"Some people say that the US president is not prone to calculating the consequences of his actions, but it is possible to bring this kind of person to wisdom." --Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on state television Feb. 9
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned yesterday about the consequences of invading his country as he faced down an escalation of accusations by the Bush regime that the sovereign nation is aiding Shia militias in Iraq who are accused of attacking our forces there.
"The enemy knows well that any invasion would be followed by a comprehensive reaction to the invaders and their interests all over the world," Ayatollah Khamenei warned as he spoke in front of an assembly of Iranian Air Force commanders.
Although the hard-line Iranian religious leader had been viewed by many observers recently as ready to allow some 'moderate' reforms to take place in Iran, that prospect has all but evaporated as Bush has boxed-in the Ayatollah's country with the invasion and occupation of their neighbor; economic sanctions against Iran for continuing their nuclear program, which involves a virtual naval blockade with three U.S. battleships patrolling the waters off their coast; and a blizzard of unproven allegations from the Bush White House and Pentagon of some threat from Iran against the U.S., our citizens, or our allies.
It should be obvious why the Iranian leader felt compelled to lash out at the U.S. in his recent speech in the same strident, defensive manner which has marked Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speeches and addresses to his countryfolk and the world since he assumed power in 2005. The United States government under George Bush has been engaged in an active campaign of interference in Iran's political process to disrupt Ahmadinejad's rule and bring about regime change in Iran -- not through any valid exercise of democracy or democratic principles and practices -- but through the fomenting of unrest within the sovereign nation, and through the intimidating influence of another reckless exercise of our military forces.
The Bush regime made it clear that they intended to overthrow Iran's government' when they milked the republican-controlled Congress for $20 million to establish offices to coordinate and oversee Iran regime change efforts headed by the vice-president's daughter and self-described 'democracy czar 'Elizabeth Cheney who's ready to fly in a compliant sampling of Iranian exiles to assume power after they chase Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his pals into their own hidey-holes.
Without presenting any evidence at all, Bush openly threatened and accused Iran last week of aiding Shia militias in Iraq who they claim are attacking our soldiers there. Never mind the years of training and supplying of many of these same Shiite individuals by the U.S. as part of the newly re-formed Iraqi police and army force as we used them to suppress the Sunni communities before, during, and after the elections Bush staged under his increased occupation.
To add to the already heightened accusations against Iran, U.S. Defense chief Robert Gates claimed yesterday that "some serial numbers" and "markings" on "projectile fragments" they found in Iraq, implicated Iran. "Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
The new charges from the White House and Pentagon are that Iran is supplying what they are calling "explosively formed penetrators" which they claim are being fired at our troops from the Iraqi roadsides by Shia militants. The NYT today parroted the Bush administration's new accusations, complete with everything except actual evidence that there was any involvement by Iran's government at all. From "fragments" of an exploded projectile, the Bush regime has satisfied itself that it can trace the weapon's technology back to Iran, and perhaps, as the NYT suggested, to Hezbollah.
However, the Bush administration has been promising for weeks they would present the evidence to back up their accusations against Iran, and they've put it off, over and over -- this time because of conflicts between the State Dept. and the Pentagon over whether the evidence they have actually proves their accusations. Now that the White House is promising an imminent release of their 'evidence' against Iran, it's impossible not to wonder at the value of material which has been so openly manipulated and managed for weeks by Bush and his minions. It's also a stretch of our credulity to imagine that the Iraqi bomb-makers got any of the materials from anywhere else but the open weapons markets in Iraq which have all of the materials they need to construct one of these "explosively formed penetrators" without any need for Iranian involvement at all.
As if the escalated accusations weren't enough to demonize and whip up on Iran, reports are that the Bush administration is set to accuse the country of "harboring" al-Qaeda terrorists who have been, in fact, arrested and held by Iran since 2003. The WaPo quoted a Bush adviser, who, they said, was instrumental in coming up with a more confrontational U.S. approach to Iran, as saying:
"We are not convinced that the Iranians have been honest or open about the level or degree of al-Qaeda presence in their midst . . . They have not made proper accounting with respect to U.N. resolutions, have not been clear about who is in detention and have not been clear as to what is happening to individuals who might be in custody."
The WaPo reported that the Bush administration plans to argue that Iran is violating U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373, which state that harboring al-Qaeda members constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and are enforcable by military means. The resolutions state that nations should share information on al-Qaeda suspects and gives the UN authority to freeze their assets.
Apparently the U.S. is the only one who is allowed to hold prisoners incommunicado, indefinitely, without charges or counsel. Of course, the charges are all about the U.S. obtaining custody of these individuals and throwing them into Gitmo to torture and let rot. Funny thing, though. The U.S. could have had these prisoners in 2003, but turned the Iranian's deal down because it included a demand that a rebel Iraq-based Iranian resistance group be disbanded and cut off from U.S. assistance and support.
Jim Lobe wrote in 2003 that the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) "began in the late 1960s as a religious movement against the Shah but broke violently with the leaders of the Islamic Republic after the 1978-79 revolution, was given its own bases, tanks and other heavy weapons by the Iraqi leader during the Iran-Iraq War, all of which it retained during his regime to use in raids against Iran, but also to help Saddam Hussein put down unrest, particularly after the 1991 Gulf War."
Lobe: "(Iran's) price - for the US military to permanently shut down the operations of an Iraq-based Iranian rebel group that is on the State Department's official terrorism list - might be too high for some hardliners, centred in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office, who led the charge for war in Iraq."
"Members of this group," writes Lobe, "see the rebels, the MEK as potentially helpful to their ambitions to achieve "regime change" in Iran . . ."
It seems that there is absolute no learning curve in the Bush regime. How else do we explain their continued reflexive tendency to use our nation's defenses as a club against any and all in the way of their swaggering ambition to conquer and dominate? After four years of hitting ourselves on the head in Iraq, Bush is, nonetheless, asking for an even bigger mallet.
Why have Bush's accusations against Iran become more urgent, even as their nemesis deepens its peaceful economic and security ties with its Iraqi neighbor's new government? Where was U.S. diplomacy amid all of the fence mending that was taking place between the two former rivals who had, themselves, lost hundreds of thousands of their own countryfolk in bitter, deadly battles between them and were now ready to reconcile and live in peace?
The only interest and instinct that Bush seems to be able to manage in Iraq is to escalate the violence. It's little wonder why when considering that the diplomatic institution of our State Dept. has been reduced under this administration to little more than a PR agency for war. From choosing the general who directed the first massacre of Iraqis in the bombing campaign of the first Gulf War as Secretary, to appointing his deputy conspirator in the invasion and occupation as his successor, Bush has ensured that our nation's moral authority is dictated at the point of our weapons, rather than by our example and resolve to exhaust all peaceful solutions to conflicts before resorting to force.
The amazing thing about our democracy is our ability to choose new leadership and chart a new direction for our nation by replacing the leaders when they don't respond to the will of those of us who allow them to serve. Just one subtle replacement of an obstructionist or tyrant in our government can say all that needs to be said to those nations and individuals who have been made to fear the irrational wrath of the escalating militarism of our nation's lame-duck regime. Just one constitutional act of accountability here at home . . .