Before bringing out the drums for war, people need to make sure the reports they hear from the government and sources which have long desired for war are legitimate. And even then they must be careful and not assume that if what they hear is correct, it really gives cause for war.
Back at the time of the first Gulf War, so many things said about Iraq and its actions turned out to be false — propaganda created to get the US into war. The same, of course, is true with our return to Iraq under G.W. Bush: the claims of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction were false (and I knew they were false back when the claims were being made — I specifically remember when Colin Powell was at the UN; while he was talking and making charges, I was showing people how those charges were already outdated and proven to be false)
There has been a great push for conflict with Iran. Within the last week, I’ve read several reports indicating Iran planned to do something big to “shock the West” today, the 11th of February. I even had one older gentleman in my apartment complex, seeing me taking pictures of the snow storm, motion for me to come over, and then he told me what he had heard was going to happen today.I immediately asked him about the source of his information and if he knew how accurate they were. I told him that many times in the recent past, much of what Iran has done and much of what its officials have stated have been misconstrued by Western media (such as when President Ahmadinejad’s desire for the removal of the present ruling regime in Israel has been turned into a often repeated lie about him wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.).
Today, it has been reported that Iran is now a “nuclear state” with the first batch of enriched uranium enriched to the level of 20%. Already, the calls for a response are being made. Already, people are making him say things he did not say. For example, the Daily Mail is saying:
This morning Ahmadinejad told scores of cheering Iranians that the Islamic Republic is capable of producing weapons-grade uranium.
Now it is true he said they can enrich it to 80%, but that is not all he said. The implication which we got from this, that Iran is making weapons-grade uranium and its President is issuing a threat to the world, is false. There is more to the story than this. While it is probable that he will not tell the world all of his intentions, Amadinejad said that Iran has no interest in using the uranium for weapons. As reported in Al-Jazeera :
Iran announced on Tuesday that it was beginning to further enrich its uranium stockpile so that it could be made into fuel rods for use in a medical research reactor in Tehran.
But Ahmadinejad repeated his insistence that Iran’s nuclear programme was not aimed at producing a nuclear weapon.
“If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it … our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you.,” he said.
Interestingly enough, the Al-Jazeera article points out that there are issues to the credibility to Iran’s claims. It is possible they have produced what they said, but many have doubts:
An International Atomic Energy Agency memo released on Wednesday, however, also appeared to cast doubt on Ahmadinejad’s claims, saying that its efforts were only modest at the moment.
As Catholics, we need to realize, even if Iran gets weapons grade uranium, that alone does not give justification for war. Indeed, if we follow the war hawks now and do any bombing raids over Iran right now, all that would do is give Iran the possibility for a just war in response.
Do we really want to do that? Do we really want to give them cause for a holy war against the West?