To the Charlottesville Daily Progress
"Headed to another Persian Gulf War" is a helpful column in that it seeks to avoid a war on Iran, but unhelpful in that it makes that war just a little bit more likely.
Don Nuechterlein claims to know the motivations of our two presidents Bush in launching a pair of wars on Iraq. But he makes no mention of oil, of bases, of profits, or of global politics. The babies-taken-from-incubators fraud is forgotten along with the WMD lies. In fact, the WMD lies of 2002-2003 are given new support -- albeit baseless and undocumented -- in Nuechterlein's claim that the war was intended "to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime and prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons." It had of course been totally and entirely prevented from any such thing, prior to and without the war. Overthrowing a foreign government is not a legal basis for a war. Limiting weapons production, even when not a fantasy cooked up in Washington, is not a legal basis for war. In fact, there is no legal basis for war, which is banned by the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the U.N. Charter, and banned to presidents acting without the Congress by the U.S. Constitution.
By the next paragraph Neuchterlein is referring to Iran's "nuclear arms program," something the existence of which is supported by zero evidence, something the U.S. Secretary of "Defense" says does not exist. Neuchterlein doesn't argue that it exists. That would make him seem like a pro-war propagandist. He just assumes baselessly that it exists in order to proceed from there to an argument for being very reluctant and oh-so serious about going into another spree of pointless mass murder.
In the next paragraph we hear that Iran is refusing to negotiate. Iran has tried repeatedly to negotiate the end of its nuclear energy program or the exportation of its uranium for refinement outside of the country. It is difficult for Iran to negotiate when the U.S. State Department doesn't speak to it. Neuchterlein, to be sure, is opposed to acting rashly on the basis of Iran's supposed refusal to negotiate. Nonetheless he is in favor of pretending it exists.
We then learn that "All Arab countries, especially in the Persian Gulf region, live in fear of Iran's hegemonic ambitions." What world does that claim come out of? Can Neuchterlein name one Arab Gulf country with an Iranian military presence? Can he name one without a U.S. military presence? Two paragraphs later he's admitting that Syria (not a Gulf state) is aligned with Iran.
Neuchterlein frames the choices as including sanctions or war. But sanctions, for which Nuechterlein offers no evidence (and I know of no evidence) that they are having a serious negative impact on the Iranian government, are a step toward war, not away from it. They strengthen nationalism, not democracy. They punish ordinary people (and by punish I mean kill), not presidents.
Neuchterlein then describes Obama as a fellow reluctant warrior who might be forced into a war against his deep desire, despite the fact that Obama has been pushing very similar propaganda to Neuchterlein. Neuchterlein labels Newt Gingrich "pro-Israel," even though a majority of Israelies are against attacking Iran and Gingrich is for it. Neuchterlein pretends that Obama has no influence over Israel, even though the United States gives Israel billions of dollars worth of weapons, vetoes every measure of accountability for Israeli crimes at the United Nations, and works closely with the Israeli military and Mossad.
NBC this week reported that Israel is funding and training the Iranian group MEK to engage in terrorism in Iran. The MEK is a group the U.S. government has designated terrorist, but which a gaggle of big whigs like Howard Dean and Rudi Giuliani illegally work for, and which the U.S. government, like Israel, has been funding, according to Seymour Hersh. But the onus is on Iran to start "negotiating."
How about this negotiation: all paries stop threatening war, and all parties comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. You see the trouble? Iran has already met both of those demands and always had, whereas Israel and the United States have not and have no intention of doing so.
After his onslaught of lies, Neuchterlein proposes that we avoid war if possible. If possible? It is ALWAYS possible to avoid war. But there is no easier way to get into a war than by establishing that it might be "impossible" to avoid, thus removing all moral and legal responsibility.
Please check facts even in the "Commentary."
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War ," "War Is A Lie " and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union ." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org  and http://warisacrime.org  and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org