I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Akbar Ganji: Another look at Israel's bombing of Iran
Akbar Ganji is known to all who know about Iranian politics. He was an insider; a member of the IRGC; who published a damning book about the system of terror and assassination of the Iranian intellectuals, that was guided from the supreme leader's office. For this, he suffered jail and torture; and went to the brink of death with an 80-day hunger strike.
He is now a political refugee; in the US of A.
He has published the following outline of WHY an Israeli bombing of Iran should outrage the citizens of the 'free' world.
Here's my translation of his text in Persian, published on BBC Persian.
These days, the possibility of Israel's attack on Iranian nuclear facilities has again become the news headline. According to these reports, Israel's Right wing prime minister and the minister of defense are seriously campaigning to get the support of the rest of the cabinet to attack Iran. However, the heads of the Israeli army and Mossad are against it. Israel has tested a long-range missile aimed for Iran, and according to a poll, 41% of Israelis want a military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. What is the problem?
The Israeli government claims dangers of a nuclear Iran. Two points must be noted:
First: Iran has been a member of the International atomic energy agency (IAEA), since its establishment in 1956. In 1970, Iran became a signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In 1972, Iran has been under IAEA's inspections. However, Israel is neither a member of IAEA, nor a signatory to NPT, and no international organization ever inspects Israel's nuclear facilities.
Secondly, it is said that Israel does own about 200 nuclear warheads; while the American and Israeli authorities say that Iran "might" reach nuclear capacity in the future. If, despite all sanctions, Iran can acheive such deed, it will at most have one 80-Kg bomb with which it cannot go against Israel's 200.
Then, so far, it is Israel who doesn't recognize the international community and bullies all. How?
Israel says that all Middle Eastern countries have to be a member of and under strict surveillance of IAEA; but that they are an exception. Israel says that they have the right to owning hundreds of nuclear bombs, but other regional governments are not entitled to even enriching uranium, Where has this "discrimination" and "special right" come from? Is it not because the USA is behing Israeli's bullying of the hundreds of millions of the people in the region?
Israel and its fanatic supporters create this special right with a claim. The claim is that it is only Israel that faces threat, and not other regional governments; therefore, Israel should have access to deterrents. However a few points must be noted with regards to this claim:
One: Military Aggression and Occupation
In the 20th century, Iran has not launched any military attack against any nations; rather it has itself been the victim of military attacks by the regional countries which has led to more than a million death and more than 1000 billion dollars of damages.
However, Israel has come to exist after occupying the palestinian territory in 1948. The Israeli government has dislocated the Palestinians out of their homes and has denied them their basic rights.
Israel claims that it is a government. A modern government is defined by national borders. Question is, where are Israeli borders? Israel does not accept any international borders.
According to the UN resolution 181, official recognition of Israeli government, 45% of Palestine belongs to Palestinians, 54% to Israel and 1% is the international zone. Israel does not accept this resolution. To deny this resolution is to deny the existence of Israel; for it was with this resolution that Israel would be internationally recognized.
The Israeli government has shrunk the Palestinian territory to 22% (from 45) after the 1967 war. That is, so far, it has occupied 78% of the palestinian territory. In later steps, in other occupied territories it has begun settlement construction for Jewish citizens. On the other hand, 2-3 million palestinians who live in the occupied territories are not considered citizens, i.e. they have no passport and no other citizen rights.
According to an agreement between the US, Russia, EU and the UN, an independent Palestinian government must be formed. However, Israel does not concede and is buying time so that the problem of the occupied territories would be forgotten with the passing of the first generation.
The Israeli government has bombed the nuclear facilities of Irag and Syria. In fact, it is Israel who attacks other countries on a whim, with various excuses.
If owning nuclear facilities is illegal, Israel owns uncontrolled ones. If seeking nuclear weapons is illegal, Israel owns hundreds.
Of course, the governments of the US, Israel and Iran have formed military groups in other countries and use them against this or that. Iran does such actions in Lebanon (Hizbollah), Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. But here too, all governments should be condemned for such violation of international law.
Two: Committing War Crime
The Iranian government has not yet been accused or convicted of "war crime" or "crime against humanity". However, the UN has condemned Israel for "war crime" in Gaza.
