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War on Iran

Unleashing Armageddon in the Middle East

By Dr. Elias Akleh

11/10/06 "
Information Clearing House" -- -- In mid 1970s the American Power Elite drew a “Grand Plan” to control and to monopolize global oil and nuclear energy resources, for he who controls energy resources determines the fate of nations. The base of this “Grand Plan” is the invasion of energy rich countries to directly control their resources, and to create subservient governments that would exploit their own people as cheap labor to harvest energy for the United States.

The collapse of the Soviet Union had created a window of opportunity for the United States to ensure and to affirm its global superiority through expansion and controlling energy resources without any real opposition. The attacks of 911 were necessary requirements for the Bush administration to wage a “global war against terror” that would serve as a cover up for American hegemony. President Bush borrowed Mussolini’s fascist motto of “If you are not with me, you are against me” and turned it into “You are either with us or with the terrorist” to terrorize weaker nations into accepting American expansions.

Part of the “Grand Plan”, which deals with the Arab World (Middle East) and South East Asia, was handed down to the Bush/Cheney administration for execution. The invasions and destructions of Afghanistan and Iraq are just the beginning. Iran, Syria, and Lebanon are next. Controlling Iran is very important to the American administration. Iran sits on a lake of oil and has large deposits of uranium that, when mined and refined, could make Iran a super global power. Controlling Iran leads to the containment of China (America’s greatest competitor), who depends heavily on Iranian oil to satisfy its growing hunger for energy. Geographically Iran makes the shortest and the most economical route for Kazakhstan’s oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea ,north, to the Persian Gulf south with all the oil-tankers traffic. Iran also fits perfectly within the line of American hegemony in South East Asia. Listening to Bush’s speeches – especially his speech to the United Nation last September 2006- one can detect his “enthusiasm” for “spreading democracy and freedom” into the “despotic Middle East” with Iraq as an example.

The Bush/Cheney administration started its overt aggression against Iran immediately after 911 attacks. Bush described Iran as one of the “axis of evil” sponsoring “terrorist” groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, who are in reality defending themselves against Israeli aggression. After the American invasion of Iraq the American administration accused Iran of instigating a civil war in Iraq by supporting Shiites against Sunnis, and of opening its borders wide for terrorists to enter Iraq. The administration is accusing Iran of building a nuclear bomb, and is continuously threatening its government to abandon its nuclear “ambitions” or else face dire consequences including nuclear strikes (a paradox of using nuclear weapon to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons). Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State described Iran as a “central bank for world terrorism” that is threatening the stability of the Middle East.

American media had joined the administration into demonizing Iran and its government. Iran is described as a fundamentalist theocracy, who seeks to revive the glory of ancient Persian Empire by establishing an Islamic “Caliphate” in the Middle East. Iran’s leaders are portrayed as extremists, who hate Americans for their freedom, and want to build nuclear bomb to attack the US. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is described as an irrational, violent, mad Hitler-like anti-Semite, who hates Jews, denies the Holocaust, and wants to wipe Israel off the map. Ahmadinejad’s visit to the US last September (2006) to give a speech at the UN was received with a cold shoulder by the US. American officials in the UN and the American media boycotted his speech, while NBC’s Brian Williams and Newsweek’s Lally Weymouth interviewed him only to corner him about the Holocaust and wiping Israel off the map.

Bush/Cheney administration had rebuffed all Iranian attempts to negotiate, and refused to give Iran any guarantees that the US will not attack Iran if it stops its uranium enrichment. President Bush totally ignored President Ahmadinejad’s personal letter, and his call for a debate. The Washington Post, in June 18th 2006, reported Richard Hass, head of policy planning at the State Department at the time, as saying that at the wake of the US invasion of Iraq Iranian leaders offered the administration a proposal for a broad dialogue that included full cooperation on its nuclear programs, acceptance of the state of Israel, and halting support to Palestinian militants. The administration rejected this proposal since they already have plans for a regime change in Iran.

The administration’s attack plan started immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Spy stations were erected at the Iraqi/Iranian borders. The Congress had authorized the expenditure of $75 million to support Iranian opposition and to finance an anti-Iranian political campaign. Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector, reported in June 2005 and in his book “Target Iran” that the US has been using terrorist organizations (Mujahedeen el-Khalq, MEK), under the supervision of the CIA, to conduct covert terrorist operations in Iran. MEK has been officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US. Yet in 2004 Bush/Cheney administration pardoned the MEK making it the first terrorist organization to receive a “protected” status. The MEK terrorists were trained by the CIA in an American compound northeast of Baghdad, and then moved to Basra and established their base in Camp Habib, from which they launch their terrorists raids against the southern region of Iran.

