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Payvand Iran News ...
02/06/12 Bookmark and Share
Am I Being Naive?

By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse

On the evening of February 3rd, Piers Morgan of CNN was interviewing the unorthodox Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is, as everyone knows, an outspoken antagonist of big government and global interventionism. He is against “undeclared” wars, such as America’s assault on Iraq and Afghanistan, and unlike his Republican rivals on the campaign trail, he is strongly opposed to a potential American military attack against Iran.

Ron Paul’s position regarding the Iranian issues has been unabashedly expressed by him before and during his campaign as a presidential candidate. He does not believe that Iran is actually on the way to developing atomic weapons, and that Iran would be a threat to Israel, the region or the United States. He also has said that we should not be surprised by Iran's nasty reactions to the threats of regime change and military attack, as well as actual acts of sabotage and assassinations committed or otherwise aided and abetted by the United States and Israel.

Piers Morgan pressed on rather belligerently by asking Ron Paul about the merits of a preemptive attack by Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities. He had further buttered up that question by commenting, among other thing, that the Iranian President had already declared that Iran aimed at wiping Israel off the face of the map.

Congressman Paul, a man who is not known for eloquent spontaneity or debate skills, struggled to wedge his fragmented responses through the barrage of interruptions by the clearly irritated host, by pleading to be allowed to complete his sentences. He started by commenting that Ahmadinejad had never said he wanted to wipe Israel off the face of the map, and that the statement was a distortion created and perpetuated by our own media. He further explained that both the Israeli and American top security officials, as well as the IAEA people, do not believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons or posing a threat to anybody.

Well, the frustrated Piers Morgan had simply done what he was supposed to do, and having carried out his duty, secured the continuation of his tenure as the host of that CNN evening program.

The day before, MSNBC, supposedly the anti-FOX, "liberal" station, showed its true colors again, when the morning anchor on the Morning Joe program, Joe Scarborough, was prompted, as though on cue, by his sidekick, Mika Brzezinski, to comment on Iran's nuclear threats. Joe was clearly waiting for that signal, and entered into a totally non-sequitur commentary on the dangers and the unacceptability of a nuclear Iran! He talked about the dangers to not just Israel, but to Europe and the United States. He further pointed out that if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, an arms race would ensue in the region by the Arab regimes who are wary of Iran's ambitions. Why did Joe Scarborough feel obliged to make statements like that?  He did the same thing a few weeks ago, and I commented on it in one of my previous articles quoted below:

This portrayal has been aimed principally at the American people through the endorsement of America’s mass media and the entertainment industry, as well as through the influence and money of the Zionist groups and lobbies that affect political campaigns and their outcome. In other words, as long as the American public remains convinced that this “friend and ally”, this imaginary beacon of democracy and Western values, is in danger of annihilation by the evil “mullahs”, the Congress has no problem passing any resolution to accommodate Israel’s wishes and demands, with the Executive Branch forced to oblige or face public condemnation. Even the supposedly anti-FOX, liberal-leaning MSNBC morning anchor, Joe Scarborough, has to casually and very as-a-matter-of-factly refer to Iran as the real threat to the world, as he did the morning of January 6th in order to keep his job on the network. I have no doubt that this former congressman and John Wayne imitator knows better!

In the face of this well-orchestrated, nonstop, media frenzy, is it any surprise that over 50% of Americans, as the surveys show, would support a preemptive attack on Iran.

Let us also keep in mind that the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, is to be held March 2-4, where all the bigwigs of our government bureaucracy will be attending, as they do every year, to pledge their unwavering support and allegiance to the Zionist state.

Again, ask yourselves, Why?

These are especially sensitive times, considering the presidential elections here, as well as in the Islamic Republic of Iran, . President Obama has, realistically speaking, no choice but to appear as tough or tougher against the Zionist-created enemy, Iran, when his Republican rivals, excluding the one and only Ron Paul, vow to attack that country if elected. Doing otherwise would be tantamount to committing political suicide. Obama's position on Syria is no different.

From the other side, we have just heard Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamaneh'i, declare for the first time in his latest State of the Republic address, that Zionism is a cancerous tumor that must be removed (my direct translation of his Farsi text).

Now let us see what purpose such hostile rhetoric by both sides actually serves or is intended to serve.

Ignoring for a minute the overzealous media's agenda-driven interpretation of what James Clapper had meant to say at the Senate Committee on January 31st, below is an excerpt from his remarks:

The man in charge of all of America's intelligence gathering testified today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment. The following are excerpts from National Director of Intelligence James Clapper's prepared remarks as provided to ABC News.

On Iran: We Don't Know If They'll Go for The Bomb, 'Concerned' About Attack on U.S.

"We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. Iran nevertheless is expanding its uranium enrichment capabilities, which can be used for either civil or weapons purposes."

"Iran's technical advancement, particularly in uranium enrichment, strengthens our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons, making the central issue its political will to do so. These advancements contribute to our judgment that Iran is technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon, if it so chooses. We judge Iran would likely choose missile delivery as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon... Elite infighting has reached new levels, as the rift grows between Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad."

What that all means is that Iran could, possibly, embark on developing nuclear weapons capabilities, if Iran chooses to do so. Daa!!!! Well, a fertilizer plant can also produce ammonium nitrate in quantities and forms that could create huge explosions that might, if positioned properly, potentially destroy an American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, if the plant managers decide to do so!

Should the Israelis or the Americans be concerned about that, too? Is this really a cause for alarm?

So, what is truly the reason behind all the war rhetoric?

I continue to hold the position that the charade, as I continue to call it, is to keep Iran as a perceived threat to Israel and now to the United States as well, for the following reasons:

1- Israel will continue to benefit from all the economic, diplomatic and military support from the United States, with American taxpayers' support and the automatic endorsement of the US Congress.

2- The Arab oil states, supposedly threatened by a hostile, nuclear armed Iran, will remain compliant to American demands, and as military budget shortcomings may require, shall purchase tens of billions of dollars worth of American or Israeli arms to better defend themselves. Incidentally, Mr. Scarborough should differentiate between the Arab regimes and the Arab nations when he states that they are wary of the dangers of a nuclear Iran and might start an arms race. First of all, the Arab regimes he refers to do not share those views with the Arab nations they lead. Secondly, why did they not embark on an arms race when Israel, their true nemesis, started developing its vast nuclear weapons industry?

3- If Iran's possible or potential goal is to someday acquire nuclear weapons capability, it would be abundantly more logical for that capability to serve only as a deterrent against threatening enemies, rather than as an offensive tool, which would result in Iran's own total destruction. If it is the proliferation of nuclear arms technology in the region that is viewed as the main concern, it would be a lot easier to monitor those Arab regimes over whom we do have almost unchallenged influence and to prevent that from becoming a problem.

Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.
More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at: intellectualdiscourse.com

4- I therefore conclude as I have done many times in my past analyses that an Iran portrayed as a great threat to the strategic Middle East, to Israel, and now even to the United States, serves the purpose quite adequately. The American public opinion has been successfully brewed to fall for that narrative.  This is something that a compliant Iran or an Islamic Republic perceived in good light would not provide. And, as an added bonus, all the negative portrayals and threats against the Islamic Republic help exacerbate the internal problems within Iran, which strengthens the position of Iran's own hardliners and helps validate those negative portrayals - a true vicious circle!

5- Finally, why start an actual costly war with all its likely horror and devastation to all sides, when the mere threats of war and saber rattling could accomplish the objectives?

I still maintain that the pressure on Iran will relent when Pakistan replaces Iran as the region's pariah.

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