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Tue

16

Jan

2007

Iran and Reality: A Flickering Light on the Edge of Disaster
Tuesday, 16 January 2007 08:01
by Chris Floyd


This is an extremely important article at a very dangerous moment in our nation's history. In a political scene that was even slightly sane, this piece would be dominating the national discourse. It should be printed in the New York Times and Washington Post, it should be the topic of every political yap show on television, people should be talking about it between downs and during commercials while they watch the NFL playoffs.

This article speaks truth – the stone-hard truth – to power. Or as Dylan said, "Every one of those words rang true, and glowed like burning coal." Here we have a prominent, American-based Iranian dissident peeling away the pernicious myths and lies that encrust the American understanding of the situation in Iran. This deliberately manufactured crud is so thick that it is almost impossible to have any kind of genuine debate about what is happening before our eyes: the slow, methodical, step-by-step, relentless, implacable march of the Bush Administration toward war with Iran. They want that war, they are planning for that war – and they will have that war, sooner rather than later, if they are not stopped somehow.

The very best outcome of a war with Iran – the most benign result possible to imagine – will be deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and a floodtide of terror and carnage set loose on a world in overwhelming economic crisis. That is the best possible outcome. The worst is the slaughter of tens of millions of innocent people from the nuclear attacks that we know George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have advocated in their maniacal war planning: tens of millions dead, hundreds of millions poisoned, whole nations brought to ruin and a planet mortally sickened. Between these two poles of ungodly mass slaughter and unfathomable genocide lie the only possible realistic outcome of a war with Iran. And we stand on the very brink.

We stand there because cunning thugs are exploiting the carefully cultivated ignorance of not only the general American people but also of almost all of the American Establishment as well – the "great and the good," the "best and the brightest," the technocrats and thinkers, the media and government, the tycoons and the corporate chiefs. Most of these "leaders of society" are as ignorant about the reality of Iran as any high school dropout stacking boxes at Wal-Mart. And so the terms of any discussion ("debate" is too strong a word to describe the bellicose bipartisan "consensus" against Iran) about the Bush Faction's accelerating rush to a new war is already completely divorced from reality. It's like trying to decide which cartoon character would be the best one to keep your house from burning down – while you stood there on your real-live lawn and watched your real-live house burn down. It's meaningless, it's stupid, it's destructive. And that's all we're getting out of Washington, that's all we're getting from the media.

But in his article in The Progressive, Professor Muhammad Sahimi offers a beacon of clarity, with straightforward prose, based on hard facts and experience. It is this perspective that should now be ascendant in the halls of Congress and ringing through the airwave – but it is nowhere to be found.

We've discussed here many times the various reasons why the Bush Faction wants war with Iran, and the political, financial and ideological aggrandizement they think they will gain from it. But as they push us closer and closer to this fateful conflict, it becomes less important why they want it; the obvious fact that they do want it, that they have been maddened by whatever inner worms of the spirit to pursue this lunatic course no matter what the cost – this is what is most important now. Whatever its origin, their mad ambition must be thwarted. To do this, we must know the truth and deal with reality. Professor Sahimi provides us with both.

Excerpts from the article:
Back in March, the Bush Administration released its new “National Security Strategy of the United States,” and regime change in Iran leaps out of it as a goal. “We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran,” the document baldly states in a grand exaggeration. And for all the recent talk about Iran’s nuclear threat, the document does not confine its discussion of Iran to the nuclear issue. “The United States has broader concerns,” it says. “The Iranian regime sponsors terrorism, threatens Israel, seeks to thwart Middle East peace, disrupts democracy in Iraq, and denies the aspirations of its people for freedom.”

All of these issues, along with the nuclear one, “can ultimately be resolved only if the Iranian regime makes the strategic decision to change these policies, open up its political system, and afford freedom to its people,” the document states. “This is the ultimate goal of U.S. policy.” President Bush and Condoleezza Rice may stress in public that they are giving diplomacy a try, but this document makes clear that they have something else in mind.

If the Bush Administration attacks Iran, it would be violating the U.N. Charter. And it would also be violating the Algiers Accord that the United States signed with Iran in 1981 to end the hostage crisis. Point I, paragraph 1, of that accord states, “The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

Not only is the goal of regime change illegal, it is also unachievable.

“Democracy cannot be imported, nor can it be given to a people by invading their nation, nor by bombing them with cluster bombs. It must be indigenous,” says Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights advocate who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
...Iran is not Iraq. Iraq was formed only in 1932 with artificial boundaries that have no historical roots. Iran, on the other hand, has existed for thousands of years as an independent nation. Hence, Iranian nationalism is extremely fierce. Military strikes on Iran would create a potent mixture that combines fierce Iranian nationalism with the Shiites’ long tradition of martyrdom in defense of their homeland and religion. The attacks would engulf the entire region in flames.

