Endgame in Iran
-- -- “The US is updating contingency plans for a strike to
cripple Iran’s atomic weapon program if international
diplomacy fails….The plan calls for a rolling, five-day
bombing campaign against 400 key targets, including 24
nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and radar
installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters.” Ian
spells out plan to bomb Iran”,
The UK Herald
The Bush administration
has no intention of peacefully resolving the nuclear dispute
with Iran. They have
consistently blocked all attempts by Iran to negotiate in good faith or to
establish diplomatic channels for discussion. The current
offer by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to talk
directly with Iran is less a departure from the normal US’
belligerence than it is a means of enlisting support from Russia and China for future
punitive action. In one particularly ominous comment, Rice
said that the negotiations would give Iran “one last excuse” to resist
American demands. This tells us that US diplomacy is a just a smokescreen
for the eventual hostilities.
It took the United States months of behind the scenes
wrangling to persuade the UN Security Council to even
Iran’s “alleged” nuclear weapons
programs. Iran tried to prevent this by
offering to allow surprise inspections on any facility
suspected of covert nuclear activity. Iran is not required to do this under
the terms of the NPT, but volunteered as a way of building
confidence among the member states. The Bush administration,
which made this a vital part of earlier demands, rejected
the offer outright saying that Iran’s
concession would not be enough to end the standoff.
A similar incident took
place just weeks earlier when
Iran was finalizing the details of an
agreement with Russia to enrich
uranium outside of the country. Iran figured that this would allay US
fears that it was secretively developing nuclear weapons.
Again, the Bush
administration rejected this “good will” gesture as
insufficient, while Condi Rice scoffed at the idea as a
trick. These are just latest examples of Iran’s efforts to find a peaceful way to placate
The administration is not interested in concessions or
settlements. It is simply building the case for punitive
action or war.
Despite growing pressure
from the administration, the Security Council has not agreed
on a resolution condemning
Iran’s nuclear programs. So far,
Iran has cooperated fully with the
IAEA and there’s simply no evidence of non compliance. It
took an enormous effort by the Bush administration to push a
feeble “non-binding presidential statement” through the
Council. The statement neither endorses economic sanctions
nor military action. It is a toothless declaration that is
utterly meaningless except for its use in fueling the
propaganda campaign against the Islamic regime.
The administration has hit
a road-block at the Security Council. Their appeal for
decisive action is going nowhere.
Last week, Secretary of
State Rice said, “Security guarantees for Iran were off the table”. Her
announcement reveals the true depth of America’s inflexibility and the
unlikelihood of a peaceful solution. If the
United States refuses to sign a “non
aggression pact”, then what incentive is there for Iran to abandon its nuclear programs?
After all, Iran has the
“inalienable right” to enrich uranium under the NPT.
Shouldn’t that at least be a bargaining chip for
negotiations with the US?
hardnosed approach precludes any future compromise. Their
stubbornness only makes sense if the ultimate objective is
war, which appears to be where Washington is headed.
If we compare the present
situation to the lead up to the war in Iraq, we
can assume that the war plans are already underway. The
maneuverings at the UN are just a facade to conceal the
movement of military hardware and troops. Once the
logistical work is done, the administration will create a
pretext for attacking Iran just as it did with Iraq.
Rice's globe-trotting diplomacy means nothing; it's Cheney
and Rumsfeld who will decide when the time is right.
The administration sees
non-aggression treaties as a sign of weakness unworthy of a
superpower. As stated in its National Security Strategy
(NSS) the United States reserves the right to
attack any nation that may challenge its national interests
or its global supremacy. Iran is the next domino to
establishing permanent American hegemony. Controlling the
oil resources of the
Caspian Basin and removing regional rivals to
Israel remain the fundamental goals
of Bush’s global resource war. This makes a military
Iran inevitable. It is absurd to
expect the Bush administration will seriously negotiate when
their final purpose is regime change.
In a recent
article in Counterpunch, “Embedded
Journalism and the Disinformation Campaign for War on Iran”,
Gary Leupp notes that the same cadres of neocons who misled
the nation into war with Iraq have been reassembled in
the Pentagon to repeat their success against Iran.
Under the rubric of “The Office of Iranian Affairs”; Abram
Shulsky, Elizabeth Cheney and other far-right hawks fill out
a roster of pro-war advocates. Their task is to prepare the
country for war by generating fear and suspicion of Iran’s
imaginary weapons programs. The group's influence is
probably similar to that of Judith Miller who was allowed to
spout her bogus claims about Iraqi WMD from headlines across
the country. In this case, however, the intention is to
omit the critical facts about Iran’s
activities rather than simply inventing false allegations.
For example, the media
invariably excludes the important details about Iran’s programs that would allow
American’s to form an educated opinion. These are:
1 The IAEA has
consistently said that there is “no evidence” that Iran has a
nuclear weapons program or is diverting nuclear material
from its research.
2 Iran has been in full compliance with
all its treaty obligations for 3 years although it has
undergone the most intensive inspection regime in the
history of the IAEA.
