Selling war against Iran Propaganda campaign portrays Iran as a pariah state
By GHALI HASSAN*
(17 February 2006) -- WHILE U.S. forces and their allies are continuing the destruction of Iraq and sadistic torture of Iraqi civilians, the phantom of an Iran "threat" is being amplified across the world. Speculations about possible U.S.-Israel attacks on Iran have reached a stage of war propaganda by Western media and Western pundits. The aims are: to demonise Iran and keep the public in state of war, and create a smokescreen to divert the public from greater war crimes in Iraq and Palestine.
Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq turned "anti-war" activist wrote on 05 April, 2005 that in June 2005 there will be a "massive aerial attack against Iran." Ritter alleged that his information come from "someone close to the Bush administration." When Ritter asked his source: "Why June 2005?" His answer was that, the "Israelis are concerned that if the Iranians get their nuclear enrichment programme up and running, then there will be no way to stop the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. June 2005 is seen as the decisive date." We all know that June had passed and there was no "massive aerial attack against Iran." Let's hope Ritter's next prediction of an attack on Iran will be wrong too.
Gerard Baker, the Times Online U.S. editor is more bellicose. Baker wrote on 27 January, 2006: "The unimaginable but ultimately inescapable truth is that we are going to have to get ready for war with Iran.... If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler." It should be remembered that, in 2003, Baker was part of the international criminal gangs that advocated and later celebrated the illegal war against Iraq.
Mike Whitney, a knowledgeable critic of U.S. policy, predicted in recent internet postings that "Iran will be attacked without pretext and without congressional or UN authorization invoking the executive authority to prosecute the war on terror by 'all necessary and appropriate means'." The fraudulent "war on terror" is the usual cliche that justifies every U.S. attack on a sovereign nation. Citing Zoltan Grossman, Whitney added: "Khuzestan [the province neighbouring Basra] will become the next front in the war on terror and the lynchpin for prevailing in the global resource war. If the Bush administration can sweep into the region (under the pretext disarming Iran's nuclear programs) and put Iran's prodigious oil wealth under U.S. control, the dream of monopolizing Middle East oil will have been achieved." However, Whitney failed to tell the reader how a dying sardine fish sandwiched between two hard rocks in a rough sea will extract itself alive. And will the people of Iran welcome the Bush gang? We know the Iraqis didn't.
The ongoing fabricated Iran "crisis" is nothing more and nothing less than a "collection of misinformation, disinformation, misunderstanding, miscalculation, egregious prognostications, boo-boos, and the occasional just plain lies," wrote Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky. This has allowed the U.S. and Israel to "mobilize the UN and NATO allies to focus on, browbeat, and threaten Iran to abandon its [peaceful] nuclear activities or face some kind of retaliation," wrote Edward Herman and David Peterson.
This somehow "successful" propaganda campaign which portrays Iran as a pariah state and a "threat" is based on a distorted and carefully orchestrated U.S.-Israeli propaganda. Iran's legitimate right to acquire nuclear energy through peaceful research is deliberately ignored, even as the U.S. and Israel threaten to attack Iran with nuclear weapons. Iran is being singled out and threatened with destruction by the U.S. and Israel is absent in Western media. In addition, Iran's fear of U.S. and Israeli attacks may motivate Iran to build a deterrent -- similar to that of North Korea -- against this real threat also remains hidden from the public.
According to the Geneva Convention and the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is not doing anything illegal. There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and Iran has not threatened anyone. By contrast, the U.S., Britain and France are promoting the spread of nuclear weapons by supporting the expansion of Israel's and India's weapons production and encouraging Pakistan and China to do likewise. In fact, the U.S. is openly increasing the threat of nuclear war and violence.
Furthermore, the recent attack on Muslims in Europe, who were rightly protesting against the rise of European fascism and anti-Muslim hatred -- shown in the depiction the Prophet Mohammed as a "terrorist" -- is a racist campaign to incite racism and justify war of aggression against Muslims world-wide. It has nothing to do with "free speech." There is no "free speech" in Europe; it has to do with colonial oppression of minorities. In addition to the huge propaganda campaign against Iran, Western politicians, Western media and pundits have used the demonstrations to promote the war against Iran. At the same time, the U.S. and its European vassals are unjustifiably accusing Iran and Syria of "inflaming the situation" in the Muslim world. The purpose of the current war propaganda is a deliberate distortion designed to fool the world, soften public opinion and start a psychological war against the people of Iran before an actual war is started.
As a result of this war propaganda, a majority of people in the West, Americans in particular, not only see a U.S. war of aggression against Iran is inevitable, but also support it. A recent Gallup Poll reveals that Americans not only think Iran will develop nuclear weapons but also use them against the U.S. The poll also reveals eight out of 10 U.S. respondents predicted Iran would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists to attack the U.S. or Israel. Six out of 10 respondents said Iran itself would deploy nuclear weapons against the U.S. Furthermore, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found that 57 per cent of Americans favour military intervention in Iran. The poll suggests that the crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq have not turned the American people against the possibility of military actions elsewhere in the Middle East.