“Iranians will not allow a single U.S. soldier to set foot in Iran,” declares Ebadi, and this is a woman who has been imprisoned by Iran’s hardliners and is constantly harassed for her work on behalf of political prisoners…

Although a large majority of Iranians despise the hardliners, anyone who has the slightest familiarity with Iran’s history knows that intense bombing of Iran will not lead to their downfall. Rather, it will help them consolidate power.

“The conservatives need an external enemy in order to preserve their power,” says Mohammad Reza Khatami, a leading reformist and younger brother of the former president. By creating an unnecessary crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, the Administration has played right into the hands of Iran’s hardliners…

During Iran’s presidential elections of 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ran on a platform of “bringing the oil wealth to people’s homes,” promising a robust economy, elimination of corruption, and ample employment opportunities for Iran’s young and educated people. It has now become clear that Ahmadinejad could not deliver on those promises. Knowing this, he has used the U.S.-created nuclear crisis not only for inciting Iranian nationalism, but also for distracting people’s attention from Iran’s vast economic, social, and political problems, as well as attempting to suppress Iran’s democratic movement.

“The best the U.S. government can do for democracy in Iran is to leave us alone,” Akbar Gangi, an Iranian investigative journalist who spent six years in prison for reporting on the murder of dissidents by Iran’s intelligence agents, said on a recent trip to the United States.

Iran has a wide spectrum of reformist and democratic groups that are all against U.S. intervention in Iran’s internal affairs and its goal of regime change. They favor political evolution and have made it clear that, for many reasons, they will not work with the United States. Many wonder aloud why the U.S. did nothing when the reformist Khatami was elected in 1997. Washington could have lifted its economic sanctions against Iran that hurt only ordinary Iranians, but it did not. After Khatami’s government helped the U.S. defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, President Bush responded by listing Iran as a charter member of the “axis of evil.”

… With his deplorable statements regarding Israel and the Holocaust, President Ahmadinejad has not helped the situation any. But within Iran’s political power structure, important decisions regarding its foreign policy and national security are not made by its president. Iran’s official policy is to recognize the two-state solution for the Israel-Palestinian conflict, if the Palestinians also accept it.

Much has been made of Iran enriching a minuscule amount of uranium at 4.8 percent that is far from serviceable in the making of nuclear weapons. By contrast, Brazil enriched uranium to a 20 percent level and limited IAEA’s visits to its enrichment facilities. South Korea, Taiwan, and Egypt have all been caught by the IAEA trying to secretly enrich uranium or design a nuclear bomb or engage in experiments without declaring them to the IAEA. But where is the U.S. outrage at such violations? And Israel, of course, already has about 200 nuclear weapons, and Pakistan, Iran’s neighbor to the east, is also armed with nuclear weapons. Such hypocrisy has angered Iranian reformists and human rights advocates.

Nor will they accept aggression.
 
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Comments (16)add comment

a guest said:

0
Your Wrong
The last thing in the world the Bush Admin wants right now is to open the Pandoras box that is a conflict with Iran. Also Bush is not a devil hell bent on nuc-lear distruction as this imbicilic rhetoric suggests. If anything they are trying to avoid engaging Iran by terming Irans direct fighting against us there as mere equipment supply. It is obvious that we don't want to fight Iran. That is part of the problem. They know we're tied up in Iraq and are sending in fighters and supplies to insurgents to fans the flames of a hoped for American failure. They know that if we cave in and pull out they will dominate the region. Shortsighted, weak willed and forgetfull bloggers like you and most of your coherts on this sight offer only knee jerk reactions and no real solutions. You partisan liberals are so blinded by your hate for Cheney and Bush that you refuse to admit that dispite all your high minded ideals that it is easier and more self gratifying to demonize and second guess.
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Why does everyone hate iranians? Even arabs hate them!
Even if the Bush Admin is trying to go to war with Iran, it is more because of the world and peace in Iraq and the stupid iranian people who are suffering under their government. Many believe they deserve that suffering and do not deserve the freedom Bush might bring them.

Quote: "will be deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people"

Are you sick or stupid, how do you call iranians innocent people?

No one in the world thinks iranians are innocent but rather sick people, even russians who are the sole supporters of Iran at this moment hate every iranian on earth. Actually russians hate iranians so much that they are sucking their black blood (their oil money is going into Russia's pocket at this very moment to back Iran against the whole world), once Russia is done sucking enough blood they will be the first to slaughter them all.

