March 10, 2015
‘Is Iran a threat?’ was the title and topic at hand for a 2012 episode of ‘The Big Questions,’ a British television talk show.
The proper response to that inflammatory and war-like question is another question: a threat to whom?
‘Threats’ depend on who’s interpreting them.
The episode in question is a good lesson in hasbara, doublespeak and hubris. All of the commentators on the left of the screen operate openly as venomous forked-tongues for the Empire, spouting off one falsehood and distortion after another, whereas the analysts on the right side of the aisle forwarded logical, rational and sound judgments of the geopolitical situation relating to Iran and its bloodthirsty accusers.
Douglas Murray, a rank neocon and pure Israeli shill, whinged every time one of the reasonable commentators on the right inferred that Iran has no nuclear weapons capability nor has it demonstrated much of a desire to pursue it. Former Press TV host Afshin Rattansi correctly pointed out that the latest US National Intelligence Estimate, which represents a consensus of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, confirmed that Tehran is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapon nor do they have the capacity to make one at the present time – the final nail in the coffin of Israeli disinformation. It was also noted that Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allows inspections of its sites.
Much to the dismay of Murray and his fellow warmongers, the program host further mentioned that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei declared nuclear weaponry ‘haram’ (forbidden) and an affront to Islamic principles, as did his predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini who also forbade the production or use of chemical weapons.
Israel, on the other hand, has hundreds of nuclear weapons and refuses to sign the NPT or to allow international inspections. Despite Israel’s possession of untold weapons of mass destruction and its horrid track-record of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians and aggression towards all of its neighbours, the question ‘Is Israel a threat?’ rarely seems to come up. Most people in the region rightly view Israel as the principal threat and menace, but never is that mentioned in Western media. As a servant of Tel Aviv, Murray cringed and squirmed in his chair upon hearing anything contrary to his rancid anti-Iranian rhetoric.
Another spokesperson for the hasbara delegation on the show was Kiran Bali from the Huddersfield Hindu Society. It was quite amusing to see an East Indian cast aspersions on Iran over the issue of nuclear weapons, seeing as her own country of origin is a nuclear power.
Why was the question at hand not ‘Is India a threat?’ as opposed to Iran? India’s foreign policies are far less defensible than those of Iran. One need look no further than India’s brutal repressions of Muslims in the Kashmir region. Hindu extremists are a dominant force in the Indian government, and some say their ideology mimics the racist tenets of Zionism, which explains why India and Israel are such comfortable bedfellows, working hand-in-hand on military and intelligence matters.
While the Empire mouthpieces on the show accused Iran of human rights abuses, India’s questionable foreign and domestic policies were not examined. The Hindu-majority country’s racialist ‘caste’ system, culture of rape, child slavery, and other disgraces were not discussed on the program, for obvious reasons. Not even India’s possession of WMDs was broached by the supposedly ‘enlightened’ commentators who were diligently demonizing non-nuclear Iran for relatively minor human rights violations in comparison with those of Iran’s accusers.
The reason India’s nuclear arsenal is not scrutinized but the very prospect of Iran someday in the future acquiring one nuclear bomb is considered so alarming by the West is primarily because India is a status quo middle power that kowtows to the big bullies on the block – the US and Israel. Since India is more or less a servant of the Zio-American empire and not an outspoken opponent of it, its human rights abuses and nuclear arsenal is exempted from serious scrutiny.
On the flip side, Iran’s principled support of liberation movements in Lebanon and Palestine as well as its refusal to relinquish its resources to Western corporations is what lies at the root of the demonization campaign being waged against it by Israel, America and their poodles.
Only from the deluded purview of certain rogue, belligerent and arrogant powers is Iran a ‘threat'; a threat to their continued hegemony and dominance; a challenge to their global apartheid system where all the world’s countries are either serfs, slaves or slain.
From the standpoint of Israel, a rogue nuclear-armed garrison state in the mid-east which routinely violates international law, Iran is a threat to their regional power. Iran represents a force of justice and goodwill, whereas Israel embodies a whip-wielding slave master overseeing a global plantation, punishing anyone that gets in its way.
‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’ Those were the words of a top Israeli general, Moshe Dayan. In 2003, Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld repeated those bellicose words when illustrating a point about the prevailing mindset in Tel Aviv. According to van Creveld, Israel’s leaders are willing to unleash a nuclear holocaust against their perceived enemies, and even their presumed allies, if forced into a corner.
‘We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions,’ van Creveld said with candour, ‘and have the capability to take the world down with us.’ He concluded: ‘I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.’ That lunatic policy is what award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh identified as Israel’s ‘Samson Option.’
‘We are at war will the whole Palestinian people,’ said Israeli MK Ayelet Shaked, advocating genocidal collective punishment. Moshe Feiglin, a member of the ruling Likud Party, brazenly called for the murderous ethnic cleansing of Gaza and the repopulation of the area with Jews. Arab citizens of Israel who are ‘disloyal’ or not supportive enough of Zionist state-terrorism in Gaza and the West Bank should be ‘beheaded,’ according to Israel’s present foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. Israel should ‘flatten Gaza’ like the Americans did to Hiroshima, declared Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. Non-Jews are ‘slaves’ and ‘donkeys’ who only exist to ‘serve the people of Israel’ announced Ovadia Yosef, Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi (now deceased). Israeli rabbinical authorities regularly invoke Old Testament edicts to justify the slaughter of Palestinian children.
These outbursts and attitudes may seem extreme but they are perfectly consonant with Israel’s racist political culture. It is precisely this reason why Israel should be completely disarmed and prevented from stockpiling WMDs ever again.
