The Washington Post Will Kill Us All

“War with Iran is probably our best option.” This is an actual headline from the Washington Post.

Yes it’s an op-ed, but don’t fantasize that it’s part of some sort of balanced wide-ranging array of varied opinions. The Washington Post wouldn’t print a column advocating peace to save its life — as such an act just might help to do. And you can imagine the response if the headline had been: “Racism is probably our best option,” or “Rape is probably our best option,” or “Child abuse is probably our best option.” Nobody would object: “But they’ve probably had lots of columns opposing child abuse. Surely they can have one in favor, or do you want to shut down debate?” No, some things are rightly considered beyond the range of acceptability. War, in Washington, is not one of them.

Now, war propaganda is illegal under the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights. War itself is illegal under the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter. But the Washington Post isn’t one to worry about legal niceties.

There was quite a brouhaha last week when 47 senators tried to impede negotiations between the White House / State Department and Iran. Yes, charges of violating the Logan Act were ridiculous. If that was a violation, there have been thousands.  In fact here’s one now from the Washington Post. Iran’s government reads this vicious piece of propaganda just as surely as it reads an “open letter” from 47 sexually repressed climate-denying bible-thumping nimrods with corporate funding. When my town’s government passed a resolution opposing any U.S. war on Iran I was immediately contacted by Iranian media, and our city council members were never charged with undermining the federal government’s so-called foreign policy. But the nonpartisan substance of the critique of the 47 Fools and of the Netanyahu Get-Up-Sit-Down aerobics workout was important and applies equally to the Washington Post: advocating war is immoral, illegal, and idiotic.

It is no secret what war on Iran means: lots of death and suffering — the extreme version being if Israel were to use its nuclear weapons:

“Iranian cities — owing to geography, climate, building construction, and population densities — are particularly vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a new study, ‘Nuclear War Between Israel and Iran: Lethality Beyond the Pale,’ published in the journal Conflict & Health by researchers from the University of Georgia and Harvard University. It is the first publicly released scientific assessment of what a nuclear attack in the Middle East might actually mean for people in the region.

“Its scenarios are staggering. An Israeli attack on the Iranian capital of Tehran using five 500-kiloton weapons would, the study estimates, kill seven million people — 86% of the population — and leave close to 800,000 wounded. A strike with five 250-kiloton weapons would kill an estimated 5.6 million and injure 1.6 million, according to predictions made using an advanced software package designed to calculate mass casualties from a nuclear detonation.

“Estimates of the civilian toll in other Iranian cities are even more horrendous. A nuclear assault on the city ofArak, the site of a heavy water plant central to Iran’s nuclear program, would potentially kill 93% of its 424,000 residents. Three 100-kiloton nuclear weapons hitting the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas would slaughter an estimated 94% of its 468,000 citizens, leaving just 1% of the population uninjured. A multi-weapon strike on Kermanshah, a Kurdish city with a population of 752,000, would result in an almost unfathomable 99.9% casualty rate.”

The barbaric boneheadedness of someone who would write such murder off as acceptable because the victims are not Americans is almost unfathomable. The response would be attacks on U.S. soldiers and U.S. citizens and the United States. The potential for escalation into a global and nuclear war would be significant, particularly with the U.S. playing at war games on Russia’s western border and arming attacks on the government of Syria.

But here comes Joshua Muravchik in the Washington Post. He’s funded by corporate-funded and war-industry-funded institutes. He’s backed all the recent wars, including the war on Iraq. He has no shame, no repentance. He wants more war. And all the many wars that President Obama is happy to wage or provoke just aren’t enough. There must be a war on Iran.

Muravchik calls Iran “violent, rapacious, devious, and redolent with hatred for Israel and the United States” without offering any evidence or explanation, and then claims — contrary to some 17 U.S. and 1 Israeli spy agencies — that Iran “is bound to continue its quest for nuclear weapons.” Imagine submitting an op-ed to the Washington Post that asserted that Iran had never had and does not have a nuclear weapons program. The editors would demand proof. Imaging providing the proof. The editors would reject it out of hand. After all, “both sides” make the same baseless accusations. President Obama and Senator McCain will both tell you that Iran is trying to build a nuke and must be stopped. They’ll just disagree on how to stop it, with Obama proposing a response that fits better with reality than it does with his own rhetoric.

