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The Charade In The Persian Gulf

By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse - OK! Let's see; Israel has been openly threatening to bomb Iran's nuclear power station under construction at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr for several years now. And more recently, these threats have been extended to other potential or possible sites inside Iran. All this has been happening long before Ahmadinejad's oft mistranslated comments that the "regime of occupation", meaning the Zionist regime governing Israel, should disappear from the pages of time.


Unlike the Israeli or the American intentions, repeatedly and quite succinctly stated, to take military action against Iran, Ahmadinejad's utterances, even if we take their misrepresentations by the media at face value, never included any statement of intent that Iran was planning to initiate any such attack.


What's more, the Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, has as much power and authority regarding Iran's foreign policy affairs and its military as does Israel's President or the Queen of England, meaning literally none. This is unlike the United States where the President is officially the Commander in Chief of the military and the State Department (the foreign policy apparatus) is part of the President's Cabinet.


So, when the Israeli Prime Minister or the President of the United States openly considers a military attack against Iran, such threats cannot be considered idle saber rattling and written off as such; all options, as they both have stated repeatedly, remain on the table.


In response to these blatant and open threats, the Iranian regime has used the only option at its disposal; warning that any attack upon its soil will have dire consequences for the attackers and the region as a whole. In other words, the so called Iranian threat to the peace and security of the world, as the American and Israeli administrations constantly insinuate, is in the suspicion that, should it be attacked, Iran would actually retaliate! However, while there are no doubts about the American or the Israeli military capabilities, including the probability of using tactical nuclear weapons, Iran's retaliatory potential is not quite as clear.


All this begs the question: Who is really the belligerent aggressor and a threat to global peace and security?


The warmongers in the Administration, encouraged, even pushed, by the Zionist lobbyists and Israeli moles, maintain that the Iranian regime is a clear and present danger to the global peace and security because the "mullahs" who rule the country are power-hungry crazed zealots who'd stop at nothing to inject their venom into anything that stands in their way of regional dominance. Therefore, should Iran be allowed to gain access to nuclear technology, they'll make the big bombs and attempt to wipe Israel off the face of the map, then hold the rest of the "civilized" world over the barrel, of oil, that is!


Why, one might ask, would the leadership of a nation of seventy-some million population attempt mass suicide by initiating an attack on a trigger-happy, nuclear armed Israel, especially when such an attack would prompt America's response at the same time? Well, the answer is easy: These "mullahs" actually look forward to herding their nation along the path of martyrdom to heaven! Just like the Palestinian suicide bombers, they're crazy that way; it is an Islamic disease, you know!


These are the same people, after all, who just a few days ago sent those high speed boats to harass the American naval armada, threatening to blow them up, prompting President Bush to give another stern warning to Iran during his trip to the Persian Gulf, declaring once again that Iran remains the biggest threat to international peace.


Of course, to the Fox News mad dogs frothing at the mouth, and the neoconservatives at the helm of our government, it doesn't matter that the whole episode was blown out of proportion. The speed boats, unarmed bathtub sized patrol vessels scouting the goings-on near Hormuz Strait, were simply carrying out their daily routine, checking and reporting the passage of foreign ships through the Strait, something that is within the internationally accepted protocol of the seas. This is similar to the Immigration Office's long-running practice of fingerprinting incoming visitors from Iran and some other disfavored countries upon their arrival in the U.S. Is it really necessary?  No, but it is perfectly legal and within our rights to do so. Why do we do it? For the same reasons that the Iranians insist on exercising their rights to verify the identity of the ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz. It is not as though there is any secret as to what the US Navy is doing there; you don't need speed boats to check them out!


Let us just suppose that the Russians or the Chinese had dispatched their nuclear armed naval fleet, including giant aircraft carriers and submarines, to the Gulf of Mexico and anchored in the international waters just outside US territorial waters offshore Texas or Florida. And, let us suppose that this action had followed some hostile rhetoric between the United States and the Russians or the Chinese. Now imagine how the United States would react and respond to this situation.


