Monday, November 07, 2005

Iran in Driver’s Seat

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayatt 05/11/05

Words don’t kill. Bullets kill.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke about wiping Israel off the map, and his words did not kill anyone. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon does not talk about wiping Iran or any other country off the map, but he kills children almost every day.

I would have accepted the condemnation of Ahmadinejad’s words if it had been preceded by a condemnation of Sharon’s deeds. And I insist that the words were an expression of sentiment rather than policy.

I write as both an Arab and a British citizen, and I note that in commenting on the words of the Iranian president, Prime Minister Tony Blair found them “totally unacceptable” when he never describes the killing by Israeli soldiers of Palestinian schoolgirls as “totally unacceptable” . I also don’t recall that he felt “revulsion” at the killing of the schoolgirls as he felt on hearing the words of Ahmadinejad.

Mr. Blair claimed that Western public opinion (which he certainly does not represent) would demand action over Iranian remarks, but did not specify what action, although press reports speculated that he sought U.N. sanctions. Every British and American official comment, however, spoke about added resolve to deny Iran nuclear weapons because a country that wants to wipe another off the map cannot be trusted with such weapons.
The American and European concern over Iran is a fraction of my concern over Israel and its nuclear arsenal in the hands of an extremist and racist government. If the US and the European Union seek to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone they would have my full support. But if Iran is singled out, and Israel is left with its arsenal, then all Muslims would side with Iran.

President Ahmadinejad did not say he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. His exact words were “as the Imam (Khomeini) said, Israel must be wiped off the map.” As such he was reiterating an established position of the Islamic Republic, and not forging new policy. And he did not go back on his and Khomeini’s words when he joined large demonstration in Tehran calling for the death of America and Israel.

What can the US and its British poodle do about Iran?

Nothing. Nothing at all. George Bush lost the war in Iraq as much as Saddam Hussein lost it, but he still has to recognize the loss and admit it. His administration is as much in the dock before the American grand jury, as Saddam Hussein is in the dock in Baghdad before his Iraqi people and the whole world.

War usually ends with a victor and a vanquished. Not in Iraq, where both sides to the war lost, and a third side, i.e. Iran, won from the outside.

The American helped Saddam in the eighties to thwart Iran’s effort to export the revolution. Then they fought and defeated him two years ago, and offered Iraq as a gift to Iran.

Donald Rumsfeld was wrong to visit Saddam and help build the beast who invaded Kuwait and threatened all his neighbors, and was wrong again in fighting him after he was neutered and represented no danger to anyone, near or far.

For years after the Iran revolution the US kept hoping that Iran would return to the fold. The US’s friendship of some Arabs and enmity for Iran are both against its desire. It took years and years before it dawned on the US and Israel that they lost Iran forever. (Israel’s role in the Iran-contra Scandal is a testimony to its lingering hopes for Iran).

Now I hear talk, or rubbish, about the differences between Presidents Ahmadinejad, Mohammed Khatemi, his predecessor, and Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, who lost to him in the recent elections. They are different, but a common point among the three is the determination that Iran acquire a “peaceful” nuclear capacity. The present nuclear program is not the work of Ahmadinejad who’s been in power for a few weeks, but of his predecessors.

At the UN the Iranian President referred to Israel as the “Zionist entity” when Arab leaders were referring to it as Israel. He rejects its very existence and as he is democratically elected and much stronger in his country than Arab leaders in theirs, he is immune to pressure and will not mince his words.

Objectively and reservedly, I say that the US has made Iran the most powerful country in the Middle East, even stronger than the US itself in the region. The US cannot quell the minority Sunni insurgency in Iraq, and one can only imagine how it will fair against a Shite uprising at the instigation of Iran, not only in Iraq but in the whole region, and with Hizbullah at the doors Israel with 20,000 would be “martyrs” and 20,000 rockets, not one of which is the primitive Al Qassam.

And with oil prices at record high, Iran has economic elbow too. It is in a position to threaten, and not to be threatened.

Will Israel attack the Iranian nuclear facilities to drag the US into a military confrontation with Iran? Rather than answer a hypothetical question I offer a few facts.

- Words don’t kill. Bullets kill.
- Iran is stronger in its region than the powers threatening it, and the position of its president against Israel is supported by an overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world.
- If one country deserves to be kicked out of the UN it is Israel which voted into office a war criminal who kills schoolchildren.
- The US will not solve its problem with 1.2 billion Muslims around the world until it distances itself from Israel. All other talk is as false as Sharon’s Biblical assertions at the UN to Palestinian lands.


Blogger Brook said...

Khazen follows a familar Arab path here. I will say I am no fan of Sharon and think the Israeli's behave dispicably at times. Having said that, the Palestinians are morally bankrupt and totally disrespectful of human life. This includes Arab as well as Israeli lives, as many Arab-Israeli's die in the suicide bombings perpetrated against Israel. Khazen has no words of compassion for these innocent victims, of course.

Arabs living within the borders of Iran, as well as Kurds, have been subjected to exrteme brutality, torture, abuse, and repression by Ahmenajad's government. This doesn't concern Khazen at all. When Iranian security forces drag the dead body of an Arab through their streets as a warning, Khazen yawns and stretches. When Palestinian school girls are killed by Israeli's though, suddenly he's concerned.

Khazen, why is your compassion so selective?

As for Iran, America will deal with them once the diplomatic track is exhausted. The risk of a nuclear-armed Iran is too great. The Iranian people hate their repressive government as much as they did the Shah's regime (maybe more) and there is a very real risk of counter-revolution in that country. It is inevitable.

What will a nuclear-armed apocalyptic radical regime do when faced with ultimate defeat? It's too hard to predict and thus too risky to allow. Some inside the Iranian regime are so radical, they may decide a non-Islamic Iran doesn't deserve to exist and turn the nukes on their own people. It's not an unlikely scenario.

8:46 AM  

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