American secretary of offence Chuck Hagel kicked off his Middle East tour this week with outrageous warmongering threats towards Iran, while at the same time giving a license for more state terrorism from Washington’s Israeli rogue regime.
Hagel’s cozying up to Israeli partners-in-crime nails the lie that the Obama White House is somehow at odds with Tel Aviv over Middle East policy and Iran in particular. Nothing could be further from the truth. Washington is as wired for war as ever, and this belligerent impetus comes from Washington, not the rogue entity in Tel Aviv.
In what can only be described as a grotesque display of lawlessness and incendiary rhetoric, Hagel declared Iran a “real threat” and said that the US would stand by the Israeli state if the latter chose to launch a preemptive military strike on the Islamic Republic. “The bottom line is that Iran is a threat, a real threat,” Hagel told reporters while on board his weekend flight to the Middle East.
Hagel flew into Tel Aviv bearing gifts worth $10 billion in the latest American military hardware, including upgraded precision-guided missiles, stealth radar equipment, V22 Osprey transport warplanes and the giant 135-KC refueling aerial tankers.
The arms deal “sends a clear message to Iran” that the military option is on the table, warned Hagel. The items in the weapons inventory convey a thinly veiled threat of attack on Iran. The Israeli state, which has a wanton criminal track record for unilateral air strikes against neighbouring countries over many decades, will now be in a stronger position to conduct bombing raids on geographically more remote Iran, as a result of the latest longer-range capabilities bestowed by its US patron.
And it’s not just the Tel Aviv regime that the US is arming to the teeth. The Sunni dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – sworn enemies of Shia Iran in their proxy war-making in Syria and Iraq – are also to enjoy the latest military munificence from Washington. Reports say that the $10bn arms supply is to include air-to-ground missiles for Saudi Arabia and F-16 fighter jets for the UAE.
What this amounts to is an escalation of all-out war threat towards Iran from Washington and its regional client regimes. This display of unprovoked militarism by the US towards Iran constitutes an act of aggression, which is in itself a war crime. Iran’s government should
consider filing a lawsuit.
The crime is all the more damning because it has no rational or material foundation. It is a gratuitous threat of violence against a sovereign, peaceful country based on paranoid misinformation and downright calumny. Of course, nothing should surprise us about US or Israeli criminality and state terrorism given the recent genocides in Afghanistan and Iraq, and crimes against humanity in Lebanon and Libya and ongoing in Palestine, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia, among other places.
While pathetically fawning over his Israeli hosts, Hagel reiterated the hackneyed lies about Iran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians must be prevented from developing that capacity to build a nuclear weapon and deliver it,” said Hagel. This is disgraceful, asinine deception hardly worth repeating. But for the record, the US secretary of offence went on to say: “Iran presents a threat in its nuclear program and Israel will make its decisions that Israel must make to protect itself and defend itself.”
What is disturbing about this trope is that one of America’s senior military chiefs – who takes decisions on whether to go to war or not – is either telling barefaced lies or is woefully ignorant of his country’s own intelligence estimates.
Only last week in Washington, the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told a Senate Committee that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon. This is a well-established assessment of Iran’s nuclear program, which has been made previously by over a dozen US intelligence organizations, going back several years. Clapper also told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he did not know whether Iran’s leadership would in the future decide to build a nuclear weapon, but the fact is that the country did not have a nuclear weapons program now, nor was Iran pursuing an aggressive regional policy.
To that assessment, we can add the clear, unambiguous statements by Iranian leaders that the country has no intention to pursue the construction of nuclear arms out of deeply held ethical reasons and also out of many practical considerations. Only last week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while on an official visit to Africa, denounced the age of nuclear weapons as a relic of the past. However, he added that Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy, as for all nations.
So, if US militarism towards Iran is not justified or credible based on the false claims of nuclear threat, what is it really about? It harks back to the old chestnut, regime change. Many people know this already perhaps, but what seems necessary is to expose this agenda, and the American criminality behind it, beyond any doubt to the wider world and the Western public in particular.
Recent remarks from John Kerry, the US secretary of state, about tightening (illegal) economic sanctions on Iran and the possible influence the US intends that this will have on the outcome of the Iranian presidential elections in June has to be seen in the context of a multi-pronged offensive tactic. The American-backed proxy genocidal war on Iran’s main regional ally Syria is also part of this game plan.
The latest stepped-up threats of criminal war on Iran – under the spurious pretext of nuclear weapons and “Israeli security” – are evidently part of the wider effort by Washington to pile pressure on the Iranian people and their government. Criminal, heinous, and most likely futile, but nevertheless Washington feels that it can force Iran to buckle under the weight of political, economic and military war.