How do We Grow Opposition to a War on Iran?

by Debra Sweet 

 We had a good beginning round of protest Saturday against a war on Iran, in about 80 places across the US and Canada, and including Leeds (UK), Berlin, and Rome. Thousands marched, rallied, spoke, sang, did theater, vigils, held signs and reached out to many thousands more. Many people said how much they felt the spirit of unity, and were heartened by quick, loud, determined message: not another US war in our name, whether it's begun by Israel or the Obama administration.

See video, press coverage, photos, reports here and on nowariranorg.  Send  more reports and photos.

The danger of an Israeli attack on Iran, backed up by the U.S. is higher than ever. From the biggest platform in the world, Barack Obama gave a pre-Superbowl interview in which he clearly indicated that the U.S. and Israel are working "in lockstep:"

Lauer: Has Israel promised you that they would give you advance warning to any such attack? Should they give you that warning?

Obama: I won’t go into the details. I will say that we have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we’ve ever had.  And we are going to make sure we work in lockstep, as we proceed to try to solve this — hopefully diplomatically. …

Our preferred solution here is diplomatic; we’re going to keep on pushing on that front. But we’re not going to take any options off the table, and I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating an arms race, a nuclear arms race in a volatile region.

Ray McGovern, who is wrangling with Obama's position in Obama's Superbowl Fumble on Iran,
gets at something important in how public opinion is being molded

"Somehow the main focus has shifted from (a) how soon Iran could get a nuclear weapon to (b) how soon Israel is likely to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities — whether they are shown to be related to nuclear weapons development, or not."

Chris Floyd goes into what's wrong with Obama's premise in

Super Savage Sunday: Obama Tightens the Screws on Iran:

Not a single government in the world
-- including Israel -- believes that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Not one. No one is making that claim. In fact, leading figures in both the United States and Israel have made it very plain in recent weeks that they do not believe Iran is building a nuclear weapon. There is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. It does not exist. And yet these same leaders, at the same time, tell us that we must put more and more pressure on Iran -- we must assassinate its scientists, we must carry out covert ops inside its territory, we must surround it with bristling military bases, we must belly up to its shores with vast fleets, we must fill its skies with spy drones, and we must drive its ordinary citizens into ruin and suffering with an ever-increasing array of sanctions -- in order to .... what, exactly?

Floyd gets at another problem we're up against in stopping this war in Runaway Train: Stop the War Against Iran -- Now:

Many voices that hurled thunderous denunciations at the Bush Regime for its brazen manipulations toward a baseless and unjustified war are now silent – that is, if they are not actively supporting the increasingly rabid saber-rattling by the Peace Laureate. To them, Obama's re-election is more important than anything on earth: certainly more important than the thousands (or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of innocent people who will die in the long-running, far-reverberating hellstorm that an attack on Iran will create.

I don't think we should restrict discussion about the nature of Iran's theocratic government, and the tremendous internal opposition to it that's developed over the last 3 years since the 2009 election brought millions into street protests against that regime. We were fortunate, especially in New York, to have so many young opponents of the regime, with their message against the Islamic Republic of Iran. We can handle complex thoughts. 

As World Can't Wait
said Saturday in our flier, "Just as the actions of our government don't represent the interests of people living in the U.S, most Iranian people feel the same about their own government, with its stolen election, prisons filled with political activists, and growing poverty.  But the actions of the Iranian government in no way justify a US war on Iran, which would not help its people."

All of these questions are important in our efforts to stand up for humanity and the planet, and stop the crimes of our own government. I hope you will join the conversation tomorrow night, or
write me.