3 The UN Security Council
“inalienable right” to develop nuclear energy for peaceful
purposes and did not order Iran to suspend nuclear enrichment as
was falsely reported in the news.
4 The United States
has violated its obligations under the NPT by developing a
new regime of “bunker busting” low yield nuclear weapons.
5 That the United States is
violating the UN Charter by unilaterally threatening a
sovereign nation which is not in breach of any UN
These are the fundamental
facts that the American people need to know to make an
informed judgment about the present confrontation. Instead,
the media simply reiterates the specious claims of
government officials without regard to either international
law (NPT) or the findings of the UN watchdog agency, the
IAEA. We must assume that the media is working with
high-ranking officials in The Office of Iranian Affairs to
produce news that is so obviously skewed in favor of the
administration. After all, their entire raison d’etre is to
create the rationale for moving the country to war.
A growing number of
American elites are uneasy with the precipitous decline of
American prestige as well as the reckless approach to
foreign policy. Henry Kissinger has joined Madeleine
Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hegel and other CFR
(Council on Foreign Relations) luminaries to pressure the
Bush administration to open a direct dialogue with
Iran. Until today, Bush showed no
sign that he would do so. Despite the many setbacks in Iraq, the “war
president” still appears to be entirely under the spell of
VP Dick Cheney and Sec-Def Donald Rumsfeld. Regrettably,
there’s no indication that Rumsfeld or Cheney are the least
bit affected by the widening divisions in elite-opinion.
They are in complete control of the policy-making apparatus
and should be expected to execute their war plan regardless
of its unpopularity or its long-term consequences.
In a recent
article by Gareth Porter
Proposal to US offered Peace with Israel”, the author reports
that in 2003 Iran
not only offered “to accept peace with Israel and cut off material
assistance to Palestinian armed groups” but made a “two-page
proposal for a broad US-Iran agreement covering all the
issues facing the two countries”. The secret document that
was provided to IPS proves that Iran is neither committed to the destruction of
Israel nor to the continued
sponsorship of terrorist groups.
“What the Iranians wanted in return,” Porter says, “ was an
end to U.S. hostility and recognition of Iran as a
legitimate power in the region” They want to see a “halt in
hostile US behavior and rectification of status of Iran in
the US” as well as "recognition of Iran's legitimate
security interests in the region with according defense
and security; the same demands that one expects from any
reasonable sovereign nation.
“In 2003, Bush refused to
allow any response to the Iranian offer to negotiate an
agreement that would have accepted the existence of Israel.” (IPS)
This implies that the
decision to attack
Iran must have been made in the
earliest years of the Bush administration. (Perhaps, even
before Bush took office as indicated in the Project for the
New American Century)
Will there be a war with Iran?
The UK Herald reported two
weeks ago (“US
spells out plan to bomb Iran”,
Ian Bruce) that “the US is updating contingency plans for a
strike to cripple Iran’s atomic weapon program if
international diplomacy fails….The plan calls for a rolling,
five-day bombing campaign against 400 key targets, including
24 nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and radar
installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters.”
If there is an invasion it
will probably be limited to securing the region of Khuzestan
which is adjacent to
Iraq’s southern flank and
contains 90% of Iran’s oil wealth as well as much of
its natural gas. This could be achieved with as little as
15-20,000 combat troops, plus a backup of Special Forces.
The rest could be accomplished by aerial bombardments of
military installations, radar, artillery placements, missile
silos, nuclear sites and Republican Guard facilities.
Needless to say, there are not “400 nuclear targets” in Iran. The Herald article implies that
the Pentagon is anticipating a “Serbia-type” attack which
disrupts major industry, oil production and civilian
infrastructure. This strategy has been described in great
detail by author John Pilger in his article “Calling
the Kosovo Humanitarians to Account” Pilger states:
“NATO's civilian targets included public transport,
hospitals, schools, museums, churches. ..bombing bridges on
Sunday afternoons and market places."
goal of opening the region to a “free-market economy”,
Pilger notes how NATO intentionally targeted state owned
businesses to bring Kosovo into the global economic paradigm
and remove any stain of its socialist past. Pilger says:
“In the bombing campaign that followed, it was state-owned
companies, rather than military sites, that were targeted.
NATO's destruction of only 14 Yugoslav army tanks compares
with its bombing of 372 centers of industry, including the Zastava car factory, leaving hundreds of thousands jobless.
Not one foreign or privately owned factory was bombed.”
expect that the same basic model will be applied to Iran, although the assault will be papered-over
by the “state-media franchise” (the “free press”) Iran has no nuclear weapons programs and
knows it. It is being prepared for “economic reform” and
“structural readjustment” so that it can be included into
the prevailing system of predatory capital and satisfy the
west’s ravenous appetite for cheap oil and new markets.
US carrier groups are already
moving to the Gulf and the finishing touches are being put
on the battle plans. Lt General Sam Gardiner expects that an
attack will come as early as June 2006.
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