News Analysis, Omid Memarian,
New America Media, Sep 02, 2007
Editor’s note: The Bush administration appears to have rejected the Baker-Hamilton Commission’s recommendations for a diplomatic offensive towards Iran. Instead, key indicators suggest that Bush is preparing to expand the war on terror by attacking Iran writes Omid Memarian. Memarian is an Iranian journalist and blogger and Peace Fellow at the UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.
The United States is headed toward a serious confrontation with the Iran’s hardliner government. The administration is positioning itself for battle by shifting the focus of its dispute from Iran’s nuclear program to winning the “War on Terror.” What may ignite the fire is the possible labeling of Iran’s Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps(IRGC) as a ‘terrorist group’ by U.S. officials.
Despite all its challenges in stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. has its eye on Iran: It has tried to mobilize Iranian opposition, pressure the UN Security Council members to adopt economic sanctions against Iran, marginalize Iran in the region by inflaming/exacerbating the anti-Iranian sentiment, expand its military presence in the Persian Gulf, and encourage an arms race in the region. And, of course, the only way to seal a grand bargain with Iran for this administration is through military action versus diplomatic negotiation.
There are 10 indications that the U.S. is planning to pursue military action against Iran:
1. Ignoring Iran’s proposed ‘Grand Bargain’ of 2003: Prior to Ahmadinejad’s presidency – when the reformist, pro-West, moderate president, Mohammad Khatami was in power - the Iranian government sent a secret letter through the Swiss Embassy, proposing various compromises from stalling nuclear developments to stopping support for Hamas and Hezbollah. The Bush administration refused the offer, which undermined the moderate government in Iran and led to the emergence of fundamentalists in Tehran. The U.S. seemed to have a different plan for Iran, which did not call for diplomatic negotiations.
2. Allocating 75 million dollars for ‘promoting Democracy in Iran’: Although this move seems to favor democracy, many Iranians in Iran and abroad believe that this policy is designed to create social and political unrest rather than to promote democratic movements. It has actually done more harm than good; it has become an excuse for the hardliners to target activists and suppress civil movements by accusing them of operating with western ‘dirty money.’ The money has never gone to any Iranian institutes, press, civil society organizations or NGOs inside the country. Rather it has been distributed to opposition groups who are not even connected with the current society in Iran.
3. Supporting terrorist groups like ‘Jondollah’ in Iran’s Eastern Provinces: The U.S. is supporting ‘Jondollah’, a group who is notorious among Iranians worldwide, for being a terrorist organization. They have been successful in destabilizing Iran’s Eastern provinces, hence weakening the government’s central authority. The U.S. support of Jondollah was uncovered by the media, and this information has further ruined the U.S.’s reputation - even among critics of Ahmadinejad’s government.
4. Supporting opposition groups in Northern Iraq: The administration is supporting armed opposition groups such as the PJAK in northern Iraq. These groups claim that they are fighting for federalism and disintegration of Iran’s Kurdish provinces. However, these groups have no legitimacy among the Kurdish population, let alone the Iranian people.
5. Gathering international community support against Iran: The U.S. has mobilized the EU countries, and even China and Russia, to isolate Iran by cutting their economic ties with governmental and private companies. Additionally, two recent sanctions by the United Nations Security Council against Iran have applied further economic pressure on the Islamic government.
6. Stationing three aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf: Three U.S. aircraft carriers have been stationed in the Persian Gulf in the last year: the Nimitz, a nuclear-powered carrier, John C. Stennis Strike Group, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, a relief carrier. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 this is the strongest U.S. military presence in the region in terms of scale, number, or advanced technology.
7. Inviting Iran’s neighbor to an arms race: The U.S. proposed a $20 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, followed by a promise to provide $30 billion worth of arms to Israel. Ihud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, confirmed this arms deal by stating, “We understand the need of the United States to support the Arab moderate states, and there is a need for a united front between the U.S. and us regarding Iran.”
8. Shifting of the U.S. foreign policy doctrine: The administration is shifting its problem with Iran from a ‘nuclear issue’ to one of ‘War on Terror.’ Therefore, regardless of the results of Iran- EU negotiations, Iran will be accused of terror activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine or any country U.S. is facing opposition in. While the international community is very reluctant to let the U.S. confront Iran because of its nuclear program, the administration feels free to confront Iran using the country’s alleged support of terrorism in the Middle East.
9. Labeling the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) a ‘Terrorist Organization’: U.S. officials have announced that the administration is going to declare that the IRGC, is a terrorist group. The IRGC is a part of Iran’s army and in labeling them a terrorist organization, the U.S. is labeling the entire government a terrorist state. Hence paving the way to declare any form of military action against the in the name of “War on Terror.”
10. Political frustration and the 2008 election: For many neo-cons in Washington, a new war, even an air strike, would divert the attention from U.S. failure in Iraq. It would boost their support, as many Americans opt for maintaining status quo in the middle of war.
The Bush administration follows a rule that has succeeded in numerous occasions: Make a story you want people to believe, repeat the message over and over, feed the media so they can beat Americans over the head with the info, and eventually everyone will believe it. It worked with WMD in Iraq, and now it seems to be Iran’s turn - the Islamic government is the root of all evil, from nuclear proliferation to supporting insurgents who are killing the U.S. soldiers. The administration seems to have its story set, true or not, and is enforcing its own conclusion – despite the dire consequences.
Republican Candidates Rattle Nuclear Tails Against Iran
Economic Sanctions Against Iran Are Old Hat
Click to view image: '90100-USIRAN.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|