Steve Clemons mentions a piece about the probing of Iran’s missile defences.
The flights, which have been going on for weeks, are being launched from sites in Afghanistan and Iraq and are part of Bush administration attempts collect badly needed intelligence on Iran’s possible nuclear weapons development sites, these sources said, speaking on condition of strict anonymity.
“These Iranian air defense positions are not just being observed, they’re being ‘templated,'” an administration official said, explaining that the flights are part of a U.S. effort to develop “an electronic order of battle for Iran” in case of actual conflict.
In the event of an actual clash, Iran’s air defense radars would be targeted for destruction by air-fired U.S. anti-radiation or ARM missiles, he said.
It seems pretty likely that this would be happening on an ongoing basis. Satellite technology will only go so far in tracking down SA-7 or SA-9 missile systems, especically mobile or well hidden ones. But once one is turned active it will immediately be known.
In fact missiles like the HARM missile mentioned depend on the radar being active in order to find their target. And other missiles have been developed that are even better. European weapons companies developed a missile that would fire at an active radar system, and the enemy, realising that a missile may be on its way, would turn off their radar systems. The missile would react by climbing up to a high altitude, deploying a parachute, and wait for the radar system to come back on – then it would eject the parachute and kill the target.
10 thoughts on “Preparing for war with Iran”
I personally feel an Iranian regime change is imminent and would be for the better for the Persian people, the Middle East, and the entire world. However, I’m apprehensive about another military take-over much like our recent success in Iraq.
It seems the young Persians in Iran are starting to yearn for freedom and democracy, but they have much to overcome. My fear is that Israeli or American military action would simply cause them to resist us and maybe even put the inevitable dream of a free Iran further behind schedule.
When and if the time comes to put American boots in Iran, I feel it should come in three steps. I feel the Israelis should draw first blood. They should commence with surgical strikes knocking out any and all nuclear threats Iran possesses. By the Israelis striking first, the US, Britain and several other members of the UN would of course have to stand by them, not making us look as the aggressors. The rest of the Islamic world may not support the Zionist aggression against Iran, but I feel most of the free world would support this since Iran’s nuclear aspirations clearly represent a clear and present danger to the Israeli state. Due to this, I think a global consensus would be much more easily built and maintained for this action against Iran.
After the initial strikes and the nuclear threat eliminated, a lengthy and precise air campaign against Iran should follow, systematically neutralizing their Air Force, Navy, Surface-to-Air defenses, and radar installations…as well as demoralizing their ground forces and public support.
In the final wave, I’d like to see Israeli troops dropped into Tehran to capture the city as Allied Armor and Infantry cross the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan in a pincher movement toward the capital. Beach landings could come from the Persian Gulf to crush any final defenders.
The Iranians will make a deal with the EU ( they will agree to scale back their nuclear program but not mothball it) that will make it diplomatically impossible for the US ( or Israel) to attack Iran.
If, in the most unlikely of circumstances, Bush is still obstinate enough to attack…then the Iranians will retaliate big time..question is would Bush then use tactical nukes??? ….to prevent Iran from getting a nuke!
This is all absolute nonsense and fabrication on the part of Washington, Tel Aviv, and London. Firstly, Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and the religious authorities have declared it a sin and evil counter to their religious beliefs. We are talking about a theocratic democracy here where state and church/mosque are somewhat amalgamated.
Secondly, the very deceitful nations that attack other states, overthrow democratically elected governments in other nations (i.e. Chile & the region of Latin America) for the sake of profit, have known weapons of mass destruction (WMD), brake international laws and regulations, are known to continue to develop illegitimate nuclear weapons, appose an international court of justice that could possible reign in all tyrants, and bar IAEA and international inspections of their nuclear sites are foremost the United States of America and Israel.
If you look at the recent history of hostile activities of the United States of America, Israel, and Britain (UK) as apposed to Iran you will come to the conclusion that these unproven speculations and claims against the state of Iran are very much fabricated slurs and slander that are pretexts for attacking a nation that will fuel the rise of China to superpower status, help Russia consolidate its power, strengthen India to a world powerhouse, contest American and British economic influence in Central Asia, give strengthened support to the Palestinian right to live freely outside of the oppressive and cruel Israeli occupation, and challenge the technological and economic status quo. These accusations against Iran, as a whole, are falsification, perversions of truth, and distortions of reality engineered for future conflict with Iran. It is the United States of America, Britain, and Israel who have attacked other nations as aggressors in recent history (even past history in the case of America and Britain). There are many examples, but I will only cite a few.
A list of nations that have been attacked and almost all invaded include Yugoslavia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Panama, Vietnam, Honduras, Libya, Somalia, Laos, Haiti, Grenada, Bolivia, and Iraq on the part of the Americans and the British. The American and British governments have made a mockery of both their national governance systems and international institutions and laws by providing falsified dossiers on Iraq like forged documents claiming Iraq wanted uranium from Nigeria that are publicly admitted known forgeries in the United States of America, Britain, continental Europe, and the rest of the world. Both the United States of America and Britain have an aggressive history of engaging in wars based on false or manufactured pretexts. It is now known and by and large taught in history classes that the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine was a false pretext by the American government for war with Spain in 1898 to annex resource rich Spanish territory. Claims of attacks on American troops by Panama in 1989 were false reason to invade and secure the Panama Canal, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was also pretext to invade Vietnam by the American military. Britain has intervened, alongside the Israelis, in Egypt when the Suez Canal was nationalized as public property by the Egyptian government, waged war with Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands which has been under British occupation since 1833, and helped the United States of America impose an internationally illegal no fly zone over parts of pre-invasion Iraq for years that were claimed to be enforced to protect the Shiite Arabs and the Kurds, but in reality was to slowly destroy Iraqi infrastructure and defensive resistance to the future illegal Anglo-American invasion of the oil rich state. Even an example of a past war on the part of the British will show the British elites conning and disregard for morality. A perfect example of which would be the Opium War, between Britain and China, in which Britain gained Hong Kong. The Chinese government has come to the conclusion that the addictive narcotic opium was bad for its citizens and society so outlawed it in China. The British were the imperial masters of India at the time were the profited out of the growth of opium which was sold in a large Chinese market next door. When the law was passed Britain stood to loose much profit so it went to war with China to allow the public use of narcotics. These are the real reasons behind American and British wars such as the invasion of Iraq, which was a farce conducted for the personal gain of the American, British, and Israeli elite.
As for Israel is continues to violate its neighboursâ€™ territories, airspaces and sovereignties. It illegally sends assassins and kidnappers into other states to kill its opponents and so-called enemies, which include politicians, the old, women, diplomats, ideologues, intellectuals, and religious leaders (including Christian priests and nuns, like in Lebanon, and Muslim religious leaders). Israel has illegal kidnapped various individuals, from Nazi Germans to Arab figures resisting Israeli occupation, without any consultation or respect of other nations or governments from Europe and the Middle East to South America. It has regularly used so-called counter-terrorism behaviour, such as car bombs, to kill individuals termed as threats to the Israeli military and security apparatus. One example of this former Israeli ally Elie Hobeika who was killed in a devistating car bomb, on January 24, 2002, when he was on his way to Belgium to testify in front of the world media, Beligian leaders, and European representatives that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli military where the organizers of the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinian refugees who were mostly old people, women, and children. Israel has invaded Egypt with so-called pre-emptive strikes destroying its entire air force, attacked Syria, invaded and occupied Lebanon, attacked Jordan, intentionally attacked an American naval ship, the USS Liberty, killing many servicemen on board, traded secrets between American and the former Soviet Union, regularly brakes international law and the Geneva Convention by massacring prisoners of war and civilians, ignores calls to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, unilaterally attacked Iraq in an unprovoked operation and destroyed the Osirak power plant in 1981 while Iraq was at war with Iran, Israel once had an unknown clandestine nuclear weapons program secretly supported by the American government, and now continues to make nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The American, British, and Israeli elite now look to Iran, the most importantly placed geo-strategic nation in the world now and an energy giant that will be the kingmaker of the next superpower. Iran is the undisputable powerhouse of the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Iran is also strategically placed between the Indian sub-continent, former Soviet Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia, Turkey, Europe, and the Arab World. It is extremely rich in a wide variety of natural resources including fossil foils, metals, and minerals. Is a highly educated nation with advanced industries that include making submarines, super oil tankers, automobiles, space technology, cement factories, military hardware (such as tanks, missiles, and jets), and computers. Iran is also vying for formal leadership of the Islamic World and the nations of the Non-Alignment movement that includes Latin America, Africa, and the Asia. Iran is a challenge to the status quo and even worst in the eyes of the American, British, and Israeli elites is threatening to rupture it. Iran is about to open its own Middle East oriented oil and fossil fuel based bursary or exchange dated to roughly open as soon as March 2006. This is the same time Israel falsely claims Iran will be past the point of no return in relations to the Iranian civil nuclear program. This could be a point of no return possibly, but not in the peaceful civilian nuclear program. It could possibly be the end of the supremacy of the American dollar and economy on one hand and the world status quo that the elite are trying to protect and strengthen on the other hand. Oil and oil related petrochemicals are traded through American currency in the worldâ€™s oil exchanges, the New York City and the London IPE in Britain. These are both American owned and American regulated. The use of American dollars at the London IPE is one of the reasons why Britain has not adopted the Euro currency yet. If it does take on European Union currency reform and switch from the British Pound Sterling to the Euro it could endanger the American dollar. There are strong probabilities of demands or legislature with Euro currency adoption and reform to replace the American dollar with the Euro at the London IPE. There could be strong pressure from the rest of the European Union, Russia, OPEC, Iran, China, and many other nations in the world for the switch. Iran is circumnavigating around these institutions. It is worth looking into and researching. From an economical point a Euro based oil exchange is a logical development given that the European Union imports more oil from OPEC and the Arab states than the America market does. It would benefit all parties except the United States of America and the elites of Israel and Britain who have interests in American economic hegemony.
