Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Myth of the Iranian Sanctuary

By Scott Ritter

"Recently I was invited to provide testimony before the Chicago City Council on a proposed resolution to oppose any US military action against Iran. I salute the City Council for having the courage and sense of civic responsibility to consider a resolution which would pressure the Congressional delegation of the State of Illinois to heed the will of the citizens of Chicago. The resolution, as written at the time of the hearing, was a strong indictment of the current policies of the Bush administration in Iran as well as Iraq, and underscored the insufficiency of just cause for any military action against Iran. The resolution pushed for a diplomatic solution to all problems that might exist between Iran and the United States, noting that a failure to pursue diplomacy with Iraq has resulted in a war which not only has killed thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but cost each ward in the City of Chicago some 104 million dollars which would otherwise have been used to benefit its citizens......

The fact of the matter is, there is no "sanctuary" problem in Iran worthy of American military action. These illusory "sanctuaries" are but a myth propagated by those elements within the Bush administration, namely the Office of the Vice President, which are desirous of seeing American policy toward Iran shaped by the reality of war, no matter how artificially and fraudulently justified. These elements are fearful of a legitimate debate on the merits of military action against Iran, because they know that from such a debate the emptiness of their cause, logically and morally, will be exposed for all to see.

The worst course of action for those who seek to determine policy by exploiting the fears of a population operating in ignorance of the facts is to conduct open hearings which serve to expose bad policy to sunlight, and empower those present with knowledge and information so that their fears can be assuaged with enlightenment. The recent hearings held by the Chicago City Council on Iran are representative of this kind of "sunshine policy," which if our elected officials in Washington, DC cannot muster the courage to convene, must then be replicated throughout the United States in the councils of its cities, towns and villages so that the will of the people can be given voice......."

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