The Drum of War

The similar sounds of war drums are beating yet again. The United States and Israel are lining up another Middle Eastern nation in their cross hairs, this time Iran. For the past few weeks the situation has been heating up to say the least with Israel threatening to attack the Nuclear Facilities of Iran and the United States lobbying to get the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to publish a report stating Iran is trying build weapons of mass destruction. The report by the IAEA was finally published on November 8th 2011. The report summarized:

"After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. This information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device."

The report does not site where this "credible" information came from, immediately calling into question the reliability of this report by China and Russia who believe that this report was issued for the sole purpose of ensuring no diplomatic solution occurs. While American politicians for the most part do not seem keen on striking Iran, they seem to only desire further sanctions to keep Iran "isolated", Israel is another story.

Israel in the past few weeks has been itching to strike Iran. There have been details that have surfaced stating Israel's future tactics and plans to carry out an aerial operation that would deal a fatal blow to the Iranian nuclear program, which the Islamic Republic assures the global community is strictly for peaceful energy purposes. Ehud Barak speaking earlier even down played the risk of causalities that Israel could suffer in a counter attack launched by Iran, further pushing speculators to believe that Israel is seriously considering a strike if it has already began planning on Iran's counterstrike.

"Let's assume we get to war against our will," Barak said. "There will not be 100,000 dead, not 10,000 dead and not 1,000 dead. And Israel will not be destroyed. There's no way today to prevent certain damage. It's not pleasant on the home front ... [but] if everyone just goes into their homes, there will not be 500 dead, either. And I don't belittle a single fatality."

The issue that sticks out to me personally as a citizen of this world is the sheer hypocrisy of the conflict and the amount of propaganda being pushed forth by the Israeli and American media. While I personally do not support Iran's ambition if any to produce a nuclear device, I do understand why a nation in its geographical situation would desperately try and acquire a nuclear weapon. Let us delve deeper. America is sitting pretty in Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and our naval forces are constantly patrolling that region armed to the teeth in nuclear powered and armed submarines. Aside from having America move into the neighborhood Iran has been sharing a seat in the Middle East with a nuclear armed Israel. Israel though constantly calling for sanctions on Iran and inspections refuses to allow the IAEA inspectors to review its facilities. With America protecting Israeli interests Israel can continue to be a nuclear power without any oversight from the IAEA. Seeing as how the United States and Israel, two nations that Iran does not have diplomatic relations with and are constantly at odds with Iran have nuclear weapons, Iran sees it logical that in order to defend itself from future invasions by the United States and any possible attacks by Israel it would be better to arm and have some leverage. The media does not portray this side of the story though. They portray Iran as a nation run by a lunatic religious dictator that desires nothing more than acquiring a nuclear weapon and immediately launching it at Israel. For a perfect example see this quote from an article in the Boston globe on November 9, 2011 entitled A Nuclear Iran would be gravest threat; 

"For more than 30 years, the apocalyptic radicals who rule Iran have proclaimed an intense hatred of the United States and Israel, and hungered for "a world without Zionism or America.'' They have engaged in violent adventurism without scruple - abductions, assassinations, terrorism, accompanied by genocidal rhetoric of Hitlerian bluntness."

The language used here is hyperbolic and asinine to say the least as the author ignores all history in making his claims and refuses to acknowledge any of the facts. That is the kind of media that is being pushed in the U.S. and Israel that is helping voice the call for war, let us hope this time around we will not witness another 2003! 


Ashraf Barakat is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee studying History and Education with a concentration in Middle Eastern and North African studies. He can be reached at

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