After engaging in counterproductive conflicts in Vietnam,
Iraq and Afghanistan, and creating havoc in Nicaragua, Somalia, Caribbean
Islands, Central America, and a host of other places by supporting unpopular
leaders and governments, the U.S. is headed towards dispatching its sons and
daughters into another venture with the usual reason -- to save their freedom.
policies can be shaped so that Iran
becomes a force for peace, the present trajectory of policies tends towards
another counterproductive and destructive engagement. In its descriptions of
what constitutes a malevolent Iran,
the U.S. State Department defines itself. By demolishing the myths that U.S.
governments dramatize, we can more clearly observe a path for peace and
stability in the Middle East.
The State Department Press Briefing on Terrorism Report, August 5, 2010, depicts Iran as the
leading supporter of international terrorism. Why?
The report states �Iran remained the principal supporter of
groups that are implacably opposed to the Middle East Peace Process,� meaning
Hamas and Hezbollah.
If the principal supporter of groups �implacably opposed to
the Middle East Peace Process,� equates to support of international terrorism,
support of implacable Israel
positions the U.S.
as international terrorism�s leading supporter. Charges that Iran is arming
Hamas don�t seem relevant. Hamas has not displayed significant quantities of
useful weapons, and in the aftermath of the Gaza war, the IDF did not display any
In response to a question of why Hamas is classified as an
international terrorist organization if it has not killed any Americans, a
State Department spokesperson haltingly stated; �Hamas, in the past, has killed
Americans,� without specifying who, where and when. American travelers, who
were in the wrong place at the wrong time, have been killed in bombing attacks
but never specifically targeted.
Then there is Hezbollah. The U.S. State Department claims
that �Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support to Lebanese
Hizballah and has trained thousands of Hizballah fighters at camps in Iran. Since the
end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has assisted Hizballah in
rearming, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.�
These statements are undoubtedly true but are understandable
and highly exaggerated. The Sh�ia in Lebanon and Iran are closely related by
ancestry and by Lebanese Sh�ia cleric travels to Iran to attend schools of
supplied funds to rehabilitate a Lebanon destroyed by Israeli
attacks. Not helping their relations would be considered odd.
Arms! Training! Hezbollah has mainly defensive weapons; no
aircraft -- no tanks, no guided missiles, no fleet -- only anti-tank Russian
missiles, some anti-aircraft weapons and the famous rockets, which are mainly
non-guided Katyusha, and are more revenge weapons than effective offensive
armaments. After Israel
seized an arms cache heading to Lebanon,
administration quickly accused Iran
of supplying the arms. Britain
was guarded, saying there is only a �suggestion that Iran has been caught illegally
In response to a similar question asked of Hamas, �Why is
Hezbollah classified as an international terrorist organization if it has not
killed any Americans?� a State Department spokesperson replied; �Hezbollah, in
the past, has killed Americans.�
Hezbollah, in the past? Americans were killed 25 years ago,
during the early 1980s in Lebanon by militants who claimed they were avenging
the killings of Lebanese civilians by U.S. forces, and these actions (25 years
ago) occurred before the formation of an incipient Hezbollah. The perpetrators
have never been identified as definitely being Hezbollah, or acting under
orders of the Lebanese Sh�ia organization.
Meanwhile the United States gives Israel two
billion dollars each year to purchase the latest weapons, and although by U.S. law the
weapons are to be used only for defensive purposes, the fighter bombers,
drones, tank provisions and other armaments are used in severely punishing
Which nation has killed the most Americans outside of a war
zone? Answer is Israel,
whose military has killed, wounded and apprehended many American civilians who
have tried to assist Palestinians from being evicted from their land. The
Israeli Air Force murdered 34 U.S.
naval personnel in an attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in international waters on June 8, 1967, during the Six
The U.S State Department continues to dig itself in deeper: �Despite
its pledge to support the stabilization of Iraq, Iranian authorities continued
to provide lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance,
to Iraqi Sh�ia militant groups that targeted U.S. and Iraqi forces.� All said
with no proof furnished!
started the civil strife in Iraq,
is in the middle of the civil strife, polarized Iraq�s religious factions and
then complains that it is a target in the civil strife. If the U.S. is
concerned with dubious Iran
support that might have caused American deaths in Iraq, imagine how Iranians feel about
military assistance to Saddam Hussein in Iraq�s war with Iran, which
caused hundreds of thousands of Iranian deaths.
Finally our tour arrives at Afghanistan. According to the same
State Department, �Iran�s Qods Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on
small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at
least 2006, Iran
has arranged arms shipments to select Taliban members, including small arms and
associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets,
and plastic explosives.�
No proof shown and hardly likely that proof can be provided.
has been a sworn enemy of the Taliban since the Taliban came to life, and is
the nation that contributed most funds to the forming of the Karzai government,
only to be rebuffed by the U.S.
Is it logical that suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the Islamic Republic
would start supporting a sworn Sunni enemy?
