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Iran: Obama’s Potential Holy War

In Economy, National News, Opinion, Politics, Religion on March 6, 2012 at 1:08 am

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama at The White House.(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines


How difficult it is to imagine that in the modern world, entire civilizations are still willing to bomb each other out of existence over religious rhetoric and what they believe to be holy territories. Human civilization may simply be doomed to destroy itself once and for all because of ancient tribal god images and a twisted belief in a kind of manifest destiny.

Apparently Man has learned nothing from his past, a millennium of history soaked in the blood of countless millions all in the name of “god.” The Crusades, for example, consisted of seven separate Christian campaigns, lasting from 1095 until 1291 and costing the lives of hundreds of thousands.

Hitler’s mass extermination of Jews, a quintessential catalyst for World War II, was religiously motivated, albeit orchestrated nearly single-handed by a madman. Even the American Revolution had its roots in religious freedoms.

Muslims, Jews, Christians, it doesn’t matter who it is, they are all the same; it’s their God or no ones. If you don’t believe their way, they’ll start a war, take the land and force the survivors to capitulate or be exterminated.

That kind of extremism might seem foreign to Americans, but it has happened in the “land of the free” as well, perpetrated by our own citizens, all in the name of a higher power. If you don’t think so, just mention the idea to the next Native American you meet and see what he or she has to say about the subject. Their people, culture and religions were all but wiped out, mostly by people claiming to be Christians; an ugly black eye on the history ofAmericaand Christianity.

Today, as theUnited Statesstands poised once again in a stand-off with yet another militant nation (Iran) steeped in religious fanaticism, the stakes are higher than ever. President Obama has already toldIsraelthat theU.S.is committed to denyingIrana nuclear weapon, which is like a triple-dog dare to the likes ofIran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad has already said thatIranwould not hesitate to execute a pre-emptive attack against any enemy. A nuclear arsenal would not only give them the power to keep even theU.S.at bay, but neighboring countries would likely surrender just to avoid the possibility of starting a war no one could win.

IfIrandoes have nuclear weapons capability and provides that technology to operatives sympathetic to Al Qaeda, the next terrorist attack onU.S.soil could see casualties in the millions. Of course, these same arguments were made by President George W. Bush to gain support for invadingIraq, which, as it turns out had no weapons of mass destruction.

Iranis different however, in that there is solid evidence of advanced uranium enrichment and testing of missiles to carry the nuclear warheads, in fact the Iranians revel in boasting about what they’ve accomplished.

Some sayIran’s threats are merely saber rattling in an attempt to loosen more than a decade of embargos against the country. That could be, but it could also be a definite threat byIranto the rest of the region, particularlyIsrael, and a warning to theUnited Statesto stay out of their way.

The president is threatening military intervention to protectIsraelas well as other interests in the region. But should he? What has to happen for the president to commit resources and manpower to endingIran’s nuclear development programs?

Unfortunately, just as it was during each of the previous Mid-East conflicts, the situation is just as much about oil as it is religion. We need it, and they have it. Oil rich and power poor,Iranmust sell its oil to have money to at once feed itself and buy more weapons.

One thing is certain, Americans are tired of war. The president and members of congress will most likely need to weigh the politics against the benefits of a military move againstIran, pre-emptive or otherwise. Whatever happens, it is clear that peaceful coexistence is simply not an option when dealing with religious extremism.