Wednesday, February 29, 2012

America: Iran is not the enemy, its the economy!

The fetish of certain hawkish elements in the American establishment for enemies - mostly imagined, sometimes real - remains undiminished.

Their latest enemy #1 is ofcourse Iran. Reasons?

First, Iran is set on a unstoppable course to develop nuclear bombs and drop it on Israel and the US. Second, it exports terror around the world and third that it supports brutal regimes and meddles in its neighbours' affairs.

There is no doubt that Iran has embarked on a nuclear program and there can be little doubt that the reasons are to develop a nuclear weapons capability. That they may end up using it for peaceful, domestic purposes such as nuclear power may be incidental.

So yes, they will eventually develop a nuclear bomb. But does that mean they will drop it over Israel or the US? We are told that the leadership in Iran - a couple of "maniacs" - is itching to wipe off Israel from the face of the earth. We were told the same things about the "maniacs" in the former Soviet Union, most of whom are now in their graves. And ofcourse, these "maniacs" are total "idiots" as well. They have no clue that Israel has nuclear capabilities that is far superior including armed submarines that can instantly inflict far greater annihilation in Iran, in response to an Iranian first strike. These "maniacs" obviously have not heard of the word "deterrent". That Iran will strike first, if and when it develops its nuclear bomb is entirely speculative.

Even if the above argument is not acceptable, I have an issue purely on the grounds of basic principles. What gives America, Israel or any of the current nuclear powers the right to stop Iran or any other country for that matter the right to develop its nuclear program? And for those countries that do not have nuclear capabilities, what right do they have to stop Iran or any other country for that matter and at the same time let the current nuclear powers continue to retain their capabilities? If it is good for one, it cannot be bad for others. If even one nation can have it, then every other sovereign nation must have the right to decide if they want it or not. And if it is bad for one, then it is bad for everyone else. Either the hypocrisy or the exclusivity must stop, we cannot have both.

Now, let's examine the claim that Iran exports terror. The persons drumming up this claim are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ably supported by certain sections of the media in the west. The basis of this claim are the three recent attacks on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi, Bangkok and in Tbilisi. There is little doubt these were carried out under instructions from Teheran. Within two days of the attack, Thailand charged two Iranians in what Thai intelligence officials said was a botched attempt to attack Israeli diplomats. There is no case for condoning these attacks, period. And then a few months ago, there was the bizarre incident of an Iranian Manssor Arbabsiar and his alleged handler Shakuri, who is described as a member of the Quds force, a special unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, recruiting the Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, on US soil. Duh!

Apart from these two incidents - one proven and most likely provoked by the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists and the other unproven to date, there is very little that can be blamed on the Iranians. Over the past decade, there have been several hundred suicide bomb attacks around the world by Saudis, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Pakistanis, but never by an Iranian. so on the basis of these two isolated events, one of which is not proven, and the other an obvious (non-condonable) tit-for-tat, should we rush to paint Iran as a terror state, an exporter of terror to the world?

The third argument is that Iran meddles in the affairs of its neighbours. That it arms and supports the oppressive Assad regime in Syria. That the Hizbullah and Hamas are its proxies. That it does not have good relations with regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey. Most countries with regional and global ambitions have their "dirty tricks" departments, so does Iran. But it must be left to the affected countries to deal with Iran as they deem fit. In those cases, where they are unable to do so, the US must necessarily be part of a global consensus on how to deal with Iran. Unilateral action will only serve to box the US into a situation where the final recourse is military action.

The recent filibuster may help garner a few votes in the coming elections, but we have already seen the devastating effects of the flip side - galloping increase in the price of oil. So, to all the hawks out there, a grim reminder - America's biggest enemy and most clear and present threat is from its economy. A relentless war waged against a failing economy is what the American people deserve, not a third (after Afghanistan and Iraq) mindless, thankless war.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished a book written by Robert Ludlum, Sigma protocol. There is clear evidence that the American and Israeli political establishment work together to keep their arms industry going.US and Israel needs another bogieman to point to after Saddam, now its Ahmadijinad Iran's PM. so that the military budget keeps increasing and Congress clears it without any fuss.