Gareth Porte, in an article, US Uses False Taliban Aid
Charge to Pressure Iran,
anti-war.com, July 03, 2009,
refutes the State Department�s charges:
�The only explicit U.S. claim of specific evidence
relating to an Iranian arms shipment to insurgents in Afghanistan has
been refuted by data collected by the Pentagon�s own office on improvised
�In an April 2008 Pentagon news briefing, Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said in reference to Iranian
authorities, �[W]e�re seeing some evidence that they�re supporting the Taliban
When pressed by reporters for the evidence, however, Mullen admitted that there
was no �constant stream of arms supply at this point� and that the basis for
the charge was primarily �evidence some time ago� that Iranians were providing
amour-piercing EFPs (explosively formed projectiles) to the Taliban.
�But in response to a query from this writer last July, the
Pentagon�s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO),
which is responsible for tracking the use of roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan,
provided the first hard data on EFPs found in Afghanistan. The data showed that
there was no connection on which to base even an inferential connection between
those EFPs and Iran.�
An aggressive and powerful nation classifies Iran as part of
an axis-of-evil, has troops on both its borders and maintains an armada in the Persian Gulf. In 1988, the patrolling USS Vincennes shot
down Iranian Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf,
killing all 290 civilian passengers. Shouldn�t Iran be anxious? What would any
weak and powerless nation, who felt threatened, do? Develop a nuclear
deterrence of course. Has the U.S.
ever thought that its presence and actions have led the Islamic Republic to
pursue the doomsday bomb?
Despite the lack of any undue Iranian disturbances to a
peaceful world or direct contributions to international terrorism, and despite
the U.S. endless wars, direct stimulation of international terrorism and close
support to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, nations that have previously supported
the Taliban and have housed international terrorists, the U.S. State Department
accuses Iran of being the leading supporter of international terrorism and of
destabilizing the Middle East, while it characterizes itself as a force for
peace and freedom. And the American public believes these distorted
policies towards Iran
are the shortest route to endless violence and instability, what are the more
proper procedures for establishing a constructive path to peace and stability?
Establishing peace in the Middle East
dictates the resolution of at least three issues:
(1) Keeping Israel
from controlling the debates and from constantly fanning the flames of hatred
and war. It�s not about Israel.
It�s about the Arab world and the western world. Yet, it�s always about Israel.
(2) Resolving the Sh�ia/ Sunni divide, or at least stop
making it grow. The author�s article: Reconciliation of Sunni and Sh�ia, discusses this recommendation:
�The Sunni/Sh�ia divide, portrayed as a religious conflict,
is actually an economic conflict. Caliphs who centralized rule of each of the
two Muslim sects no longer exist as temporal leaders, and only spiritual Imams
determine divisions. Differences between the two Muslim groups on Mohammad�s
succession, Muslim prayer and Koran interpretation incite resentment between
Muslim�s extreme religious leaders, but are not sufficiently significant for
many of the 1.2 billion Muslims to waste their time and energy in futile
battles. A Sunni Muslim is defined by adherence to the five pillars of Islam.
Sh�ia Muslims follow similar principals and are therefore �fellow� Muslims. The
masses of Islam are no different than the masses of Protestants who don�t care
to whom and how their neighbor prays.�
�Similar to Northern
Ireland, where Irish Catholics protested
against their second class citizenship and economic persecution by English
Protestants, the deprived Sh�ia minorities (majority in Bahrain)
legitimately protest their economic subservience. Hezbollah has led the venture
to achieve Sh�ia equality in Lebanon,
and due to their efforts, despite western propaganda, Lebanon is
evolving to a more democratic, egalitarian and stable state. Anti-Shiitism is
one of the most punishing of the anti-isms and is aggravated by a western
world, which excuses nefarious policies by its preferences. Recognition of the
rights of the Sh�ia will diminish the Sunni/Sh�ia divide.�
(3) Stop treating Iran as a cause of friction and
solicit its support. Its religious extremism and internal politics don�t please
western democracies, but Iran
is much more tolerant than Saudi
Arabia and much more democratic than almost
all other Arab nations.
Iran�s principal negative quality is its fundamentalist
government. The government doesn�t sit well with its own people or with the
world community, and its retrograde nature serves to make U.S. actions
seem credible. Despite U.S. State Department rhetoric, Iran has no detrimental
effect on the U.S. domestic economy or legitimate U.S. overseas interests -- just
the opposite -- both Iraq�s Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, and Afghanistan�s
President Hamid Karzai have been quoted that Iran is a positive force in their
�Why doesn�t the U.S., which is concerned with
nations in which U.S.
troops battle, acknowledge that Iran
can contribute to Middle East stability? The
reason is simple. The U.S.
poses the fundamentalist Iranian government, which is much less fundamentalist
than the Saudi Arabian government, as a threat to Middle
East peace and to western civilization. These threats must be
countered, and the U.S.
has volunteered to counter it. This altruism permits the U.S. to have a
fleet in the Persian Gulf and burgeoning
military bases in Iraq.�
The U.S. Administration�s Secret Love for
Iran, Alternative Insight, October, 2007
Iran cannot possibly use a nuclear weapon for offensive
purposes nor does it have any reason to do that. The Mullahs have never
attacked any country. By mutual cooperation with Iran, the Afghan and Iraq problems
probably could be greatly reduced, if not resolved.
The irrepressible and enigmatic President. Ahmadinejad might
have actually gotten it correct: �Today the defense of Iran is
identical with the defense of the existence of humanity.�
Dan Lieberman is
the editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter. He can be
reached at email@example.com.