October 23, 2007

It is time to contemplate, post “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the reality and the implications of “regime change” with respect to Iran. One fact has been made perfectly clear by the American reaction to the Iranian President’s recent visit to the UN and to Columbia University in New York. The de facto U.S. policy toward Iran is “regime change.” Nothing less. It has been that way for some time, of course, but now the White House policy is unambiguous. Concurrently the policy seems to have acquired support in the mass media to match that already evident on Capitol Hill. For all practical purposes, we are at war with Iran. The dauphin, as Maureen Dowd sometimes refers to G.W. Bush, has probably signed a secret executive order, at the direction of the Regent, Dick Cheney, spelling out the policy. Is it too much to ask our rulers to share this document with their subjects?


So far the war against Iran has taken the form of economic sanctions, an embargo on spare parts, the seizure of financial assets, psychological warfare, gratuitous calumny, and CIA support for the activities of the terrorist organization Mujahadeen el-Khalq (MEK), a secular Iranian group opposed to the Islamic regime, all of which is designed to destabilize Iran without actually invading the country.


These initial forays have been backed up with threats of a full-scale attack by supersonic B-2 stealth bombers stationed in the U.S., by Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the U.S. Navy armada in the Persian Gulf, and by B-52’s parked, locked and loaded with ordinance on Diego Garcia. Faced with a barrage of such magnitude, should it be unleashed by those in control of the lone surviving Superpower, Tehran has little to defend itself. Tehran also must be concerned about the four or five hi-tech, long-range, German-gifted U-boats which Tel Aviv has patrolling in the Indian Ocean and/or in the Persian Gulf, armed with American cruise missiles, possibly with nuclear warheads. The Middle East’s regional “superpower” is putting German and American tax dollars to work on behalf of Pax Israeliana. In effect, Iran is cornered.


The U.S. invaded Iraq based on the fantastic story that America had to defend itself against Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” and its reconstituted nuclear-weapons program, all of which were non-existent. In the aftermath of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, and the “shock and awe” which went with it, Tel Aviv has expanded its nuclear weapons delivery options in the form of more advanced German U-boats, supposedly to confront the Iranian nuclear weapons threat, equally non-existent as that of Iraq. In the meantime, Washington has destroyed the nation of Iraq, by a non-stop campaign of ruination via sanctions and war commencing in 1990. Such is the background to the confrontation with Iran, the next target on the radar screen of the Tel Aviv-Washington axis.


To carry out a policy of regime change in Iran, any scenario involving “negotiations” is off the table. That would be appeasement, negotiating with terrorists. If you don’t believe me, just ask Congressman Tom Lantos or Senator Joe Lieberman, who act as monitors and cheerleaders for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill. In place of dialogue and negotiations to tranquilize the region, already inflamed by Washington interventionism and Tel Aviv triumphalism, we have the modern-day equivalent of a demand for Tehran’s unconditional surrender. When the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rose to address the UN general assembly, the U.S. delegation walked out. Like peevish children. That episode tells you where we are in the process and how bizarrely the American side is acting.


We have seen this movie before, when Washington cranked up for the removal of the Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, who had been Washington’s ally during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980’s. The same agenda that Washington adopted toward Saddam in the aftermath of that war now applies to Iran. Despite the very expensive American fiasco in Iraq, the same neocon-inspired foreign policy is in place. Cheney and Bush remain on stage, apparently unfazed, and AIPAC still has a hammer-lock on the U.S. Congress when it comes to Middle East policy. Ultimately, everything is determined by what Tel Aviv wants, or does not want, to happen. It does not matter what you think or want. What matters is how far America’s elected officials are prepared to go under the spell of special interests. To date, there have been no limits.


Ask yourself: Do you feel threatened by Iran? Is the United States threatened by Iran? Are you certain you could identify Iran on the map of the world? Do you worry or care about Iran, one way or the other? Are you interested in President Ahmadinejad’s religious beliefs? Do you understand the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim, and do you care? My own answer to these eight questions is an unqualified “no” to seven of them, and a qualified “yes” (I can find Iran on the map). In short, why all this brouhaha over Iran? Take a guess.


The New York tabloids, the fashion plates reading the news at the cable networks, and the more expensive ones at the non-cable networks, and all leading presidential candidates had the same reaction to Ahmadinejad’s visit. One wonders if they were handed the same script and talking points, prepared in one central office. More likely, they just knew what was expected of them. The commentators brought in from the “think tanks” to elevate the discussion were ready to have a cow. These “experts” sputtered predictable, unenlightened accusations at Ahmadinejad, repeating ad nauseam that he is a dictator (preposterous) as well as a “Holocaust denier” (a deliberate distortion), that Iran is working feverishly to acquire nuclear weapons (flat out untrue) which will be used “to wipe Israel off the map” (a mistranslation and another distortion), et cetera. Faced with such hysteria, one could be forgiven for thinking that the world was about to spin off its axis.


Politicians of all persuasions dutifully repeated the nonsense, regardless of whether they believed it or knew better. Why? Because their campaign funding and their livelihoods depend upon such cherished misinformation being taken seriously. For it to be taken seriously, it must be repeated and repeated, and swallowed whole. In his remarks at Columbia, the Iranian President addressed the issue of Iran’s nuclear energy program, talked about the persecution of Jews in Europe in World War II and how it relates to the plight of the Palestinians today. But the news outlets gave very little, if any, time to those substantive and thought-provoking remarks. Instead, the focus was upon Ahmadinejad’s quaint comments on the subject of homosexuals in Iran. Everybody stopped to have a good, supercilious laugh, before moving on.


Essentially, the American consensus was that this smallish, voluble man is a modern-day Hitler, who must be stopped. It’s a cartoon scenario which everybody in the U.S.A can understand: You do not negotiate with a Hitler unless you believe in appeasement, right? Accordingly, Iran is now a problem which must be solved by the dynamic duo of Dick Cheney and George Bush, assisted by what is left of the disgraced “neocons” who brought us “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”


One wonders what the White House is waiting for. From either conviction or intimidation, French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel are on board, ready to support the Tel Aviv-Washington axis in its endeavors, no matter how crackbrained and reckless. Whitehall is of the same mind, the retirement of Tony Blair notwithstanding. So the EU is in the bag. Capitol Hill, taking its cue from AIPAC, plus all the front-running presidential contenders of both parties, who take the same cue, have stated unequivocally that the option for the United States to bomb Iran is on the table until and unless Tehran stops enriching uranium. The blank check for war has been signed, sealed and delivered.


So why doesn’t the Regent Cheney pull the trigger? I’m sure Norman Podhoretz is losing patience. One could speculate that a specific casus belli is still required. Certainly, Cheney and his assistants are more than capable of arranging that. On the other hand, to grasp at straws, could it be possible that Dick Cheney has finally come to his senses, and shared his new found sanity with G.W.? Perhaps the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have quietly informed the Regent and the dauphin that this whole project to attack Iran is crazy, over the top, unnecessary and unwise, because it is predicated almost entirely upon “neocon” propaganda and distorted premises, just like the enterprise of Iraq. That is possible, of course. But most unlikely. As helpless bystanders, we will find out soon enough.



Patrick Foy is author of The Unauthorized World Situation Report.


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