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Poll: 71% of Americans Believe Iran has Nuclear Weapons

February 22, 2012

A disturbing new poll shows that 71% of Americans apparently believe that Iran has nuclear weapons . This is just plain ridiculous. This is proof that the media’s widespread campaign of misinformation about Iran has succeeded. They lied to us so many times that we believed it.

Meanwhile, even our own intelligence reports say that Iran is not only not in possession of nuclear weapons, but also say that there is no evidence to suggest that they are even pursuing the production of nuclear weapons.

If the USA goes into an unnecessary war with another country that was incorrectly believed to be in possession of nuclear weapons, against all available evidence, it will have officially ceded any right to the pretention of moral high ground in a global context. The lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians is not acceptable collateral damage. Wasting hundreds of billions of our dollars on unnecessary military conflicts is economically unacceptable. And putting the lives of our troops in danger because of a campaign of misinformation is just plain wrong.

They’re trying to scare us into another war we don’t need, and right now, it looks like they may just be succeeding.

Don’t get me wrong: Iran has a terrible, repressive, despotic regime that masquerades as a democracy while functioning as a dictatorial theocracy, and regime change in Iran is extremely desirable. If America proved anything in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, it’s that we are incapable of effecting regime change, especially in the middle east. Our inability to create legitimate governments in occupied countries should be unsurprising; we send young people with guns to far-off lands without the ability to speak the indigenous languages, without any understanding of indigenous cultures, and we end up shooting people for bad reasons far too frequently. However we may think of ourselves, we would not be viewed as ‘liberators’ to the people of Iran, especially given the historical context. We will be viewed as foreign oppressors, and rightly so. The last time the US created regime change in Iran, we put the despotic Shah in power for purely economic and anti-communist reasons, undoing decades of democratic reforms within the country. What reason have we given them to expect anything different this time around?

The war hawks and war profiteers in our country have discovered that fear-mongering and misinformation are very effective ways to get Americans to support doing things that are very obviously not in our national interest, and we are letting them take advantage of our own irrationality for political and monetary gain. We cannot allow ourselves to bankroll the unnecessary slaughter of even more civilians around the world.

Meanwhile, the self-same ‘deficit hawks’ who ran the second half of Obama’s first term into the ground in the name of faux-austerity are now talking tough on Iran. The Republican presidential nominees are at the head of the pack, feeding the fire, contesting each others hostility towards Iran in an absurdist show of ignorance. You can’t have it both ways, folks. It is ridiculous for them to pretend that they are concerned with the government’s debt while simultaneously trumping up the need to go spend hundred of billions more on another unnecessary, unfunded war in a country that poses almost no proven threat to the US.

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