Chris Bambery discusses the propaganda campaign being waged by the West in the build up of Western aggression against Iran.
A number of people have said to me that a US-led war on Iran will never happen. Someone added that if it did we could respond then.
Both arguments are dangerous. Wars can happen by what seem to be accidents – an Austrian grand duke taking a wrong turning for instance. The military build up in the Persian Gulf, sanctions and the Cold War between America and Europe on the one hand and Iran on the other all creates a situation which could escalate or spin out of control suddenly.
The ‘wait until it happens’ argument misses out the fact that we are being softened up by western politicians and media with constant attacks on Iran which merge seamlessly into the usual Islamophobia.
So this week the Obama administration warned Iran was planning terror attacks in the States, despite admitting it had no evidence for this. It recalled the lies and misinformation spun about Iraq in the preparation for the 2003 invasion.
The job of anti-imperialists and anti-war activists is not just to counter this filth but to go on the counter-offensive pointing out Western silence over Bahrain and the fact that the US and the UK encouraged Iran to develop a nuclear programme – when the Shah ruled, naturally.
We also need to show our government we will not allow this country to tail along behind another US war. That requires a degree of mobilisation.
Polls showed a majority against the Libya war. We need to connect that sort of opposition to the fact that while they plan a war in the Persian Gulf they claim there’s no money for welfare and much more here.
Even if it turns out the US and friends pull back from an attack on Iran – and that’s a big if – the current campaign is aimed at isolating Tehran and making it easier to turn on them again in the future and also represents an extension of the continuous campaign of Islamophobia.
Chris Bambery is an author, political activist and commentator, and a supporter of Rise, the radical left wing coalition in Scotland. His books include A People's History of Scotland and The Second World War: A Marxist Analysis.
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