by Zafar Bangash (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 6, Ramadan, 1433)
US provocations in the Persian Gulf by amassing warships, planes and missiles could easily trigger a war with Islamic Iran
“Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” The above quote aptly captures US behavior toward Israel and Iran today. Politicians of every stripe fall over themselves to do more for their favorite country — Israel — even while 46 million Americans live in abject poverty. At the other end of the spectrum, American politicians demand more action against Iran based on the completely false claim that it is making nuclear weapons. No evidence has been found but that has not deterred a bipartisan group of 44 US Senators from sending a letter to US President Barack Obama urging him to “focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists.”
Let us return to the quote in the first paragraph. Given the level of ignorance prevalent among most Americans, who as citizens of a totalitarian power structure are deliberately kept in ignorance, it is safe to assume that they would not know who uttered those words. It was George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers and first president of the United States, all the way back in the 18th century. Yet the American political system has been hijacked by a lethal syndicate of Zionist criminals, corporate thieves and ambitious generals that thrive on wars even if they have seldom won any on their own during the long and tortuous history of America. The US has always fought wars with the aid of its allies. The First and Second World Wars come to mind but in recent decades, even this has not enabled the US to win. Iraq andAfghanistan offer ready examples.
Given this dismal record, one would think the US would desist from more such adventures. For the average American, the disastrous consequences of war are evident in massive unemployment, a badly battered economy and crumbling infrastructure. But war, like drugs, is addictive. The drumbeats of war are once again getting louder with massive US military build-up in the Persian Gulf, all ostensibly to “prevent” Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, notwithstanding the fact that Iran has at the highest level (the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei) denounced such weapons as forbidden in Islam. From Iran’s point of view, it is already under attack. It has been subjected to stringent economic and financial sanctions, oil embargo, cyber-attacks as well as the assassination of its nuclear scientists.
The build-up of US military forces in the crowded Persian Gulf could easily lead to a shooting war without either side wanting to, as was evident from the US attack on a tiny Indian fishing boat on July 16. Iran’s peaceful nuclear program has been made the centre-piece of US policy because this is what the Zionists want. The Zionist State is the only entity in the Muslim East with nuclear weapons; it refuses to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or agree to a nuclear free Muslim East. Iran is signatory to the NPT and its military doctrine, as confirmed by an April Pentagon report, is one of self-defence. It is the US and the illegitimate Zionist entity that pose an existential threat to Islamic Iran and to peace and stability in the region.
Conjuring up the non-existent threat from Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is merely a pretext to camouflage US imperial designs and maintain Zionist supremacy in the region. This was confirmed as much by a senior Pentagon official who was quoted by the New York Times as saying: “This is not only about Iranian nuclear ambitions, but about Iran’s regional hegemonic ambitions.” The region is bristling with US military bases yet American officials have the gall to talk about Iran’s “hegemonic ambitions.” This whole charade is about effecting “regime change” in Tehran as was attempted in Iraq, Afghanistan and is currently underway inSyria. Iran is viewed as a major prize with its vast oil and gas reserves and a ticket to ride out the crisis of capitalism.
The US military build-up and threatening postures in the Persian Gulf could easily explode into a full-scale war with disastrous consequences not only for the region but the whole world. Iran has the capability to defend itself. It cannot match the US bullet for bullet but in asymmetrical warfare, the US would definitely lose. Pentagon war games conducted in 2002 confirmed that the US would lose within two hours of the start of shooting. The reason is that the people of Iran are armed with iman, a weapon that no guns of missiles can match or defeat.
Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought