Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > DVD Video > Iran: The War Begins By John Pilger

Thread Tools

Iran: The War Begins By John Pilger

Posts: n/a
Iran: The War Begins February 03, 2007
By John Pilger

As opposition grows in America to the failed Iraq adventure, the Bush
administration is preparing public opinion for an attack on Iran, its latest
target, by the spring.

The United States is planning what will be a catastrophic attack on Iran.
For the Bush cabal, the attack will be a way of "buying time" for its dis
aster in Iraq. In announcing what he called a "surge" of American troops in
Iraq, George W Bush identified Iran as his real target. "We will interrupt
the flow of support [to the insurgency in Iraq] from Iran and Syria," he
said. "And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced
weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

"Networks" means Iran. "There is solid evidence," said a State Department
spokesman on 24 January, "that Iranian agents are involved in these networks
and that they are working with individuals and groups in Iraq and are being
sent there by the Iranian government." Like Bush's and Tony Blair's claim
that they had irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein was deploying weapons
of mass destruction, the "evidence" lacks all credibility. Iran has a
natural affinity with the Shia majority of Iraq, and has been implacably
opposed to al-Qaeda, condemning the 9/11 attacks and supporting the United
States in Afghanistan. Syria has done the same. Investigations by the New
York Times, the Los Angeles Times and others, including British military
officials, have concluded that Iran is not engaged in the cross-border
supply of weapons. General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of
Staff, has said no such evidence exists.

As the American disaster in Iraq deepens and domestic and foreign opposition
grows, "neo-con" fanatics such as Vice-President Dick Che- ney believe their
opportunity to control Iran's oil will pass unless they act no later than
the spring. For public consumption, there are potent myths. In concert with
Israel and Washington's Zionist and fundamentalist Christian lobbies, the
Bushites say their "strategy" is to end Iran's nuclear threat.

In fact, Iran possesses not a single nuclear weapon, nor has it ever
threatened to build one; the CIA estimates that, even given the political
will, Iran is incapable of building a nuclear weapon before 2017, at the
earliest. Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it was an original
signatory, and has allowed routine inspections under its legal obligations -
until gratuitous, punitive measures were added in 2003, at the behest of
Washington. No report by the International Atomic Energy Agency has ever
cited Iran for diverting its civilian nuclear programme to military use.

The IAEA has said that for most of the past three years its inspectors have
been able to "go anywhere and see anything". They inspected the nuclear
installations at Isfahan and Natanz on 10 and 12 January and will return on
2 to 6 February. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, says that an
attack on Iran will have "catastrophic consequences" and only encourage the
regime to become a nuclear power.

Unlike its two nemeses, the US and Israel, Iran has attacked no other
countries. It last went to war in 1980 when invaded by Saddam Hussein, who
was backed and equipped by the US, which supplied chemical and biological
weapons produced at a factory in Maryland. Unlike Israel, the world's fifth
military power - with its thermo nuclear weapons aimed at Middle East
targets and an unmatched record of defying UN resolutions, as the enforcer
of the world's longest illegal occupation - Iran has a history of obeying
international law and occupies no territory other than its own.

The "threat" from Iran is entirely manufactured, aided and abetted by
familiar, compliant media language that refers to Iran's "nuclear
ambitions", just as the vocabulary of Saddam's non-existent WMD arsenal
became common usage. Accompanying this is a demonising that has become
standard practice. As Edward Herman has pointed out, President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad "has done yeoman service in facilitating [this]"; yet a close
examination of his notorious remark about Israel in October 2005 reveals how
it has been distorted. According to Juan Cole, American professor of modern
Middle East and south Asian history at the University of Michigan, and other
Farsi language analysts, Ahmadinejad did not call for Israel to be "wiped
off the map". He said: "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the
page of time." This, says Cole, "does not imply military action or killing
anyone at all". Ahmadinejad compared the demise of the Israeli regime to the
dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Iranian regime is repressive, but its
power is diffuse and exercised by the mullahs, with whom Ahmadinejad is
often at odds. An attack would surely unite them.

Nuclear option

The one piece of "solid evidence" is the threat posed by the United States.
An American naval build-up in the eastern Mediterranean has begun. This is
almost certainly part of what the Pentagon calls CONPLAN 8022-02, which is
the aerial bombing of Iran. In 2004, National Security Presidential
Directive 35, entitled "Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorisation", was
issued. It is classified, of course, but the presumption has long been that
NSPD 35 authorised the stockpiling and deployment of "tactical" nuclear
weapons in the Middle East.

