Alternative Insight

I Ran from Iraq and Now I Rack up Iran
A Road to Suicide

Iraq and Iran border each other, have prominent Shi'a populations, and differ in their names by only the last letter. These two Islamic nations have many reasons to embrace, and yet they have tended to remain separate. Thanks to American State and Defense Departments, Iraq and neighboring Iran have drawn closer and stabilized relations. Is this what the American people wanted when George Bush sent his military into Baghdad? Definitely not. Then, why did it happen?

As the U.S. runs from Iraq, it lurches toward another manufactured enemy in its endless pursuit of fresh quarrels to maintain a self-appointed position of "defender of the free world," and to support its hungry defense industry. The military machine confronts Iraq's neighbor in an attempt to rack up Iran, shoot a multitude of missiles that smack Iran into a secluded pocket, and create another counterproductive blunder. Evidently, the neocons also envisioned a U.S. military force stationed on Iran's border and prepared for the opportunist moment to invade. Iraq was planned as a staging place for assembling men and equipment and to keep Iran hopping.

The staging place has vanished and Americans confront the tragedies from the U.S. invasion into Iraq, of which there are many; the sacrifice of thousands of American lives, officially described as 4,487 dead, and 32,226 wounded; Iraqi casualties, unofficially noted to be 151,000, and hundreds of thousands wounded; and an incursion into Iraq that did not accomplish stated missions.

Instead of stability, instability chokes the entire Middle East.
Instead of Al-Qaeda diminishing, Al-Qaeda elements are increasing.
Instead of international terrorism waning, the terrorism is only shifting.

A leading propellant for stimulating these derogatory trajectories is...the United States. Americans are strangely unaware of the counter-productive polices of their government, which have placed them in physical and economic jeopardy. From the Gulf of Tonkin to the Persian Gulf, they cannot see through the haze. From Vietnam to Iran, they have walked a road to suicide.

Al-Qaeda elements emerge strengthened in Middle East, North Africa, Nigeria and Somalia.

President Clinton's interference in Somalia eventually led to the formation of the radical Islamic Party, Haraka, al-Shabaab, which has terrorized Somalia.
Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, sectarian Iraq has been a breeding ground for Al-Qaeda "look-alikes."
Political Parties that represent radical Islamists have already gained sizable proportions of the vote in Tunisia and Egypt, contesting the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood Parties.

The Daily Telegraph, Damien McElroy, 8 January, 2012 headline reads, "Al-Qaeda extends North Africa grip with kidnapping spree," and reports, "The growing reach of al-Qaeda in North Africa was put on display again after an Algerian regional governor was abducted from his car, in a rare breach of tight security in the region’s last dictatorship.".

Afghanistan military uses NATO training to fight coalition forces.
After an Afghan soldier killed four French soldiers and wounded more than a dozen others, France suspended all training operations. President Nicolas Sarkozy said (later receded) he would consider pulling out of Afghanistan early if the security of its soldiers continued to be threatened. A video shows a stuttering and tired-looking Hillary Clinton trying to place a spin on Sarkozy's statement and grievously erring. The Secretary of the U.S. State Department said: "I am in great sympathy with what happened to the French soldiers. It was terrible and I can certainly appreciate the strong feelings that are being expressed. We are in close contact with our French colleagues and we have no reason to believe that France will do anything other than continue to be part of the very carefully considered transition process as we look at our exit as previously agreed upon in Lisbon." A confused Secretary Clinton, who is responsible for implementing deliberated foreign policies, actually used the words, " great sympathy with what happened." She hopes the French translation changes the text.

There is no confusion, nor is any translation required, for concluding that the NATO mission in Afghanistan is finished and without defeat of the Taliban.

After NATO set foot on its soil, the Taliban became more recognized as a legitimate Afghanistan force.
Can it be? Is an isolated Taliban, that's what been said about them, opening a political office in another nation for 'peace talks?' The New York Times, January 3, 2012, relates, "Giving a first major public sign that they may be ready for formal talks with the American-led coalition in Afghanistan, the Taliban announced Tuesday that they had struck a deal to open a political office in Qatar that could allow for direct negotiations over the endgame in the Afghan war."

Previously friendly Pakistan has been forced into an antagonist role.
U.S. independent operations within Pakistan have torn Pakistan apart. The Pakistanis comprehend the situation and are tired of having a conflict between the United States and the Taliban affect their peace and security. Pakistan has warned the United States, "it risks losing an ally if it continues to accuse Islamabad of playing a double game in the war against militancy, escalating the crisis in relations between the two countries."

The Middle East crisis, which engulfs Israelis and Palestinians, is exacerbated and worse each day.
Railing against Saddam Hussein and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had no beneficial effect on the "peace process." The major crisis continues, while attention is given to manufactured "crises."

So, what to do?

If insanity, as quoted often from Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same negative result, then super-insanity must be repeating the same policies, although they are harmful to you. U.S. foreign policy has performed exactly as does a super-insane. Albert Einstein, the father of the nuclear age, has provided a solution for the U.S. State Department - do opposite to what you have been doing.

