Next war stop Iran?Why the ongoing belligerency? [Archives:2005/809/Opinion]

January 20 2005

Even before his inauguration and swearing in for the second term of his presidency, Mr. George W. Bush has affirmed that if there is one consistent credo that his leadership of the United States can be attached to, it will certainly be the insistence on pursuing unlawful belligerency on any state at random based on unsubstantiated hidden threats or fabricated innuendos. With the last two wars the White House initiated hardly considered complete by any means, Seymour Hersh, the New Yorker Magazine reporter who initially exposed the abuses and torture inflicted in Iraq (leading to other revelations of the widespread use of torture by US military and intelligence agencies on suspected “terrorists” by fiat or directly), has now reported that the White House had issued various instructions and memos amounting to the adoption of a policy of pursuing covert operations against “suspected terrorist targets in as many as ten nations in the Middle East and South Asia”.

Hersh also pointed out that in fact the US has already been conducting reconnaissance missions inside Iran in preparation for conducting possible air strikes against what are suspected as weapons site.

Hersh quotes a US government consultant, who maintains close ties with the Pentagon: “The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible,”

Although the US Department of Defense tried to reject much of what Hersh has exposed by saying that it “is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed.”

Nevertheless, the Pentagon would not outrightly dispute what the Christian Science Monitor, reiterating what Agence Presse regards as the central claim in Hersh's report; i.e., that the US President has authorized the covert operations against what are suspected as terrorist targets in as many as 10 sovereign states, including Iran.

In a rather cooled down reaction to the Hersh report, Iranian officials have played down any meaningful capability of the United States to conduct any secret intelligence or covert activities in Iran. Other reactions suggest that the Bush Administration is trying to turn attention away from its poor showing in Iraq. Al-Manar TV reported that Ali Shamkhani, the Iranian Defense Minister as saying, “We are able to say that we have strength such that no country can attack us because they do not have precise information about our military capabilities due to our ability to implement flexible strategies.”

“We can claim that we have rapidly produced equipment that has resulted in the greatest deterrent”.

On another note the Christian Science Monitor, pointing to the strong cooperation between the United States and Israel in this regard, states that Hersh states that “there has also been close, and largely unacknowledged, cooperation with Israel. The government consultant with ties to the Pentagon said that the Defense Department civilians, under the leadership of Douglas Feith, have been working with Israeli planners and consultants to develop and refine potential nuclear, chemical-weapons, and missile targets inside Iran.”

What is clear from all this that the Zionist state has, through its strong conservative friends inside and outside the Bush Administration, managed to implant a continuous state of demagogic belligerency, especially towards any Middle Eastern countries, which Israel views as its most effective potential adversaries. Even if no substantive evidence has ever been shown to prove the suggested threats posed by any of the states that the Administration claims exist, the Israelis have managed to get the White House to pursue its agenda of belligerency, even though the United States is not viewed with any animosity by these states.

In the case of Iran, there is no doubt that the White House was convinced to engage in Iraq, in the hope of creating a “buffer” or security wall that will prevent any possible Iranian onslaught on Israel through Iraq and Jordan as some Israeli military analysts have often claimed.

On another note, Israel views the dissemination of chaos in the region as preventing the rise of any significant regional power that could compete with Israel in influencing the regional trends, especially as Israel is fully aware that most of the people in the area view Israel with a high degree of mistrust and contempt for the harsh occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the suffering that the Palestinians have been subjected to because of this occupation. Thanks to the strong influence of the American Zionist lobby, the United States under the Bush Administration has been consistently influenced by the Israelis and this is even at the expense of intimidating the feelings of the large majority of the people in the region, to whom the White House insists it is seeking to bring freedom and regional cohesion. The showing in Iraq has not helped to support such US claims and the excesses and violations seem to reflect the very same measures pursued by the Israeli military and security apparatus in the occupied area, although the number of casualties is greater in Iraq.

Whatever the case may be, the observer is inclined to believe that many Americans will be suspicious of the Bush Administration's attempt to convey that its war agenda needs extensions to other areas when the first two wars are far from seeing their end. With the poor showing in Iraq, many foreign analysts have declared that the Americans are seeking sensationalism to cover this poor showing. With American military capabilities stretched thin in the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, many observers suggest that any adventure, covert or direct military action against Iran would amount to sheer madness, both in terms of the logic behind such actions and the obvious different military capabilities of Iran. But then the Bush Administration has been railroaded into Iraq by Israel under similar claims and innuendos and apparently the White House has no hesitation in being the executor of Israeli designs for the region. Whether for Israel or for the sake of the right wing demagogues, who are cheering the new war cries, it goes without saying that the consequences of any serious American actions as pointed out by Hersh will not bring the world any closer to world peace.