Europe struggled very hard, among them the American haters (french) tried even harder to convince iran to stop enriching U, they said they will convince them through talks, yet they couldn't, iran made a joke and mockery out of them all,
because US had told EU that it can't stop iran, yet they claimed they could!

Even arabs and the sunnis who are being killed by the weapons and manpower iran is providing the small group of shitas in Iraq, hate iranians, and pray that Allah kill them all.

Cheap China is tired of iran too.

Only Chavez and other hate mongers like you are trying very hard to defend iranains that are worth nothing to and in this world. smilies/cry.gif
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Funny
You sound like a hatemonger to me. Even your own Retardlicans are running from Chimpy's insanity now. Your infantile worldview is not being mirrored by most Bush Bootlickers at this point
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Chris Floyd responds
Wow, the trolls are definitely on the prowl today. Troll 1 regurgitates, virtually verbatim, some spin he heard from Rush or Bush or Bill Kristol -- or more likely one of the bootlicking bloggers -- and gives no indication whatsoever that he actually read the words of the Iranian dissident who opposes the war. No, Troll 1 is just sorry that Bush isn't man enough to eat Iran alive right now, this very minute -- because Troll 1 knows -- he knows without a shadow of a doubt -- not only what every Iranian agent in Iraq is doing but also the secret counsels of Iran's leaders. Obviously, T1 is a top official at the National Security Agency -- or, given his thirst to drink hot Persian blood on the field of battle, he is a duly signed-up member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Either way, he is one tough hombre and loaded with smarts. No point in arguing with him -- we might as well surrender in advance, in typical lib-blogger fashion. Just one quibble though: as far Iran's plans for "dominating the region" go, weren't they helped just a teensy weensy bit by Bush's empowering of, er, Iranian-backed, Iranian-trained, Iranian-armed political factions in Iraq?

As for Troll 2, what can we say? His comment is obviously a parody, and a very good one too. No one could actually be so slatheringly stupid. Not a single innocent person in all of Iran, eh? Brilliant stuff - a dead-on mockery of Nazi-style genocidal pig-humping ignorance. It's always great when one of the fine satirists from The Onion drops by. Thanks again!
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
LOL
You guys are so stupid. I am an Persian and we are all against our government. What they do is not what we want. I know so many of you are racist and fascist, just look at the previous posts. Then again. I am 100% sure that if you try to mess with Iran too much then the cat will bite you hard. Iran with no doubt will become a superpower no matter what you guys think. We were before and we are becoming again. Russia, UK we all know who these people are.
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Liberal agenda is dangerous
Umm correct me if I'M wrong but is it not Iran who is violating the U.N.? This is just another pile of crap written by some america hating leftist socialist liberal!! You think having a cup of tea with the iranian and syrian leaders will change thier death to all that is not islam views? Now that is folly. To many americans are becoming gurly men and appeasers!! What do the liberals plan do when iran perfects the bomb and tries it out. What is thier plan for the middle east if they pull out of iraq and all of a sudden the shipping lanes are closed and the flow of oil stops coming to america, and canada which is where i am from? Maybe another cup of tea and some conversation. The biggest blunder in american foriegn policy would be to leave iraq and sacrifice all the gains that have been in the war on terror and terrorist states. George Bush just may go down as the best president in american history. The real men and women in the U.S. house and congress are the john maceans, who put the best interest of the american people ahead of the 2008 elections!!
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Gee....
And I thought Canadians were generally sensible folk. Let me guess... Alberta?

You speak for a minority in Canada - most Canucks rejected the invasion of Iraq - which had nothing to do with WMD's, terrorism or islamofascism (sic). Iraq was arguably the most secular Arab state in the Middle East. And Canada has simply never supported this stupid fucking oil snatch.

You are better off moving south of the border - and I mean the Mason-Dixon line with the unhealthy concentration of the moronic bloodthirsty retardlicans. By the way - what's with the spelling? Can't you people from the Right string more than one sentence together without spellcheck?

 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
silly liberal,just had to resort to name calling,ummm cause thats who you people are
Obviuosly you are just another socialist far left liberal! None of you can can carry a constuctive coversation without turning to personal attacks!! There is no big oil snatch conspiracy by the way. Iraq was invaded after over 10 years of violating U.N. resolutions. They did have WMD's as they were used on several villages killing men women and children. But then pushing your far left agenda would be more important to you than doing what is right!! What is a retardlican by the way? Sounds to me like some silly name a liberal came up with when he had nothing any better to say!! I hope the socialists do block funding for the war that way when anarchy follows it will ensure at least another 12 years of them not being in office!!
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
How the fuck can I keep a constructive conversation with someone who can't SPELL?