Finally the inspectors and scientists of the IAEA recommended that the inspections on Iran should be ended and that in their technical opinions and expertise Iran is not planning on making atomic bombs or using nuclear technology for military reasons. These findings were overruled by politically appointed diplomatic representatives at the IAEA board of International Governs. The actually inspectors were overruled by the diplomats following orders from their capitals like Washington and London!!!
First of all everyone who is giving opinions should look at primary sources like scientific reports by international experts and inspectors in Iran and the charter of the IAEA. All the information these opinions in claims to a clandestine plan by Iran to produce nuclear weapons are based on distortions of the truth, speculation, politically motivated fabrications, and other opinionative and grossly misleading opinions.
1. The technical inspectors of the IAEA, the actual experts and scientists have declared that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and Iran is compliant with its obligations. The fact is that the diplomatic representatives of some of the nations that are members of the IAEA overruled the technical inspectors and scientists findings and rulings. This means that the qualified expertsâ€™ legal and factual declarations were overturned by politically appointed representatives for political and self serving reasons. It is devious and corrupt how the IAEA was manipulated for the first time ever to vote on an issue rather than its standard format of international consensus. The IAEA always reached decisions based on consensus and group agreement of all its members. For the first time ever in the organizationâ€™s history an issue was voted over. Iranâ€™s impressive civilian nuclear program was criticized by certain member nations under the IAEA banner illegitimately. When the actual working experts, scientists, and field workers of the IAEA declared Iran cleared and honourable to its treaty responsibilities the decision was overruled by diplomatic representatives taking orders from their capitals, like Washington and London, who have other ideas and disgusting plans.
2. The United States of America bars IAEA inspection of its nuclear facility sites and neglects IAEA and international requirements and demands to check its nuclear facilities as does Brazil, India, China, Russia, France, and the infamous Israel. None of these nations have cooperated to the level Iran has with the IAEA. Israel will not let any inspectors step foot in its nuclear zones and disregards international calls and edicts to open up its nuclear facilities to inspections. It is ironic how nations like the United States of America and Israel that themselves posses nuclear weapons, continue to develop nuclear arsenals, do not follow Non-Proliferation, and posses weapons of mass destruction (WMD) order a nation like Iran, that has openly declared and demonstrated that it will not produce nuclear weapons to the point where it has proved it according to set international standards and regulations, to bow to their will. Iran is being ordered by the United States of America and a small group of nations, with histories of warfare and manipulation, to give up its national civilian (not military) nuclear program, which is needed for Iranian energy production aims. These demands by Washington and London are unwarranted and dishonest reasons that have more to do with geo-politics and economics than peace and security. The United States of America, Britain, and Israel say nothing about Brazil and its feud with the IAEA. In fact Brazilâ€™s civilian nuclear program is not publicized anywhere near as much as is Iranâ€™s civilian nuclear program. Nothing is said or demanded of Brazil who is in breach of its responsibilities. In reality Brazil refuses to allow any inspections to the parallel of the ones Iran does. There is great hypocrisy and intentional deceit on the part of the United States of America and its partners, which include the British and Israeli ruling elites. The United States of America has even sold dual use nuclear technology, which can be used for civilian and weapons purposes to India, which is counter to American pledges and international treaty requirements. This is due to a deal made between the American and Indian governments, after negotiations with the Indian government to override its specialized inspectors declaration that the Iranian civilian nuclear dossier should be closed and that Iran was not attempting to producing nuclear weapons. The American government promised to transfer nuclear technology and assistance to India on condition of India politically overruling the inspection teamâ€™s findings, afterwards conceding without objection the group consensus mechanism at the IAEA boards meeting of international governors, and finally voting in favour of the American push against Iran. Consequently this did not go well with the masses in India who see Iran in an extremely good light and almost led to the collapse of the Indian government. There was much anger in India over the unfair government decision, which countered Indian foreign policy. Under Americanâ€™s own laws and its treaty obligations it is not to assist other nations in manufacturing nuclear weapons or power plants or to help nations in the nuclear arena that refuse to adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or have breached the treaty. The United States of America has done precisely this. It has helped Israel, a known and flagrant violator of international law and human rights, in its nuclear schemes, India, after the fact that the whole world made a resolution to stop nuclear proliferation in the Indian sub-continent between India and Pakistan, and even North Korea. Yet this is not surprisingly when you look at the American governing eliteâ€™s duplicity and double standards.
3. In a true and real democratic society and by democratic norms of justice an individual is innocent and only guilty if proven beyond the shadow of a doubt as blameworthy or guilty. The term guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt comes to play. If there exists even the slightest doubt of innocence in any criminal case against an individual, that individual is found innocent. This principle of justice can be applied to nations. First of all Iran is not on trial and there exists no genuine authority in the world to try whole nations. Yet Iran is not afforded this democratic principle in any manner. In actuality it is the American establishment and elite who deceitfully act in the name of democracy that undermine true democracy and democratic principles. One needs to look at American intervention in Asia and Latin America against democratic governments and movements or American support for pro-American dictatorships and authoritarian regimes like those of Egypt or Jordan or even American intervention in Imperial Iran, where in the past an established secular and responsible democracy under the premiership of Dr. Mossadegh counter to American and British interests was deposed. Secondly, Iran is wilfully cooperating in concerns to its civilian nuclear dossier with the offensive forces at play against itself, which so often use the term international community and world body to try and falsely show wide support and credibility to their darker ends. Iran is opting for a peaceful solution to stop the ravenous false accusations spearheaded by Washington and Tel Aviv. Iranâ€™s justifications and explanations in this particular case are perfectly reasonably, legal, and in accordance to international norms and practises.
4. Iran has justified its position and given explanations past the point of obligation to show good will besides signing and implementing out of good spirit the additional IAEA protocols asked of it by Britain, France, and Germany. It has allowed inspections constantly. The United States of America pushed to derail the process by manipulating the IAEA to request to inspect sensitive Iranian military sites and infrastructure in addition to Iranian civil nuclear sites. No nation would allow for their military sites to be inspected, including the United States of America. Not one nation would allow its military secrets to be revealed to the whole of the world extending from the Russian Federation, India, Britain, France, Brazil, Turkey, and Israel to Pakistan, Greece, Nigeria, Argentina, and China. Especially after it was obvious that certain United Nations inspectors in Iraq under President Saddam Hussein gave information and intelligence reports to American and British military planners, thus violating their sacred position of trust and responsibility to impartiality and neutral fairness. These inspectors duties and aims where to make sure pre-American occupied Iraq was meeting the internationally defined status of armament and not to spy or give information to hurt Iraqi national and security interests. When is enough actually enough?
This is an article by an Iranian author that I thought would be interesting to read about the so-called fabricated crisis with Iran and the Iranian Civilian Nuclear Program.
What is the response of Iran to the U.S. or Israelis threat?
By Hussein Sharifi
There has been a great deal of talk and many threatening comments against Iran in recent months and this psychological warfare does not look like it is going to end soon. Both American and Israeli top officials have said directly and indirectly that if Iran does not submit to the will of the Europeans and discontinue uranium enrichment, then they will destroy Iranian atomic energy installations. Iranians in turn say that their nuclear program is peaceful and as a member of the I.A.E.A. they are entitled to benefit from nuclear energy. I recently visited Iran and had many opportunities to talk to people and visit some of these plants. I also had opportunity to talk to some members of military, the revolutionary guards as well as paramilitary Basij commanders who are members of my family or their acquaintances.
Although the axis of devil countries as they say in Iran (U.S., Britain, and Israel) talk tough, Iran as one of the members of axis of evil (as George Bush called Iran) talks tough as well. This is part of the psychological warfare that will go on for the coming months until a diplomatic or military solution can be found. Here I want to report some of the attitudes and views which I found common between Iranians in Iran and some expatriates. These are rarely published in Western media sources and there is a reason for that. The Western reporters who write and report on this subject are culturally biased on anything non-Western, especially Iranian, which challenges their habits and culture. Most of the non-Western reporters who live in the West or work for its media also think like the Western reporters since they have to follow their standard of reporting and include those biases. Apart from official interviews and official political statements gathered from talking to the authorities and people in charge in diplomatic languages, unofficial talk sometimes provides a great deal of information regarding the situation.
Since the Iranian nuclear energy program was reported in the Western media, George Bush continuously said that military attack is an option until he met Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Britain, when he changed course and said, “Attacking Iran is ridiculous.” It was a big question for me and many others as to how he could change his position so quickly and so drastically. Before meeting Blair he repeatedly referred to Iranian “nuclear installations” , “nuclear technology”, and “military options”, but then he talked of “Iranian nuclear weapons” and that “attacking Iran is ridiculous”. Many observers say that George Bush came to understand that with the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, he could not open another front with a big and powerful country such as Iran, a country with past history of impressive military defense against her attackers. That is why he changed his words to save face, in case that he failed to convince Iranians to abandon their program, he could then say that since Iran did not produce nuclear weapons and because her nuclear energy program is civilian it is thus legal and that is why military force was not used.
This autumn I met a group of old friends who have political and military positions in Iran and we had a long conversation. Iranians enjoy political conversation in social gatherings more than anything else and I was able to exploit this to investigate and probe their attitudes towards the nuclear energy program. I will only use their first name to protect their identity. It started first from Blair and Bush’s discussion regarding the military option. Hussein, whom I have known for many years and who is a revolutionary guard commander and veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, started the conversation. He said that they had obtained the text of these two leader’s conversation. Indeed it was Tony Blair who warned President Bush against attacking Iran or helping Israel to attack Iran. That was bad news for President Bush. My friend said, “He did not appear in the public for about two weeks. The analysis of his body language afterward showed him to be a nervous man.” What Blair told Bush, according to Hussein, was as follows: During the rein of Queen Victoria, Prime Minister Gladstone told Her Highness that the sun in her empire shines for 22 hours. The Queen asks him, “Why not 24 hours?” Gladstone says, “Iran and Afghanistan are still not on the list of Her empire.” The Queen frowns and orders him to add those countries to the list. The rest is history: Britain tried three times to invade Afghanistan and all three times they were defeated. In one battle only one wounded soldier out of a force of 16 thousand, is able to survive and relay the news of the defeat to his commanders. Gladstone then tells the Queen, “If the Afghans did that to your majesty’s army, think what the Persians can do.” Whether it was a joke Tony Blair told President Bush or if it was made by this revolutionary guard, this was the general spirit I found amongst Iranians.
