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Posts Tagged ‘ Rick Perry ’

  • 22 November 2011
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 0 Comments
  • Election 2012, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Question’s for tonight’s GOP debate

The GOP candidates will take to the stage tonight at 8pm EST to debate national security issues, and we expect Iran policy will once again be a major point of discussion.  Given that many of the candidates have had a chance to offer their talking points on Iran, here are some questions the moderators can ask to dig a little deeper beyond the standard rhetoric.

Mitt Romney

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently joined military and civilian officials and experts in stating that a military strike on Iran could only set its nuclear program back two or three years and would have many “unintended consequences.”  Experts say such strikes would convince Iran to make a full sprint towards a nuclear weapon.

You have suggested that a Romney Administration would be inclined to use military force to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon and have criticized President Obama’s stated willingness to engage Iran.  At the last debate you said, “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.  If you elect me as president, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”

-Would a Romney administration be more willing to go to war with Iran than the current administration?  Given that military strikes short of a full-scale invasion of Iran would only delay–not end–the country’s nuclear program, does the “military option” mean you would be willing to send ground troops into Iran?

-Would a Romney Administration be willing to pursue a diplomatic resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program and negotiate directly with Iran, or is diplomacy off the table?

  • 4 November 2011
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 0 Comments
  • Israel, Sanctions, US-Iran War

Green lighting war is a great way to convince Iran to get the bomb


This morning, amidst the buzz of threats of war with Iran coming out of Israel and the UK, a resolution green-lighting an Israeli military strike on Iran picked up 15 new supporters in the House of Representatives.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), sends a dangerous signal to Israel and Iran and undermines the U.S. President’s ability to try to prevent a potential strike that would drag the U.S. into a catastrophic war.

In the same vain, Gohmert’s fellow Texan, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry, told CNN last night that he would back a preemptive strike by Israel against Iran even if it sparked a war in the region.  Such inflammatory rhetoric a convenient way to put the sitting President in a box when Perry doesn’t have the burden of actually putting his money where his mouth is.

Regardless of the hype–particularly the spin we will hear next week when a new IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program is released–the fact remains that the U.S. intelligence community continues to assess that Iran has NOT made the decision to pursue a nuclear weapon.

In a public Senate hearing earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence affirmed this yet again:

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI):  ..I read into that that Iran had not made a decision as of this point to restart its nuclear weapons program.  Is that correct?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:  Yes Sir…

Levin:  Okay, but what is the level of confidence that you have that as of this time they have not decided to restart that program? Is that I high level of confidence?

Mr. Clapper:  Yes, it is.

So perhaps we should be working to convince Iran not to make a decision, right?  Threats of war, or an actual attack on Iran, do the precisely the opposite.

Yet for some, like Gohmert and Perry, the threats are good politics.  For others the war threats build pressure for more sanctions.  And in Iran, the threats of war play well for hardliners seeking to rally a divided population by pointing to external threats.

So it seems like everyone has an ulterior motive for ratcheting up dangerous tensions with Iran.  But in the end, the vicious cycle of dangerous flirtations with war do nothing to actually prevent a nuclear weapons capable Iran–they only make it more likely.

  • 1 September 2011
  • Posted By Loren White
  • 1 Comments
  • Election 2012, Neo-Con Agenda, US-Iran War

1.4 million reasons why the military option is not really an option

With the ad nauseum invocations by American political figures that an Iran military option (or even “military solution”) is “on the table”, there has been an alarming lack of substantive discussion on what such an option would actually entail. Recently though, two pieces have provided some needed perspective on the consequences of going to war with Iran.

The first is a report by U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Leif Eckholm, who serves under Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Mullen has gone on the record to say that the only military “option” that would end Iran’s nuclear program would be a ground invasion and occupation.  Eckholm’s echoes this and says “the price of an invasion would be astronomical…”  An Iran war, he says, may require 1.4 million troops, “nearly double the current end-strength of the active duty U.S. Army and Marines combined.” 

He bases this on the one soldier to every 50 inhabitant ratio recommended by former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, noting that Iran has three times the population and four the landmass of Iraq.  Shinseki’s advice was notoriously ignored and discredited by Donald Rumsfeld in the drive to invade Iraq.  We’ve learned from the last decade what are the grave ramifications for discarding honest assessments just because they are inconvenient for Washington.

So, the forces required to wage a successful war against Iran are completely unrealistic.  Unrealistic, that is, unless war advocates are willing to advocate a national military draft.

  • 31 August 2011
  • Posted By Loren White
  • 5 Comments
  • Election 2012, US-Iran War

Perry’s military “solution” and the GOP candidates on Iran

Republican primary front-runner Gov. Rick Perry, was recently quoted as saying that, while he rejects military adventurism, he was “never going to take off the table our ability to have a military solution to a country like Iran.”  At first glance, this might appear to be more of the same tough talk that we have grown accustomed to hearing.  However, there is a subtle but important difference in Perry’s substitution of “option,” the commonly used term, for “solution.”

A military option for Iran typically revolves around U.S. and/or Israeli airstrikes against their nuclear facilities.  However, given that there is near universal agreement that even the most successful airstrikes will do little more than delay Iran’s nuclear program (not to mention be a gift to the regime that will galvanize Iranian public support), it seems implausible that by military “solution” he could be referring to airstrikes.  Thus, his talk of a military “solution” could reasonably be thought to refer to a military action requiring the use of ground forces, a la Iraq 2003.

Admittedly, focusing on Perry’s use of “solution” rather then “option” might be splitting hairs, and it would not be the first time that a politician was imprecise with his choice of words.  But given the importance of potential presidential candidates’ positions on Iran, it is critical that we become familiar with their stances and be wary of subtle shifts in terminology, lest we find ourselves with a president advocating for a war with Iran.

With this in mind, here are some of the other Republican presidential candidates’ quotes and stances on Iran to date:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney:

In the run up to the 2008 Republican presidential primary, Romney said:

Of course, the military option has to be on the table. Anyone who’s considering being president hopefully will say that military options are always on the table when you consider a nation, which is a genocidal nation, a suicidal nation, in some respects, coming from Ahmadinejad…This is a nation where the genocidal inclination is really frightening and having a nation of this nature develop nuclear weaponry is unacceptable to this country and to the Middle East.

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman:

When asked what he would do if Iran develops WMD, Huntsman responded that if ever there was a time to consider using U.S. force, it would be to prevent a nuclear armed Iran.

Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Bachmann is a lead supporter of House Resolution 271, green-lighting Israeli military strikes on Iran.  She is also a vocal supporter of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and has spoken at pro-MEK events.

Rep. Ron Paul:

At a recent primary debate Paul said there is no concrete evidence to that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon.  He said a war with Iran would be worse than a nuclear-armed Iran. Paul has said he would “tolerate” a nuclear armed Iran before he would support sending U.S. troops off to fight a war with Iran.  Paul has repeatedly voted against sanctions as he sees them as increasing the likelihood of war.  He supports dialogue with Iran, saying at the recent debate that the Soviet Union posed a much greater threat than Iran and we had a dialogue this them.

Former Senator Rick Santorum:

At the previously mentioned debate, Santorum rebuked Paul’s positions, saying that Iran has been in a state of war with the U.S. since 1979 and saying that Iran has killed more soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan then the Iraqis or the Afghanis have.  Santorum has highlighted that, while in the Senate, he authored the Iran Freedom Support Act to provide U.S. funds aimed at toppling the Iranian regime.  At the debate, he conveyed support for the 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh, saying, “I don’t apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time…”


Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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