THE Bush administration aggression against Iran ticked up a notch Sunday as Dick Cheney opened up his own heightened, rhetorical assault against the imaginary nuclear weapons program his White House and others have conjured up in their exploitative campaign against the sovereign, Iranian nation's pursuit of nuclear energy. Building on the past rhetoric the administration has used to insist that Iran was looking to make a nuclear bomb sometime in the future -- and amplifying Bush's fearmongering claim this week that Iran threatened to spark WW3 -- Cheney declared yesterday that, "We (unmistakably the royal, unilateral, cowboy 'we'), will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
Ignoring the U.S.'s own dual occupations in the Mideast, Cheney outlined his case against the Iranian government, which, ironically, described his own administration's aggressive use of our military to intimidate those in the region who would resist America's opportunistic advance across their sovereign borders. "Across the Middle East," Cheney told his think-tank audience, "further progress (toward peace) will depend on responsible conduct by regional governments; respect for the sovereignty of neighbors; compliance with international agreements; peaceful words, and peaceful actions. And if you apply all these measures, it becomes immediately clear that the government of Iran falls far short, and is a growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East," Cheney said.
Not to be outdone by Bush's declaration to the press Wednesday that Iran should be denied even the knowledge of nuclear weapon-making, Cheney advantaged himself of the Senate resolution which classified the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization involved in attacks on our troops in Iraq, and worked to insinuate that the administration's bogeyman, Hezbollah, was operating in Iraq to destabilize the new, Shiite-dominated, Maliki regime.
Ignoring the numerous and extensive security and economic agreements which have been forged between Tehran and the Maliki administration in Iraq, Cheney suggested that Iran was operating "in the shadows" to overthrow the new Iraqi government. "Iran's Quds Force is trying to set up a "Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and to fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq," Cheney said.
The Maliki regime is literally hand-in-hand with Iran. We rolled over Saddam for them and let them in the front door. There is absolutely no reason for them to resort to some military action to obtain more of what they already have a great deal of, access and influence with their neighbor. It's hard to ignore the deal Iran and Iraq inked in August on an oil pipeline which would carry oil from Iraqi oil fields to refineries in Iran. In fact, the only ones in the neighborhoodwho actually seem to be reacting to Iran's influence in Iraq these days are the hapless operators in the Bush administration and their Saudi benefactors.
It's the Saudis who've actually threatened the new Iraqi regime, promising to align with the Sunni resistance against Maliki's Shiite-dominated rule if the U.S. withdrawals. One of the U.S. aims in Iraq is to advantage the Saudi oil market by suppressing the influence of oil flowing from Iraq and from Iran to rivals like Russia and China who have billions invested in oil deals with Bush's Iranian nemesis. Russia is in line in Iraq for oil investments in Iraq -- possibly ahead of the U.S. because of existing claims to lucrative oil territory. Russia also has a deal to supply Iran with the nuclear material they'll need to power the reactors they're developing. Russia has a contract, as well, to build Iran at least one nuclear plant.
The administration is also trying to use their conjured Iranian nuclear threat and general, boiler-plate demonizing to put a wedge between Moscow and Tehran and coerce the Russians into accepting more punitive (economically crippling) U.N. sanctions against Iran; which they've, so far, blocked in the Security Council.
Putin is unruffled by the hapless floundering of the administration. He's set to use Bush's imperialism and military expansionism in Iraq as justification for a new, Cold War-like buildup of Russian military forces. "Thank God Russia is not Iraq," Putin said last week. "Russia has enough arms and resources to protect itself and its interests, domestically and internationally. And certainly, such statements by Western politicians confirm that all that we are doing now to both our army and navy, are the right things and we will continue to do so," Putin told Russians via a televised question-and-answer session, (responding, in part, to a comment by former Sec of State, Madeline Albright, suggesting Siberia deserved some sort of autonomy from Russia because of it's size and wealth).
The lame-duck Bush administration is acting as if they're in the catbird seat with their conjured threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and their convenient disregard of Iran's own security concerns -- with Iran's former rival armed to the teeth and right across their border with an escalated U.S. military force. Whatever role some Iranians may have had in "aiding" or "arming" resistance forces who've "killed U.S. soldiers," it's clear that it is our own oppressive occupation force which is fueling the resistant violence; far beyond anything that Iran could, or would, instigate.
Our military occupation of Iraq is creating even more individuals and groups pledged to violent resistance to Bush's military advance on their land. For the threat to our soldiers to end, and for any reconciliation to occur, we will need to leave Iraq. After that, it will take a recognition by the U.S. that Iraq's internal struggles for power, influence, resources, and territory is best left to Iraqis and their immediate neighbors. Iran (and others in the region, before us) will almost certainly have a major role to play in helping achieve whatever stability the new Iraqi regime can hope for in the wake of a U.S. withdrawal.
"The spirit of freedom is stirring in Iran," Cheney said, apparently referring to his own heightened aggression toward the sovereign nation. Freedom, with this administration, has been defined by their 'liberation' of the Iraqis of their sovereign government and its replacement with a U.S.-friendly regime, installed behind the 'shock-and-awe' of our military forces. Freedom for this administration has been defined by their liberation of Iraqis from their resources, their lives, and their livelihoods.
Freedom of the type that Cheney and his White House bunch are looking for in Iran has been defined by this administration in Iraq, and for Iraqis, as nothing left to lose. How much longer, therefore, in all of this that's been imposed by this administration with impunity, will Americans be able to call ourselves free?