Just as it did before invading Iraq, the Bush Administration is manufacturing a climate of fear to prepare public opinion for another possible preemptive action — this time against Iran.

Three years ago it was the specter of Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction; today it’s the threat of a possible Iranian nuclear bomb. The White House even insists on keeping the “nuclear option” on the table — that is, using tactical nuclear weapons to strike Iranian nuclear facilities–many of which are located in or near civilian population centers. Although a full-scale invasion of Iran seems highly unlikely at the moment, the situation is so inflamed, the rhetoric so ugly, and the current Iranian regime so reactionary and crazy, that it’s probably prudent to never say never.

The big problem so far, as the Campaign for Peace and Democracy’s public call against both US aggression and theocratic repression in Iran, says: “The US government’s attempts to bully Iran are succeeding mainly in terrorizing the Iranian people and weakening internal opposition to the mullahs.”

That’s why the CPD is devoting its latest campaign to highlighting how catastrophic a conflict with Iran could be. So click here to join Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Doug Ireland, Ruth Rosen, Meredith Tax, Noam Chomsky and many others in signing the CPD call. Contribute to publicize the statement. View full list of signers. And let your elected reps know that you expect them to forcefully oppose any further US military action in the Middle East.

Finally, don’t mistake this for anything other than a straight repudiation of both the effectiveness and legitimacy (they’re connected) of preemptive US military action. I’d like to see regime change in Iran as much as any neo-con. The place is run by a holocaust-denying thug kept in power by an un-elected oligarchy of clerics who deny women the most basic human rights and consider homosexuality a capital offense. But the revolution has to be brought about by the Iranian people themselves, not by Washington.

A School Is Not a Jail

This Thursday, May 25, two hundred high schoolers of the Urban Youth Collaborative will deliver 7,500 postcards from students representing 120 NYC schools to Mayor Bloomberg at the Tweed Courthouse. The student participants are calling for “safety with dignity,” and oppose the presence of metal detectors, armed police officers, random scanning and surveillance cameras at their schools. Sign an online petition for the campaign and click here for more info.