Iran is not Russia or China. In open warfare, one or two aircraft carriers with their missile launchers and nuclear weapons could outgun Iran's entire military. So, why would Iran want to egg-on the US fleet by harassing or threatening the American forces with the potential of precipitating a devastating response? For the answer just ask the talking heads at Fox or any diehard neocon or Zionist: those Iranians are suicidal maniacs guided by the "mad mullahs" and should be exterminated before they develop the capability to launch an attack on Israel.


Fortunately, against this backdrop of lies, deceptions, disinformation, double standards and hypocrisy concerning Iran, there does seem to exist signs that the likelihood of a military confrontation between the United States and Iran is losing ground as we approach the end of George W. Bush's term in office.


The frantic calls for war by mad dogs, the likes of Norman Podhoretz and John Bolton, as well as the Israelis, is actually a good sign that the inevitability of such a war is under challenge by the lame duck President and his State Department advisors. The President's recent visit to the Middle East has surprised many commentators, both pro and con the Administration, as being too late to have any effect and too meaningless to add anything to his legacy before leaving office.


But, what if...?


What if the President's trip had really nothing to do with his stated objectives of encouraging the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians or to rally the "friendly" Arab states behind the United States in confronting the Iranian threats? All that charade could have been window dressing to hide his real objectives.


What if he had finally come to terms with the futility of his disastrously ambitious crusade he had undertaken or was conned into undertaking? What if he now, perhaps with the help of his Secretary of State and the Pentagon Chief, wants to gracefully change course and avoid being dragged into a bigger hellfire by attacking Iran?


If that is truly the case, the President faces a monumental challenge; all cards are stacked against making such a pivotal decision. He might be able to pacify the neocons and the Christian Zionists at home, but it is the power of the Israeli lobby over the U.S. Congress, as well as Israel's own agenda in the Middle East, that would be the real challenge.


Kam Zarrabi is the author of
In Zarathushtra's Shadow

Without satisfying Israel's expectations and demands the President's hands are tied. All Israel has to do is to create some excuse to launch a surprise attack on a convenient Iranian target and hope that Iran retaliates. That action alone would lead to what the Israeli regime wants: a full-scale American (and Israeli) attack on Iran and the perpetuation of uncertainties and hostilities in the region. This would mean a continuation and even an increase in America's military, financial and diplomatic support for Israel and, more importantly, an indefinite postponement of any peace settlement with the Palestinians.


Therefore, if in fact a softening of hostile posturing against Iran is in the President's agenda, the Israeli warmongers must be somehow convinced that they do not have to blackmail the United States with the threat of a preemptive strike against Iran, that their demands and expectations will be met, regardless.


So, what if Mr. Bush went to Israel to assure the Likud leadership and the hardliners of this commitment? Bribing the Israelis with more aid and other kinds of support is degrees of magnitude cheaper for the United States than expanding the theater of war into Iran. And, as far as the fear of Iran's nuclear ambitions is concerned, every one, including especially the Israeli regime, knows that the danger of an Iranian aggression is no more than a political ploy.


Regarding the Roadmap to Peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the issue will be shelved and its death quite conveniently blamed on the Palestinians, as usual, for once again not missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity!


the United States might even ease up on the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic and, to save face, blame the lack of cooperation by the international community for such a change of heart. In exchange, Iran would agree to limit its support for the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas - yet another plus for Israel.


I am now convinced more than ever before that, in spite of all the rhetoric to the contrary, the relationship between Iran and the United States will be improving, perhaps even before George W. Bush's term and that of Mr. Ahmadinejad expire.


Caution: Just keep the regional pit-bull well fed and happy, at least until the next Administration takes over in Washington; it'll then be their problem to deal with the care and feeding of the monster and to keep it corralled.


... Payvand News - 01/22/08 ... --

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