Israel, on the other hand, criticized Iran’s nuclear program refusing to “live under the threat” of nuclear Iran. Israeli officials point to Ahmadinejad’s alleged threat to wipe Israel off the map as threat to their own existence, and a possible justification for a pre-emptive strike as a measure of self-defense. They continually threaten to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities the same way Israel did to Iraq’s nuclear reactor. Israel warned that Iran’s uranium enrichment is the red line that Israel will react to. Israel had sent its military operatives into the Kurdish region north of Iraq to establish training camps for the Kurds. The Kurds want to establish their free Kurdistan that extends from north Iran to east Turkey. Considering it their patriotic duty, and encouraged, financed and armed by the Israelis, the Kurds send their militants to conduct military operations into northern Iran.

Bush/Cheney administration is adamant on invading Iran. Invasion was originally planned to take place sometime during the end of April 2006 immediately after the end of the grace period UN gave to Iran to stop its nuclear program. The plan consisted of 5 days continuous aerial bombardment by joint air planes of Israel, UK, and US that might include tactical nuclear bunker buster bombs. Land invasion would follow from west (Iraq), from east (Afghanistan) and from sea (Persian Gulf from west and Gulf of Oman from south). The plan was to heavily bombard the Iranians into overthrowing their government.

In an attempt to stop this attack Iran flexed its military muscles in war games conducted in April 2006. Iran effectively demonstrated its capability of waging war on land, sea, and air with sophisticated weapons. Iran also conducted other war games in August 2006 in coordination with China and Russia on all of Iran’s geo-strategic borders giving a warning signal that any possible invasion of its territory would be very costly. The American administration discovered that it had underestimated Iran’s military power, and that Iran is a larger and a stronger country than the embargo-weakened Iraq. Therefore the administration decided to adjust its war plans and to bring in more allies such as EU and some Arab states.

Contrary to the misleading American propaganda about the threat of irrational extremist Iranian government Iranian leaders have been very pragmatic politicians, who seek peace, stability, and nuclear-free Middle East. There is no doubt that Iran has supported Palestinian families (victims of Israeli terror), Shiite Lebanese south of Lebanon, and Shiite Iraqis in an attempt to protect its own interests and to counter balance warring Israel, UK, and US. Israel had invaded all its neighboring countries while the UK and US had sent their troops across the globe to invade Afghanistan and Iraq to protect its own interests in the region. For many generations Iran was never involved in a colonial war and had never threatened other countries. Iran was defending itself during the eight years Iraq/Iran war of attrition that had been instigated by the US. Unlike the Israeli and American military threatening rhetoric Iranian leaders had always declared that they do not pose any threat to any other country, and that Iran is only seeking peace and prosperity for its own citizens. Iranian officials recognized that war is knocking on their doors when American troops invaded Iraq. They attempted to approach Bush/Cheney administration with dialogue and cooperation, but they were rebuffed violently.

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not conform “..to the picture of a madman” the American administration and media portray him to be, wrote Fareed Zakaria in his Newsweek (10/2/2006) article “What Iranians Least Expect”. “He was smug, even arrogant, sometimes offensive, but always calm and intelligent” continued Zakaria. Ahmadinejad is not the Jew-hater, Holocaust denier, intent on wiping Israel off the map as Bush keeps describing him. Ahmadinejad pointed to the Iranian Jewish community, who are living peacefully within Iran as any other Iranian citizens. Iran is the home for the largest Jewish community (25 thousands) in the Middle East outside Israel, who lived there for the last 3 thousand years since the rule of Cyrus the Great. Iranian government recognizes the Jews as a religious minority to be protected and represented by a PM, Maurice Mohtamed, in Iranian parliament. Iranians make a distinction between Jews and Zionists.

When Newsweek’s Lally Weymouth (October 2nd 2006) asked Ahmadinejad about the Holocaust he acknowledged it as a historical event by stating “We know this was a historical event that happened. But why is it that people who question it are persecuted and attacked?” He also questions the reasons why the Palestinians have to pay their country and their lives for what the Europeans had done. He questions the exploitation of the Holocaust to justify the usurpation of Palestinian land, their evacuation from their homeland and the destruction of their civilian homes, the targeted assassination of their freedom fighters, and the abduction and jailing of their democratically elected officials. “The Palestinian people, their lives are being destroyed today under the pretext of the Holocaust. Their lands have been occupied, usurped. What is their fault? What are they to be blamed for? Are they not human beings? Do they have no rights? What role did they play in the Holocaust?” Ahmadinejad answered NBC’s Brian Williams, who asked him about the Holocaust during an interview in September 20th, 2006. His acceptance of the Holocaust as a reality could not be any clearer than in his statement reported by the Washington Post December 9th 2005 “Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler, the reason for their (the Europeans’) support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?”

