Home > Government, Middle East, News of the moment, The Politics of War > America’s War. Next Stop Iran: Who Will Save Us?

America’s War. Next Stop Iran: Who Will Save Us?

By Colin Todhunter  September 15th 2012.

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One of the most awe inspiring photographs ever taken was by a machine, not a person. The ‘Pale Blue Dot’ is the name of the photograph.It is an image of the Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager spacecraft, some six billion kilometers away from our planet as the craft was about to leave the Solar System. The Earth appears as a miniscule dot, almost lost in the vastness of space.

The ‘Blue Marble’ is another image from space that also shows the Earth. It was taken by the US Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972. The entire planet is a vivid, enchanting swirl of deep blue oceans, scattered white clouds and solid green land masses set in stark contrast against the apparent emptiness of space.


To see the magnificent fragility of Earth hanging in a mind boggling expanse of blackness is as wondrous as it is humbling. The late astrophysicist Carl Sagan commented on the ‘Pale Blue Dot’ by saying that from out there in space, there is no inkling, no clue whatsoever, that there is life here. There is no hint of humankind’s squabbles, posturings, religions, civilizations or doctrines. There is no possible comprehension of the intensity or magnitude of human joys and wonder, prejudices and sufferings.

Beneath Earth’s colourful blue mask from space, lies a sorry tale. It’s a tale about the hundreds of millions of deaths due to pointless wars and conflicts that have taken place down the ages. We have had little compulsion in destroying living creatures in their droves and gorging on and depleting finite natural resources. And we destroyed in a blink of an eyelid what took the Earth millions of years to nurture.

Sagan once asked us to consider how much blood has been spilled by generals and emperors just to become temporary masters of one part of this small blue dot and how much cruelty has been visited time and time again by one set of the planet’s inhabitants on a barely indistinguishable other set of inhabitants. Sagan is not alone. During our more self reflective moments, each of us may care to chew over such sentiments ourselves.

But how easy those sentiments fall prey to hate, fear and anger and how easy we turn to killing and violence.

As we watch the possible build up to a US-led war with Iran and bear witness to the wail of propaganda and the deception of peace through the barrel of a gun, the world is told that Iran threatens global stability. Due to what is becoming an incessant pro war media onslaught, an increasing number of US citizens now favour a military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations, despite no credible evidence that indicates Iran is actually developing nuclear weapons at all.

One news report by a US channel even showed a US aircraft carrier passing through the Strait of Hormuz saying the ship was ‘the world’s’ first line of defence in case non-nuclear-armed Iran decided to rein down ‘terror’ on nuclear-armed Israel in response to any first strike attack on Iran by Tel Aviv.

What twisted logic. What arrogance. In the case outlined, any ‘terror’ would be instigated by the said Israeli attack itself on Iran. That was conveniently brushed aside. And for ‘the world’ read only the US and its client states. And by what sort of garbled reasoning is Iran a threat to the US, the most militarily powerful country the world has ever seen – notwithstanding the fact that the US has military bases encircling Iran in neighbouring countries. Yet, the US media, like it did over Iraq, is convincing large sections of the public that Iran, on the opposite side of the world, is a direct threat to the US.

The threat to global peace and stability does not lie with Iran, or with China for that matter or any other bogeyman the Pentagon cares to dream up. Historian William Blum last year wrote that, since 1945, the US has attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically elected. It has attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries. It has grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. And it has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

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