by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
" The American government wants to expand its hegemony over the center of energy in the world, which is the Middle East," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a Manhattan dinner with mainly American peace and justice advocates. Iran considers weapons of mass destruction to be forbidden under Islam. All the talk of war is merely a cloak for America's imperial ambitions.
Talking Peace and Justice with Ahmadinejad
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
" The United States is merely "seeking excuses in order to perpetuate animosity to Iran [which] started from the day the Iranian people completed the revolution' in 1979."
" The doctrine of empires is being destroyed. It cannot be reconstructed," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seated at the dais in a large meeting room of the Warwick Hotel, in Manhattan, Tuesday night. "Human relations and the international equation are moving in the direction where the power of weapons is not determinative. Did it save the Soviet Union from being dismantled?"
A couple of seats away, the Nation of Islam's Min. Louis Farrakhan beamed. He was among a hundred or so guests of the Iranian Embassy, gathered for the last of Ahmadinejad's yearly sessions with mainly American peace and justice proponents during the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly. "If there ever was a time for the family of Abraham to come together to speak with one voice, the time is now," said Farrakhan, many of whose ministers were seated among Mennonites, Iranian Muslim clerics, Jews, Catholics and a conservative evangelical Baptist mega-church pastor from Texas who intoned, "If we really believe in the God that we say we believe in, we must work for peace."
Consumers of U.S. corporate media have become acclimated to the inevitability of a military assault against Iran, by Israel alone or in league with the U.S., ostensibly to destroy an Iranian nuclear weapons program that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say was halted almost a decade ago. But Ahmadinejad and several Shiite religious leaders insisted that a nuclear-armed Iran is unthinkable; that Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons; and that, as religious scholar Muhammad Sawar informed the dinner guests, "the production of weapons of mass destruction is legalized murder"prohibited in Islam."
" Consumers of U.S. corporate media have become acclimated to the inevitability of a military assault against Iran."
Phil Wilayto, of Richmond, Virginia's Defenders of Freedom, Justice & Equality, spoke of the need to "break through the barrage of demonic propaganda" against Iran. "Malcolm X said the Black community has the right to defend itself by any means necessary," said Wilayto. "But Iran does not claim that right, because it believes killing innocents is impermissible."
Ever since the August morning in 1945 when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the U.S. has refused to rule out an atomic first strike against a nuclear or non-nuclear power. For Washington, mass human annihilation is always on the table -- as it is for nuclear-armed Israel, whose leaders howl that Iran represents a threat to its very existence.
Koranic prohibitions aside , why shouldn't Iran seek a deterrent against those that make no secret of their intentions to attack them? Former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark seemed to pose that question. "A non-nuclear power, when threatened by a nuclear power, has no real means to protect their people," said the 84-year-old anti-war activist. Yet, all nations have the "right to protect themselves"to develop the means to protect themselves."
For President Ahmadinejad, "talk of nuclear war has become tiresome, it has become repetitive." The United States is merely "seeking excuses in order to perpetuate animosity to Iran [which] started from the day the Iranian people completed the revolution" in 1979. "The American government," he said, "wants to expand its hegemony over the center of energy in the world, which is the Middle East." The Euro-American embargo on trade with Iran and U.S. threats of war are simply cloaks for imperial geopolitical ambitions.