Jesus was a Liberal.

Think about that.

smilies/grin.gif

Here's your 'gurly man' (sic) pinhead.





 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Recess is over
Well, let's be charitable here. The post was obviously picked up by a computer in a third-grade classroom somewhere, and the kiddies are having a go. It's true the spelling is atrocious, but then snookums is trying to write some mighty big words, so cut the poor kid some slack. Also, he's obviously been scared to death by media boogey-men -- scared to the point of incoherence -- so there's no point in trying to "debate" anything with him. But I do think that teachers in Canada need to exercise stricter control over classroom computers! Why, there are sometimes swear words used on this site!
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Boom! go the troops
twit-brained trigger-happy dumbed-down hyped-up nazi-cloned neoconned invaders gonna win a illegal immoral war halfway around the world? Ha ha ha ha, hee hee hee hee.
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Iranian and Americans are true friends
The Iranian government is an Arab version of governing. They are simply not Persian, they are against them. They deny all the Iranian values. Iran is a peaceful country and do not war. Once us Americans and Iranians get rid of Arabic government supported by UK, France and Germany in Iran then I really want to see your buttom burning like hell. Because then Iran will become the most advance country in the middle east and great friend of Israel.
Persian were those people who saved Jews from Xtermination (Cyrus the great). now please you savage people stop shouting and moaning.
VIVA IRAN&USA
 
January 16, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Warmongers go home
Can't these war mongering Americans work it out? The world does not want your intervention. Even if my country was run by the worst dictator imaginable (worse than Bush even) , I would not want my country decimated and destroyed in one of your bizarre liberations. There could be no worse fate.

I recall the words of the Iraqi Shiite cleric interviewed on CNN (?). This guy was imprisoned and tortured by Husseein and was asked what he would do if his country was under Hussein's control again. He replied that it was better off under Hussein. A patently obvious fact that any dimwit can see.

What will be the response of all you tough guys when half your fleet is sunk in the Gulf by Iranian sunburst missiles? How will you escalate then? Go nuclear? The world does not want your intervention. Read the words of Salimi above and work it out! Fools.
 
January 17, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
what the...?
chris, thanks for the article.

Guests 1, 2, et al., i would sincerely suggest you all sign up for the latest 'surge' announced last week. if you honestly believe the bile you spew **ahem** what you wrote, what are you doing on the 'safe side' of this civilizational conflict? now's your chance, suckers honorable crusaders! saddle up and tally-ho! err, that is, if you are indeed true believers. i mean, you did hear that them army boys in the pentagon is hurtin' real bad for recruits, didn't ya? to hell with the rest of us libs! we ain't never gonna "get it," and we wouldn't follow the squatter gentleman in the white house 'cross the street, so stop wasting your precious time 'round these parts and get to soldierin'!
 
January 17, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
to those of you on here, who don't have a clue
Scott Ritter, do you know who he is
Ex Marine and was head weapons inspector in Iraq
He quit spoke out against the war, and history shows he was right, and that the propaganda mainstream media was spinning was just that, Propaganda to suck in those that aren't smart enough to get it. Check out what Scott Ritter has to say about the situation with Iran now, video at this address:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/16/144204&mode=thread&tid=25

Iran has attempted negotiations with the US many times, they wrote a letter to Bush himself, one to the American public, made an attempt through the Swiss Embassy, but to no avail. As regime change is the plan, just like in Iraq.
Remember the west helped spread democracy in Iran in 1953, by sponsoring the Shah or Iran and a military coup that ousted an elected leader, who one support on the platform of taking more of the oil revenues away from the corporate world, and keeping them for Iranians. The Shah and brutal Savik secret police, who later the western media called "some of the most brutal secret service ever", reigned until 1979.

To those of you who support America's plans, remember Hitler had supporters right until the end, and with people like you around, so will Bush and Co.

and now some people still are not smart enough to see the lies

peace


 
January 17, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Jimmy Montague says
You guys all better clean up your act, or AB Schmookler will start whining about how you're all calling each other names. And then the Web master will have to put up another placebo post that says:

"We welcome tough, passionate debate in the comments section of Atlantic Free Press. But if you have an argument with a viewpoint expressed on the site, we ask that you keep the discussion focused on the issues: no personal invective, no demonizing or pseudo-psychologizing of your opponent, etc. This is a site for political discussion -- and action -- not a playground or a barroom. And we mean it, two -- I mean to -- I mean twicet."
 
January 21, 2007
Votes: +0

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