Friday, February 17, 2006

The School Bully Eyes his Next Victim: The US &Iran

The global bully, the United States, has committed war crimes by waging wars of aggression against nations who lacked the means to defend themselves against bombers dropping their lethal cargo from the safety of 35,000 feet. Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Serbia and Iraq have all suffered civilian causalities and damage to non-military targets while failing to even scratch the paint on a single U.S. fighter or bomber. Preparations are now underway to bludgeon another victim, Iran, whose capability to stop American or Israeli jets are negligible.

All these wars of aggression have characteristics in common and the campaign to justify and prepare to brandish American or Israel’s military hegemony over the skies of Iran is not different.

There is a gaping chasm between the justifications for these wars of aggression put forward for public and Congressional consumption and the actual reasons which are never discussed to avoid public and Congressional condemnation. In the case of Libya, the public justification was to destroy terrorist havens in Libya whereas the actual motivation was to kill Muammar el-Qaddafi whose tent was “accidentally” bombed killing Qaddafi’s daughter. The war against Serbia was not a humanitarian effort to stop ethnic cleansing but was part of a larger objective to break up the Former Yugoslavia and replace each federation with a non-socialist, pliant government. The 2003 war against Iraq was about shifting ostensible justifications depending on whether the latest pretext had withstood public scrutiny whereas the real motivation was to remove Saddam Hussein from power after he refused to become subservient to the United States following the Iran-Iraqi war. American intentions in Iraq were to build military bases and gain control over Iraqi oil. The 1991 bombing of Iraq was intended to eliminate Saddam after which the CIA attempted to assassinate him. All these efforts, having failed, left the United States with “no other choice” but to declare war on Iraq again in 2003.

According to the Bush Administration, a virtually fait-accompli nuclear capability in Iran poses a threat to the region and the U.S. The warning about the Iranian nuclear threat conforms to the pattern of fear-mongering of past spurious justifications which are used as a means to win support for American hegemonic aspirations. As was the case with past propaganda campaigns, the imminent Iranian nuclear threat exists only in the minds of public relations advisors and deceitful officials in the Bush Administration.

The Bush cabal has devised a method to ensure that intelligence always support the agenda of the administration. If actual intelligence is unfavorable to their cause, they have a number of options:

1. cherry-pick the data (using the data selectively);
2. mine the data (extrapolating old data without incorporating any new data);
3. fabricate the intelligence (as in the forged Italian documents on the Iraqi nuclear threat);
4. misinterpret the intelligence (Colin Powell’s presentation to the Security Council);
5. or fail to verify the accuracy of the intelligence (Iraq ties to el-Qaeda).

In the case of Iran, the Bushites are ignoring the intelligence of their own security agencies and have pressured the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report to the Security Council that Iraq is in violation of international safeguards against nuclear-weapons proliferation. To further advance their case that Iran is an imminent threat, they are talking as if Iran already has the material and technology to build nuclear weapons. El Baradei, Director-General of the IAEA, reports that “I am not yet in a position to make a judgment on the peaceful nature of the [nuclear] program [in Iran].”

American intelligence agencies differ in their estimates of the progress of Iran’s nuclear weapons program but they all agree that it is premature to conclude that Iran currently has such a capability. John D. Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, in a statement to the Senate Committee on Intelligence on February 2, 2006 stated that “Tehran probably does not yet have a nuclear weapon and probably has not yet produced or acquired fissile material.”

One of the problems in assessing the Iranian nuclear threat is the lack of a recent comprehensive study. The last study was conducted in 2001 and reported in the National Intelligence Estimate which was “approved by the National Foreign Intelligence Board under the authority of the Director of Central Intelligence”. It reports that “All agencies agree that Iran could attempt to launch an ICBM/SLV about mid-decade, although most agencies believe Iran is likely to take until the last half of the decade to do so. One agency further judges that Iran is unlikely to achieve a successful test of an ICBM before 2015.”

The IAEA is in the best position to evaluate the development of the weapons program in Iraq. A resolution adopted by the Board of the IAEA on November 29, 2004, refers to “The Director General’s assessment that all declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and that such material is not diverted to prohibited activities, but that the Agency is not yet in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.” John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy, in a letter to the IAEA board on January 23, 2006, notes that “The IAEA investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities has not yet reached a conclusion. Escalation would needlessly and artificially create a condition of crisis which could easily undermine the diplomatic and IAEA processes, and pave the way for a dangerous confrontation in the future.”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists claimed in their November/December issue of 2004 that “Although the U.S. government and Israel have stated for years that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, they have not provided the IAEA or the public with the location of any nuclear weaponization sites or any direct evidence of such activities.”

Notwithstanding that the warnings by the U.S. and Israel are clearly premature, both countries have an agenda which will proceed on schedule despite any evidence contradicting their public pronouncements. This is another characteristic of American wars of aggression.

Another characteristic is an effort to legitimize their actions with any organization or coalition that suits the purpose. In the bombing of Iraq in 2003, the legitimizing organization was the Coalition of the Willing, a ragtag group of nations other than England and Spain, and in Serbia it was NATO. The plan for the Iranian project is to have the IAEA drag Iran in front of the Security Council for a warning about punitive action if Iran does not comply with international safeguards. At some point, the U.S. will concoct a pretext for bombing Iran.

At the moment, the U.S. seems determined to flex its muscles over Iran thereby destabilizing the Middle East and provoking more terrorism. With each war of aggression, the planet becomes less safe contrary to the propaganda machine of the Bush Administration. The U.S. and Russia are by far the greatest threat to initiate a nuclear attack as each country is still on hair-trigger alert and as the United States is constantly upgrading its nuclear arsenal in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the weaponization of space, a new level of risk threatens the planet with a nuclear holocaust as other countries such as China will devote their ever-growing resources to upgrading their own arsenal. It is quite ironic that the U.S. has ferreted out Iran as a major nuclear threat while accelerating the risk with their own nuclear programme.