“We know they have a plan,” added Jamshid who has a political post in the Basij paramilitary organization, “We have many plans too. Every country has different plans for offense or defense of her country. A few months after the invasion of Iraq, George Bush, who was euphoric of his quick victory asked Donald Rumsfeld to devise a plan for attacking Iran. For this plan they needed the help of Iranians expatriates in the U.S.. We could get a great deal of intelligence regarding the American units and commanders, intensions, in addition to finding a lot about their structures and weaponries.”
When I asked them what Iran would do if the U.S. was serious in attacking Iranian nuclear sites, Hussein said, “Then they open hell’s gates towards themselves,” and smiled. When I asked him to elaborate more, he continued, “In the papers there is always talk about air attacks on Iranian installations by Israel or the U.S. This type of psychological warfare is used to divert our attention. We know for a fact that no two Western wars are similar and we are sure that the Israelis would not risk an air attack. We know there are at least three possible scenarios of attacking these sites, including using their submarines in the Persian Gulf, commandos from the sea, or Mojahedin Khalgh trained in Israel and Azerbaijan to destroy the Bushehr nuclear power plant from the inside, but these are only plans. We have even more plans for how to confront them as well. This is a game of chess and we have practiced many different scenarios.” Ali, another revolutionary guard, smiled and responded, “We have indicated directly and indirectly that with the first bullet shot at Iran, the map of the Middle East will be changed forever. Many American puppet regimes and dictators will fall and there will never be a government like what is now in Israel. The Apartheid system in Israel will be dismantled and a democratic government which embraces Jews, Christians, and Moslems equally will come to power. Millions of Palestinians will return home and millions of European and American migrants will return back from Palestine to their countries.”
When I mentioned the immense firepower of the U.S. and the chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal of Israel Hussein smiled and said, “We are ready, bring them on.” Then after chuckling he said, “We have our sensors in place in the U.S., Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and most Arab countries. We know ahead of the time when they are coming, and since Mr. Bush has given American democracy along with the preemptive strike as the right of everybody in the world, we are going to use it and use it effectively. We are present in most of the military briefings of the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq. As soon as we see that it is imminent we hit them and hit them hard. If U.S. commanders used a sledgehammer to break a walnut in Iraq, we will use two sledgehammers for a hazelnut everywhere in the Middle East! Whether the U.S. or Israel attacks us, we will consider it as Israeli attack since we know how much power they have over the U.S. political and decision-making system.” When I asked why they would hold Israel responsible if the U.S. attacked unilaterally, he responded that the American policy in Middle East is designed and dictated by Jewish organizations such as the AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) which in turn gets its agenda and policy from Israel. “Don’t you remember the role of three Jewish Musketeer’s in Iraq invasion?” He meant Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Michael Ledeen. Ali added, “The U.S. political system is under heavy pressure from Zionist organizations. Look at the articles published in U.S. papers about Iran. Most of the authors are Zionists strongly affiliated with AIPAC. Most of these guys dream of an Israel which extends from the Nile to the Euphrates. This is dangerous ideology. We must stop this at some stage and this is the best time. Many Western immigrants in Israel are thinking and working toward it. Look at the Mayflower ship which brought a handful of Europeans to America, the American natives lost their identity and culture, and the rest is the history. We do not want this to happen to the Middle Eastern countries.”
Jamshid said, “Since her inception by the Europeans, Israel has had four wars with her neighbors and in three of those wars she obtained more land. That is until 1979, the year the Islamic Republic was born in Iran, and since then she has not started any wars, since she knew she cannot, because Iran would definitely intervene. They want more land for all these Russian and other immigrants and that is why they put pressure on the U.S. to attack Iran.”
I asked Jamshid what the possible response could be, he said very calmly, “If our peaceful nuclear installations are attacked, no doubt we will take out that chocolate factory in Dimona, and not only that one, but all other shops which sell that kind of chocolate in Israel!” He was referring to Israeli nuclear sites, and then continued, “We will make a big mess in Israel and leave it to the Europeans and the Americans to clean this mess up. Both the U.S. and Israel know that, and for that matter, if they are serious about their intention, they have to bomb not only the nuclear research centers, but all the Shahab-3 silos and to be safe many other military sites as well- and that means an all out war. We are ready for that. That is a hard job for them since finding and destroying these sites quickly is very hard,” and laughed.
I asked them how they saw the war scenario. Ali said, “The possible war would be outside of Iranian borders. We have many theaters of operations including Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and some Arab countries where U.S has troops there. We can increase the U.S. fatalities to a few dozen a day easily. In the case of Israel we are going to cause the immigration of 2-3 million European and Americans.” When I asked for further explanation, he said, “Well if Iran is attacked we know who is responsible and that is when we decide that they should not live in our neighborhood.” When I mentioned the Arrow anti-missiles Israelis have, he smiled. “Arrow anti-missiles are not accurate, and we know that for fact. They are working hard to improve it, but have not been successful so far. It is mainly a propaganda tool for the USraelis,” stressing the last word with smile, before adding, “The Shahab-3 can easily take care of them. Their accuracy has been improved greatly. We have enough of them to spend more per target to increase the chance of hitting a target accurately, also do not forget we have satellite which looks at our target there and gives us real time information.”
Javid, an Iran-Iraq war veteran calmly said, “There are many obstacles to the invasion of Iran. Iran is four times bigger than Iraq, so the number of soldiers has to be more accordingly. The U.S. does not have that many troops, even it were to bring in NATO and can double or triple the size of troops of what is has now in Iraq, there are still a lot of shortfalls. Iranian people have a very distinct culture and history which make them stand out as a solid nation. Two main elements which play important role in the defense of the country are nationalism and Shi’ism. These two are our real nuclear weapon. Both played an important role in the Iraq-Iran war. During the chaos of the revolution where there was no formal army to stand in front of hundreds of Iraqi tanks, ordinary people took up arms and stood in front of the Iraqis heavy army and stopped them for months. Young citizens took up grenades and threw themselves under the tanks and stopped Iraqi tanks. Saddam thought the war would take a few weeks, and although he was backed by Russia, Europe, U.S. and the Arab world, it took eight years and at the end he did not gain a meter of Iranian soil.”
When I mentioned the superiority of U.S. military hardware, software, as well as their tactics he said, “Even if they could bring few thousand more soldiers and the best hardware they can not get to Tehran- conquering Iran is wishful thinking a corn-grower from Kansas might believe. First of all, in Iran people always fought against invaders and the army helped them. The U.S. can defeat the Iranian army, but not the Iranian people. There has never been any army in the world that could defeat a nation. Vietnam is the recent history lesson. On the basis of a military evaluation done by some western analysts and institutions, in any invasion of Iran 200,000 to 500,000 troops will be lost. Which country or countries are going to handle that amount of loss just for a problem which there is a diplomatic solution?” When I raised my eyebrow at his figures he got agitated and said, “Well, look, Saddam Hussein penetrated into Iran about 20-60 kilometers and lost about half a million men. Since the Americans have a better army and equipments, then they will have fewer casualties than Saddam. However, anybody who wants to get to Tehran which is a long way from the Iraqi border must pay more”. Then he laughed and said, “Otherwise if they want to pay a friendly visit to us, then they are welcome!” He continued on, “Most Iranian cities are near a mountain or in a valley, and it is very easy for a few fighters to go to those mountains that overlook the cities and make hell for the invaders. That is why as a nation we had only two major defeats in the last 2,500 years: one by Greeks and one by Arab Moslem armies. Suppose that an imaginary army comes to Iran; to be successful that army has to get control of at least 10-12 major cities which have more than a million in population, since if any of these cities are ignored, then their mission is not accomplished and that city would quickly become the main point of resistance. Iraq had two cities and quickly was overcome by the invaders. Basra was mainly Shiite and Baghdad was partly Shiite and you know that the Shiite hate Saddam. The reason was that Saddam was a dictator, who did not have popular support, and many disliked him. Iraq had gone through two terrible wars and exhausted its resources physically and mentally. The government of Iran is not like Saddam’s, it still has many supporters and even the opposition groups want to correct its shortcomings and not topple the regime. In case of such an invasion, it will inevitably back up the government. Iran came out of the war with Iraq quickly and now it produces his own armaments including airplanes, rockets, missiles, tanks, and heavy armor.”
Ali interrupted, “Americans can not fight us. The reason is that the American army is basically a mercenary army. I mean it in the sense that it goes where there is money and economic interest for the U.S. It fights for money and not freedom or democracy. Why does it not go to any of these African countries which are governed by generals or dictators? Why does it not fight generals, Sheikhs, and dictators in the Middle-East? It is not an army of soldiers; it is army of military technicians. I mean they cannot fight face to face with their opponents. After their missiles and airplanes and bombers flatten a region, then they slowly and cautiously move in with full gear. Not only we have seen them on T.V., but we have also seen them and talked to them personally and studied them in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our soldiers go to defend their country with their heart and to bleed for their country, while U.S. soldiers get upset and worried when their nose bleeds, and complain for not having dry cleaning service. Some of our soldiers went on days and weeks with piece of dry bread and fought and died- can American soldiers do that? They are professional technicians; we are professional soldiers with martyrdom ideology. They have lost their moral in Iraq. They are not as patriotic as they are shown on television. Many of them are critical of the George Bush’s war in Iraq, but have to keep quiet. They have to do their job and hope to stay alive and go back to their families and that is why I am sure they cannot come and conquer Iran. They can destroy Iran, even from Florida, but they can not conquer Iran.”
Hussein intervened and added, “We can fight for decades- look what we did to the last three empires, be it Ottoman, Tsarist and later Soviet, or the British Empire. We had a border with all three of them and fought decades against them, but they failed badly and we are still on our feet while all three disintegrated to many countries.
