegal war of aggression, most probably with nuclear weapons.
This is depravity-turned-foreign policy – emanating from supposedly the most democratic government in the world.
In that way, the unseemly Republican Party cat-fight between Romney et al is but a symptom of the chronically bankrupt body politic that is American government in the 21st Century.
Finian Cunningham is Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa correspondent