Here's Sheldon Richman on the neocon doublethink on Iran:
Occasionally, leading neoconservative intellectuals forget that the wider world is listening and say things that belie their own case for war. Take, for example, Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. In a recent video statement Pletka said,
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately. …”
And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.
Let that sink in: the biggest — biggest — problem with Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon is that it might not use it. Got that? And why would that be bad? Because “naysayers” (that is, people against war) would be able to point to Iran’s responsible conduct as proof that Iran is not irresponsible. Imagine that!
Pletka leaves the implication that the U.S. government should attack Iran, which would devastate that country and murder countless innocent people, in order to stop it from demonstrating that it is not a reckless, insane, and suicidal power in the Middle East. Has there ever been a worse reason to launch a war?
Even if Iran were to get a nuclear weapon, they wouldn't represent any threat whatsoever to the security of the US or the American people, of course. What it would represent, however, is a threat to the interests of the US Empire and US domination in the Middle East. Richman continues:
This is what passes for reason and logic among our “serious” foreign-policy thinkers in Washington. These are the same people who gave us Operation Iraqi Freedom, which killed or injured hundreds of thousands and created four million refugees.
But those who are prepared to sacrifice innocent Iranians to solve this “problem” aren’t mad. In their worldview, they are right to worry about Iran being perceived as a responsible power. Pletka’s colleague Thomas Donnelly spelled it out in The Weekly Standard: “We’re fixated on the Iranian nuclear program while the Tehran regime has its eyes on the real prize: the balance of power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East.”
In other words, how dare a country located in the Middle East aspire to challenge the American empire’s dominance there!