Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An Annual March is Simply not Enough to Stop World War III

It was nauseatingly predictable that Iran should have been referred to the United Nations' Security Council (UNSC) for further punitive action. Despite the IAEA's findings that no evidence existed of a nuclear-weapons programme and the preparedness of the Iranians to enrich most of their uranium in another country such as Russia, the war-hungry US was having none of it.

And, as usual, Amerika was able to lean heavily on everyone else in order to bully them all into submission.

Significantly, though, it was not able to persuade the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to toe the line. But, at this stage of the Amerika's kangaroo-court tactics, it hardly mattered. For all the time and energy spent between Russia and Iran to find a compromise the outcome was a fait accompli.

There was no compromise because there was to be no compromise. The issue had already been decided, Iran is a rogue nation that must be punished. Whether this will ultimately come through a first-strike military attack by the USA or Israel is irrelevant. When the attack comes it will be with the full blessing and support of the USA and, it is now clear, NATO.

What remit NATO should have to involve itself in a hot war in the Middle East is highly questionable but the consequences are clear enough. NATO involvement will have made any attack on Iran into an international crusade against Islam from which there can be no backing off. The world will have come to the abyss of another world war.

Again, the question has to be asked: why does the western anti-war movement remain so quiet even when NATO generals loudly proclaim their preparedness for war?

Of course, it was to be expected that the self-policing western media should have remained silent when, a week ago, President Ahmadinejad of Iran gave his support to an Arab proposal for a Nuclear-Free Middle East. Similarly, I was not surprised to hear anything positive said by our submissive hacks about the IAEA's findings indicating no proof of a weapons programme.

Call me naive if you will, but it does surprise me that the anti-war movement consistently fails to pick up on these vital issues and then to publicize them. It doesn't need the media to cooperate with it when it has the funds and an unlimited internet ability which, like Luddites, it continues studiously to ignore.

Speaking to an overflowing audience, Professor Noam Chomsky warned that with the present regime in the White House the world is facing nuclear Armageddon.
"We must take democracy seriously," he said to survive these most threatening times. "I think one should be very optimistic for the reasons I just mentioned," Chomsky went on to say. "The large majority of the population already agrees with the things activists are committed to. All we have to do is organize people who are convinced."

And so, yet again, I pose the question. Where are the activists and when are they going to get serious?


Shock and Awe; the Sequel
By Mike Whitney

The Bush administration has unilaterally repealed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by demanding that Iran cease all uranium enrichment. This action overturns the central principle of the treaty which provides states with the “inalienable right” (NPT phrase) to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. Two years of intrusive inspections by the UN watchdog agency (IAEA) have never produced “any evidence of nuclear weapons programs” or any diversion of nuclear material. Nevertheless, the US insists that Iran be deprived of the same right that is afforded to every other signatory of the NPT.

What gives Washington the right to rescind an internationally-recognized treaty?

White House press secretary Scott McClellan summarized the administration’s view saying, “We’ve made it clear as have many in the international community that the regime must suspend all enrichment activity. It cannot be allowed to pursue enrichment in any capacity on any scale that would allow the regime to develop technologies needed to develop nuclear weapons.”

McClellan’s comments are a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the treaty which is not intended to arbitrarily deprive any member of the advantages of nuclear technology. The administration’s brazen declaration puts the onus on the 35-member board of the IAEA to reject the demands. Unfortunately, most of them are already cowed by the bullying tactics of the US.

This tells us that the system is broken and cannot be expected to provide solutions to this or any of the other pressing issues that face the world community. The “superpower model” of governance allows one party to quash agreements on global warming, nuclear proliferation, chemical-biological weapons and anything else that isn’t in its narrow, subjective interests.

Will the member states cave in on these species-threatening issues too, simply to please Washington?

The Iran Daily; 3-7-06

A last minute compromise by Iran’s foreign-minister left IAEA-chief Muhammad ElBaradei believing that a negotiated settlement to the nuclear standoff was possible.

“I am still very much hopeful that that in the next week or so an agreement can be reached,” said ElBaradei.

The administration crushed all hope of a settlement immediately.

The US State Department dismissed Iran’s concessions and pushed for a quick referral to the UN Security Council.


What’s the hurry? Is the administration looking for solutions or are Pentagon planners operating on a tight timeline?

Iran’s last minute compromise put Condi Rice into a frenzy; firing off a panicky phone call to ElBaradei saying, “The United States cannot support this.”

Support what? Negotiation? Deliberation? Peace?

ElBaradei had merely suggested that “the standoff with Iran could be resolved in a week or so”. (NY Times) He was optimistic that a deal with Russia to enrich uranium outside of Iran would allay American fears of a hidden nuclear weapons program.

Is that what made Condi so anxious?

The US reaction is instructive in many ways, and seems to indicate that Bush and Co. may have scheduled hostilities for later this month.

Certainly, the propaganda-campaign is already in full-swing with Condi, McClellan, Rumsfeld, Bolton, and Cheney all blasting-away at Iran in less than a 48 hours period.

The media smokescreen has obscured Iran’s attempts to build confidence by agreeing to forgo all “industrial scale” enrichment for two years even though it is allowed under the terms of the NPT.

The strategy now is to divert attention from Iran’s 'generous offer' and ratchet up the demagoguery to full-throttle.

In the meantime, the State Dept has been busy moving the goalposts to ensure that Iran will reject its final offer.

Right after ElBaradei expressed optimism about finding a solution, Undersecretary of State, Nicholas Burns, pulled the rug out from under him saying, “The United States will not support any halfway measures. That means full suspension of all nuclear activities, and a return to negotiations on that basis.”

“Full suspension”? What right does the US have to ask for full suspension?

This was the first time that US officials admitted they were repealing the NPT and brushing aside the counsel of the IAEA. Burns remarks confirm that the administration is bent on torpedoing the process.

But how will Burns and Condi derail ElBaradei’s efforts for peace?

Well, for starters, the State Dept will have to make outrageous, unilateral demands that are so extreme that Iran will never agree to them. That way, the media can say that Iran is “defying the international community” and forcing a referral to the Security Council.

The administration will insist that Iran agrees to a moratorium on production of enriched uranium, comply with additional “unspecified” protocols, and allow for “transparency measures” to accommodate future inspections.

Sound familiar?”

These are the same conditions that were placed on Saddam. Iran knows that the US will use these “transparency measures” to ferret through every inch of the country; rummaging through armories, military bases, palaces, barracks, private residences; anywhere that might annoy, provoke, humiliate or harass the current regime.

Then, after months of microscopically-combing through every inch of Iranian sovereign territory, the flummoxed administration will invent some shaky pretext for invasion.

True or false?

Yesterday’s ham-fisted maneuverings reveal the administration’s true objectives. Bush would like to conceal his attack on Iran behind a mask of international legitimacy. But even without Security Council approval the plan will move forward. The current showdown has nothing to do with “noncompliance” or imaginary nuclear weapons programs. It has everything to do with consolidating the vast resources of the Caspian Basin under the Stars and Stripes and fending off future threats to America’s global domination.

Prepare for Shock-and-Awe “the Sequel” sometime in late March.

Authors Bio: Mike lives in Washington State with his charming wife Joan and two spoiled and overfed dogs, Cocoa and Pat-Fergie.

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