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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Are we sleepwalking into showdown?

Troops are due to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan within
two years, but will they be 'withdrawing' into Iran?
Many apologies to Jersey readers but in the absence of anything very much at all happening I am going to concentrate on the main areas of Ron Paul's US presidential campaign. There is a longer term purpose to this but all will be revealed in due course.

Did I mention I really like what Ron Paul has to say? He's my hero!

Not only that but the US elections are having a huge effect on what is going on in the world.  The US elections on November 7th 2012 are what the world is waiting for, for the financial system is being held together for. And of course the ongoing preparations (including running the propaganda machine) for the invasion of Iran. There is nothing like a war to unite a nation. Of course US intervention in the middle east is nothing like a war... legally anyway.

You might also wonder if the two most endebted countries in the world, the US and the UK can afford to go to war, and that is a good question.

You may fool some people some of the time but not all the people all the time. The earthy wisdom of Abe Lincoln, the US president credited with uniting America and ending slavery, is repeatedly challenged by his own country. 

Seems you can’t just fool all the people all the time, you can get away with murder by lying through your teeth. What happened in Iraq eight years ago appears all set to repeat itself as the Western powers gang up against Iran. And you thought the world has learnt its lessons from the catastrophe of Iraq. 

Savaged by the trillion-dollar wars being waged by the US and its Nato allies, coupled with the open loot and corruption on the Wall Street, the world economy is battling for its life. Look at the god-awful mess in Europe. Who would have thought a decade ago, at the time of the Western invasion of Afghanistan, and then Iraq, that the rich European Union and euro would be faced with the calamity they are facing today? Even the with-us-or-against-us leader of the Free World, who had persuaded himself he was on a divine mission to save Israel from its imagined enemies, seemed to have his share of doubts about the whole circus when he left the White House.

Of course, those weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was supposed to have piled up to attack the peace-loving, democratic state of Israel are yet to be found, and this is not to mention the million-plus Iraqis who have paid with their lives for the Oedipal insecurities of the most powerful man on the planet. 

Yet here we are back once again sleepwalking, eyes wide shut, towards yet another calamitous showdown. It’s deja vu all over again as the Goebbelsian propaganda machine bombards us with the characteristically disingenuous fiction masquerading as “facts” and “expert opinion” about the clear and present danger the world faces in Iran. 

Just as the UN and its numerous experts were used to build the case against Iraq, the IAEA’s services are being employed today to corner Tehran. In its latest report, the UN nuclear watchdog suggests Iran may have developed necessary knowhow and expertise to build a nuclear weapon after receiving “critical support from foreign scientists.” Since when has knowledge become a crime? 

In putting Iran in the dock, the International Atomic Energy Agency has trashed its own findings and numerous reports by its experts after endless inspections of Iranian nuclear sites. All of them dismissed the possibility Tehran is working on the bomb – a fact that was corroborated by the US intelligence agencies in the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate. 

The latest IAEA report is based on the “evidence” provided by a Russian scientist, who is supposed to have helped the Iranians in building the detonation system for nuclear weapons, and data found on a stolen laptop! Russia, which has helped Iran with its nuclear power program over the years, has dismissed the claim with utmost contempt.

Robert Kelley, a retired IAEA director and nuclear scientist, is amused by the agency’s claim. In a conversation with The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh – on the subject that most of the information on which the latest IAEA report is based came from a single “source,” a laptop computer allegedly supplied to the agency by a Western intelligence agency – he said: “This is old news and known to many journalists. I wonder why this same stuff is now considered new information by those same reporters.” 

Tehran has rejected the IAEA claim as being stage-managed by the West. Considering that the US contributes 26 percent of the IAEA’s annual budget and has many US officials serving on the board, the claim is hardly exaggerated. The UN watchdog, instead of enforcing nuclear non-proliferation and confronting the big powers on their hoards of nukes, is increasingly acting like a US government outfit. Unlike Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan, Iran is a signatory to the NPT and has allowed regular international inspections of its nuclear sites.

But we have been here before, haven’t we? In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, many such experts were produced out of Uncle Sam’s hat. From the fiction of Iraq sourcing uranium from Niger to Blair’s claim of Saddam Hussein being within 45 minutes’ striking distance of a WMD attack on the UK, the history of colonial deceptions is endless. 

And thanks to the blessings of the Internet, every blatant lie and piece of the charade that passes for international diplomacy in the run-up to the Iraq invasion has been preserved for posterity. Just Google and see for yourself. The resemblance of Iraq 2003 with Iran 2011 is uncanny. 

The same saga of subterfuge continues against Iran, notwithstanding the historical irony that it was the US and Israel that had originally helped Tehran build its nuclear programme in the 1970s, in an attempt to squeeze the Arabs. Indeed, Israel was supposed to supply Reza Shah Pehlavi with missiles and nuclear warheads. 

The programme was abandoned in haste when people power threw the Shah out in 1979, forcing him to seek refuge with the very Arabs he loved to hate. His old friends in the West had spurned him, just as they recently abandoned Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali and Qaddafi. The Shah died a broken man in Cairo in 1980, only a year after the Iranian Revolution. 

What cruel irony of history that today the same Arabs are being hammered into believing that Islamist Iran, and not Israel and its powerful partisans with a large nuclear arsenal and a long history of aggression, is their worst enemy! 

For eight long years, Bush and fellow-crusaders obsessed over Tehran, dreaming of doing an Iraq to Iran. Not because the long-sanctioned, Iran with its archaic weaponry and crippled economy, was a threat to world peace, but because Israel said so. Indeed, but for the “shock and awe” that the Empire faced in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran might have been the third front in America’s war. 

And the irony of ironies: the man who as a senator voted against the Iraq invasion eight years ago is now parroting and reading from the same hymn sheet that his predecessor did. The script of the Middle East’s theatre of the absurd remains unchanged; only dramatis personae have changed. As Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector who exposed his own government’s game on Iraq, puts it, it’s the same bull**** with a different president! 

So as Israel steps up the beating of war drums, with American politicians competing with each other to woo the Zionists, can Obama leave behind? Unleashing more “effective” sanctions against an already much punished country over the past 33 years, he thunders “all options are on the table” – just as his predecessor did. So much for the audacity of hope!

The irony of it all may not be entirely lost on the Nobel laureate president. But with the re-election battle looming and all Republican hopefuls, except Ron Paul and Herman Cain, promising to hit Tehran, how can Obama not suck up to J Street? The rejection of a Palestinian state was Part I of the strategy for the Jewish vote and money. An attack on Iran would seal the pact with the Devil. Meanwhile, the world stands and stares in morbid fascination.

So what is the alternative? Ron Paul sets out his ideas on foreign policy.