Muravchik objects to any deal that might be reached with Iran because it will, necessarily and by definition, have Iran’s agreement. A better option, he says, would be the above mass-murder scenario. “What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons?” Iran is abiding by its treaty obligations, unlike the United States or Israel. Its nuclear energy puts it close to nuclear weaponry, but no closer than many other nations including all the Gulf dictatorships to which the West is currently spreading nuclear energy, just as it did to Iran — not to mention the CIA’s handing nuclear bomb plans to Iran and scapegoating Jeffrey Sterling over it. Beyond a negotiated agreement, a little leading by example, the removal of Israel’s nukes, the provision of clean energy, and a coordinated elimination of nuclear energy are entirely doable.

Muravchik knows this. And he knows that anyone you can talk to can work out a deal with you that is far superior to murdering millions of human beings. In fact everyone who’s not a vicious fascist pig knows this. So, there are two solutions in the standard propaganda toolbox: 1) claim Iran cannot be talked to, 2) call Iran a bunch of Nazis:

“Ideology is the raison d’etre of Iran’s regime, legitimating its rule and inspiring its leaders and their supporters. In this sense, it is akin to communist, fascist and Nazi regimes that set out to transform the world. Iran aims to carry its Islamic revolution across the Middle East and beyond. A nuclear arsenal, even if it is only brandished, would vastly enhance Iran’s power to achieve that goal.”

He admits that nuclear arsenals tend not to be used. But he claims that the madmen of Iran, even while exhibiting such rational restraint, would nonetheless spread their imperial conquests. Never mind that the United States has troops in 175 nations while Iran has not attacked another nation in centuries. If Iran can be imagined as behaving the way the United States would, and the United States can be imagined as behaving the way civilized countries do, then violence can be made to seem justified.

But you have to catapult the propaganda: “Sanctions may have induced Iran to enter negotiations, but they have not persuaded it to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.” There is of course no evidence for the opening claim in that sentence, nor for the concluding lie.

So, what we need, according to the Washington Post’s columnist is another knowingly self-defeating war that makes everything even worse: “Wouldn’t an attack cause ordinary Iranians to rally behind the regime? Perhaps, but military losses have also served to undermine regimes, including the Greek and Argentine juntas, the Russian czar and the Russian communists.” Our over-excited neocon may actually be at the point of imagining that Ronald Reagan invaded the USSR. The Washington Post, if questioned, will tell you that accuracy is not relevant in opinion writing.

And, if at first you kill millions of innocent people while accomplishing nothing: “Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary. Of course, Iran would try to conceal and defend the elements of its nuclear program, so we might have to find new ways to discover and attack them. Surely the United States could best Iran in such a technological race.”

Surely. And if not, what’s the viability of life on planet earth in the grand scheme of things? After all, there is some “us” for whom a war on Iran is “our” best option. For this crowd, there is a more important world than this one. It is the world of sacred self-deluded megalomaniacal murderers for whom killing is a sacrament.

And never mind the uncontrollable outbreak of wider war, when you’ve already written off the planet: “And finally, wouldn’t Iran retaliate by using its own forces or proxies to attack Americans — as it has done in Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — with new ferocity? Probably. ” But, says our sociopathic friend, it is better for the United States to suffer hard losses, while killing lots of Iranians unworthy of any notice, than to suffer the even worse losses that would surely come if an imaginary Iran that behaved like the United States attacked its neighbors and the United States were “drawn in” to those wars.

When you’re starting wars, not on the grounds that fictional weapons of mass destruction will kill you otherwise, not on the pretense of preventing an attack on civilians, but on the grounds that if you don’t start a war now someone else could theoretically start one later, you have set up a logic of Armageddon. And it may kill us all. We may die in part of overdosing on Hollywood movies with happy endings that convince us reality looks like that. But we won’t all die, I feel fairly certain, without the Washington Post cheering death through the door.<--break->

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  • jay jenkins

    jay jenkins notes this article. jay jenkins thinks the empire must be stopped

    • Dr Smileyface

      I imagine the empire as a towering stack of cans in a supermarket, and we are the individual cans, similar but with different branding and fillings.

      Then a little girl grabs a can from the bottom row…

  • I think I’m crying. It’s that magnificent.