From the perspective of the United States, the world’s sole superpower, Iran is a threat to its global empire which aims to subdue and subjugate all states and peoples whose resources it covets. America wants to dominate land, air, sea, space and even cyberspace in accordance with its ‘full spectrum dominance’ doctrine. As the only country on earth to have ever used atomic weapons against a wartime enemy’s civilian population – Japan during the Second World War – the US is therefore the number one war criminal nation which should be banned from having any WMDs whatsoever.
America has hundreds of military bases throughout the Middle East all eyeing Iran. Since 9/11 it has had ground and air forces stationed on and conducting major operations in two states bordering Iran – Iraq and Afghanistan. From the perspective of Iran, the US is a gigantic threat which could strike their nation any time it chooses, having a plethora of areas from which to launch an attack.
Most of the sane world views the US as the greatest threat to global peace and stability. From Iran’s vantage point, the US is a mortal enemy to their sovereignty and well-being as a nation, taking over from its imperial step-father Britain.
A cursory look at recent history sufficiently reveals who the real ‘threat’ is, and it isn’t Iran. Unlike its foes, Iran has not invaded another country in hundreds of years. However, Iran has been a perpetual victim of Western imperialism.
During the course of World War I, Iran was invaded and occupied by both Russia and Britain who plundered its food and natural resources to facilitate their war efforts. According to historian Stephen Sniegoski, the joint Russian/British occupation of Iran in World War I directly and indirectly caused the deaths of between 8 and 10 million Iranians who mostly perished from starvation after the invaders looted the country’s food supplies to feed their hungry soldiers. “As many as eight to ten million Persians perished because of starvation and disease during the famine of 1917-1919, making it the greatest calamity in Persia’s history,” writes Sniegoski. He continues: “What caused a famine of such horrific proportions? The Russians and, even more so, the British used Iran as a base for their war effort; and [historian Mohammad Gholi] Majd finds the British to be principally responsible for the famine.”
After starving to death a good portion of Iran’s population, Britain and Russia once again invaded Iran during the Second World War, seizing most of her natural resources for a second time. British companies had controlled much of Iran’s oil production since the First World War, refusing the indigenous population the right to prosper form their own resources.
In 1951, the Iranian politician Mohammed Mossadegh won democratic elections and promised to nationalize Iran’s oil sector, thereby diminishing the profits of the British exploiters. Because of his anti-colonial policies, Britain’s MI6 called on its American counterparts in the CIA to organize a military coup against Mossadegh. In 1953, the CIA staged terrorist attacks that were blamed on Mossadegh’s supporters, bribed Iranian government and military officials to turn against him, created and distributed anti-Mossadegh propaganda, organized mass protests, and committed other heinous acts of sabotage.
The CIA’s murderous and illegal campaign successfully took down the democratic, populist leader and installed the brutal monarch Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in his place. The Shah promptly re-instated the West as the imperial overlord and master of Iran’s oil and natural resources. Together, America and Britain propped up the dictator and trained his lethal security force SAVAK which repressed the Iranian people for decades.
The Shah’s iron rule came to an end in 1979 when he was overthrown in a popular uprising known as the Islamic Revolution. During the early stages of the rebellion, anti-Shah student activists took dozens of American officials hostage at the US embassy in Tehran. The Iranians seized the embassy because it was considered a ‘den of spies,’ which proved true. Like most US embassies worldwide, it functioned as the headquarters of CIA covert action in the country. Shortly after the Shah was deposed, the popular religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran triumphantly after 15 years in exile and was declared Supreme Leader of the new Islamic Republic of Iran.
Washington sought to punish Iran for breaking free from its control. It did so by backing Saddam Hussein’s attack and invasion of Iran in 1980, providing the Iraqi dictator with all manner of military, diplomatic and economic support. Hussein’s chemical weapons attacks against the Iranians and the Kurds of northern Iraq were fully aided and abetted by Washington.
The Iran-Iraq war lasted eight long and bloody years. Around 500,000 Iranians and a similar number of Iraqis lost their lives in the conflict. In the latter years of the conflict, the Iranians gained the upper hand and not only pushed back Hussein’s forces out of Iran, but made a successful drive deep into the heart of Iraq. On the cusp of defeat, Hussein looked to his American patrons for help, and it came in the form of a US warship which parked itself off the coast of Iran in the Straight of Hormuz.
On July 3, 1988, the American naval vessel, the USS Vincennes, deliberately shot down an Iranian civilian airliner – Iran Air Flight 655 – killing all 290 civilian passengers, 66 of whom were children. The US terror attack was effectively a death threat to Tehran, implying that if Iran continued to advance against America’s puppet regime in Baghdad, then the US military would start shooting their planes out of the sky. The incident forced the Iranians to come to the negotiating table with Hussein whose regime survived the war as a result of US pressure on Tehran.
History testifies to the reality that Western governments have stifled Iranian self-determination for more than 100 years, perpetually violating its sovereignty, perpetrating and sponsoring acts of violence and terrorism against it, and sucking dry its resources for the benefit of avaricious Western elites.
The West continues to inflict injury upon Iran and its people today, maliciously undermining their developing economy by way of economic sanctions. This is done partly because Iran refuses to submit to Western economic servitude and also because they have maintained a principled stance against the bandit state of Israel, which the West supports unconditionally.
Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran has paved its own path towards freedom, prosperity and victory over the oppressor nations who seek to hold her hostage and keep her prostrate.
Copyright 2015 Brandon Martinez / Non-Aligned Media