Dubai and the Straits of Hormuz
By Mike Whitney
“If you want to understand the policy of a country, look at the
map.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Geography is fate.
United Arab Emirates is located at the center of an oil-dependent
world. This tiny state forms the promontory that juts out into the
famed Straits of Hormuz through which 40% of the world’s oil passes
every day. Across the narrow straights sits Iran, the next victim on
the list of “axis of evil” nations. Any attack on Iran will require
that military forces quickly deploy to Dubai to forestall the
closing of the straits and the subsequent devastation that would
cost to world oil supplies and financial markets.
This is the critical point which is being intentionally concealed by
America’s diversionary media. This is the reason that President Bush
continues to force the Dubai port-plan even though 70% of the
American people and Congress resoundingly oppose it.
The importance of UAE as a staging area for future hostilities
cannot be overstated. No military strategy can hope to succeed
without first establishing a beachhead across the straits in Iran so
that the danger of blowing up oil tankers and blocking passage is
removed. This tells us that plans for an attack may be on track for
late March as originally threatened by Israel.
For its part, Iran has been trying to work out an agreement for
enriching uranium with Russia, although Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad still insists that the NPT provides an “inalienable
right” for the peaceful development of nuclear fuel.
Ahmadinejad is right, of course, but it makes little difference. The
United States has already brushed aside the Iran-Russia plan and is
pushing to have the Security Council censure Iran at its next
meeting. So too, talks have broken off between Iran and the EU-3
without producing any positive results. The Euro-leaders are clearly
abetting Washington’s gambit; paving the way for another war.
Ahmadinejad has done nothing to help his cause by blurting out
absurd statements that have made him look foolish and irrational.
(Israel should be “wiped off the map”) Still, it’s doubtful that
anyone could withstand the withering “swift-boating” of the western
media once they commence their campaign of character-assassination,
the likes of which we have seen many times before.
Ahmadinejad recently said, “We want peace, security, and progress
for all the countries of the region, especially our neighbors.
History has shown that Iran is a good neighbor. We are just working
on nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.” His comments, of course,
were not covered in the western media since they conveyed the
message of a responsible leader with benign motives rather than the
ridiculous blather of madman.
As far as we know, however, Ahmadinejad has been straightforward in
his claims. The IAEA has consistently found that Iran has fully
complied with the terms of the NPT and that there “is no evidence of
a nuclear weapons program”.
That hasn’t stop Washington, though. The die was cast for war with
Iran nearly a decade ago in policy papers drawn up by far-right
political ideologues who now control all the levers of foreign
policy in the Bush White House.
The situation with Iran is bound to reach crisis-level this week as
the IAEA’s board off governors is expected to issue a statement
expressing its fears that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.
Al Jazeera reported that, “Diplomats in Washington and Vienna said
the Security Council could adopt a "presidential declaration"
calling on Tehran to heed IAEA calls to suspend uranium enrichment
and co-operate with inspections.”
A “presidential declaration”?
This is a clear admission that the IAEA has NOT found Iran in
violation of its treaty obligations, but is looking for some way to
accommodate the United States’ insistence that Iran should be
publicly scolded by the international body.
Will this public humiliation be used as a pretext for war?
A Western diplomat told AFP the European countries had “decided
against a resolution” at this week’s board meeting, after hearing
from Russia and China that there was no support for one. (Al Jazeera)
Again, this suggests that there is no proof of foul-play.
Nevertheless, European leaders and the United States want to issue a
“statement” that would call on Iran to voluntarily suspend all
enrichment-activities and submit to more extensive investigations”.
In other words, Iran is being asked to voluntarily give up all of
its rights under the terms of the NPT.
But why would Iran willingly accept being treated like a pariah when
there is “no evidence” that it has done anything wrong?
The hypocrisy of this Bush-backed plan is breathtaking. Bush just
finished a trip to India and Pakistan where he effectively declared
himself the final arbiter of who will get nuclear technology and
fuel and who won’t. His actions were a clear affront to the IAEA,
the UN, the NPT, and the United States Congress, who is supposed to
determine such matters as treaties.
Bush has apparently elected himself the god of all-things nuclear.
He has successfully destroyed the already feeble credibility the NPT
by capriciously handing out nuclear technology to friends and
withholding it from enemies. He turned the notion of evenhandedness
and international law into a private fiefdom where science and
technology are distributed according to the whims of Washington
The NPT is dead.
Will this final assault on international agreements clear the path
for war with Iran?
It is hard to say, but the Financial Times reported that, “Iranian
activists involved in a classified research project for the marines
told the FT the Pentagon was examining the depth and nature of
grievances against the Islamic government (Iran) and appeared to be
studying whether Iran would be prone to violent fragmentation along
the same kind of fault-lines that are splitting Iraq.”
So, along with the $85 million Congress just voted to provide for
“pro-democracy” movements in Iran; Marine Intelligence is looking
for ways to exacerbate ethnic tensions to foment revolution to
topple the Tehran government. The plan for “regime change” in Iran
is still being aggressively pursued, even though neighboring Iraq is
in utter chaos.
The UAE port deal is just more indication that an attack on Iran is
forthcoming. Its location is crucial to the success of any American
For Pentagon warlords Dubai has become the strategic-epicenter of
the global resource war. As peace-activist and author Uri Avnery
said, “Regimes come and go, rulers rise and fall, ideologies
flourish and wither, but geography stands forever. It’s geography
that decides the basic interest of every state.”
All eyes should be focused on Dubai and the tenuous future of the
Straits of Hormuz.
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