A report by the Oxford Research Group revealed that any bombing of Iran by U.S. forces, or by their Israeli allies, would result in the unnecessary death of many innocent lives. "A U.S. military attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon as well as the United States and Iran, with the possibility of western Gulf States being involved as well. Military deaths in (the) first wave of attacks against Iran would be expected to be in the thousands, especially with attacks on air bases and Revolutionary Guard facilities," said the report by Paul Rogers of the University of Bradford. "Civilian deaths would be in the many hundreds at least," said the report. "If the war evolved into a wider conflict, primarily to pre-empt or counter Iranian responses, the casualties would eventually be much higher." The death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children appears not enough to satisfy Westerners appetite for protracted violence.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, U.S. occupying forces and their vassals continue their murderous campaign. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been murdered by the occupying forces. Tens of thousands more have been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured to death. Ongoing humiliation, sadistic torture, rape and abuse of Iraqi civilians, including children as young as 8 years old, is a daily "sport" practiced by U.S. soldiers and their vassals. "The extent of the abuse shown in the photos suggests that the torture and abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib in 2004 is much worse than is currently understood," reported the Australian Special Broadcast Services (SBS) TV. According to producer Mike Carey of SBS TV, the new photos show that "homicide, torture, criminal abuses, rapes and sexual humiliation" of Iraqi civilians are common practices by the occupying forces. "We actually did not broadcast some of the photographs because we thought they were too extreme," added Carey. Iraqis' human rights have never been violated in such criminal ways before. No wonder why so many people around the world have resented the criminal nature of the Bush-Blair "shared values."
Outside the countless U.S. and British-run prisons and fortified torture chambers, which the so-called "sovereign" Iraqi government has absolutely no control over, the Iraqi economy had fallen below that of pre-war levels (Financial Times, 16/02/06). The living conditions of ordinary Iraqis have worsened many folds since the 2003 illegal and criminal invasion of the country. Iraq which once enjoyed a reasonable standard of living is descended into extreme poverty today. Illegitimate and fraudulent elections were cleverly used as a cover up to legitimise not only the Occupation, but also the presence of violent militia groups and U.S.-trained death squads brought into Iraq on the backs of the invading forces.
Fratricidal killings and murder of innocent Iraqis, including the deliberate murder of thousands of prominent politicians, scientists and professionals by U.S.-trained and financed death squads and criminal gangs have instilled fear and terror among the Iraqi population. The independent British journalist Felicity Arbuthnot wrote recently: "In the distorted horrors of today's Iraq, many never make it home: disappeared, kidnapped, shot by the occupying forces for driving, walking, and playing, in familiar venues. Iraqi lives are the earth's cheapest." The number of Iraqis killed by U.S. forces has increased dramatically as a result of U.S. self-induced immunity from prosecution. In addition, Western-induced corruptions and looting of the country's wealth have plummeted and are destroying the Iraqi society. All these war crimes are masquerading in the West as "freedom" and "democracy" that the Iraqi people have long been denied.
Further away from Iraq, in Palestine, Israel is speeding up its overt theft of Palestinian land in contravention of international laws and UN resolutions. Israel has just "completed a process of sealing off the eastern sector of the West Bank from the remainder of the West Bank. Some 2,000,000 Palestinians, residents of the West Bank, are prohibited from entering the area, which constitutes around one-third of the West Bank, and includes the Jordan Rift, the area of the Dead Sea shoreline and the eastern slopes of the West Bank mountains," reported the Israeli journalist Amira Hass of Israel's daily, Ha'aretz. "The prohibition also applies to thousands of residents of towns and villages in the northern West Bank like Tubas and Tamun, most of whose lands are in the Jordan Valley, and some with residents who have been living there for many years," added Hass.
In addition, Israel has encircled and isolated Jerusalem from the rest of the Occupied Territories, making the creation of a viable Palestinian "state" impossible. More than 3.5 million Palestinians are living in prison under unbearable apartheid system of control, checkpoints, road blocks and walls. And with the election of Hamas, Israel is increasing the terror against the Palestinians from all sides. Thousands of Palestinian men, women and children are still imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces without charge. Of course, Western governments, the U.S. in particular, provided the financial "aid" and political support for Israel's terror and violations of international law.
Let's hope that those who think the next war on Iran is inevitable are wrong, and that common sense will prevail over violence. furthermore, in its entire history of aggression, the U.S. chose its defenceless targets carefully. Iran may be able to defend itself.
It also depends on people in the West and the American people in particular. Are they happy with war crimes committed in their name? Do they want to live in a peaceful world with the rest of humanity or continue on the path to war, violence and destruction?
Source: globalresearch.ca, Centre for Research on Globalization
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