In U.S. foreign relations, there is a terrible disconnect between history and present-day reality.

The Cold War squandered our wealth, from Europe to Central America to Vietnam, and cost millions of lives. Yet Soviet concerns were defensive.

The neoconservatives’ pursuit of Middle East hegemony led us into killing, maiming or dispossessing millions, destroying Iraq and spreading death and devastation through Afghanistan — for harboring Saudi terrorists.  

Racists, in not recognizing others’ membership in the human family, lose no sleep when innocents die.

Now, amnesiacs all, Congress (including Maine Sens. Snowe and Collins), mass media, Republican wannabes and Israel’s government clamor for another pre-emptive war born of fear, fantasy, speculation, imperialism and lawless arrogance, serving corporate greed.

There is no evidence that Iran pursues nuclear weapons.   None. There are only fevered imaginations and assumptions — that Iran would attack Israel, would threaten neighbors, could give nukes to terrorists (see M.D. Harmon’s March 9 column and Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, March 7).

As with Iraq, we require Iran to prove a negative.

So we may squander trillions more, then avert bankruptcy by starving the poor.

 Forget reality: Colonial Israel and its racist violence must have absolute security at the expense of everyone else’s.

No matter that Iran has attacked no one for a thousand years, is not suicidal and its military posture is defensive (despite George H.W. Bush’s sale of chemical and biological weapon material to Saddam Hussein to visit on Iran).

The reality is that Israel’s endless dispossession and dehumanization of Palestinians, attacks on neighbors and on Turkish and U.S. ships, and murders of Iranian scientists are the threat to Middle East peace, not Iran’s support of resistance to Israel’s abuses and Shia liberation propensities.

So here we go again! 

It’s the same draft-dodging neocons, loyal to Israeli exceptionalism. The same deceits — translating Ahmadinejad’s and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s preference that Israel not exist into planning its nuclear destruction. 

The same hyperventilating media cheerleaders.

The same gullible young ordained to die needlessly.

The same bought-politicians accommodating them, serving the military-industrial swine gorging on war’s carnage.

The same gulled public, oblivious to the horrendous consequences the Pentagon folks anticipate in warring on a country several times larger than Iraq.

The same national rejection, largely by Christians, of the love of all central to Jesus’ witness, the same indifference to another repetition of our myriad violent acts visited on peoples no less loved by God than we.  

Surrounded by its victims, Israel would dominate the Middle East.

So Iran must be subjugated.   Washington wants Iran’s oil and will have it.

The only question is how?  

Assassinate more Iranian scientists? Bomb nuclear facilities? Bomb Iran into starvation, genocide and desolation, as the neocons prefer?

All of the above?

We purposely ignore the 1953 and 1979 regime-change blowback.

By what right? Given that we have 10,000 nukes and Israel hundreds, and that we are both repeat criminal aggressors, by what right?

Silly question. The right of power, of money, of greed, of our exceptionalist superiority, shared by Israel, to the rest of the human race.

Have we learned nothing from our Civil War’s carnage, World War I’s insane slaughter, World War II cities bombed and burned to heaven or hell, Vietnam Agent Orange victims, the peasant victims of our Central American proxies, the walking-time-bomb veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? 

Are we uneducable?

Iran has every right to enrich uranium.

Present sanctions, all too soon genocidal, are acts of war. Better that Iran not develop nuclear weapons, but they do bring security.

At worst, an Iran nuclear bomb prompts Saudi Arabia to secure one.

Attack Iran and a navy fleet is sunk with 20,000 casualties, the price of oil soars, economies collapse and a long land war unites Iran against us for years to come.

Perils would abound, such as an Israeli false flag operation, Obama approving a lawless Israeli attack to secure Zionist campaign funding, or, having raised the bar to nuclear “capability,” he’ll feel obliged to show his steel. All options guarantee many-sided disaster.

Whatever the previous obstacles, reality and the dire consequences of war dictate direct negotiations — and concerted protests.

On the other hand, Haaretz writer Uri Avnery may be right: Netanyahu’s warmongering is to create a diversion while speeded settlement construction ends any prospect of a Palestinian state!

William H. Slavick serves on the Peace Action Maine Action Committee. He was coordinator of Pax Christi Maine, the Catholic peace and social justice movement, for 23 years.