Then Ali jumped in and said, “Our greatest advantage over the U.S. is that they do not have good intelligence on us. The reason is that during the Shah SAVAK was working independently of U.S. intelligent agencies and it fed its information to those agencies. That is why the revolution was successful, because up until the last minute SAVAK was reporting to the CIA that everything is alright and under control. With regard to their intelligence on the Middle East, since they rely upon the Israelis for most of their intelligence, and since the Israelis know how to alter the intelligence to their advantage, this makes it less accurate and reliable.”
Javid, who has a job in ministry of information added, “We know more about the U.S. than some U.S. government agencies. After taking the U.S. embassy we hit a gold mine of intelligence on the U.S. Although the taking of embassy was bad for diplomacy, it was a great treasure trove for the Iranian intelligence agencies for decades and still is. We got to Uncle Sam’s nervous system and we learned how it works. It is like mind reading someone for many decades. That is why all of the successive U.S. government policies toward Iran have failed and failed badly. We have beaten both American and Israeli intelligence operations many times. Look at very recent events, some of which are publicized.”
Ali said, “Some of their intelligence comes from the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization. These people are considered traitors, since they are ready to spy for anyone who pays them. But the Americans also know that they are not too reliable. We have penetrated them very well. Some of the contributions go to the coffers of an ex-New York senator who was paid by Iranian money through the MKO. I know someone who once referred to the office of the MKO as our disinformation embassy in Washington D.C. We have fed them lots of useless information which takes time to separate from real information, and that is why the Americans are so slow to act on Iran. They are sort of paralyzed by misinformation.”
Javid added, “We know that Israeli and U.S. intelligence are concentrating hard on Iranian minorities, because they have no military solution for this problem. They want to disintegrate Iran into a few countries like the Soviet Union and that is not going to happen. We know that some of the organizations work for the West and are in Iran. We just watch them and blow them apart at the right time.”
Jamshid said, “We know that CIA operatives have come to some sort of agreement that if al-Qaida spares Israel they will ignore their activity in Pakistan as far as they work against Iran. We have seen some of their activity increased in recent weeks.”
I inquired as to what they thought the outcome of the confrontation with America would be. Javid said, “The best option for the West is to accept Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and let her finish the Bushehr nuclear power stations. In the long run they will definitely have no choice but to acknowledge this, because they know our program is peaceful. Americans know this better than anyone else, but they always have showed animosity towards the Islamic Republic since her inception. If they go on an adventure and target any of these installations they will commit a great mistake. First of all, Iranians learned a great lesson from Osirak and thus have made multiple centers with multiple copies, and with multiple organizations. Only God can destroy our installations and God is definitely on our side. Iran is a vast country with vast resources. If the attack happens, that will trigger the nuclear efforts of Iran. We will definitely go underground and speed up nuclear weapon production, since there will be no choice except to have them and have them soon. Right now we do not need nuclear weapons which are a liability rather than an asset, because we do not have hostile enemy which we cannot smash when we want to. The country has been able to stand on its feet for the last 2,500 years and will do so in the future. Look at the last war we had with Iraq, which by the way, was shortest war we had during the last 200 years.”
Hussein said, “How is it that the United States and the IAEA help countries that have a military nuclear program like India, Pakistan, and Israel- countries that never signed the IAEA protocol and do not let the IAEA visit their nuclear sites. Why do they have to go and make so much noise about Iran which has let the IAEA visit everywhere they wanted to go and which has even signed the additional protocol? Why South Korea which produced weapon grade uranium did not even get a slap on the hand? This just shows U.S. hostility toward Iran over last 25 years.”
Jamshid said, “The U.S. has tried every possible and imaginable method to halt our peaceful nuclear energy program. Do you remember the laptop computer that they claimed contained a secret Iranian weapons program? It was created in California and caused a lot of embarrassment for the U.S. intelligence community. Even the Europeans did not believe their story.”
Hussein said, “You know better than us that Uncle Sam has a thick checkbook and is very generous when it comes to what they call national security. Look how they opposed Elbaradei’s re-election as the head of the IAEA when he was presenting a relatively unbiased report on the Iranian nuclear program. Suddenly we found out that they stopped their opposition to his re-election, he got the Noble prize and then he started criticizing Iran and complaining about Iran. Is that accidental? He maintained his job and got a Noble prize and the Americans got what they wanted for the last three years.”
When I inquired about the Holocaust and recent remarks by president Ahmadinejad, Jamshid interrupted me and said, “The Western media were very quick to misquote him and make a big propaganda campaign which is still going on daily in the Western media after so many weeks. Anyway, I personally do not deny the Holocaust, but I deny the exaggeration of the Holocaust. It did not include only Jews, but those who were Polish, communist, Russian, homosexual, and many others. It might be 600 or 6,000, and perhaps 60,000 but not 6 million. Let me give you an example. During the Iran and Iraq war both sides amassed about 1 million people in front of each others along the Iranian border and millions of mines were implanted in between. They shot and sent hell fire, bombarded each other by airplane, artillery, tanks, RPGs day and night for about eight years. Many Iranians were killed under torture and executed by the Iraqis and many were killed by mines and chemical weapons and still the total number killed was about 800,000 to one million from both sides. The Second World War was only six years. It is said that Jews were taken into prisons, then sent to forced labor camps, tagged, organized and sent to gas chambers where they were then burned and buried and it was all done secretly. To do that in an organized way, that is, to have a list of them, arrest them, imprison them, take off their clothes and jewelry, record them, line them up, gas them, and then burn them takes a lot of time. It was not like a battleground where you throw a grenade or fire artillery and kill hundreds, it was done probably at most a few hundred at time in gas chambers, and that takes a hell lot of more time than six years.”
Ali interrupted and said, “The number of Israelis killed in 2005 by Palestinians are about 1,000, while the Palestinians killed by the government of Israel is 3 times more, about 3,000- why don’t the people ever hear about these figures, aren’t they human? What you hear in the West is just about the Israelis and not the Palestinians. That shows the extent of free press in the Western world. It is selective reporting.”
Hussein said, “Just remember that the Western media is owned, controlled, and managed by Jews and you shouldn’t expect anything else but this kind of propaganda. Western propaganda aside, we have been more tolerant to Jews than any other nations, just look at the Old and New Testament and see how much Persians and their kings are praised in this book, look at how the Iranian Jews and the Iranian government were helping Israel before and after independence. Iran has the second biggest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel and there are two seats for the Jews in the Iranian parliament. Now they are calling for the destruction of the Islamic Republic. The Jews and Israelis owe us so much and still they are so ungrateful.”
Jamshid said, “Well, the amount of hatred Christian societies showed toward Jews is a fact and you can see it in history books. Even today many Jews keep a low profile in the Western and Christian societies and do not declare their faith. That is why none of the Western governments wanted and could have a Jewish state in their neighborhood. Moslems had lived with Jews in Palestine for centuries and at the beginning they did not mind it, but as the Jews got more violent and captured more Arab land and killed and sent more Arabs to refugee camps they got angry. The problem between Arabs and Jews is not religious, as it is between the Jews and the Christian West. The struggle between Arabs and Jews is for land. In other words it is a political rather than religious one. That is the same for us as well. But Jews in the West who control the media mix these two and public opinion in the West thinks that we dislike Jews because of their religion, rather than our land.”
I decided to switch gears and asked why Iran does not want to accept the proposal to enrich their uranium in Russia. Ali said, “It is like I say you can have my car under the condition that the keys are always in my hand and that when you want it I will give it to you. What guarantees are there that they don’t use this as political leverage on in their relations with us? We have some share in the Eurodif Uranium enrichment company of France, but they refuse to sell us uranium. We should not trust the Russians, or any Western countries for that matter. They have always stabbed us in the back and there is no reason they will not do so this time. We should enrich uranium in our own land. Look, the Russian were supposed to complete the Bushehr power plant by 2000, but they kept postponing it because of pressure from the West. They are still working on it and I am sure that until they get more concessions from Iran or the United States, they will postpone it even more.”
I asked about the possibility of United Nations sanctions against Iran and how it might force Iran to abandon uranium enrichment. Hussein said, “That is to our benefit. First of all, the nation will back up the government and that is what we want. Aren’t we under sanctions now? Haven’t we been under sanction for the last 25 years? Sanctions against Iran, which has money, is no problem. Even if the Russians back up the United Nations sanctions, they do so out of their own interest. They want to sell us the things that are under sanctions at higher prices. If they support the sanctions, that is because they want to break it and then profit from it. So sanctions are not going to break our will, it will strengthen it.”
My talks ended without any clear resolution and without any conclusion. I found Iranians still revolutionary and idealist exactly like some of my Jewish friends in the United States who want all Palestinians or Arabs dead. I hope George Bush knows what he is getting lower and middle class Americans into, since rich people, like himself, will never go to this kind of battlefield.
About the author:
Hussein Sharifi, is a retired military officer who served in Iranian Imperial Army and Islamic republic army and now resides in the United States.
Here is another article that is very deep and tackles the roots of terrorism.
REAL INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM: HOW AND WHY THE WEST SUPPORTS TERRORISM
By Roy Naganathan
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jan 25, 2006, 22:24
Voltaire wrote, â€œIt is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” Since September 11, 2001, the world has changed dramatically due to the climate of trepidation instilled in Western society and the excessive use of military force, which has not been as overt since the Cold War era.
Western society is indoctrinated into believing, with religious conviction, that terrorism is an act only non-Western countries, such as Syria or Iran, ostensibly commit. The mainstream media and the governments of the West vehemently insist that miscreants attack our society because they hate â€œfreedomâ€ and â€œdemocracy.” However there is convincing evidence that proves â€œterrorist groupsâ€ commit acts of violence out of desperation and retaliation. The subversive groups lash out at institutions they feel have oppressed and marginalized them. The majority of the Western public is oblivious to the fact their own countries support state terrorism and the â€œterroristsâ€ of the world are the oppressed fighting for self-determination. Moreover, due to the shock of the September 11 attacks the public subsequently and unnecessarily abdicated so that, â€œbig brother,” the government could protect them from the â€œterrorist threat.”
Thus, the typical terrorist is not the real threat to the world. The governments and institutions of the West, who engineer and commit international terrorism through their sponsorship of state terrorism, are the true threat to the world; since terrorism leads to the dismantling of democracy and the inevitable backlash of the oppressed.
