Friday, November 04, 2011

Target Iran

Target Iran - by Stephen Lendman


In the past five years, Iran faced four harsh rounds of sanctions. At issue is its alleged nuclear threat. No evidence proves it.


Last May, its Bushehr nuclear plant began operating. In September, it began supplying the national grid with 60 megawatts of electricity, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).


Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Khadem Qaemi said operations were at 40% of capacity.


Earlier in 2011, the IAEA said no information suggests "possible military dimensions" to its plans.


For years, Tehran's insisted its intentions are entirely commercial and peaceful. It's emphatic claiming no interest in producing nuclear weapons. It hopes Bushehr will become one of a network of commercial reactors supplying electricity. If so, it will reduce Iran's fossil fuel reliance. Other nations do it for the same reason despite the hazards of nuclear power in all forms.


It also says only low level uranium enrichment suitable for power plant fuel or medical and agricultural uses are pursued.


Iran joined dozens of other nuclear club nations. Only ITS program is questioned with no evidence to suggest it's other than what Iran claims.


For years, however, Washington's fabricated numerous Iranian threats. Last July, newly confirmed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta denounced claimed Iranian support for Shia militia groups in Iraq, saying:


"We are very concerned about Iran and the weapons they are providing to extremists in Iraq. We're seeing more of those weapons going in from Iran, and they've really hurt us. We cannot sit back and simply allow this to continue to happen. This is not something we're going to walk away from. It's something we're going to take on head-on."


Days earlier, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen accused Iran of "directly supporting extremist Shiite groups, which are killing our troops. There is no question they are shipping high-tech weapons in there that are killing our people. And the forensics prove that."


One of many State Department Iranian reports alleges:


"Iran's Quds Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives and indirect fire weapons."


"Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments to select Taliban members, including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107 mm rockets and plastic explosives."


Other claims accuse Iran of using front companies to pay Taliban fighters $1,000 for each American killed and $6,000 for each US vehicle destroyed.


For years, we've heard these and similar accusations. All are suspect or clear lies. Alleged "forensics" are bogus. Slapping "made in Iran" labels on munitions proves nothing except America's duplicity in all dealings and allegations. Nothing from official Washington is credible. It's common knowledge and should be rejected out of hand.


America is a rogue terror state, an imperial predator. All nations outside its sphere of influence are targeted. It was Saddam's undoing, Gaddafi's also as well as others post-WW II, including democrats, despots and others in between.


On October 11, Washington bogusly accused Iran of plotting to murder Saudi Arabia's US ambassador (Adel al-Jubeir) in a bizarre scheme sounding more like a B film script.


Also allegedly involved were plans to bomb Israel's Washington embassy and Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina.


Nothing progressed was explained. In fact, accusations were entirely baseless to further heighten US/Iranian tensions and get hawkish congressional members to call for direct confrontation.


It takes little urging to do it, given the intellect and morality of many in political Washington from both parties. Hillary Clinton, in fact, said "a very concerted diplomatic outreach to many capitals" was initiated, adding that the issue has "potential for international reaction that will further isolate Iran."


She stopped short of calling for direct confrontation. Perhaps later belligerence is planned. Washington's always spoiling for a fight. So far, only sanctions, saber rattling, and hostile rhetoric have been used.


October 25 added another element. A Justice Department press release headlined, "Five Individuals Indicted in a Fraud Conspiracy Involving Exports to Iran of US Components Later Found in Bombs in Iraq," saying:


Five individuals and four companies were charged with "a conspiracy to defraud the United States that allegedly caused thousands of radio frequency modules to be illegally exported from the United States to Iran, at least 16 of which were later found in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq."


Another conspiracy was also charged, involving military antenna exports to Singapore and Hong Kong.


As a result, Singapore authorities arrested Wong Yuh Lan (Wong), Lim Yong Nam (Nam), Lim Kow Seng (Seng), and Hai Soo Gan Benson (Hai), all Singaporean citizens.


Washington wants them extradited for District of Columbia trials. Hossein Larijani is also charged, an Iranian citizen still at large.


Accusations include defrauding America, smuggling, illegally exporting US goods to Iran, illegally exporting defense products, making false statements and obstructing justice. Other charges may be added later to assure enough stick to convict.


