[Marxism] Holbrooke says US won't attack Iran on Bush's watch (Clinton's will be another matter)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Nov 30 03:08:06 MST 2007

November 29, 2007
Possible Democrat Choice as Next Secretary of State Says Pentagon is
Fiercely Opposed to Strike
Holbrooke Says Bush Won't Attack Iran


Richard Holbrooke, former Ambassador to the U.N., and former Assistant
Secretary of State to the U.S., spoke last night, November 27, at the
Toronto Design Exchange and outlined the reasons he thinks an attack on Iran
won't happen on Bush's watch.

Holbrooke was in Toronto by invitation of the Donner Canadian Foundation,
which is connected in the U.S. to the Woodrow Wilson Centre. He was
introduced by Allan Gottleib, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.
Holbrooke's talk centered on the thesis that the Bush administration has
made many mistakes in its foreign policy over the last seven years. On this
point there was little disagreement among the audience on this point. 

When Mr. Holbrooke addressed the issue of whether or not the U.S. will bomb
Iran and its people he did not speak of this action in terms of the U.S.
nation bombing Iran. He spoke of it in terms of the Bush Administration
bombing Iran. 

He then went on to list four reasons as to why he thought that the Bush
Administration would not bomb Iran. 

1) The nuclear installations, the putative causa belli of such an operation,
are dispersed and built deep underground and so could not be sufficiently
damaged to be put out of commission this way. 

2) Much of the U.S. military is diametrically even vehemently opposed to
embarking on a third "adventure" (Ambassador Holbrooke's word) when the
first two are far from over.

3) Such an attack may well serve to unite the people of Iran behind
Ahmadinejad and thereby make the nation of Iran even more of a
"destabilizing force in the region". (Again Holbrooke's choice of words)

4) The U.S. would further isolate itself from the international community as
could not envision even a single one of America's allies joining in such an

What he did not mention much less lead with was the following. Absent a
Security Council motion legitimizing an attack on Iran such an attack would
be a crime against peace. What this means is that beyond the immorality of
such an act such an attack would be in violation of international laws to
which the U.S. is signatory, and make the U.S. guilty of the supreme crime
in international law: The crime of a war of aggression. 

After this signal absence Holbrooke then went on to categorize Iran as "the
most pressing problem nation" for the U.S. and the "most dangerous country
in the region". He accused the President of Iran of being "the world's most
virulent anti-Semite" and a "holocaust denier", and he cited the Iranian
Revolution as being a central cause for the rise of fundamental Islam in the
region. He further accused the Iranian government of fomenting terror
worldwide and of providing IED's (improvised explosive devices) "that are
killing Americans in Iraq". 

One must assume that when Holbrooke is speaking on the record and for public
attribution, as he was last night, he was choosing his words not so much out
of a deep sense of personal belief as he is speaking so as to reflect the
general/bipartisan consensus that exists in the halls of U.S. power. 

Jeff Berg can be reached at jeffberg at rogers.com 

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