Topics discussed and analyzed will be the use of terrorism by the West, the backlash of the oppressed, media disinformation, the dismantling of democracy, and the effects of â€œterrorismâ€ on Canadian Law. The following issues analyzed and discussed shall be on current events in areas of the world that are normally ignored or trivialized by the mainstream media.
The concepts of real state and international terrorism are a very old phenomenon, both of which became more common through imperialism. Examples of state and international terrorism during overt Imperialism include: Columbus ordering the mutilation of Native slaves or the execution of their children if they did not bring him enough gold, and Winston Churchill silencing the Iraqi Insurgency of 1920 by ordering the British military to gas the Iraqi people into subjugation.
State terrorism occurs when a state administers terror to its own population. State terrorism ensures that all aspects of life are controlled, the population is marginalized, and that all forms of cultural and political expression that oppose the centralized power are overtly suppressed with threats and violence. In other words, state terrorism equates to pure totalitarianism. State terrorism is the most prodigious, potent, and terrifying form of terrorism humanly possible. The reason why it is so terrifying is because citizens of the state live in fear everyday knowing the military, para-militaries, police, and intelligence services will silence movements or people the government deems seditious. The terror is so potent and prodigious because command is centralized and well funded, by their supporters such as Western countries and multinational corporations .
A connection between the West and state terrorism is the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, which is run by the US. Many of South Americaâ€™s soldiers, para-militaries, and juntas have been trained in Western military techniques at the WHINSEC . It is conspicuously clear that the West trains the foreign militaries as Western puppets, to carry out the Westâ€™s will through proxy. The West does not teach the South American students at the WHINSEC how to spread democracy and freedom, since, according to the US Department of Defense, in instruction manuals given to students between 1982 and 1991, the WHINSEC taught itâ€™s students to utilize â€œtorture, blackmail, beatings and executionsâ€ . The WHINSEC confirms that state terrorism is encouraged and perpetuated by the West. Graduates of the WHINSEC have gone on to rule totalitarian and former totalitarian states such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Haiti — just to name a few .
Canada has also helped encourage and perpetuate state terrorism. For example, elite Canadian JTF-2 commandos trained the Haitian National Police in 1993 . In 2004, between the months of September and December the HNP with the elite commando training they received from JTF-2, killed nearly 300 Haitians .
International terrorism is defined as â€œterrorism practiced in a foreign country by terrorists who are not native to that countryâ€ . The UN operation in Haiti epitomizes this definition. In 2005, the San Francisco Labour Council, which was part of the US Labour and Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, published the â€œReport on UN Massacre.” Cite Soleil, the neighbourhood that the â€œmassacreâ€ occurred in, is devoted to the ousted and democratically elected Aristide and Lavalas party, both removed by the West due to their refusal to submit to the Westâ€™s demands . The report by the SFLC includes witness accounts of the mainly UN operation, such as this one:
Many were killed by headshots, such as 31-year-old Leonce Chery moments after a gunshot ripped off his jaw. Chery was clearly unarmed. There are audible machine gun blasts occurring in the background. The video footage also depicts the bodies of Sonia Romelus and her two young children, lying in blood on the floor of their home. Apparently, Sonia was killed by the same bullet that passed through the body of her one-year old infant son Nelson. She was reportedly holding him as the UN opened fire. Next to their two bodies is that of her four-year old son Stanley Romelus who was killed by a shot to the head. The video footage shows a weeping Fredi Romelus, recounting how UN troops lobbed a red smoke grenade into his house and then opened fire killing his wife and two children. “They surrounded our house this morning and I ran thinking my wife and the children were behind me. They couldn’t get out and the [UN] fired into the house.” The video also shows the grenade canister, apparently left in the house.
The eyewitness source claimed that the operation was primarily conducted by UN forces, with the Haitian National Police this time taking a back seat .
The operation conducted by the UN security forces is clearly terrorism, and is a paradigm of international terrorism. Terrorism is defined as â€œthe systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goalâ€ . By systematically terrorizing and killing unarmed individuals, women, and children based on the fact that they live in a predominately Lavalas Party constituency, the West has without a doubt committed terrorism. International terrorism was committed due to the fact that the UN operation was conducted by soldiers that are predominately non-Haitian, and made up of military and paramilitary personnel from Canada, France, Jordan, Spain, Sri Lanka, the United States, and many more countries . Furthermore, the West is culpable since it controls the UN Security Council (Britain, France and the US have veto power). Apropos of Western dominance of the SC, corollary, the SC condoned the removal of a democratically elected leader, and the violent occupation of Haiti. Moreover, the findings of the SFLC were ignored by the mainstream media and condoned by the governments of the West since the UN security forcesâ€™ actions benefited the Westâ€™s cause of keeping Aristideâ€™s supporters marginalized and terrified. Through the evidence provided, it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the West is guilty of committing international terrorism.
Western intervention and operations in the developing world are carried out due to economic interests. The perfect term to epitomize the Westâ€™s intentions in the developing world is Neo-Colonialism. The terror states are simply mercantile economies that exist to benefit the West. The West interferes with third and second world countries to create nations where the elitesâ€™ and upper-classâ€™s votes and ideas are the only ones that count; and where the state will not interfere with the business community unless it is to help them, thus, giving them freedom. Every terror state supported by the West is dominated by multinational-corporations. Paradigm examples of this are United Fruit Corporation in Haiti, Shell in Nigeria, Bechtel in Bolivia, Coca-Cola in Colombia and Nike in Indonesia, just to name a few. Due to corporate dominance of the terror statesâ€™ economies, corollary, terror states usually have astounding GNPs with an equally astounding amount of inequality in the country. For example, in Latin America between 1950 and 1975 there was a 400 percent increase in GNP, while the affluent top 10 percent of the population received 37.5 percent of the national income, and the poor, which make up 40 percent of Latin America, received 13.7 percent of the national income. To keep the population marginalized and quiescent, terror states dismantle social welfare organizations and suppress political parties and movements that represent the poor, which are usually the majority of the population .
The poor and the oppressed of the Developing World do not appreciate being subjugated and living in practical serfdom, such as the Zapistas of Mexico, an armed non-violent revolutionary group that wants to abolish inequality and opposes economic globalization. Due to violent repression of their ideas and social groups, they feel they must retaliate against those who have subjugated and marginalized them: Western institutions, and the oppressedâ€™s own totalitarian puppet governments. The mainstream media consistently ignores these facts by hiding the terrorism perpetrated and supported by the West, spreading disinformation, and claiming miscreant terrorists want to attack the West, its institutions, and partners due to the supposed fact that the â€œterroristsâ€ hate â€œfreedomâ€ and â€œdemocracy.”
Malcolm X once said, â€œIf youâ€™re not careful the media will have you hating the people who are oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” The mainstream media have been successful thus far indoctrinating the population into believing that everything the West does abroad is for the greater good and security of the world. The Western media conspicuously hides information of Western connections to terrorist groups such Jemaah Islamiah.
On October 12, 2002, in Bali, Indonesia, a terrorist group called Jeemah Islamiah attacked a nightclub frequented by tourists. The attack caused the deaths of 202 people, the majority of them being Australian . There were cries of indignation across the Western World, and the so-called masterminds of the attack were rounded up, and given censored trials, so that sensitive information could be hidden from the public.
The mainstream media covered the trial and aftermath of the attacks, yet disregarded the Western and Indonesian government involvement with the attacks. For example, Indonesiaâ€™s former president Abdhurrahman Wahid said, “The orders to do this or that came from within our armed forces, not from the fundamentalist people.” The Indonesian intelligence service BIN has been implicated in collusion with JI for the Bali bombings, and BIN also has strong connections to the CIA and the southeastern hegemon: Australia. Furthermore, President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia said “[The US is] a superpower that forced the rest of the world to go along with it . . . We see how ambition to conquer other nations has led to a situation where there is no more peace unless the whole world is complying with the will of the one with the power and strength” .
All of this information was never reported in the mainstream media. The dubious reporting of mainstream media simply gave the public the â€œofficialâ€ story approved by the governments of the West to conceal their duplicity, so they could perpetuate their â€œwar on terror.” The Australian government used the Bali bombings, with the help of the mainstream media to indoctrinate the Australian people into supporting and participating in the Invasion of Iraq — how convenient.
Another example of media disinformation is the political discussion show, â€œDiplomatic Immunity.” DI had a show in December 2005 on international terrorism and anti-terror laws, and the show was made up of panelists who are all pro-anti-terror legislation. One of the guests on the show was David Harris, a former chief of Strategic Planning at the CSIS. Harris was allowed to state unchallenged that the terrorists threatening the West are people with no sense of how the real world works and live in a fantasy land, out to hurt people for no reason except that they hate our way of life . Now, this is coming from an individual who was once in charge of the security of our country, and all Mr. Harris did was simply repeat verbatim everything the mainstream media says about â€œterrorists.” Mr. Harris did not enlighten the viewers on any of the Westâ€™s operations in perpetuating and promulgating terrorism such as in Haiti, and Indonesia. Mr. Harris also forgot to mention that the terrorists that hate the West are always the downtrodden and marginalized coming from countries that are extremely resource rich, yet the majority of the population lives in poverty. It is this kind of disinformation that indoctrinates the majority of the public into believing that they are in danger, and must perpetuate the war on terrorism.
After 9/11, the Canadian government passed the Anti-Terrorism Act, giving police and intelligence agencies new powers to preemptively arrest someone, without justification, and not allow the person in custody to appeal the arrest . The Anti-Terrorism Act makes Canadian Legal Rights irrelevant. This is clearly totalitarianism, since in totalitarian states constitutional rights are irrelevant and the government is always unquestionably correct. It is abhorrent that in a supposed democratic state where the rule of law, and civil rights are supposed to be supreme, an individual can be arbitrarily held in custody without justification and be powerless to defend himself or herself from accusations.