  • SausageAway

    So many war mongers, its refreshing to read of the more rational counter view.

  • B. Miles Teg

    tally ho sandn***ers

  • Tom Welsh

    ‘Muravchik calls Iran “violent, rapacious, devious, and redolent with hatred for Israel and the United States”’.

    So let me see if I’m following this line of reasoning properly. They hate us, therefore we must kill them. Is that right?

    Has this guy ever heard of positive feedback? The more of THEM WE kill, the more THEY will hate US – and quite rightly. Moreover: do you think they would be justified in reasoning that, if we nuked them, we must hate them? But that would justify them in trying to kill all of us too.

    Is it remotely possible that a time will come when we are governed, informed, and advised by something other than homicidal psychotic chimps?

    • Dr Smileyface


      But please don’t blame the chimps – they’ve never bombed anybody.

  • Rehmat

    The ‘Washington Post’ is owned by a Zionist Jew family and listed as “Israel friendly” on Israel Hasbara Committee.

    Last month, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, executive director Simon Wiesenthal Center, put an ad in Jew York Times ridiculing Obama’s senior security advisor and former US ambassador to United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice, a Zionist crusader. The ad calls Rice being blind to (Israeli Jews at the hands of a nuclear Iran) genocide – comparing it with Rwanda “genocide”. See the ad below.

    The ad was in response Susan Rice’s criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu for standing in the way of Obama administration’s plan to sign a final deal with Iran by parroting lies about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    Incidentally, in September 2014, both Elie Wiesel and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach honored Rwanda president Paul Kagame, who was responsible for the Rwanda genocide. Paul Kagame happens to be a close African ally of the Zionist regime.

    • cettel

      What is “the Zionist Jew family” that owns the Washington Post?

      • Dr Smileyface

        Funny how brave little questions never seem to get the answers they deserve.

  • Me Who

    The beating of the war drums… So, how long have we been being bombarded with the belief that we need troops on the ground in Syria/Iraq? If you say it enough, people will begin to beLIEve it, agree, accept it. It’s time to grow up! for these “men”, “leaders” who still think they’re playing with G.I. Joe here. Meanwhile, the US is actually in a position to improve society as they have for their own people! Instead, it allows itself to be dragged down by the criminally insane, who btw openly admit that their first priority is the expansion and prosperity of their own theocratic excuse of a country, despite the cost to anyone else! I commend the restraint used by the writer here, because, yes! Damn it! This is the kind of thing you should be outraged and screaming about!

  • Aireck

    By this logic, Iran has every right to attack us first as we are seriously contemplating aggressive war on them. They would just be protecting themselves from a threat voiced over and over by the crazies on our side.
    The illogic of a preemptive war strategy.

  • Dr Smileyface

    David argues convincingly and passionately for peace as always, with obvious love for life and our world.

    War, and just as importantly rumours of wars – as Holy books recount, can serve the interests of power in several ways. That war is a racket and successful business model for companies in the richest so-called nations is well documented, but conflict is also used as a psychological blunt object to stifle
    change, split humanity, and stop us from developing as individuals.

    Whenever a nascent consciousness arises in a population, Machiavellian rulers seek to divide, deride, suppress, destroy or assimilate the new perspectives – for human society’s about ideas, what’s in our heads, what we believe.

    Therefore what really challenges power is a mass change of consciousness that cannot be subverted. When the majority of ordinary people realise they have so much in common, then differences and divisions will vanish, and we’ll be free to really cooperate. Because when free and equal folk think together, the output is vastly superior to that of any hierarchical system.

    And as David tells us, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the common intelligence of humanity is calling for the abolition of war.

  • Ray

    The American elite is seriously dangerous bunch of people!

  • Bruce

    The Samson Option of USrael is the truly terrorizing Damocles’ Sword hanging over Megiddo and The WORLD. With ~ 300 atomic bombs, the zionists have the capacity to end life on earth as we know it (only requiring 100 to finish US ALL!). For perspective, it’s exponentially greater than the 30 nucular detonations in the following nightmare (and INFINITELY MORE STYOOPID!)!

    Armageddon EPITOMIZED by the torturous WashPost (blub, Blub, BLUB; the FIRE This time …