Ahmadinejad to meet with Palestinian leaders
Wed Sep 5, 2007
Bethlehem Ma'an Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to meet
Palestinian leaders-in-exile in Tehran on Thursday.
United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Khaleej reported that the Iranian
leader will meet with head of the Hamas politburo, Khalid Mash'al,
Secretary General of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shallah, Secretary General
of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Nayef
Hawatmeh, and Secretary General of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine General Command (PDLP-GC), Ahmad Jibreel.
Fatah leader-in-exile, Farouq Qaddoumi, who is currently visiting
Iran, will also join the meeting.
The meeting is to address methods to contain and resolve the current
internal Palestinian crisis.
Iran warns of 'problems' if US attacks
By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday issued a stark warning to the United States
over the danger of launching a military attack, saying Washington
could never foresee the size of its response against US troops in the
region. "The US will face three problems if it attacks Iran. Firstly
it does not know the volume of our response," said General Rahim Yahya
Safavi, the new special military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah
"Also it cannot evaluate the vulnerability of its 200,000 troops in
the region since we have accurately identified all of their camps,"
He also warned of how Iran's reaction to a US attack could affect
Israel - Tehran's regional arch-foe - and also crude oil supply from
the world's fourth-largest producer.
"Secondly, it does not know what will happen to Israel and thirdly,
the United States does not know what will happen to the oil flow," he
was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying.
Washington has never ruled out taking military action against Tehran,
and its tone has sharpened again over the past week with President
George W. Bush warning that Iran's atomic program could lead to a
"nuclear holocaust." Iran has always insisted it would never launch
any attack against a foreign country but has also warned of a crushing
response to any aggression against its soil.
Tehran has an array of medium range missiles and claims that its
longer-range Shahab-3 missile has a reach of 2,000 kilometers which
would put Israel and US bases on the Arabian Peninsula within reach. - AFP
When Wishful Thinking Replaces Resistance
Why Bush Can Get Away with Attacking Iran
By JEAN BRICMONT
September 4, 2007
Many people in the antiwar movement try to reassure themselves: Bush
cannot possibly attack Iran. He does not have the means to do so, or,
perhaps, even he is not foolish enough to engage in such an
enterprise. Various particular reasons are put forward, such as: If he
attacks, the Shiites in Iraq will cut the US supply lines. If he
attacks, the Iranians will block the Straits of Ormuz or will unleash
dormant terrorist networks worldwide. Russia won't allow such an
attack. China won't allow it -- they will dump the dollar. The Arab
world will explode.
All this is doubtful. The Shiites in Iraq are not simply obedient to
Iran. If they don't rise against the United States when their own
country is occupied (or if don't rise very systematically), they are
not likely to rise against the US if a neighboring country is
attacked. As for blocking the Straits or unleashing terrorism, this
will just be another justification for more bombing of Iran. After
all, a main casus belli against Iran is, incredibly, that it
supposedly helps the resistance against U.S. troops in Iraq, as if
those troops were at home there. If that can work as an argument for
bombing Iran, then any counter-measure that Iran might take will
simply "justify" more bombing, possibly nuclear. Iran is strong in the
sense that it cannot be invaded, but there is little it can do against
long range bombing, accompanied by nuclear threats.
Russia will escalate its military buildup (which now lags far behind
the U.S. one), but it can't do anything else, and Washington will be
only too glad to use the Russian reaction as an argument for boosting
its own military forces. China is solely concerned with its own
development and won't drop the dollar for non-economic reasons. Most
Arab governments, if not their populations, will look favorably on
seeing the Iranian shiite leadership humiliated. Those governments
have sufficient police forces to control any popular opposition--
after all, that is what they managed to do after the attack on Iraq.
