The Iran question is often posed, as it was in last week's debate to Ron Paul, as a hypothetical. If Iran was proven to have a nuclear weapon what steps would be taken by the US to assure they did not attack Israel? The establishment media is skillful in the presentation and structure of the debate. The question assumes it is the responsibility of the US to protect Israel from a strike by Iran. But more importantly it assumes that Iran has the ability and strategic desire to attack Israel.
This unclassified assessment of Iran's military capability by the US Department of Defense clearly states that "To ensure regime survival, Iran's security strategy is based first on deterring an attack."
The document goes on to make this key statement, "Iran's nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy."
But what if the unpredictable Ahmadinejad and company in Tehran suddenly changed their strategy and decided to go on the offensive? Fortunately they would not have the capability according to the DoD which states, "At present Iran's forces are sufficent to deter or defend against conventional threats from Iran's weaker neighbors such as post-war Iraq, the GCC, Azerbaijan or Afghanistan but lack the air power and logistical ability to power much beyond Iran's boarders or to confront regional powers such as Turkey or Israel."
Stated simply Iran wants to obtain the necessary weapons to defend itself in a bad neighborhood where it finds itself surrounded by a global superpower.
The hyping of the potential nuclear program in Iran is Washington's attempt to establish a pretext that would garner public support for a strike/destabilization campaign on Iran. The obvious goal would be regime change.
So the real reason the Pentagon sees a nuclear program in Iran as a threat is not because it would be used as a first strike weapon against Israel, but because it would make it more difficult for the US and its allies to take out the regime in Tehran.
Many in Washington would love to have cooperative leadership in place in Tehran because it would tilt the control of world energy resources sharply in favor of the US and its allies. But as long as Iran is rogue and friendly with Russia and China we can expect to hear about Iran's potential nuclear program and the danger it presents Israel and the world.
In the light of these facts the current debate in the Republican presidential primary appears to be nothing but propaganda, save the argument made by Ron Paul.
About the Author: Shaun Booth is editor of MilwaukeeStory.com.