Canadian legislators feel they have the right to disregard the concept of habeas corpus, which is meant to protect people from unlawful arrest or detention. The Anti-Terrorism Act sets Western civilization back to tyrannical despot rule, when the concepts of habeus corpus and civil liberties were absent. The Anti-Terrorism Act, which the public accepted as necessary to defend itself from the terrorist threat, creates an environment ripe for the next stage in the dismantling of democracy: the arbitrary invasion of privacy.
In November 2005 the federal government announced a â€œlawful accessâ€ bill which would make it easier for police and intelligence services to spy on Canadians by eavesdropping on their cell-phone calls and monitoring their Internet activities . The government is acting like a totalitarian government again by habitually suppressing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If the government is able to monitor what people are saying, citizens will be afraid to exercise their fundamental freedoms such as â€œfreedom of thought and expression,â€ because they may be arbitrarily detained under the Anti-Terrorism Act if they say something the government believes is subversive or seditious. This behaviour that the government is displaying by disregarding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is setting a precedent for future behaviour.
Canadian citizens may one day be living in a country where secret police burst into their home and take their family members or friends away just like in Nazi Germany. Some may find the possibility of a Canadian Police State preposterous, however, simply looking at the legislation the Canadian â€œdemocraticâ€ government has passed and plans on passing will verify the evolution towards totalitarianism. The federal government acts as if it is an institution that the citizen must serve. This is typical behaviour of an extreme-statist, totalitarian regime. Government is supposed to be an institution created by citizens to serve citizens — it was not created to marginalize citizens and destroy the civil rights their freedom-loving predecessors of Western society worked hard for. The suppression of the Fundamental Freedoms is indefensible.
A parallel of the suppression of civil rights is clearly present, between the puppet-states of the Third World and in the â€œdemocraticâ€ countries of the Western World. In the developing world, democracy is suppressed through violence, while in the developed world, democracy is suppressed through indoctrination. Democracy and Civil Rights are being dismantled in both the Western and developing world, all in the name of commerce. This is done to keep the common individual out of the political and economic process so that governments and corporations have free reign to do as they wish. The conduct of the governments and institutions of the West is planting seeds of dissent throughout the world. Retribution is inevitable.
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 Chomsky, Noam. Haitiâ€™s History. MP3. Democracy Now!.
 San Francisco Labor Council. Growing Evidence of a Massacre by UN Occupation Forces in Port-au-Prince Neighborhood of Cite Soleil Summary of Findings of the US Labor and Human Rights Delegation to Haiti. July 14, 2005. December 2005.
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â€œOur ideal outcome is a diplomatic solution; this has to mean Iran abides by its international obligations – that is the test,â€ said a British spokesman in London for Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, after recent talks talks between Iran, France, Germany, and Britain (UK).
These are citations from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
They illustrate that Iran is in the right and that the Americans, Israelis, British, French, and German are in the wrong on this international issue. All the members of this treaty which includes Iran, Russia, China, France, America, Britain, and Germany signed and know fully the demands and obligations of this legally binding treaty.
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty.
2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.
Iran has so far been innocent of breaking any treaties or international agreements. Iran has a track record of honouring all of its treaty obligations unlike the USA, Britain, Israel, Germany, France, and even Russia. However the Americans, Israelis, and British governments that are pushing for Security Council referral are themselves in breach of agreements binding on them.
For example, multiple UN resolutions have been published against Israel forbidding the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and the return of the West Bank and Golan to the Palestinians and Syrians. Israel has flouted these resolutions and laughed at the world with American support.
The USA has effectively binned the comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty in order to develop its anti-ballistic missile technology and instead of promoting peace has promoted the manufacturing of military technology and war.
The USA and Britain violated international agreements and laws under the United Nations on National-Self Determination by invading and occupying the Republic of Iraq.
The USA and their British partners are breaking the Geneva Convention in Guantanamo Bay and through extraordinary rendition procedures. Even the secret CIA and American military intelligence flights in Europe that have been opposed by the masses in Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Australia are now formally known to have been known by European governments who lied about their knowledge and turned a blind eye.
The USA is not following international laws, nor is Israel or France or Britain. The problem is they are also the self appointed police men of the world and find a way around international laws and spin their way onto the next act of war.
This is article has some enlightening facts on the fabricated crisis being created in the Middle East….
Interview: Iran, War, and Sanctions
Interview conducted by Znet; reprinted with permission
UK based professor Abbas Edalat is a founding member of the newly formed Campaign against Sanctions and Intervention in Iran (CASMII). He recently travelled to the US and spoke at MIT and San Francisco regarding the coming hostilities against Iran. He participated in the following Q and A with ZNet’s Foaad Khosmood.
Foaad Khosmood: Iran has been at odds with the United States since the 1979 revolution. It has also had tumultuous relations with Europe over the years. What makes the present time different, in your opinion, to make UN sanctions or military intervention more likely in the near future?
Abbas Edalat: The western media gives the impression that it is the comments of the new Iranian president about Israel and Iran’s nuclear program which, in the context of “war on terror”, are the root cause of the present conflict. However, the truth is quite different. In fact, the anti-Israel and anti-US slogans in Iran were far more radical in the earlier days on the revolution in 1979, in the American hostage crisis 1979-80 and during the 8 year Iran-Iraq war in 1980-88 that Saddam with the backing of the west waged on Iran.
Furthermore, according to all western intelligence Iran is many years away from being able to develop a nuclear weapon capability even if it does decide to follow this path, for which there is no evidence at all. Thus none of the propaganda in the western media can possibly be the root cause of the present conflict and justify threats of sanctions and the option of military intervention.
We need to see the underlying reasons for the situation elsewhere. What is fundamentally different today compared with the past is that the Bush administration, dominated by the neoconservatives and their doctrine of the “Project for the New American Century”, has been resolved ever since it came to power in 2001 to redesign the map of the Middle East and to replace all defiant regimes in the region with client pro Western states.
Of course, this has virtually the same motivation that induced the United States to back first the Shah of Iran, and then Saddam Hussain, and to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia. But what has really changed is that the neoconservatives aim to use the military power of the US to remove any regime which poses obstacles for them and are prepared to pay a high price for it in terms of any massive loss in credibility of the US in the world public and in the western world.
The neoconservatives consider this strategy as vital for controlling the oil resources in the Middle East and Central Asia and for dominating these strategic regions in the course of the present century in face of increasing competition with the growing economic, political and military power of China. After the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran and Syria remain the only two countries which need to undergo regime change in accord with the neoconservatives’ project and clearly Iran presents a much greater challenge.
The US strategy for a regime change in Iran was spelled out very clearly in President George W. Bush’s State of Union speech in January 2002 when, in a very dramatic move, he labelled Iran as part of the axis of evil only a few weeks after Iran had assisted the US in overthrowing the Taleban regime in Afghanistan. Indeed, Iran’s reward for assisting the US in Afghanistan in late 2001 was its designation as evil by the US president.
Bush’s attack on Iran was in sharp contrast to the foreign policy of the Iranian government, headed at the time by President Mohammad Khatami, who since his first landslide election victory in 1997 had been promoting Dialogue among Civilizations to resolve conflicts and reach peaceful co-existence with the West. In this context, the axis of evil label shows that the current US administration is quite serious about its desire to enforce a regime change in Iran..
After the invasion of Iraq the US strategy against Iran continued unabated. Despite facing a disaster in its occupation of Iraq, the US has lost no time in preparing the diplomatic grounds for its broader agenda in Iran. The US diplomatic offensive has been based on a host of charges against Iran -that Iran is the principle state in the world for sponsoring terrorism, that it has ties and co-operation with Al-Qaeda, that it supports the insurgents to destabilize Iraq and above all that it has a covert nuclear weapons program that makes it a threat to Israel and the Western world.
These charges are strikingly reminiscent of the run-up to the Iraq invasion and are similarly designed to pave the road for the ultimate aim of regime change, this time in Iran.
According to two articles by Seymour Hersh, in January 2005 in the New Yorker, all high ranking officers of the Bush Administration, whom he had interviewed on the US foreign policy, had stated that Iran is the next target after Iraq, and that the administration has learned its lessons on the run-up to the Iraq invasion and this time they would first follow the diplomatic road to prepare fully the political case for an attack on Iran. Interestingly, the US administration only challenged the details of Hersh’s revelations but not their essential substance.
It is in the light of this strategy that we should understand the current massive diplomatic efforts by the US to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. It aims for some sort of UN resolution against uranium enrichment by Iran followed by UN sanctions in order to completely isolate Iran as a prelude to a military attack.
FKh: How likely is an actual military offensive? What shape do you think this action would take? Would Israel be involved?
AE: The probability of a military intervention against Iran has been steadily rising since the invasion of Iraq. Whether a military attack will eventually take place or not will of course depend on the outcome of the diplomatic battles ahead at the UN Security Council and the strength of the rising opposition to a new war in the public opinion both internationally and in the Middle East and Iran.
Given the present fiasco in Iraq, it is unlikely that massive US ground troops will be employed for a full invasion of Iran, a country four times larger with a population three time bigger than Iraq. What is more likely at least in the short and medium term is a military assault on Iranian nuclear plants as well as military and strategic sites.
Israel is likely to be involved in such an operation. Let’s go over these points in more detail.
The US and Israel leaders have openly and repeatedly threatened military action on Iran in the past few years and there has been a massive escalation of these threats in the past few months which amongst other things desensitize and prepare the world public opinion for any eventual military attack.
Most significantly and most recently, the Sunday Times on December 11th last year revealed that Prime Minster Sharon has instructed Israel air force to prepare itself for a major military attack against Iran before the end of March 2006, when the elections are due in Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the present leader of Likud party in Israel, warned last year that if prime minister Sharon does not destroy Iran’s nuclear plants, he would make sure that this is carried out if he comes to power in the March elections.
The crucial issue here is to understand that the intention of the US is regime change in Iran and that a number of options have been planned and to some extent are being carried out. Unmanned US drones have already been flying into Iranian air space for mapping Iranian radar systems and spying over military facilities; in October last year Iran complained about these illegal acts to the UN, stating that two such drones had come down some one over a hundred miles inside Iran.