Not that simple. There is one huge preliminary requirement; changing the mind set from subjective distortions to objective realities. Start assembling proper facts, and stop circulating made-for-consumption stories.

Iran is an independent nation with its own concepts for governing.
The Islamic Republic might not be a huggable nation, but compared to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, it is a model democracy and a theocratic lightweight. Iran has never attacked anyone, doesn't indicate it intends to attack anyone, and doesn't have the capability to wage war against a major nation.

The Iranian government has not been involved in terrorist acts against the United States, or proven to have engaged in international terrorism. There have been some accusations concerning one incident in Argentina, one in the U.S. and one in Europe, but these have been isolated incidents. Two accusation go back twenty years, and none are associated with a particular organization.

Iran cannot use a nuclear weapon without being pulverized. Development of a nuclear weapon proceeds from feeling threatened and wanting an MWD as a deterrent. The corollary: Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon dictates making certain the Mullahs don't feel threatened.

Iraq is not an independent nation
The new Iraqi government is at the threshold of a civil war and becoming a haven for Al-Qaeda elements. Attempts to overlook these obvious facts will only make Einstein more quotable. All of this was forecasted, and despite the ominous signs, American governments continued their destructive occupation of Iraq until it was too late.

Attempts at reconciliation and power sharing power by each of the major Iraq factions have already failed. Each faction intends to gain as much as possible for its own constituency, and compromise will not be easy. Unresolved contradictions are sufficient to prevent Iraq from becoming a viable nation.

The U. S. presence in Iraq encouraged the old violence. Without U.S. troops, the Iraqis cannot contain the new violence.
The U.S. promoted the Shiite population to gain power and cannot ignore the fact that this favors Iran.
The U.S. promotes sovereignty in Iraq, but an independent Iraq might use oil as a weapon.
Arab governments want a strong Arab nation in Iraq but realize that a democratic Iraq complicates their political positions.
The Iraqi government wants to exclude the Baathists from roles but realizes the Baathists have the needed experience and skills to manage the military, government and economy.

All of this analysis leads to a painful conclusion: Iraq has an unstable and painful future.

Hamas and Hezbollah
Definitions of Hezbollah and Hamas are misleading propaganda. Neither one, as constituted bodies, has attacked U.S. personnel or engaged in international terrorism. Although the organizations are Islamic, their political parties and national governing systems are secular. The U.S. authorities search for conspiracies and don't realize that their characterzations of Hamas and Hezbollah as international terrorist organizations are conspiratorial. The American government traps itself by its own conspiracies

Hamas and Hezbollah have stabilized their constituencies. The former runs a relatively stable and well organized Gaza, and the latter plays a major role in stabilizing Lebanon. Neither one will wage war to destroy Israel. Why would they? They know they cannot win.To them, their battle is a struggle for replacement of a chauvinist, virulent nationalist, racist, militarist and oppressive Israel by a more sympathetic Israel, an Israel that recognizes the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the injustices done to them, and doesn't continually pulverize the Levant. What is wrong? Isn't the United Nations committed to supporting legitimate rights and protecting against injustices and mass killings of populations?

In response to a question of why Hamas is classified as an international terrorist organization if it has not killed any Americans, a State Department spokesperson haltingly stated; "Hamas, in the past, has killed Americans," without specifying who, where and when. A few American travelers, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, have been killed in bombing attacks against Israel, but never specifically targeted.

In response to a similar question asked of Hamas, "Why is Hezbollah classified as an international terrorist organization if it has not killed any Americans?" a State Department spokesperson replied; "Hezbollah, in the past, has killed Americans."

Hezbollah, in the past? Americans were killed during the early 1980's in Lebanon by militants who claimed they revenged killings of Lebanese civilians by U.S. forces. These actions occurred before the formation of an incipient Hezbollah. The perpetrators have never been identified as definitely being Hezbollah, or acting under orders from the Lebanese Shi'a organization.

Which nation has killed the most Americans outside of a war zone? Answer is Israel, whose military has killed, wounded and apprehended many American civilians who have tried to assist Palestinians from being evicted from their own lands. The Israeli Air Force killed 34 U.S. naval personnel in an attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in international waters on June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War.

U.S. characterization of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations is dubious. Both organizations have issues with Israel, which is separate from international terrorism, and issues with international terrroism from which they also suffer.

Fateh el-Islam, a terrorist group, battled the Lebanese army at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Tripoli for over three months in 2007. In Gaza, Hamas has fought Jund Ansar Allah, a radical Islamic group that wants to proclaim an Islamic Emirate. Weakening Hamas strengthens Jund Ansar Allah and other radical Muslim groups in Gaza.

Given realities, what is the course of action?
Because United States policies have been counter productive, the preferred approach is for American leaders to turn around and do the opposite of what they have been doing..

