By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
War drums are being beaten once again. Reports are circulating, suggesting that if Iran is not stopped now, world peace will be in danger. Statements are being issued that Iran is behind the Shiâ€™a insurgency in Iraq.
Is a US attack on Iran imminent? Several reports emanating from reliable sources suggest that the plan to attack Iran in the Spring or a few weeks before the end of President Bushâ€™s term is in place. In order to put the plan in action, public opinion is being shaped and in days to come probably more than 60 percent of the public will be prepared to support the war.
Those who were the main supporters of the war against Saddam Hussain would be in the forefront. Peace activists will stage anti-war rallies. Millions will come out into the streets denouncing the upcoming war.
But, probably, the President will make his decision on the basis of the recommendations he gets from his team–who have already made up their minds on the issue. The Democratic leadership is cautious, and as suggested by many senior party leaders, the information spread to justify the coming war is dubious. They are not alone. A great majority of the nation believes that lies were fabricated to justify war against Saddam Hussain.
We all know the repercussions of the war with Iran. Our country and our world did not become a safer place after our invasion. In fact, our action caused more than half a million of people to die as a result of violence and chaos that prevail in Iraq. In the process, we also lost more than 3,125 of our finest young men and women.
Human life is too precious to be destroyed at the whims of a few powerful elites and on the basis of lies and assumptions. We will be repeating the same mistakes once again if we rush to judgment about Iranâ€™s nuclear capabilities. In the impending attack on Iran, we might destroy a few facilities here and there, but we will also put the whole region on fire.
Our policy-makers are relying on Arab fears. They probably think that the monarchs and despots of the Middle East will support our war because of their latent hostility towards Iran. They may be right. But the monarchs and despots do not represent the streets. The war against Iran may lead the streets to erupt not only against the rulers but against our interests. We might have to send more and more troops into the region to face a hostile population. More deaths and destruction may follow, impacting every place in the world. The terrorists want precisely that. They want to engage us in different parts of the world. Through their hit and run tactics, they want to put us in constant danger.
We have to adopt a different strategy to counter Iran and anyone else that threatens our security and world peace. With Iran, We have to use diplomacy to ensure that our concerns are addressed in a peaceful manner. War will hurt us more than it would hurt Iran. We cannot afford it at this time or any other time. Diplomacy should be given an opportunity.
In diplomacy, we should be prepared to use unconventional methods to resolve the issue. Our State Department can certainly rely on Muslims in the United States to initiate a process of negotiations with the Iranian leadership and intellectuals on this issue. However, the Bush Administration has to first accept Muslims as equal citizens of the country, determined to protect its interests the same way as any other Americans, whether Christian or Jewish.
Without giving diplomacy a chance, and exhausting all resources for peace, it would be hard to convince people of conscience who go beyond news polls that the potential Iran war is a â€œlast resortâ€ instead of an expedient but reckless gamble to attain ends that have never been spelled out for the American people.