There have also been various reports about CIA’s activities to foment national, ethnic and religious conflicts inside Iran, which, given the historically unresolved problem of oppression of national and religious minorities in the county, seems to occupy one of the main strategies of the US to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
Then there is the report by Philip Giraldi, an ex-CIA officer, in the August 2005 issue of the American Conservative which reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney has instructed Pentagon to prepare itself for a massive air assault against some 450 sites in Iran if a second 9/11 event takes place in the US. Alarmingly, the plans for the air assault is reported to include the use of tactical nuclear strikes against the fortified Iranian nuclear plants which are deep underground. This scenario would decisively break a 60 year taboo in the West on using nuclear bombs.
Giraldi’s report, unchallenged by the Bush administration, should be taken very seriously by the anti-war and peace movement all around the world in particular in the light of the latest videotape by Ben Laden who has pledged a new attack against the US.
In recent days, President Chirac of France has also caused a bombshell by threatening to retaliate with nuclear strikes against any state found to be responsible for a terrorist attack on France.
FKh: Does Iran pose a nuclear threat to the United States, Israel or other countries?
AE: The fact is that objectively Iran is not a threat to the US or Israel since its military power is negligible compared even to Israel let alone the US. Iran today has far less tanks and about a third of the defence budget it had at the time of the Iran-Iraq war.
Its air force is based on the obsolete US made fighters purchased by the Shah’s regime some 30 years ago. What is more significant is that Iran has not threatened or invaded any countries essentially for a few centuries. Even when the Taleban regime murdered nine Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e Sharif in 1998, Iran chose not to take any military action despite the fact that the Taleban regime, which was internationally isolated, remained unapologetic.
FKh: Media reports in the United States often convey an assumption that the Iranian regime plans to attack Israel and Mr. Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel remarks about “wiping out,” etc. are often cited as evidence. This often bolsters the argument that a nuclear Iran is “unacceptable.” What are your own thoughts on the matter?
AE: I think Ahmadinejad’s controversial statements on Israel are essentially aimed at winning popular support in Iran and in the Muslim world for bolstering his base in Iran vis-ÃÂ -vis his powerful rivals in the Islamic regime such as Rafsanjani.
I think it is also very clear to the west and to Israel that such rhetorical language have been used in Friday prayers ever since the Islamic revolution of 1979, that there is no threat let alone any intention behind Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric.
Iran, which according to western intelligence is many years away from building a bomb assuming that it does intend to pursue such a goal, is objectively in no way a threat to Israel which is estimated to have currently some 200 nuclear warheads.
What of course is true is that Ahmadinejad’s statements have been playing into the hands of Israel and the US who have fully exploited them to isolate Iran in their preparation for a military attack.
FKh: Why do you believe the nuclear issue has become so important to the clerical leadership in Iran?
AE: The nuclear issue has become a major national issue of vital importance to the great majority of Iranian people and not just the clerical leadership. At the heart of the issue is Iran’s inalienable right as a signatory of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to develop a civilian nuclear technology for generating electricity for its growing population of 70 million.
The US and Israel accuse Iran of having a covert nuclear weapons program. However, numerous intrusive and snap visits by the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which Iran allowed for over two years by voluntarily adopting to the NPT Additional Protocol, have failed to provide any shred of evidence that Iran has a weaponization programme.
In fact, according to the CIA Iran is at least 10 years away from developing a nuclear bomb, which in itself falsifies the US accusations that Iran has currently a nuclear weapons program.
Iran also voluntarily suspended all uranium enrichment related activity during the course of negotiations with France, Germany and the UK (EU-3) since October 2003. However, under the US pressure as the back seat driver of the Europeans in these negotiations, EU-3 consistently refused to accept Iran’s right under NPT to enrich uranium to the level required for a civilian program and insisted that Iran should permanently forfeit this national right, which can only be regarded an affront to any sovereign country.
No wonder that over 80% of Iranians in several opinion polls have defended Iran’s position to enrich uranium for peaceful nuclear technology. This is a crucial national issue: no Iranian government would be able to easily bend under western pressure to abandon Iran’s right under NPT.
FKh: What are the basis for the call by the US and the EU-3 for Iran’s referral to the UN Security Council?
AE: In fact, US and EU-3’s call for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council has no grounds in international law. According to the Paris agreement of November 2004, the EU-3 formally reconfirmed that Iran’s moratorium was “a voluntary confidence-building measure and not a legal obligation.” Under the watchful eyes of the IAEA, Iran removed the seals on its nuclear plant in Natanz early in January when the negotiations with EU-e failed as a result of their insistence that Iran gives up its right for enrichment.
Since the moratorium observed by Iran was not legally binding as recognised in the Paris Agreement, the resumption of scientific nuclear research in the nuclear plant in Natanz gives no legal grounds for a referral to the UN Security Council.
FKh: If Iran does get referred to the Security Council, how likely is it that some sort of military approach would be “blessed” by that body?
AE: It is highly unlikely that Russia and China will ever agree on a UN Security Council resolution against Iran which could be interpreted to justify military action in some future date. What is more likely to happen is that the US will try very hard to get initially some UN Security Resolution to call on Iran to halt its enrichment related activities and to accept the additional protocol for inspections so that pressure on Iran is gradually built up if Iran refuses to comply.
The Iranian parliament has already passed a resolution which obliges the government to abandon its voluntary adherence to the additional protocols if Iran does get referred to the Security Council. Thus, any referral will most likely lead to a sharp escalation of the conflict.
This could eventually lead to a stand-off at the UN Security Council with Russia and China refusing to agree on any resolution with any hint of a possible military attack in the event of non-compliance by Iran.
Then the US can replay its strategy in the run-up to the war in Iraq and justify a military attack against Iran by “rising to its responsibility” with its allies to defend the “security of the US and its allies.” The bottom line is that the US position which denies Iran’s right for enrichment and Iran’s position to defend this right are irreconcilable and can only lead to a major confrontation.
FKh: How likely are UN-approved sanctions? What form could they take?
AE: In the short term there is little likelihood of any UN sanctions as Russia and China will certainly veto them. In the medium term, the West can only hope that Russia and China may agree not veto some kind of “smart” or “targeted” sanctions: e.g. confiscation of Iran’s assets outside the country or travel restrictions for Iranian leaders and diplomats.
Only if the West can get Russia and China on board on such sanctions, there may eventually be a possibility of economic sanctions. It is more likely that as a result of resistance by Russia and China for any UN Security Council resolution on Iran, the US will put pressure on the EU to put some sort of smart sanctions against Iran. That in itself would be another victory for the US war drive on Iran.
What is important here is to recognize that smart sanctions will only be an intermediary stage for either wider economic sanctions at a later stage or for facilitating a later stand-off at the UN Security Council for a military attack against Iran.
FKh: Given existing strict US sanctions on Iran, what will be the effect of additional UN sanctions on the Iranian society?
AE: The existing US sanctions have not had any noticeable effect on the every day life of ordinary people in Iran but have certainly slowed down the process of evolving into a more open society: It has severely restricted scientific and cultural exchange between Iran and the US and has significantly retarded the spread and use of Information and Communication Technology in particular the Internet in a country which has over 70% of its population under the age of 30 and which in the past few years has had the highest ratio of female to male university students in the world.
However, the first major consequence of any economic sanctions, even any confiscation of Iran’s foreign assets, is likely to be massive popular anger and resentment against the West, a likelihood that the European leaders are quite aware of.
Long term economic sanctions would definitely result in misery and death for ordinary people as they did in Iraq but they would most probably fail to turn the Iranian people against the regime. On the contrary it is quite possible that, notwithstanding an increase in defiance by some sections of the population against the government and notwithstanding any further curtailment of freedom of press and other democratic rights, the regime will overall become strengthened in its political control over
the population in its efforts to withstand the “Western aggression against the Islamic nation”.
FKh: Does the Iranian exile community support western action against Iran? If yes, to what extend? War? Sanctions? Regime Change?
AE: A minority of Iranian expatriates would support some sort of western action for example “smart sanction” on Iran. This stems from their resentment against the Iranian regime rather than on the basis of any understanding of the international legal issues involved or any understanding of Iran’s national right.
The dangerous logic of the belief that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” leads a smaller minority of Iranian expatriates to even support sanctions on Iran against the interests of the overwhelming majority of people in the country. I do not know of any Iranian groups who would be naÃÂ¯ve enough to openly advocate a military attack on Iran or a regime change enforced by the West even if they secretly wish such outcomes.
FKh: Many of the more well-known of the exiled opposition groups -such as monarchists and MKO (Mujahedeen Khlagh Organization)- have consistently opposed any dialog with the Islamic Republic in order to de-legitimize and isolate the Iranian government. What are the merits of this strategy? If war and sanctions are to be averted, communication with the Iranian side seems almost necessary. How do you respond?
AE: The fact is that the monarchists and MKO have long been completely out of touch with the Iranian people amongst whom they have no base of support.
As I have already pointed out opinion polls show that a great majority of the people of Iran, including a majority of those who otherwise oppose the regime, defend Iran’s right for a civilian nuclear technology and side with Iran against the west on this issue.
It is thus simply irrational to oppose dialogue with the regime which on this issue has the backing of a majority of the Iranian people. The western leaders are aware of this reality, which puts them at a dilemma what course of action to follow so as not to turn Iranians into supporting the regime.
What the Iranian people need now is to express their defence of Iran’s national right for a civilian nuclear technology by organizing themselves independent of the government against the threats of sanctions and military intervention and at the same time; independent of the west, demand freedom of press, freedom for political prisoners, respect for human rights, an independent judiciary and an end to oppression of women, national and religious minorities.
These demands represent key historical tasks, which are all vital to building an effective, broad based united front of all Iranian people against Israel/US aggression.
FKh: What about Iranians living US and Europe? What is the most effective way to oppose sanctions and military action against Iran?
I think the first task for all those who oppose sanctions and military intervention -Iranian or otherwise- is to organise themselves in a campaign and express their collective voice in a systematic and united manner. The Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), which is now also established in the US, is a first step in this direction.
CASMII aims to systematically respond to biased and distorted articles in the media against Iran, to mobilize opposition in the Iraq anti-war movement against any attack on Iran and finally to lobby representatives in the US congress and the Senate against the war drive on Iran.
