Iran: Oil, Nukes & War, Pretexts for Martial Law
On nukes in Iran – or rather, the second WMD pretext for mid-east war:
The U.S. Defense Intelligence estimate, as well as the analysis made by the CIA, tells us that Iran is 10 years away, at the earliest, from developing nuclear weapons. Why then the rush to set off a powder keg in the Middle East? Clearly this is another WMD scare tactic to create a pretext for war, as we saw in 2003 with Iraq. It was a lie then, and it is a lie now. The real motive is oil.
The biggest threat by far, with regards to nuclear weapons, is not from the few that Iran might possibly develop over the coming 10 years, but from the global conflict between already existing nuclear super-powers – the U.S., Russia and China – that might erupt as a result from a U.S. attack on Iran. If we are at all sane, we will do everything in our power to keep the U.S., Israel or NATO from attacking Iran and throwing a match into this powder keg. Any future danger posed by Iran pales completely in comparison to the danger we all face if the U.S. or Israel launches an attack. (See War on Iran: A Most Dangerous Gambit.)
If we are genuinely concerned with nuclear proliferation, there are far saner voices than those of Bush, Cheney and Rice. Military analyst Sergei Plekhanov is one. He warns that the most serious threat posed by Iran lies not in any future arms development in that nation, but in the aforementioned possibility of conflict between nuclear superpowers that may be set off by a U.S. attack on Iran. With Iran, Russia and China having formed a military and economic alliance, the danger is real. Joint military training maneuvers have already begun.
“When we think about the danger of nuclear war nowadays, the mind zeros in on North Korea and Iran and stays there, preoccupied with the fact that North Korea has a few nuclear bombs, while Iran may or may not build a few of its own in the next decade. The international community is tying itself in knots trying to respond to the colossal threats to world peace and security that these two countries present.
“Now, the reality is that of the world’s estimated 22,000 nuclear weapons, about 21,000 belong to the U.S. and Russia, each of the two possessing nearly equal numbers and keeping about 1,000 of them ready for launching within 30 minutes.
“If we should worry about the existence of nuclear weapons with their unique capacity to put an end to human life on this planet, it is odd that we overlook the thousands and peer at the murky single digits through a magnifying glass and tremble with fear.
“What happened to the clarity of mind that defined world thinking about nuclear weapons 20 years ago, when it was obvious that the really dangerous nukes were those in massive numbers that the Americans and the Russians trained on each other and were ready to use on a few minutes’ notice?
“The new U.S.-Russian relationship, as it is currently evolving, contains a potential for very serious threats to international security. In a major international crisis, conflict between the two major nuclear powers may escalate to extreme levels.”
– Sergei Plekhanov, Truthdig – The Nightmare Scenario
For a sane response to the question of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, we should listen less to Bush, Cheney and Rice, who are proven liars, and more to the people like Sergei Plekhanov and senior CIA veteran analyst Ray McGovern.
“Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety — the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another’s.”
– Ray McGovern, senior veteran CIA analyst for 27 years,
from JFK through Bush I, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
“The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?
“How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity — the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, “Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?” The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.
“The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state’s existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.
“That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel’s nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.
“A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.
“To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.
““The crazies” are not finished. …In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as “crazy like a fox,” with a value system in which “might makes right.” Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker “neoconservative,” they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.
“The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East.
“Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons?
“As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans — or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.”
– CIA veteran Ray McGovern,
There is no rational basis for attacking Iran if our concern is the danger of nuclear warfare. This much should be obvious. What then are the real motives of the U.S.?
Peak Oil, Geopolitics & Imperial Warfare
Imperial warfare is, of course, not new to the U.S. or to the world, nor is it a recent invention of the Washington neo-conservatives. Economic interests and hegemony – first regional, then global – have been the primary and consistent over-riding objectives of U.S. foreign policy since the Indian Wars, the Mexican-American War, and the conquest of the gems of the Caribbean in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population… In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality… We should cease to talk about vague and…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”
– Chief long-term strategic planner for the U.S. National Security Council,
George F. Kennan, in a 1948 State Department Brief: the now-declassified NSC 68.
This is not new. Bush is only the latest of war criminals. He is the successor to empire – an empire that is in crisis and crumbling, desperate to shore itself up while it may still be possible.
“The Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a (bipartisan) “Post War” foreign policy framework, which provides the basis for the planning of the contemporary wars and atrocities including the setting up of torture chambers, concentration camps and the extensive use of prohibited weapons directed against civilians.
