Monday, March 25, 2013

Iran, Iraq and an Anniversary Not to be Celebrated


Once in a while we hear strong words against Iran and the so called threat of " Iranian nuclear capability". While the nuclear arsenal is a explicit uncontested right for certain members of the international community, the potential thought of such capability for others such as Iran, constitutes an outright threat. Now, for several years, in spite of the lack of any evidence, the IAEA refrains from clearing the Iranian dossier on the pretext that Iranians have to somehow convince the international community (ie Western Powers) that they do not have a military agenda for their nuclear program.  Western powers on the other hand, have set on a course of paralyzing sanctions against the nation, purportedly to convince Iran to stop its nuclear activity. But as many analysts believe, sanctions are devised  in order to weaken the economy and break the nation's resilience in face of decades of pressures against the Islamic revolution and ultimately facilitate the regime change that American neocons have aspired for so long. In spite of hardships and heavy criticism against the government, the Iranians feel that pressures against the peaceful nuclear program are unjustified. Iranians are actually facing two fronts. They are facing an internal struggle for reform on one hand and an unjust and arrogant Western entity on the other.
Even as American militarism has faced heavy casualties and defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, causing massive humanitarian disasters and the deaths of millions of civilians during the past decade, the world sees no sign of relent or repent .
The National Catholic Reporter makes a point of this fact:” Many believed then, and the world knows now, that the purported government justification for bombing and occupying Iraq were based on lies and deceit. Yet 10 years later, no senior government or military leader who ordered, directed and carried out this blatantly immoral and illegal invasion and occupation has been held accountable. No apology has been made, no public act of repentance or contrition has ever been offered by any U.S. official for the unspeakable war crimes committed. The use of white phosphorus anti-personnel weapons in a massacre in Fallujah in 2004 and the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib are just two cases in point.”
While The Lancet reported over 600,000 civilian casualties in 2006 the numbers are known to be much higher now 7 years later.

 On the tenth anniversary of the US occupation of Iraq there were many reports about the consequences and aftermath of this event for the people of Iraq and for the region. Joseph Palermo did an interesting  article in the Huffington Post.   He reminds us of some of the dreadful facts of this tragic decision: 
"Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) surveyed the nightly news during the first three weeks of the invasion in March and April 2003 and found that on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and Fox, pro-war U.S. sources outnumbered antiwar sources by 25 to one. With a 25 to 1 ratio of warmongers versus critical voices on the nation's dominant news shows it's no surprise that people came to believe the Bush administration's hype about WMDs. These news sources also assiduously avoided giving much coverage to the massive anti-war demonstrations that took place across the United States in the lead up to the war, including the 15 million strong global rally for peace on February 15, 2003."
Have  the American media learned their lessons? Do they have the independence to resist a new scenario?  Or are they preparing for a similar scenario against Iran, now even more sophisticated with the aid of others like Hollywood ( Argo's anti Iran propaganda).

The Huffington Post article goes on :”We also hear the "argument" that Saddam Hussein was such a bad guy we had no choice but to invade and occupy Iraq, kill over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, and send over 4,400 American soldiers to their deaths. But at the time the world had plenty of human rights violators, including many, like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, who were for decades considered faithful U.S. allies. The warmongers ten years ago brushed off the observation that the United States armed and aided Saddam Hussein's government throughout the 1980s in his war of aggression against Iran, which was the period when he committed some his most heinous acts. (Remember the 1983 footage of Donald Rumsfeld warmly shaking the tyrant's hand?) To this day, on occasion, we hear Condi Rice or Ari Fleischer or some other defender citing the litany of villainy that Saddam Hussein was responsible for as an ex post facto justification for Bush's war of aggression against Iraq.”

Does it ever pass the mind of the warmongers that contemporary   history gives  Iranians  the  justification they need in their resistance against American hegemony in the region and against their bullying of  the Islamic Republic.
Tony Blair told BBC World a few days ago that they had considered Saddam to be a threat to world peace when they attacked Iraq, he had told told the world that he had weapons of mass destruction, a familiar reasoning that we hear today about Iran.
The consequences of the war in Iraq go beyond loss of life and physical destruction. Scott Bates, President of Center for National Policy, a Washington think tank, said there is a geopolitical price to pay for the decision to invade Iraq.Pointing to the “law of unintended consequences,” Bates said that US credibility and influence were tarnished following the attack on Iraq, while Iran’s clout has increased. America is still living with the consequences of this, 10 years later: “Our unipolar moment ended when we went into Baghdad, but we didn’t know it,” Bates said.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell at the time of the invasion, said that Iraq has changed the way the world sees the US. “Our rhetoric is high and lofty and we talk about human rights and human dignity and freedom and democracy, and then what do we do? We mount a war of aggression on Iraq, kill a couple hundred thousand people, and mess it up majorly, including the region,” Wilkerson told RT in an interview.
When asked if the individuals who made the decision to invade Iraq, despite widespread global protest, should be held responsible, Wilkerson said that “history will hold them responsible,” emphasizing that there is “no accountability for people who make grievous errors in high office in the United States.”
Washington’s tendency to forget its past mistakes could prove disastrous, with new war talk brewing on Capitol Hill The American people need to be vigilant about the decisions of their government. If they believe that they are constituents of a democracy then they will be held accountable one day for the actions of their government and for the decisions that have affected the lives of millions and has taken people to the verge of death and devastation in many parts of the world.   When the American people elected Obama in 2008, it seemed that they were disillusioned with the Bush era and opposed American militarism, in 2012 it seemed that they still opposed interventionism.  Although, he has not met their expectations,  but many still  expect and hope that Mr. Obama and the more reasonable politicians in the Capitol Hill   prevent any   new adventurism in the Middle East.

1 comment:

jj.amarante said...

Nuclear power plants are the offspring of atomic bombs and I am very much convinced that the technology has been heavily subsidized to become profitable .
Checking "" one sees nuclear power plants producing electricity (with generators bigger than 100MW) at the following countries:

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil(2), Canada, China, Cuba(1), Finland, France, Germany, India, Iran(2), (Iraq), Japan, Mexico(2), Netherlands(1), North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, U.S.A, former U.S.S.R countries and East European countries under former strong influence by the USSR

With nuclear arsenal: China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan, U.K, USA, Russia

Argentina and Brazil pretend to be regional powers, Belgium has probably got economic favorable conditions from the France program, Cuba got one as satellite of USSR, (Iraq) got an attack from Israel on Osirak and the other power plant is not functioning, Mexico got only two, Netherlands discovered gas in the North sea when they were starting their nuclear program

Exceptions: Canada, Germany, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan. Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland have decided to give up nuclear power, they find it unsafe. Spain stopped its program in the eighties after ETA shot dead two chief engineers, one after the other, of the power plant at Lemoniz in the Basque country and has now a very big renewables program with wind and solar.South Korea has probably been influenced by the North Korea nuclear program. The ones left are Canada, Finland and Taiwan. You know that nuclear power plants produce a lot of heat and that is considered a bonus in cold countries like Canada and Finland. I would guess Taiwan nuclear power could be a by-product of the cold war but I am not sure.

Iran has so much natural gas that it would make more sense to install wind and solar power and cover the intermittencies with much less capital intensive combined cycle power plants.

I find the choice of nuclear power to produce electricity by Iran very difficult to explain as making economic sense.