Three: The Problem of Terrorism
The Iranian government has killed hundreds of the Iranian opposition, assassinating them inside or outside Iran. The Israeli government too has assassinated many Palestinians inside or outside Palestine and around the globe. One example is the injection of poison to Khaled Mash'al in 1997; that according to Paul McGeough [Kill Khalid], called for Bill Clinton's intervention pressuring Israel to provide the antidote.
Another example is the terror in Qatar on EU passport, which angered the Europeans about counterfeiting their passports. The British Foreign Minister expelled an Israeli diplomat for counterfeiting 12 passports to kill a Hamas leader.
As such, Israel is a government that is formed by occupation and has carried on with "terror" and "war crime"; that doesn't accept the EU/US/UN/Russia agreements to allow the owners of the land have a small share of their territory; and is seeking a war with Iran on false excuses.
Four: National Security and Interests
The "nuclear grandiosity" project of Ayatollah Khamenei is not supported by all Iranians. At least we know that many political parties are opposed to it. Basically, Khamenei is not seeking people's approval for this.
But, do other countries, even the Western democracies, hold or have held a referendum when attempting it? Moreover, which one of the Wester democracies that already owns nuclear bombs has sought the "satisfaction" of the people?
Governments that own the bomb justify it under pretense of "National Security" of "National Interest". So does Israel. Now the question is" Shouldn't "national security" or "national interest" compel Iran and other regional governments to seek nuclear weapons too?"
Five: Democratization of the Middle East
If the Arab Spring leads to democratization, it will harm Israel, because the authoritarian and corrupt regimes that do not have popular support inside their countries, and are under support of the Us or other European countries, obey the dictated policies of the West.
If these countries start having political and democratic structures, they have to answer to their people. The public opinion of the people of the region will no longer stand for discrimination and injustice. The people of the region will demand their governments to consider their "national security" and "national interest".
If Israel owns nuclear weapons, the "democratic governments" of the region will have to seek them to guarantee their national "security and interest". Therefore, and for other reasons, Israel is against democratization of the Middle East. Israel was the only government defending Husni Mubarak to the last day. This support cost Mubarak dearly.
Six: Israeli and Iranian governments, true friends
The Right-Windgers of Israel want that Ali Khamenei and Mahmud Ahmadinejad to hold the wheel of power in Iran so that they can justify their invasive policies in the Western world.
The Islamic Republic is also using the threat of Israel to justify many of its oppressive acts, especially the ruthless crackdown on the opposition.
These two governments strongly need eachother.
However, Iranians are fighting for a peaceful transition from the "despotic supreme leadership" to a "democratic system based on freedom and human rights", which won't be anti-Western either.
Israel knows that such a system is not to their advantage; for if there is a democratic government in Iran, it will certainly seek the "national security and interest" of Iranians, without opposition to the West; and thus Israel will no longer have a boogieman to scare the Western powers with.
Seven: All or None
In supporting democracy and human rights, you can't have a two tear system. You can't say that the national security and interests of Israel are important, but those of Iran are not. If Israel, and Pakistan and India and Kazakhstan and ... own nuclear weapons, the future democratic government of Iran will also seek them. This means throwing the region in a nuclear proliferation race.
The best policy is to destroy all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. This is an all or none policy. Either no country should have them, or if one does, the rest will seek them too.
Instead of unequivocal support of the unilateral and aggressive policies of Israel, the United States should work with all governments and the UN towards nuclear disarmament. In his 2009 4th of June speech in Cairo's Al-Zahra University, Obama said:
It is possible, and a must, that with a collective security agreement, guarantee the security of all including Israel. But, defending discrimination and special rights is against the values of democracy and human rights. The middle east has a young population. This generation that doesn't withstand the local despots, will not stand for the foreign ones either.
It is true that true independence comes from a national government with the actual votes of each citizen. However, the foreign aggressors cannot beat on the head of a nation with the excuse that the local despot is beating them.
P.S. Sorry I have not read this and it is perhaps full of typos and etc; but judging from the mushroom explosion of the text in the facebook, I thought it is important to provide the world with "another look". I now have to eat breakfast and earn a living, so please forgive errors and point them out to me for correction. (Naj)
Posted by Naj