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Scapegoating Iran for Iraq Failure


By Ardeshir Ommani

To start waging a twelve-year war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN), the U.S. under a Democratic President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, concocted the fictitious Vietnamese attack on a U.S. naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin.  To enter a four-year-war so far, against the people of Iraq, Washington this time headed by a Republican President – George W. Bush – manufactured the fiction of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  Currently, the U.S. is laboring its mental powers to come up with a similar hoax.  But to make such a deception believable, the neo-conservative hoaxers must prepare the mental condition of their audience.  To that end, President George W. Bush, with the generous help of the mainstream media (Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many others) has painted Iran already guilty of multiple crimes that have be confronted for the sake of the safety and security of the “international community.”

Following the report by the Iraq Study Group (ISG), it needs no further proof that after almost four years at a huge human and financial cost to the American working class, the U.S. administration has conclusively lost the war in Iraq and has a long way to go in Afghanistan to see a light, if any, at the end of the death tunnel.  Taking it personally, Bush II deeply feels that as Commander-in-Chief of the Iraq war and leader of the world-wide fight against international “terrorism”, he has been a failure.  Our overtly confident and sole “decider” continues to utter platitudes about winning the war, but he and everyone in the world knows he has lost not only personal credibility but more importantly has dragged U.S. prestige down with him.  How would he explain this downward spiral? 

It goes without saying that this Commander-in-Chief would not admit that he has ordered the U.S. military to fight and die in an unjust war and invade an ancient country with a 3000 year history, whose citizens have decided to fight back using anything and everything that they can put their hands on, especially the 200,000 rifles, machine guns and millions of rounds of ammunition that the U.S. military “lost” on its way to Iraq.  No way! To be true to his character, Bush Jr. had to find a scapegoat for his and the U.S. mighty military’s failure to bring the people of Iraq to their knees. 

No longer are Osama bin-Laden in Afghanistan and the U.S. promoted sectarian conflicts between the Shi’ia and Sunni population of Iraq, who had co-existed side by side in the same communities for centuries, sufficient and convincing explanations for sacrificing the lives of additional American troops.   The U.S. administration now has to deflect from its own failures and put the blame on Iraq’s neighboring countries of Iran and Syria.  This wicked behavior is not limited by time and place or specificity of war.  In the last century, the colonial and neo-colonial powers such as France in Algeria, Britain in Iraq, the Dutch in Indonesia, and the U.S. in Vietnam, exhibited very similar conduct and arguments.

This time the U.S. has targeted Iran as a scapegoat for its fiasco in Iraq.  To be acceptable to the conservative social classes of the American and European societies and to the semi-colonial Sheikdom of Saudi Arabia and the puppet kingdom of Jordan, the case against Iran has to be manifold, mean-spirited and fearful.  For the White House and the Pentagon, headed now by a trickster from the CIA, Robert Gates, to receive a green light, or at least no serious opposition to continuing the war and taking the U.S. to the brink of war with Iran and utter disaster, these American heads have to scare the American people to death.  Now, the enemy is Iran, the “biggest threat to the United States” in the words of neo-conservative hysteria-maker Michael Ledeen. 

Manufacturing Lies

This process of case-building against Iran began a long time ago, as far back as 1979, but is absolutely necessary to raise Iran as the “specter” haunting the United States

Just as in 2002, that the U.S. administration replaced Osama bin-Laden with Saddam Hussein, today the focus has shifted from the failed state of Iraq to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  For example, the lie was spread that Ayatollah Khameini had died some days ago, and Iran was hiding the news.  Another slander was that Ali Khameini had criticized Ahmadinejad for his preoccupation with the nuclear energy issue.  In most cases, it is either the Zionist lobby in Washington or Tel Aviv itself that is the center spreading many of these lies and disinformation.

In the last few months and especially during the last few weeks, the Bush regime, in direct opposition to the general consent and strong public opinion in the U.S. and internationally, has escalated the tension between the two countries and embarked on a series of provocations, which include:

It is regrettable but not surprising to learn that the U.S.-British plan of “divide and rule” that was applied in Iraq and now used in the Middle East in general, has found big ears among the Arab rulers.  The same scheme that was used by the U.S. to exploit social tensions in Iraq, using the sectarian yardstick of Shi’ia and Sunni, currently has found a greater application in the entire sub-continent of the Middle East.  The plan is devised to embolden the Sunni majority of the Muslim world to confront the Shi’ite minority.  In this game of occupiers, the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan have become two enthusiastic and happy players.  Both leaders have expressed their dissatisfaction with Iran’s growing regional status.

The U.S. objective in raising the tensions with Iran is to test the unity, solidarity and tolerance of the Iranian government and its people to economic, diplomatic, and military pressures.  The knowledge of if and when a split begins to appear among the political class in Iran is of utmost importance to the U.S. empire and its long-term strategy of world domination.  In a recent NY Times article on Iran, it was reported that one of General Abizaid’s jobs was to calibrate responses in Iran to U.S. threats and moves in the Persian Gulf area.  Posturing and the U.S. psychological war, the first phase of the conflict is reaching its maturity.  Short of an accident, as in the First World War, neither Iran nor the U.S. is looking for a war.  It has been said by the Iranian historian, Professor Ervand Abrahamian, that should the U.S. administration provoke a war between the U.S. and Iran, it will last 30 to 100 years.  The U.S. ruling class may start the war, but it would be the Iranians who will finish it.  

Ardeshir Ommani’s Bio & Contact Info: Ardeshir Ommani is a writer and an activist in the anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle for many years, including against the Vietnam War.  He is a co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) , where news of his most recent visit to Iran in March & April 2006 can be read. He helped launch the successful campaign.  He has been very active in the peace movement and in the struggle against the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq.


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