Political and cultural commentary based on a world view shaped by the works of Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Averroes, Maimonides, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Sartre and Bertrand Russell
Monday, February 26, 2007
WILL THE U.S. ATTACK IRAN?
Online at: http://politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/4914/1/243/
Will the U.S. Attack Iran?
By Thomas Riggins
There is a looming crisis with Iran being generated by the Bush administration and using the same methods of lying to the American people and juicing up intelligence reports by distorting the facts to fit in with preconceived ideas as was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. So, just what is going on?
Craig Unger (author of House of Bush, House of Saud) has attempted to answer this question in an article in the March 2007 issue of Vanity Fair: "From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq." The following are some reflections, from a Marxist point of view, on Unger's article.
Early in the article Unger tells us why Bush invaded Iraq. The war was, "Launched with the intention of shoring up Israeli security and replacing rogue regimes in the Middle East with friendly, pro-Western allies," and he adds, "the war in Iraq has turned that country into a terrorist training ground."
Unger is probably correct, in a sense, here. Support of Israeli designs in the Middle East may have been a big factor, but he left out OIL as a major motivating force. Most critics of the Bush agenda have pointed out that control of Iraq's oil was at the top of the list of reasons which motivated Bush's neocon advisors. The "rogue regime" justification is problematical since that term only means a country that doesn't let the U.S. dictate its foreign and domestic policies for it, or at least play ball with the U.S. on the U.S.'s terms.
The article also says that "far from creating a secular democracy, the war has empowered Shiite fundamentalists aligned with Iran." It is interesting that the qualifying word "secular" was appended to "democracy." It appears that Bush wanted not just a democratic state but a secular one to boot. I am not so sure of Bush's "secular" qualifications let alone his intentions. But at any rate, I think this is a misunderstanding.
Both Egypt and Pakistan are brutal dictatorships and they get along with the U.S. just fine, because they play ball. Saudi Arabia is the pits, yet a major friend. Saddam was also our buddy for years. I don't think he ever figured out where he went wrong and ended up being a bad guy. Having all that (nationalized) oil could have been the reason. As for being an evil dictator and killing all sorts of people, that has never been a problem before with being an American ally and part of the free world.
Unger is dead right about the fact that the same sort of "disinformation operation" in which "Dubious information from known fabricators was hyped" that was used to justify the Iraq war is now being "orchestrated" against Iran. The chief "fabricators" being, in my opinion, Bush and Cheney. When Bush says that Iran is "providing material support for attacks on American troops" we have no reason whatsoever, based on his track record, to believe him. Ahmadinejad may be nuts, but he is not that nuts. He is not even as nuts as Bush for that matter.
An interesting part of the article details some of the Israeli influences in this developing crisis with Iran. Unger says that back in 1996 Benjamin Netanyahu (at the time the Prime Minister of Israel) hooked up with Richard Perle and a policy paper was soon spawned by the title "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." its recommendations would have been commended by Ashurbanipal in dealing with his foes (depose them and take their land) so I don't know how "new" the strategy really is.
Unger reports that the main themes of this policy paper (remove Saddam, abandon the "land for peace" blueprint for solving the Palestinian problem, and an Israeli attack on South Lebanon to remove Hezbollah) reads like a "playbook for U.S.-Israeli foreign policy during the Bush-Cheney era." The right wing in Israel has immense influence in the Bush administration so it is very worrisome when Unger quotes Netanyahu today and he appears to be even nuttier than Ahmadinejad is alleged to be.
Here is what Netanyahu is quoted as saying as recently as November '06 to CNN. "Iran is Germany, and its 1938." Also, "this Nazi regime that is in Iran ... wants to dominate the world, annihilate the Jews, but also annihilate America." The idea that Iran wants to rule the world and annihilate the United States, is right up there in the lunacy league with Ronald Reagan's fears about a possible Nicaraguan invasion of Texas. What's next, the Andorran threat to Europe?
Meanwhile in the real world, Iran actually sent something called "the grand bargain" to the Bush team back in 2003. Iran offered to (1) let the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) conduct more thorough inspections of its Atomic facilities (to bolster the claim that only peaceful atomic energy was being developed) (2) to team up with Egypt and other moderate regimes in the Near East to make peace with Israel (based on the 1967 borders), (3) to help turn Hezbollah into a regular political party in Lebanon rather than a militia, (4) to see to it that no weapons or "material aid" from "Iranian territory" would be sent to Hamas or Islamic Jihad in the occupied territories, and (5) "to apply 'pressure on these organizations to stop violent actions against civilians within borders of 1967.'"
This "grand bargain" could have been the beginning of not only of normalization of American-Iranian relations, but also a big boost towards the solving of the Palestinian conflict. The Bush administration totally blew off the Iranian proposal. It really looks like the Bushites want war and will do anything to justify starting one when everything could be solved peacefully through diplomacy.
Here is what David Albright, who was an inspector for the I.A.E.A., is quoted as saying about the charge that Iran is building nuclear weapons: "We should be very suspicious about what our leaders or the exile groups say about Iran's nuclear capacity. There's a drumbeat of allegations, but there's not a whole lot of solid information. It may be that Iran has not made the decision to build nuclear weapons."
By end of this month (February '07) the American forces will have been beefed up enough to make a major strike against Iran, not just its nuclear infrastructure, but its ports, airfields and any other infrastructure the U.S. chooses. We should have no doubts that leading forces in the administration have the will to launch such an immoral and illegal attack under the guise of lies and deceptions foisted off on the American people, and with the collusion of some major media outlets running the gamut from Fox News to the New York Times. If there are any forces within the administration, or Congress, that can deter the war hawks and the Great Decider remains to be seen.
[from Political Affairs magazine]
--Thomas Riggins is the book review editor for Political Affairs and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Thomas Riggins' Blog