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Home arrow Africa arrow â€˜Obama’ reason to bomb Iran!
‘Obama’ reason to bomb Iran! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Daily Trust Nigeria   
Jun 24, 2008 at 01:32 AM

Unless God, almighty, dictates otherwise, between now and the time the American presidential elections holds in November, it is almost certain that America, or its key ally in the Middle East Israel, will almost certainly launch a devastating ‘pre-emptive’ air strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Even if America releases oil from its strategic reserves to cushion the contagious effects that such an attack will definitely trigger - as it did at the start of their latest international misadventure in Iraq- it almost certain that the price of the commodity will once again explode beyond our wildest imaginations. It will reach record heights, far in excess of the trend in the international oil market presently. But why would any world leader be willing to compound a situation that is considered not to be in the best interests of producers and consumers of the commodity alike?

Beginning from the time of its revolution in 1979, Iran, which like Batista’s Cuba could do no wrong for all the time the Americans dictated events under the iron grip of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, suddenly woke up to a new reality. Almost overnight, it acquired an honoured mention on America’s famous and exclusive list of sponsors of state terrorism along with such other formidable rivals such as Libya, North Korea and Syria, when its people decided to take their destiny into their own hands.

Remarkably, even before then, the revered Nelson Mandela, along with his comrades in the South African [ANC] that fought the obnoxious apartheid regime of South Africa to a standstill were also listed among the world’s most dangerous terrorists by the Americans! Instructively, the apartheid regime itself escaped mention in a manner that suggested that Steve Biko, Samora Michel and the rest lost their lives playing a game of crickets.

Incredibly, it was not until very recently that the ANC along with Nelson Mandela’s name, were finally taken off the list on the strong intervention of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A US government spokesman subsequently inferred that it was a disgrace that a country like the United States still had a ban on statesmen that fought the oppression of their people. Incredibly, prior to his delisting, Mandela still had to apply for special permission to enter Washington DC!

If I digressed a bit, it is because I wanted to stress the inherent hypocrisy and contradictions of American foreign policy over the years. The first casualty is very often truth or the very lack of it! It was so shamelessly evident in the reasons advanced for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and so obscenely true with the serial classification of nations and organizations as rogue states and sponsors of international terrorism.

Such unfair labeling of nations has often been used as justification for brutal attacks on weaker nations such as Grenada which occurred when I was still in New York. I still recoil at the sheer injustice of the act even today. Yet Grenada could have done without American meddling.

Although Maurice Bishop who seized power on March 13, 1979, in an almost bloodless coup, fiddled with Marxism, his regime differed to American interests through many of his policies. His socialist programs were inspired as much by Bob Marley as Karl Marx.

In four years, while most Caribbean nations suffered terribly from worldwide recession, Grenada achieved a 9% cumulative growth rate.

Unemployment dropped from 49% to 14%. The government diversified agriculture, developed cooperatives, and created an agricultural-industrial base that led to a reduction of the percentage of food and total imports from over 40% to 28% at a time when market prices for agricultural products were collapsing worldwide.

The literary rate, already at a respectable 85%, grew to about 98%, comparable to or higher than most industrialized countries. A free health care and secondary education system were established, the number of secondary schools tripled, and scores of Grenadans received scholarships for studies abroad. There were ambitious programs in the development of the fishing industry, handicrafts, housing, tourism, the expansion of roads and transport systems, and the upgrading of public utilities.

Ordinarily, that should be music to the conservative Reagan administration for good reasons. Much unlike Iran’s Islamic revolution, what occurred in Grenada actually created an opportunity for American entrepreneurs. Grenada’s could be described as an accessible revolution, carried out by English-speaking people influenced more by Black Power and New Left politics than by full-blown Soviet-style communism.

Unfortunately for the citizens of Grenada, like with other nations across the globe where the US intervened, what was good for them were not in line with the policies of the American administration at the time. Bishop also had his flaws if truth must be told. Although he could have won any popular vote he never held free elections as promised.

In the end history will record that Bishop’s death in the hands of hard-core Communist elements in his New Jewel Movement provided the excuse for American’s invasion in 1983, supposedly for fear of a Cuban take-over of the island, but in reality events dating back much earlier, suggests otherwise.

If reports carried by the Washington Post are to be believed, the actual plans for the invasion of the tiny island commenced in 1981. In August of the same year U.S. armed forces staged a mock invasion of Grenada on the island of Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico. As with the real invasion, paratroopers secured key points on the Grenada-sized island followed by a marine amphibious assault with air and naval support, involving almost 10, 000 troops!

Striking similarities in the geographic code names during the exercise to actual locations on Grenada were hardly coincidental giving many the impression that a U.S. invasion of Grenada was planned at least two years prior to the revolution’s self-destruction, which gave the United States the excuse it had been waiting for. Till today there are many who still believe the decision to invade Grenada was taken purely to shore-up Reagan’s popularity ratings which had ebbed.

Similar factors would be behind the current tension in the Middle East. Why else would anyone even contemplate attacking Iran at this material time that oil prices have soared through the roof? Has Bush not learnt sufficient lessons from his costly misadventure in Iraq? These are questions we need to put into proper perspective even as we digest news out of the Middle East suggests that America’s iron fist in the region, Israel, conducted military exercises last week supposedly in preparation to reduce Iran’s nuclear sites to rubble like it did those of Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear facilities in 1981.

For me, giving the status-quo in Iraq and Afghanistan, even an imbecile in the White House would think twice before committing further havoc in Iran. But who says Goerge W. Bush was smarter that Al Gore when he became president in 2000? Anyhow, the Jewish lobby remains very strong in America. The first impulse of any American presidential wannabe including Barack Obama is to swear allegiance to the state of Israel or so it seems.

Now, American supplied Israeli jets are poised to strike Iran despite the warnings of Russia and the misgivings of the UN’s Chief Weapons Inspector Mohamed El-Baradei that such a pre-emptive strike will turn the region into a ball of fire. There are those who have argued that the Israeli military exercises were intended to send the ‘correct’ signals to the Iranian authorities that the patience of the West is running out. But since when has the government in Tehran looked like it could be easily intimidated. With apologies to the late Dean Rusk, they certainly do not look like blinking first in this stand-off!

But my theory today is that the Republicans do not even want the Iranians to blink in the first place. Despite the clear and present dangers of such attack, it could still be consistent with Israeli’s resolute intention to maintain military disparity in the region to its advantage. Such an attack will also be useful to the Republican Party and its candidate John McCain, a Vietnam War veteran. Already, Senator Barack Obama is ahead of McCain in several opinion polls as the campaign for the White House heats up.

Obama’s colour does not seem to have had the sort of negative impact that his opponents would have hoped for. An ABC News poll shows 3 in 10 whites racially unaffected by Obama’s race, while a Fox News poll shows two-thirds of Americans would be proud to have Obama as president.

The race could get nastier as we approach November for sure. But for all the assurances from the opinion polls Obama could still loose the race the moment a single Tomahawk missile hits Tehran and Iran is forced to defend itself in whatever form. When that happens Americans will simply be compelled to rally around the flag like they did in the past. The often touted view on Obama’s inexperience and naivety on security issues will be trumpeted to the high heavens.

It may seem a barmy way to actualize their goals, but given Obama’s defiance of the odds and the realities on the ground coupled with Bush’s unpopularity, it seems the surest way for the Republicans to keeping the intrepid African-American away from the White House, come November.


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Last Updated ( Jun 24, 2008 at 01:33 AM )
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WASHINGTON — It was November 2006 when Senator Barack Obama first gathered friends and advisers at a Washington law firm to brainstorm about what it would take for him to win the presidency.

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