This does not mean Bush will use them against Iran, but for the first time
since the most dangerous years of the cold war, the use of what were then
called "limited" nuclear weapons is being discussed openly in Washington.
What they are debating is the prospect of other Hiroshimas and of
radioactive fallout across the Middle East and central Asia. Seymour Hersh
disclosed in the New Yorker last year that American bombers "have been
flying simulated nuclear weapons delivery missions . . . since last summer".

The well-informed Arab Times in Kuwait says that Bush will attack Iran
before the end of April. One of Russia's most senior military strategists,
General Leonid Ivashov, says the US will use nuclear munitions delivered by
cruise missiles launched from the Mediterranean. "The war in Iraq," he wrote
on 24 January, "was just one element in a series of steps in the process of
regional destabilisation.

It was only a phase in getting closer to dealing with Iran and other
countries. [When the attack on Iran begins] Israel is sure to come under
Iranian missile strikes . . . Posing as victims, the Israelis . . . will
suffer some tolerable damage and then the outraged US will destabilise Iran
finally, making it look like a noble mission of retribution . . . Public
opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian . .
.. hysteria, . . . leaks, disinformation et cetera . . . It . . . remain[s]
unclear . . . whether the US Congress is going to authorise the war."

Asked about a US Senate resolution disapproving of the "surge" of US troops
to Iraq, Vice-President Cheney said: "It won't stop us." Last November, a
majority of the American electorate voted for the Democratic Party to
control Congress and stop the war in Iraq.

Apart from insipid speeches of "disapproval", this has not happened and is
unlikely to happen. Influential Democrats, such as the new leader of the
House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the would-be presidential
candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, have disported themselves
before the Israeli lobby. Edwards is regarded in his party as a "liberal".
He was one of a high-level American contingent at a recent Israeli
conference in Herzliya, where he spoke about "an unprecedented threat to the
world and Israel [sic]. At the top of these threats is Iran . . . All
options are on the table to ensure that Iran will never get a nuclear
weapon." Hillary Clinton has said: "US policy must be unequivocal . . . We
have to keep all options on the table." Pelosi and Howard Dean, another
liberal, have distinguished themselves by attacking the former president
Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the Camp David Agreement between Israel and Egypt
and has had the gall to write a truthful book accusing Israel of becoming an
"apartheid state". Pelosi said: "Carter does not speak for the Democratic
Party." She is right, alas.

In Britain, Downing Street has been presented with a document entitled
Answering the Charges by Professor Abbas Edalat, of Imperial College London,
on behalf of others seeking to expose the disinformation on Iran. Blair
remains silent. Apart from the usual honourable exceptions, parliament
remains shamefully silent, too.

Can this really be happening again, less than four years after the invasion
of Iraq, which has left some 650,000 people dead? I wrote virtually this
same article early in 2003; for Iran now, read Iraq then. And is it not
remarkable that North Korea has not been attacked? North Korea has nuclear

In numerous surveys, such as the one released on 23 January by the BBC World
Service, "we", the majority of humanity, have made clear our revulsion for
Bush and his vassals. As for Blair, the man is now politically and morally
naked for all to see. So who speaks out, apart from Professor Edalat and his
colleagues? Privileged journalists, scholars and artists, writers and
thespians, who sometimes speak about "freedom of speech", are as silent as a
dark West End theatre. What are they waiting for? The declaration of another
thousand-year Reich, or a mushroom cloud in the Middle East, or both?

February 5, 2007 New Statesman (UK)

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DVD Verdict reviews: JOHN WAYNE-JOHN FORD FILM COLLECTION and more! DVD Verdict DVD Video 0 06-06-2006 08:23 AM
John Pilger documentaries DVD Video 0 02-28-2005 01:15 AM
format first name from -john- to -John- ? RN ASP .Net 3 02-27-2005 05:34 AM
REVIEW: "The Hanged Man's Song", John Sandford (John Camp) Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor Computer Security 0 01-26-2004 04:28 PM
REVIEW: "The Devil's Code", John Sandford (John Camp) Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor Computer Security 0 07-03-2003 06:43 PM