“From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the “Truman Doctrine”. Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush have carried out this global military agenda.
“What distinguishes the Bush administration in relation to the historical record of US sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.
“To reverse the tide of war requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, mosques, schools, universities, municipalities, on the dangers of a US sponsored war which contemplates the use of nuclear weapons. The message should be loud and clear: It is not Iran which is a threat to global security but the United States of America.
“The corporate media also bear a heavy responsibility for the cover-up of US sponsored war crimes. Until recently these war preparations involving the use of nuclear weapons have been scarcely covered by the corporate media. The latter must also be forcefully challenged for their biased coverage of the Middle East war.
“What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called “Homeland Security agenda” which has already defined the contours of a police State.”
– Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, Ottawa University, founder and director of the Center for Research on Globalization
“Intelligent people realize that American claims to be a moral and democratic force are mere pretense behind which hides a policy of military aggression.”
– Paul Craig Roberts, former associate editor, Wall Street Journal
Imperial warfare has always been primarily about securing resources – land and labour being the first and most primary, followed closely by minerals and other resources. Control of energy resources – whether they be in the form of feudal land-holdings, slave holdings, serfs, forests, or more recently, the energy source the industrial world runs on, oil – has always been central to the objectives of empire.
The politics of oil, in this context, is the politics of empire, in one particular and very central facet. Peak oil simply adds to the urgency of controlling world oil reserves. With world oil production near or at its peak, oil prices will rise dramatically, the era of cheap energy will soon be over, demand will outstrip supply, and controlling world oil reserves, more than ever before, will mean holding global economic hegemony. The stakes are high for the seekers of empire; as they are high for the rest of us, due to the risks and bloodshed involved in such maneuvers for control.
The Real Threats We Face
We should bear in mind a few things. One, the CIA and Defense Intelligence have stated that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons for another 10 years. Two, the risk posed by Iran anytime in the near future is negligible compared to the extreme risks entailed in an attack on Iran. Three, the Bush administration lied repeatedly, and in much the same way, to get the American people to accept war on Iraq – which by all honest accounts has been a disaster, not to mention an atrocity. Four, both “pre-emptive war” and regime change are acts of aggression, and as such are war crimes under both international law and the U.S. Constitution. Five, with the nuclear proliferation pretext so manifestly a deceit, the objective of war on Iran is clearly control of the fourth largest oil reserves in the Middle East – which the neocons’ PNAC documents state clearly and explicitly. Six, such an attack would entail mass murder, and for no less vulgar reasons than control of energy reserves, economic hegemony, and imperial ambition.
Finally, a last consideration, and a very serious one, is the risk entailed in the pretext to war, and not simply in the act or war or the ensuing fall-out. This is, aside from the real possibility of WW III, one of the greatest dangers of an attack on Iran. The neocon “crazies” – as many apparently referred to them during the 1980’s and `90’s, before they came to the center of power in Washington – have made it clear in their “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC) planning and strategy papers, that their objectives of “full spectrum dominance” cannot be achieved in any short time, unless there is a “catalyzing event” of sufficient magnitude, another Pearl Harbour-type event. We had one such horrific event, but that may not be enough to expand the “Global War on Terror” at home or across the Middle East. A further pretext may be needed, and an unlikely source has warned of just that.
Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinksi warned the Senate this February 1 of just such an “event.” Read the following carefully. Better yet, read “Zbig”’s statement, then watch the video clip as he emphasizes his stark warning.
“[A] plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran [is]… Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in, quote/unquote, ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran…”
– Zbigniew Brzezinski, before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 1, 2007
A second 9/11 attack, possibly of greater magnitude, would be a horror in itself. But when we also consider General Tommy Franks statements on such an event, the horror becomes an even greater nightmare. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Tommy Franks has stated that the next terrorist attack would likely be the end of democracy: the Constitution would be suspended, martial law declared, and Congress probably not reconvened.
The implications of what is unfolding are almost unthinkable. Yet, we would be wise to give them due thought. If there is no resistance to the madness being orchestrated, we may see a very dark time ahead. Fortunately, there is great, broad and world-wide popular resistance to this grim direction of what can only honestly be called Machiavellian imperial ambition. The resistance now must be galvanized. We may be in for a serious challenge ahead.
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
~ James Madison
“The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 3rd American President
“Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” – Thomas Jefferson
J. Todd Ring
April 5, 2007
War, Neoliberalism & Empire – Chomsky