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23.04.2012 Feature Article


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Albeit Einstein once said, "You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war." The world powers therefore have two scenarios: either they're working towards a world war, or a world peace.

A War With Iran, The Regional Dimension
“Iran is not Iraq . . . . It is stronger politically and militarily. One cannot attack Iran without paying a heavy price. Leaders of the West clearly realize this,” -A prominent Lebanese commentator. A senior Qatari Ministry of Interior official warned that in case of a US strike on Iran, Iran would “attack Qatar with ballistic and cruise missiles that can cause panic and structural damage, closure of air and sea ports, and the destruction of Qatar's oil and water installations”. Officials in the United Arab Emirates pointed to their ports as a “centre of gravity” for the U.S. fleets and the target of Iranian attack. Adding to this, a senior Emirati military commander opined that Iran will “not discriminate” in its targeting of GCC facilities and would attack those that are not directly connected with the U.S. war effort, forcing the people to rally against the US. An Omani government advisor; a member of the GCC Consultative Council observed that “retaliation by a single Iranian helicopter could devastate Oman's oil importing infrastructure. Officials in Baghdad felt especially vulnerable, given Iraq's long border with Iran. Elsewhere in Kuwait, a retired Kuwaiti general and strategic analyst summarized the “caught in the crossfire” dilemma that prevails in the smaller GCC states. During an Al-Jazeera talk show he stated, “We are stuck in the middle and have every right to fear the consequences” (cited by the RAND Project Air Force). Emphasising on the danger an American/Israeli attack could have on the region, Ihsanoglu, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation had his to say: "I have repeatedly warned Western officials that any aggression or strike against Iran will be a kind of insanity and open hell's gate to the region. But is anybody listening at all?”

This has been the view of many political commentators and military experts that in the event of a US attack, Iran likely would threaten other states that host US bases in the region—particularly their population centres and every energy infrastructure will become targets of their ballistic missile strikes if they allowed U.S. military bases on their territory to participate in heavy attacks on Iran. Of course, it is a common logic and in the shoes of the Iranians would do likewise. According to Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi “..Iran will target any country which allows its soil to be used by the enemy as a launching pad against the Islamic Republic”. Likewise, Iran retaliation may strike Israel in an attempt to draw it into a conflict that would in turn put pressure on Arab governments to curtail support to the US and support their Arab neighbour. It must be remembered that the Pakistani government through its president and its ambassador to Britain has categorically stated that in the event of any conflict, Pakistan will have no choice but to support its neighbour (Iran). Pakistan doesn't want to be seen as supporting a US military assault on Iran.

In short, the Iranian concept is to avoid protracted tactical engagements but enforce a protracted war whose cost would be so unpalatable that an invader and allies would be compelled to abandon his objectives and withdraw. The ballistic missile force is certainly a psychological tool to be reckoned with in regard to U.S. allies in the region. Meanwhile, the sheer scale and complexity of Iranian territory and population is so daunting that Iranian defence capabilities may be less important than the fundamental geography of Iran itself.

Global Implications
Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution warned: "the US and others must know, and they know that Iran has threats too in face of oil sanctions and we will impose them whenever it is necessary". A recent ban of oil supply to a few European countries: Germany, France, Britain, Greece and Spain in response to the US/UE sanctions, have resulted in a soaring oil prices on a global scale. This is where the real International community comes in. The world leaders including Africa, Asia and Latin America cannot continue to sit on the fence and allow the actions of less than 6 countries throw the entire world into chaos. Any strike on Iran and its immediate retaliation will assume a dimension completely different from what we witnessed in Iraq. This is because of the strategic location of Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, Iran's military capabilities and the proximity of the entire Middle East oilfields/energy installations all of them within the range of Iranian missile. An Iranian retaliation to any of the oilfields/installations will be as a result of the complicity of these countries and their support for NATO. A country like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc, cannot allow their airspace and land to be used by NATO as a launch pad against Iran and expect to receive no retaliation.

In spite of the media rhetoric about Iran's supposed inability to close the oil route, many military expects however hold a different view. Thanks to the internet. Today, any serious general, with a good browser and a reliable internet connection will advise that a war with Iran is a bad idea, most especially when it is waged on unproven allegations, and at a time when the world is struggling to recover from the global financial crises (to which the West are responsible). What about the possibility of a Word War III? Remember, world wars do not start as such. They usually start as conflicts between two countries who both have allies and are ready to defend them against the other “enemy”. Consequently, a war which started with the sole purpose of stopping a “nuclear weapons program” may end up calling for the use of nuclear weapons. How could this be justified? Is the rest of the world ready to pay the price for an American/Israeli aggression?

In a strong worded critique, president Putin states:

“Western nations are too quick to “grab for the cudgel of sanctions or even military action. I remind you, this is not the 19th century- or even the 20th century.” –Vladimir Putin

He's warned against foreign intervention in Syria, saying "Moscow won't allow anyone to repeat the Libyan scenario...." He also firmly opposes attacking Iran. A few weeks ago he accused Washington of "diktat imperialism," and said Russia will respond accordingly. In addition to that, Dmitry Rogozin, who was Russia's representative to NATO, told reporters that an attack against Iran is the same as an attack against Russia. "Iran is our neighbour," Rogozin emphasized. "And if Iran is involved in any military action, it's a direct threat to our security. But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran."