Ahmadinejad’s plans to build a nuclear bomb and use it to incinerate and “to wipe Israel off the map” as Tzipi Linvi – the Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister- likes to keep reminding the world of, is totally baseless. It is an intentional misinterpretation and distortion of Ahmadinejad’s speech. In the New York Times of June 11th, 2006 Juan Cole, a Middle East specialist at the University of Michigan, stated that “Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map, because no such idiom exists in Persian. He did say he hoped its regime i.e. a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse.” Ahmadinejad was not threatening Israel; rather he was calling for the end of Zionist occupation of the city of Jerusalem. He – and the Iranian government- are intelligent politicians, who understand that striking Israel with one atomic bomb would lead Israel to shower Iran with its 200, or more, nuclear bombs, some of which are ready to be launched from submarines.

To avoid the seemingly inevitable war Iran had followed the diplomatic path with no avail. It opened all its nuclear facilities to the strictest and most detailed inspections by the IAEA, who stated that there was no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. Iran proposed to halt its nuclear program if the US halts its threatening postures and gives guarantees that it would not attack Iran. The Bush/Cheney administration refused to give Iran any guarantees insisting that all options, including nuclear, are on the table. Ahmadinejad also called for peaceful negotiations and a nuclear-free Middle East in his speech to the UN in his September visit. Yet his speech was boycotted by the American officials and ignored by the American media. Lately Iran proposed to have an international consortium to supervise uranium enrichment in Iran to guarantee that its nuclear program is really for peaceful purposes only. This proposal was rejected by the EU for they all are aware of the American plans to invade Iran.

Iran had also turned to the international community – mainly anti-American countries- for political support through economical trade and common political interests. In 2004 Iran struck an oil deal with China Petrochemical Corp. (SINOPEC Group) to sell it 51% stake in Iran’s Yadavaran oil field near the border of Iraq. Iran also became Russia’s most important weapons customer. Iran had also gained the political support of at least 118 countries during the summit of the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) in Cuba in mid September 2006.

Iranian government, like any other prudent government in its place, has no alternative but to seriously consider the Israeli and American continuous military threats to its security and to prepare for the inevitable coming war. In a deterrent attempt Iran had conducted war games in April and August 2006 hoping that the American administration would reconsider its plans. It also positioned its weapons strategically on its borders and sea. Iranian arsenals include Iranian and Russian made submarines carrying their own mini submarines and submarine-to-ship missiles. Iranian naval forces had been updated with the latest military equipment and weaponry with its naval airborne forces including helicopters, minesweepers and the sophisticated fast Chinese “Silkworm” and “Sunburn” anti-ship missiles with the speed of 225 miles per hour. Iranian Patrol Torpedo Boats (PT) – such as the “Jashan PT”- are small boats designed to attack larger warships and are equipped with latest electronic systems and missiles with a range of 100km. Iran’s navy also has the largest hovercraft fleet in the world. On the land Iran has long range missiles (Shehab) and land-to-sea missiles (Kowsar) that can evade electronic jamming systems. Some of Iranian missiles are reported to be invisible to radar and can have multiple warheads with multiple payloads to hit multiple targets simultaneously.

Iran has also recently modified its air defense shield in order to shoot down incoming missiles and invading warplanes. Iran has about 20 Russian “Tor” and “S300” antiaircraft systems. Besides Russian warplanes Iran has manufactured its own warplanes with laser-guided missiles and whose capabilities are still unknown and could surprise any invading enemy. Iran also has its own fleet of unmanned militarized drones.

The eight-year Iraq/Iran desert war had given Iranian army the longest experience in ground and desert warfare far exceeding any other army. The Iranians learned to manufacture their own weapons such as tanks, missiles, torpedoes, helicopters, submarines and warplanes. This gave them independence and strength.

Attacking Iran will disrupt oil traffic in the Persian Gulf. In an obvious and expected move Iran will close the Straits of Hermuz blocking all military and supply in-traffic and all oil out-traffic. American military bases in the Gulf States will be targeted, and there is the possibility of also targeting oil wells. To exacerbate the ensuing oil crises Syria and Iran may also target the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Turkey. Venezuela, an Iranian ally, would stop the flow of its oil to the US. The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has warned that Venezuela would not sit idle if Iran and Syria were attacked. An energy crisis might devastate Western countries. China might also enter the conflict to protect its own oil assets in Khuzestan province that the Iranian had armed heavily to protect its oil resources and to assure the supply of crude oil to its own allies.