With the replacement of Chirac by Sarkozy, and the near-complete
elimination of what was left of the Gaullists (basically through
lawsuits on rather trivial matters), France has been changed from the
most independent European country to the most poodlish (this was in
fact the main issue in the recent presidential election, but it was
never even mentioned during the campaign). In France, moreover, the
secular "left" is, in the main, gung-ho against Iran for the usual
reasons (women, religion). There will be no large-scale demonstrations
in France either before or after the bombing. And, without French
support, Germany--where the war is probably very unpopular -- can
always be silenced with memories of the Holocaust, so that no
significant opposition to the war will come from Europe (except
possibly from its Muslim population, which will be one more argument
to prove that they are "backward", "extremist", and enemies of our
All the ideological signposts for attacking Iran are in place. The
country has been thoroughly demonized because it is not nice to women,
to gays, or to Jews. That in itself is enough to neutralize a large
part of the American "left". The issue of course is not whether Iran
is nice or not according to our views -- but whether there is any
legal reason to attack it, and there is none; but the dominant
ideology of human rights has legitimized, specially in the left, the
right of intervention on humanitarian grounds anywhere, at any time,
and that ideology has succeeded in totally sidetracking the minor
issue of international law.
Israel and its fanatical American supporters want Iran attacked for
its political crimes--supporting the rights of the Palestinians, or
questioning the Holocaust. Both U.S. political parties are equally
under the control of the Israel lobby, and so are the media. The
antiwar movement is far too preoccupied with the security of Israel to
seriously defend Iran and it won't attack the real architects of this
coming war--the Zionists-- for fear of "provoking antisemitism".
Blaming Big Oil for the Iraq war was quite debatable, but, in the case
of Iran, since the country is about to be bombed but not invaded,
there is no reason whatsoever to think that Big Oil wants the war, as
opposed to the Zionists. In fact, Big Oil is probably very much
opposed to the war, but it is as unable to stop it as the rest of us.
As far as Israel is concerned, the United States is a de facto
totalitarian society--no articulate opposition is acceptable. The U.S.
Congress passes one pro-Israel or anti-Iran resolution after another
with "Stalinist" majorities. The population does not seem to care. But
if they did, but what could they do? Vote? The electoral system is
extremely biased against the emergence of a third party and the two
big parties are equally under Zionist influence.
The only thing that might stop the war would be for Americans
themselves to threaten their own government with massive civil
disobedience. But that is not going to happen. A large part of the
academic left long ago gave up informing the general public about the
real world in order to debate whether Capital is a Signifier or a
Signified, or worry about their Bodies and their Selves, while
preachers tell their flocks to rejoice at each new sign that the end
of the world is nigh. Children in Iran won't sleep at night, but the
liberal American intelligentsia will lecture the ROW (rest of the
world) about Human Rights. In fact, the prevalence of the "reassuring
arguments" cited above proves that the antiwar movement is clinically
dead. If it weren't, it would rely on its own forces to stop war, not
speculate on how others might do the job.
[This is the one paragraph that I disagree with. I don't blame the
academic world or any other particular group for our current crisis.
We're in a situation where the good guys, normal people wanting to
live their lives in relative justice and peace are leaderless, and
have been leaderless due to the sucess of the secret government's 60s
assassinations of our natural leaders: JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm, and the
resultant non appearance of those who would have normally followed.
Into the vaccuum moved Reagan, Bush Sr Bush Jr to the point where
there is no differnce between the secret and the public government. In
a footnote, Clinton did as much as he could for the secret governnent
from the Democratic side as in WTC 93 and Oklahoma City. --RB]
Meanwhile, an enormous amount of hatred will have been spewed upon the
world. But in the short term, it may look like a big Western
"victory", just like the creation of Israel in 1948; just like the
overthrow of Mossadegh by the CIA in 1953; just like the annexation of
Alsace-Lorraine seemed to be a big German victory after the French
defeat at Sedan in 1870. The Bush administration will long be gone
when the disastrous consequences of that war will be felt.
PS: This text is not meant to be a prophecy, but a call to (urgent)
action. I'll be more than happy if facts prove me wrong.
Jean Bricmont teaches physics in Belgium and is a member of the
Brussels Tribunal. His new book, Humanitarian Imperialism, is
published by Monthly Review Press.
He can be reached at bricmont @ fyma.ucl.ac.be.
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