The IMF has recently issued a strong warning about the danger that awaits the global economy, should the US/Israel defy diplomatic approach and bomb Iran. From the IMF's point of view, even if the West imposed further financial sanctions on Iran, it would be tantamount to an oil blockade and may cause a 30% oil price spike if Iranian oil exports are disrupted. Should this happen, all the efforts that has been invested in rescuing the Euro, could be wasted in an instance. What about the rest of the world? Are we ready to pay 40%-50% more on our energy needs because some politicians want to play the military card for their selfish political gains? For how long can we afford to do that? Just because some few group of people (probably less than 100) think that Iran is developing nuclear weapons; an allegations they cannot prove, they don't mind sacrificing the over 7billion people on the planet?

NATO Almost Ready, as China, Russia Launch First Joint War Games in Yellow Sea

Over the years, the US and its NATO allies have repeatedly staged a countless number of joint military drills. The most recent one is the Joint military exercises between the US and the Philippines amid territorial spat with China.

However, in what appears to be an attempt to back diplomatic efforts with military action, Russia and China have finally launched a joint military drill to counter the NATO threat. Perhaps, this is by way of conveying a clear message to those who have chosen a military intervention as the only way to solve the Syrian and the Iranian issue.

A war in Syria will pose a great threat to the regional peace and security. Therefore in a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the spokesman told reporters:

"This joint military exercise is a long scheduled one between China and Russia in order to uphold regional peace and stability". China and Russia have together participated in four military exercises since 2005, but these are the first naval drills between the two countries.

Regardless of whatever explanations or the official interpretations given to these “routine naval and military drills, one cannot rule out the fact that, it is a preparations for the greater conflict, often referred to as WW3. China and Russia clearly understand the threats they would finally be confronted with, if Iran and Syria find themselves at war with NATO, or perhaps if these two countries should at any time align themselves with NATO. They (Russia, China) would find themselves isolated and completely encircled by NATO's dangerous missile shields.

Some Positive Signs
Iran says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purpose. Fortunately, many leaders especially the BRICS nations recognise this right, and have repeatedly advocated diplomacy as the only way out of the Iranian nuclear issue. The diplomatic approach has been given a chance, and the media lies have also been exposed by the awakened masses who still remember the Iraq lies, the weapons of mass destruction hoax, the lies told about Gaddafi and now Syria. It is expected that the diplomatic efforts will be taken on a fair and unbiased manner such that, the rights of every country (including Iran) to peaceful nuclear technology as guaranteed by the NPT is respected.

War Lies and Mainstream Media Complicity
The truth is that the longest war of the 20th century was a war waged against Vietnam, north and south, communist and non-communist, by America. It was an unprovoked invasion of the people's homeland and their lives, just like the invasion of Iraq. Yet, amnesia ensures that, while the relatively few deaths of the invaders are constantly acknowledged and reported by mainstream media, the deaths of up to five million Vietnamese are consigned to oblivion; writes, - John Pilger

Also in the 21st century, anyone who carefully follows the history of US/NATOs wars would observe the “impressive”, “unintended” and the “defensive” nature in which such wars were sold to the American people and the so-called international community. From Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, and now Syria and Iran; the lies that dominated the war range from democracy, human right concerns, weapons of mass destruction, to peace and security and the need for the 'international community to act. Now, after Iraq and Libya lies, other similar scenarios are gradually unfolding upon our very eyes.

Occasionally, we're told America is working hard with her allies in order to “defend the world” from tyranny and terrorism, and promote democracy and human right. Upon receiving the Nobel Peace prize, Obama proudly states:

"America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens”. (Barack Obama)

Yes Mr. Obama your closest friend in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a democracy that protects the rights of its citizens and your other friends Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Uganda are all democracies who respect the rights of their citizens. The ousted president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak who is undergoing trial for more than 30 years of brutality and for killing thousands of pro-democracy protesters and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen whom you have given asylum and immunity from prosecution were all democratically elected presidents who upheld democracy and human rights. Such noble men and their governments are your close friends, and a country like Iran where 72% of its population participated in the parliamentary elections held on March 2, 2012 is a threat to democracy and human rights, writes Anthony Mathew Jacob

Indeed, NATO is determined to “defend the world” from tyranny and terrorism and promote democracy & human right. Yet, though no progress has been made in the former, any success in the latter is yet to be seen, as sophisticated weapons are being delivered to these terrorist whom the western press now refer to them as “activists”. Will the Western press ever refer to these Al-Qaeda commandersand the terrorists groups as “activists” if they were to strike in Paris, London, Florida or even in Tel Aviv? Even where a dictator is toppled, he's then replaced by the terrorists rebels, who're members of the Al-Qaeda brigade. It is time the world realized that replacing dictators with rebels/terrorists cannot be in our best interest most especially when the intended gaol is to defend the world.

Honourable Saka
Honourable Saka, © 2012

The author has 50 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: HonourableSaka

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