IRAN– Iraq “2” in The War on Terror

IRAN– Iraq “2” in The War on Terror

By Andrusha Wickremeratne (Hebden Bridge)

Amidst the hoopla of heroic Britain carrying on in Dunkirk spirit against the threat of Islamic terrorism, it can easily be forgotten that the central tenet of our leaders’ War on Terror was to make the world (more specifically Britain) a safer place.This brought to mind an interview I heard on Sunday on BBC Radio 4 where an American academic in International Relations was pontificating gravely on the necessity for European countries to follow the American example and impose all manner of trade sanctions on Iran. Yes Iran with its mad mullahs and Armageddon Ahmadinejad as president who wants to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth” (a mistranslation from Farsi, either deliberate or otherwise, but no matter); they should be punished. And this will make the world a safer place for us to buy McDonalds and Kentucky Fried and grow fat in peace and harmony. So by extinguishing this threat we’ll be safe.

The fact that a reasonably educated child, not to mention the entire security apparatus of Britain and America believes the opposite will happen; that waging war against Iran will make Britain a less safe place, is neither here nor there. What is important is that the War on Terror will free Iranians (for surely the primary need for Muslims round the world is to be freed by us) and bring forth democracy and Tescos. By the way Iran has rather a lot of oil.On hearing the American academic’s argument, I was compelled to dig out an interview I read between Scott Ritter the former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!* based on Ritter’s recently published book “Target Iran: The Truth About the White House’s Plans for Regime Change”**. He makes a number of points based on the research for his book (interviews with senior US foreign policy staff, Iranian officials and senior staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA, to name but a few important sources).

The first and most basic point is that Iran is firmly in this US administration’s sights for invasion and regime change. Ritter bases this assertion on the 2006 National Security Strategy document where Iran is mentioned 16 times as the number one threat to the national security of the United States; the same document incidentally, which spawned the concept of pre – emptive wars to deal with such threats. So this is real, and not a hypothetical debating point between analysts.

The second is the issue of diplomacy. Whenever Iran is mentioned in broadcast and print media, it is they who are hard line. It is they who won’t comply. The IAEA, who have had full access to sites in Iran haven’t found any evidence to support the Bush administration’s claim that nuclear energy is being reconstituted for a nuclear weapons programme. The problem for Iran in particular, and for most of the rest of decent human beings in general, is that Iran has to prove it hasn’t got a weapons programme, even though none has been found.

Furthermore what is little understood, or reported, is that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in whose hands real power lies (and not Ahmadinejad the poster boy of hate so beloved of Jeremy Paxman et al), has already issued a fatwa that explicitly states the incompatibility of nuclear weapons with the interpretation of Shia Islamism in Iran. In fact in 2003 he actually reached out to the Bush administration via the Swiss embassy to initiate a peace treaty between Iran and Israel, and for the normalization of relations between Iran and the U.S.A. This was not accepted. Why? The only conclusion to draw is that it would run counter to the Bush cabal’s aims in that area. So even a passing respect for the recent historical record will show who exactly is hard line and anti – diplomatic.

So let’s look at this government’s stance on why people try to detonate Mercedes Benzes on London’s streets, or drive flaming 4 x 4s into airports. It is “our way of life they hate” they continue to bray, disregarding our very intelligence. What will those paid to protect “our way of life” do, when as seems likely, their masters start banging the war drums against Iran louder?

* “Democracy Now!” is an online magazine edited and hosted by Amy Goodman
** Target Iran: The Truth about the White House’s Plans for Regime Change” Ritter.S. Nation Books, New York, 2006.

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