FKh: Do you or CASMII receive any funding from the Iranian or any other government for this work? What is the chief source of funding for your activities?
CASMII is an independent campaign organisation which receives no funding from the Iranian or any other government. Our funding in the UK has so far come completely from membership fees and individual donations. We intend however to seek funds from NGO’s who promote peace and international cultural exchange.
Abbas Edalat, Ph.D. is Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Imperial College London, UK. He is a founding member of the Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. (www.campaigniran.org)
Iraq, Iran and China: a New Global Alliance?
Beyond the Ballot
By NOAM CHOMSKY
The US President Bush called last month’s Iraqi elections a “major milestone in the march to democracy.” They are indeed a milestone — just not the kind that Washington would welcome. Disregarding the standard declarations of benign intent on the part of leaders, let’s review the history. When Bush and Britain’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair, invaded Iraq, the pretext, insistently repeated, was a “single question”: Will Iraq eliminate its weapons of mass destruction?
Within a few months this “single question” was answered the wrong way. Then, very quickly, the real reason for the invasion became Bush’s “messianic mission” to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East. Even apart from the timing, the democratisation bandwagon runs up against the fact that the United States has tried, in every possible way, to prevent elections in Iraq.
Last January’s elections came about because of mass nonviolent resistance, for which the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani became a symbol. (The violent insurgency is another creature altogether from this popular movement.) Few competent observers would disagree with the editors of the Financial Times, who wrote last March that “the reason (the elections) took place was the insistence of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who vetoed three schemes by the US-led occupation authorities to shelve or dilute them.”
Elections, if taken seriously, mean you pay some attention to the will of the population. The crucial question for an invading army is: “Do they want us to be here?”
There is no lack of information about the answer. One important source is a poll for the British Ministry of Defence this past August, carried out by Iraqi university researchers and leaked to the British Press. It found that 82 per cent are “strongly opposed” to the presence of coalition troops and less than 1 per cent believe they are responsible for any improvement in security.
Analysts of the Brookings Institution in Washington report that in November, 80 per cent of Iraqis favoured “near-term US troop withdrawal.” Other sources generally concur. So the coalition forces should withdraw, as the population wants them to, instead of trying desperately to set up a client regime with military forces that they can control. But Bush and Blair still refuse to set a timetable for withdrawal, limiting themselves to token withdrawals as their goals are achieved.
There’s a good reason why the United States cannot tolerate a sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq. The issue can scarcely be raised because it conflicts with firmly established doctrine: We’re supposed to believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq if it was an island in the Indian Ocean and its main export was pickles, not petroleum.
As is obvious to anyone not committed to the party line, taking control of Iraq will enormously strengthen US power over global energy resources, a crucial lever of world control. Suppose that Iraq were to become sovereign and democratic. Imagine the policies it would be likely to pursue. The Shia population in the South, where much of Iraq’s oil is, would have a predominant influence. They would prefer friendly relations with Shia Iran.
The relations are already close. The Badr brigade, the militia that mostly controls the south, was trained in Iran. The highly influential clerics also have long- standing relations with Iran, including Sistani, who grew up there. And the Shia-dominant interim government has already begun to establish economic and possibly military relations with Iran.
Furthermore, right across the border in Saudi Arabia is a substantial, bitter Shia population. Any move toward independence in Iraq is likely to increase efforts to gain a degree of autonomy and justice there, too. This also happens to be the region where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil is. The outcome could be a loose Shia alliance comprising Iraq, Iran and the major oil regions of Saudi Arabia, independent of Washington and controlling large portions of the world’s oil reserves. It’s not unlikely that an independent bloc of this kind might follow Iran’s lead in developing major energy projects jointly with China and India.
Iran may give up on Western Europe, assuming that it will be unwilling to act independently of the United States. China, however, can’t be intimidated. That’s why the United States is so frightened by China.
China is already establishing relations with Iran — and even with Saudi Arabia, both military and economic. There is an Asian energy security grid, based on China and Russia, but probably bringing in India, Korea and others. If Iran moves in that direction, it can become the lynchpin of that power grid.
Such developments, including a sovereign Iraq and possibly even major Saudi energy resources, would be the ultimate nightmare for Washington. Also, a labour movement is forming in Iraq, a very important one. Washington insists on keeping Saddam Hussein’s bitter anti-labour laws, but the labour movement continues its organising work despite them.
Their activists are being killed. Nobody knows by whom, maybe by insurgents, maybe by former Baathists, maybe by somebody else. But they’re persisting. They constitute one of the major democratising forces that have deep roots in Iraqi history, and that might revitalise, also much to the horror of the occupying forces. One critical question is how Westerners will react. Will we be on the side of the occupying forces trying to prevent democracy and sovereignty? Or will we be on the side of the Iraqi people?
The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse
By Krassimir Petrov, Ph.D.
20 January, 2006
I. Economics of Empires
A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. One part of the subject taxes went to improve the living standards of the empire; the other part went to strengthen the military dominance necessary to enforce the collection of those taxes.
Historically, taxing the subject state has been in various forms-usually gold and silver, where those were considered money, but also slaves, soldiers, crops, cattle, or other agricultural and natural resources, whatever economic goods the empire demanded and the subject-state could deliver. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire.
For the first time in history, in the twentieth century, America was able to tax the world indirectly, through inflation. It did not enforce the direct payment of taxes like all of its predecessor empires did, but distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods-the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax. Here is how this happened.
Early in the 20th century, the U.S. economy began to dominate the world economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold. The Great Depression, with its preceding inflation from 1921 to 1929 and its subsequent ballooning government deficits, had substantially increased the amount of currency in circulation, and thus rendered the backing of U.S. dollars by gold impossible. This led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold in 1932. Up to this point, the U.S. may have well dominated the world economy, but from an economic point of view, it was not an empire. The fixed value of the dollar did not allow the Americans to extract economic benefits from other countries by supplying them with dollars convertible to gold.
Economically, the American Empire was born with Bretton Woods in 1945. The U.S. dollar was not fully convertible to gold, but was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments. This established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. It was possible, because during WWII, the United States had supplied its allies with provisions, demanding gold as payment, thus accumulating significant portion of the world’s gold. An Empire would not have been possible if, following the Bretton Woods arrangement, the dollar supply was kept limited and within the availability of gold, so as to fully exchange back dollars for gold. However, the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960’s was an imperial one: the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and LBJ’s Great Society. Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. The increase in dollar holdings of foreigners via persistent U.S. trade deficits was tantamount to a tax-the classical inflation tax that a country imposes on its own citizens, this time around an inflation tax that U.S. imposed on rest of the world.
When in 1970-1971 foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. While the popular spin told the story of “severing the link between the dollar and gold”, in reality the denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. Essentially, the U.S. declared itself an Empire. It had extracted an enormous amount of economic goods from the rest of the world, with no intention or ability to return those goods, and the world was powerless to respond- the world was taxed and it could not do anything about it.
From that point on, to sustain the American Empire and to continue to tax the rest of the world, the United States had to force the world to continue to accept ever-depreciating dollars in exchange for economic goods and to have the world hold more and more of those depreciating dollars. It had to give the world an economic reason to hold them, and that reason was oil.
In 1971, as it became clearer and clearer that the U.S Government would not be able to buy back its dollars in gold, it made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. Because the world needed ever increasing quantities of oil at ever increasing oil prices, the world’s demand for dollars could only increase. Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil.
The economic essence of this arrangement was that the dollar was now backed by oil. As long as that was the case, the world had to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars, because they needed those dollars to buy oil. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist. Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. It also dictated that oil reserves were spread around various sovereign states that weren’t strong enough, politically or militarily, to demand payment for oil in something else. If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind.
The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.
Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields-he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.
History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have gone into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished-he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire.
II. Iranian Oil Bourse
The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate “nuclear” weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam’s, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system:
The Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans.
The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar. One portion of their dollars they will still want to hold onto; a second portion of their dollar holdings they may decide to dump outright; a third portion of their dollars they will decide to use up for future payments without replenishing those dollar holdings, but building up instead their euro reserves.
The Russians have inherent economic interest in adopting the Euro – the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. Adoption of the Euro will immediately take care of the first two blocs, and will over time facilitate trade with China and Japan. Also, the Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars, for they have recently found a new religion with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and if embracing the Euro will stab the Americans, they will gladly do it and smugly watch the Americans bleed.
The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. Just like the Russians, their trade is mostly with European countries, and therefore will prefer the European currency both for its stability and for avoiding currency risk, not to mention their jihad against the Infidel Enemy.
Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York’s NYMEX and the London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests. It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London IPE would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner.
At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter-those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs-will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation’s exchange:
Sabotaging the Exchange-this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.
Coup d’état-this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.
Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations-this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d’etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.
Joint U.N. War Resolution-this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.
Unilateral Nuclear Strike-this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.
Unilateral Total War-this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.
Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis-between deflation and hyperinflation-it will be forced fast either to take its “classical medicine” by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy.
The Austrian theory of money, credit, and business cycles teaches us that there is no in-between Scylla and Charybdis. Sooner or later, the monetary system must swing one way or the other, forcing the Fed to make its choice. No doubt, Commander-in-Chief Ben Bernanke, a renowned scholar of the Great Depression and an adept Black Hawk pilot, will choose inflation. Helicopter Ben, oblivious to Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, has nonetheless mastered the lessons of the Great Depression and the annihilating power of deflations. The Maestro has taught him the panacea of every single financial problem-to inflate, come hell or high water. He has even taught the Japanese his own ingenious unconventional ways to battle the deflationary liquidity trap. Like his mentor, he has dreamed of battling a Kondratieff Winter. To avoid deflation, he will resort to the printing presses; he will recall all helicopters from the 800 overseas U.S. military bases; and, if necessary, he will monetize everything in sight. His ultimate accomplishment will be the hyperinflationary destruction of the American currency and from its ashes will rise the next reserve currency of the world-that barbarous relic called gold.
About the Author: Krassimir Petrov (Krassimir_Petrov@hotmail.com) has received his Ph. D. in economics from the Ohio State University and currently teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria.
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