Recognizing that Iran, unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, is a big country with a military power including strong aerial defense that is well ready for the anticipated heavy Western aerial strike, and that it has a military outreach towards the whole region that might disrupt the flow of oil, the American administration decided to postpone its attacks until it creates a “war oil reserve”, forms a large alliance of “willing countries”, and sends a military armada to the region to guarantee victory.

The American administration influence on the UN and NATO can be seen clearly by the types of resolutions the UN adopts, and by the NATO troops becoming an American proxy occupier of Afghanistan. To avoid internal political crisis the administration needs to spare the lives of the American troops as much as possible by convincing more countries that it is in their own economic interest to send their own troops to the Middle East to “keep” the oil flow to their countries. UN resolution 1701 was the best cover to send military personnel and equipment to the region. 15 thousand armed UNIFEL troops are stationed on the Lebanese southern borders to protect Israel from any Hezbollah’s attacks. An armada of NATO battleships is crowding the eastern shores of the Mediterranean allegedly to stop arm shipments to Hezbollah. The real purpose of this armada is to protect the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Terminal during the war against Iran and Syrian, and to guarantee the flow of oil to Europe.

The cooperation of Gulf Arabian States was also needed. Condoleezza Rice traveled to Egypt early October and met with foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Rice followed the usual American tactics of dandling the resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli issue in order to gain cooperation from these Arab leaders. To put more pressure on these leaders President Bush divided them into “moderate vs extremists”. Israel had also courted these “moderate” Arab leaders during September United Nations meeting in New York, where Israeli officials held some private meetings with officials from Persian Gulf Countries (The Wall Street Journal, October 3rd). There was also a rumor about an Israeli/Saudi secret private meeting in Jordan’s King Abdullah’s palace at the end of September. The talks aimed to form some kind of secret intelligence and military alliance between Israel and the US on one side and the “moderate” Arabic regimes on the other hand against the Iranian nuclear threat and the so called “Shiite Crescent” –Iran, Syria and Lebanon- in the north. After all, these Sunni Gulf rulers had supported and financed Iraqi Saddam Hussein during his eight years war against Iran. They had sent Moslem fighters as an American proxy army to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. They had, for fifty eight years, stood silent about the Israeli terror against Palestinians, and finally had criticized Hamas and Hezbollah resistance as foolish and uncalculated useless adventures. Some of these Gulf States had joined actively into the American war games off the Iranian coastline in October 31st while others joined as observers only.

The US and NATO countries had amassed the largest military armada in the Middle East. The US armada consists of Carrier Strike Group 12 led by nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, Eisenhower Strike Group – another nuclear powered aircraft carrier with accompanied military vessels and submarines, Expeditionary Strike Group 5 with multiple attack vessels led by aircraft carrier USS Boxer, the Iowa Jima Expeditionary Strike Group, and the US Coast Guard. Canada has sent its anti-submarine HMCS Ottawa frigate to join the American Armada in the Persian Gulf. On October 1st the USS Enterprise Striking Group had crossed the Suez Canal to Join NATO armada at the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

The NATO force is composed of troops and naval vessels from several countries and is lead by Germany. It includes Garman command naval forces, Italian navy, 2 Spanish warships, 3 Danish warships, 10 Greek Warships, 2 Netherlands warships, and French, Belgium, Turkish and Bulgarian troops in South Lebanon.

This is the largest amass ever of military power in the region, and it is gathering for a reason.

The US had started its military provocation on October 30th with its “Leading Edge” war game across the Iranian shores. Iran responded with a 10 days military maneuvers “Great Prophet” taking place in Gulf, Sea of Oman, and several provinces of the country test-firing dozens of its long-range missiles capable of reaching Israel and American military bases in Gulf States.
The powder keg is ready and all it needs is a match to ignite it. This could come in the form of an “arranged” terrorist act in Lebanon – e.g. another political assassination or toppling of government- to be blamed against Syria and Iran. American warnings of such an act are already in the media.

The present American administration is an extremist theocratic apocalyptic neoconservative Christian-Zionist war mongering law-breaking power hungry administration with a bragging “war president” adopting the doctrines of “pre-emptive” strikes and perpetual war against “global terror”. This war will take place far away from the American home-land, and will generate large profits for the American military corporations. The war against Iran will engulf the whole Middle East and may overflow to its neighboring countries. Controlling Iran is a very important strategic move to assure American global hegemony. This war is scheduled to start between February and April of 2007, and it seems that there is nothing to stop it.

Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer of Palestinian descent, born in the town of Beit-Jala. Currently he lives in the US.

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