Target Tehran is a new production set to be released worldwide in 2012. Washington hopes it will be a blockbuster.
The story is of an all-out air and naval assault on Iran by the forces of freedom and democracy: the U.S. Navy and Air Force. It is yet to be decided if the U.S. infantry will be written into the script; but with an unlimited budget, it very well may happen.
Details of the story are undergoing final edits at the Pentagon. President Barack Obama has already signed on to direct the project. Insiders say it could save his career.
(Unfortunately, Target Tehran will not follow the same plot as its namesake, Target Tokyo. When that film was released in 1945 — narrated by Ronald Reagan who, ironically, would become president — there was no doubt that America was fighting a global struggle for freedom. Many historians have called it America’s last good war.)
The first production, Iraq II, was directed by two Presidents at a cost of $1 trillion. Not since Ishtar has there been a bigger desert bust.
Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers perished during the making of Iraq II. Another 32,000 U.S. soldiers were wounded. No U.S. agency officially keeps track of the “other side,” but estimates indicate that between 100,000 and 300,000 Iraqis died.
Counterpunch.com describes the Iraq war in a paragraph that reads like a movie review:
In the U.S. narrative — as repeated in U.S. media — this war was waged to prevent Iraq from terrorizing the world, never mind that all the “evidence” was trumped up. It is mind-boggling the notion of killing and maiming untold tens of thousands of Iraqis and displacing hundreds of thousands of them, and for U.S. politicians to continue to invoke notions of U.S. sacrifice and heroic deeds in the same breath.
There were also indirect costs of Iraq II, including a five-fold increase in the price of oil and a declining opinion of the United States. Two generations ago, America was seen as the great liberator. Today, many people consider it the great instigator.
There is no happy ending. Iraq is as far away from democracy as it was during Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Saddam was a ruthless butcher, but that hardly distinguished him as a Mideast ruler. Today, Iraq is being ripped apart by sectarian violence and is on the verge of a bloody civil war.
Such post-production details matter little to the neoconservatives who conceived the project.
Only a few weeks ago did production shut down in Iraq. In response, The Washington Post published this opinion piece by Jessica T. Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
The public may also never know exactly why or when the Bush administration made its tragically misguided decision to go to war. Former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill has said that unseating Saddam Hussein dominated a meeting with President George W. Bush 10 days after Bush’s inauguration — eight months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among the many reasons posted — avenging an Iraqi attack on Bush’s father, getting the United States’ hands on Mideast oil, extending democracy across the region — only the charge that Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction came close to selling the American people on war.
Bullets Over Broadway
As misguided as it was for America, Iraq II was embraced by Obama, the second director brought in on the project. Continued work ceased only after the Iraqi government, which owns the lot where the production was being made, declared that U.S. forces could face prosecution for their actions.
It seems almost impossible to believe that the U.S. government, which seamlessly transformed Japan and Germany into rich democratic nations following World War II, could fail so miserably in the Mideast, yet that is exactly what has happened.
Springtime For Hitler
Washington is intent on further Mideast productions. In a case of life imitating art, Target Tehran seems much like Mel Brooks’ production The Producers.
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem as careless as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in turning their play into a flop — as long as their careers can be furthered by it.
On the PBS program Victory In The Pacific, the narrator says: “The emperor, who had worried about a rebellion from his subjects, helped ensure his position by posing as their savior.”
I expect the same of Obama in 2012. His re-election looms in less than 11 months, and nothing has proven to be a better prescription for winning than engaging in war. What better target than Iran? Unlike George W. Bush, Obama doesn’t have to lie about weapons of mass destruction. Many Americans are convinced Iran actually has them, and Washington is already in pre-production mode. Consider the recent public relations offensive:
- In a speech at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism on Dec. 16, Obama said: “Another grave concern — and a threat to the security of Israel, the United States and the world — is Iran’s nuclear program. And that’s why our policy has been absolutely clear: We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
- In an interview with CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley that aired on Dec. 19, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared that Iran might be only a year away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. “If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon, then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it,” Panetta said.
- On Dec. 20, CNN reported that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “I am satisfied that the options that we are developing (for attacking Iran) are evolving to a point that they would be executable if necessary.”
- In a Dec. 21 interview with Israel’s Channel 10, Dennis Ross, Obama’s former Mideast adviser, said: “This is a president who has prided himself on doing what he says, so I think if he draws the conclusion that what is required is to take a certain kind of step, he’s prepared to take those steps. It means that when all options are on the table and if you’ve exhausted all other means, you do what is necessary.”
- On Dec. 23, former Pentagon adviser Matthew Kroenig’s essay “Time to Attack Iran” was published in Foreign Affairs. Kroenig builds his case that an American assault on Iran should be undertaken sooner rather than later.
Over the holidays, Obama’s Hawaii vacation included a workout at the Kaneohe Marine Base. Later, he hiked with family and friends along the Lanikai Pillbox trail on the Windward side of Oahu, a short distance from Pearl Harbor. Not far away, Obama was likely planning his re-election campaign and the centerpiece of it: Target Tehran.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report