Like many dozens of past bogus cases related to America's war on Islam and Iran, charges likely lack credibility. As a result, innocent victims may be hung out to dry to beat up on Iran fraudulently. It's how America does business. Even some in Congress understand.


On April 5, 2006, Congressman Ron Paul addressed fellow House members saying:


Iran may be America's "next neocon target....It's been three years since the US launched its war against Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction."


"Of course, now almost everybody knows" there were none, "and Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the United States."


"The significant question we must ask ourselves is: What have we learned from three years in Iraq? With plans now being laid for regime change in Iran, it appears we have learned absolutely nothing."


Over five years later, Paul's comments still apply and then some as Obama continues Bush's imperial wars, added multiple ones of his own, and threatens more.


At the February 2007 43rd annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, then Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply criticized US foreign policy, calling it:


"very dangerous (in its) uncontained hyper-use of force - military force - in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." US imperialism, he stressed, "overstepped its national borders in every way."


"(U)nilateral illegal actions have not resolved any single problem. They have become a hotbed of further conflicts....We are seeing increasing disregard for the fundamental principles of international law....No one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them."


"Of course, such a policy stimulates an arms race. The dominance of force inevitably encourages a number of countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction."


Putin also addressed a "unipolar world," calling it one "in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."


He added that "We are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves."


America never practiced democratic principles at home or abroad and doesn't now.


Whether or not attacking Iran is planned remains unknown. Western intervention targeted Syria for months. At issue is regime change. Perhaps Iran's next. Covert operations have been ongoing for years, including cyber attacks, political assassinations, sabotage, false accusations, and other destabilizing tactics.


A Bush administration Finding authorized $400 million for covert mischief and intelligence collection. CIA operatives were given carte blanche authority to commit sabotage, recruit anti-regime insurgents, coordinate propaganda, spread malicious lies about Iran, manipulate its currency, and conduct other lawless acts.


Iran's nuclear program was specifically targeted. Regime change plans were prepared long ago. Washington favors a "Greater Baluchistan," integrating Pakistani and Iranian Baluch areas under puppet officials subservient to America. In other words, balkanizing both countries for easier control.


With America tied down waging multiple lost wars, will one or more others be launched?


Given powerful extremists in Washington, Obama's propensity for conflict, and America's permanent war agenda, no nation anywhere is safe. Iran, Syria, and others take note.


A Final Comment


Israel's longstanding Iranian hostility is palpable. At issue is regional rivalry. Israel wants unchallenged Middle East dominance.


On October 31, Haaretz headlined, "Netanyahu: a nuclear Iran poses a serious, direct threat to Israel," saying:


Netanyahu racketed up tensions with bogus claims about Iranian plans to develop nuclear weapons. Never mentioned is Israel's longstanding preemptive policy to use nuclear weapons if threatened. It's well known that it's nuclear armed and dangerous.


At the same time, cooler heads argue against attacking Iran. Perhaps Defense Minister Ehud Barak is one. He recently told Israeli Radio that diplomatic pressure and sanctions are top options, adding that Israelis shouldn't be concerned about an Iranian threat. Other Israelis agree.


Why does Washington beat up on Iran? Perhaps it's to divert attention from OWS protests and America's mainstream Depression. Electoral politics always matter. Cold War tactics dictated not looking soft on communism.


War on terror rhetoric today is key. Iran's falsely called a regional menace to incite fear, gain votes, and prevent opposition candidates from making "too soft" accusations.


Nonetheless, will Obama pursue confrontation with Iran to look tough? Voters want current wars ended. Will starting another assuage them? Perhaps, some believe, if fear's effectively generated. Voters are notoriously gullible and mindless about earlier deceptions.


Repeat big lies often enough and most people believe them. At the same time, burgeoning deficits constrain spending even though defense budgets rise annually.


In addition, attacking Iran entails huge risks. Policy experts know doing so will enflame the entire region. General war may follow involving Russia and China defending their interests.


Moreover, nonbelligerent nations won't always put up with Washington and Israel. Both lost considerable influence but not enough to deter them.


However, ravaging the world one country at a time is no way to win friends and allies. Hopefully more world leaders will choose better ones than rogue states. Hopefully humanity will survive long enough to see them do it.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.