Reconciliation of Shi'a and Sunni Muslims will stabilize the Middle East and start a road to improved understanding of mutual problems. Similar to Northern Ireland, where Irish Catholics protested against their second class citizenship and economic persecution by English Protestants, the deprived Shi'a minorities (majority in Bahrain) legitimately protest their economic subservience. Hezbollah has led the venture to achieve Shi'a equality in Lebanon, and due to their efforts, despite contrary western propaganda, Lebanon is evolving into a more democratic, egalitarian and stable state. Anti-Shiatism is one of the most punishing of the anti-isms and is aggravated by a western world that excuses anti-Shiatism. Recognition of the rights of the Shi'a will diminish the Sunni/Shi'a divide.

This has been described in a previous article: Reconciliation of Sunni and Shi'a - The only route to Middle East Peace.

Solicit Iranian assistance in pacifying Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Islamic Republic borders on both of these nations, has an intense interest in maintaining them stable, and has previously demonstrated its willingness to cooperate. U.S. rebuff to Iran's offerings, after Iran showed itself as the primary force in lending support to the Karzai government and assisting in stabilizing the post 9/11 Afghanistan, has proven to be a grave error.

Time Magazine
Iran Raises the Heat in Afghanistan, by Brian Bennett, Feb. 22, 2008

Afghanistan is in a tough spot. The country is reliant on the U.S. and NATO for its security and, at the same time, shares its longest land border with Iran. Afghanistan has long pleaded with the U.S. and Iran not to carry out their longstanding strategic rivalry on its soil. And for several years that request has been largely honored. Iran, a long-time supporter of the Northern Alliance, was instrumental in bringing about the fall of the Taliban. Iran has also helped more than any other neighbor with the reconstruction of the country. Since 2002, Tehran has pumped millions of dollars into Afghanistan's western provinces to build roads, electrical grids, schools and health clinics.

Now, Afghanistan is slowly returning to Taliban influence, if not control.

The U.S. can take advantage of Iran's aversions to the Taliban and to Al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, administrations have done the opposite - deliberately associating Iran with international terrorism and forcing Iran to lessen its cooperation in combating the United States' major international problem

Although it was obvious that deposing Saddam Hussein in a nation of Shiite Muslims would expand Iranian influence from "zero" to a dominating position in Iraq, the U.S. proceeded to do just that. Now that the transfer of influence has occurred, the U.S. scolds Iran for accepting the gift.

Stop assisting those who harbor the revolutionary Salafist jihadists.
It is incomprehensible that American strategists, pledged to rid the world of Al-Qaeda, directly support nations that contain the extreme Salafist elements that nourish Al-Qaeda. Who are the modern day Salafis? They are the same as the 1200 year old Salafis. The Arab word "salaf" means "ancient one" and refers to the companions of the Prophet Mohammed. Salafis call for the restoration of authentic Islam as expressed by an adherence to the Prophet's original teachings and texts. Mainly peaceful, and previously eschewing violence and political involvement, the effusive and contradictory Salafist philosophy has spawned radical Islamic groups, which use similar tactics and methods to those of Al-Qaeda, and share a similar ideology with that of the international terrorist organization. The conspirators are few in number and don't represent the thrust or programs of the Salafist institutions. Nevertheless, these few violent individuals are a product of Salafist universality and global brotherhood and create tremendous havoc.

Later refuted by the Egyptian Nour Party, some Salafis showed an allegiance to Osama bin Laden and its doctrines.

Egypt Salafists honor bin Laden with death prayer
Reuters, CAIRO, May 6, 2011 - Hundreds of Islamist Salafists defied security forces and held special prayers Friday for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan this week.

"We will pray, we will pray," some 200 men chanted as police tried to stop the special prayers at the Salafist-run al-Nour Mosque in the Abbasiyah quarter of Cairo after regular Friday noon prayers.

From DER SPIEGEL, 12/14/2011
What the Salafists Want
Egypt Faces a Hardline Islamic Future, by Daniel Steinvorth

During the campaign, leading members of the Al-Nour Party seemed as if they came from a different era; it was a sharp contrast to Egypt's liberal tradition. For instance, when party spokesman Abdul Munaim al-Shahat appeared on a TV talk show, he insisted that a divider be set up between himself and a female guest. In his most recent demand, he calls upon Egyptians to "destroy the temples!" He wants Egypt to finally put an end to the "idolatrous worship" of its pharaonic heritage. If Shahat had his way, sculptures, statues and portraits spanning 5,000 years of Egyptian history would be covered with a layer of chalk, and pharaonic street names would be Islamicized.

You can find revolutionary Salafist jihadists freely pacing around nations with whom the United States maintains friendly relations, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, post-revolution Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and other places. Most of "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" came from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Didn't bin Laden have a home in Pakistan?

Start talking with Hamas and Hezbolla, and stop portraying them as deterrents to Middle East peace, while promoting the ongoing wars. Both of these groups influence Middle East peoples, and there is no means to achieve Middle East peace without their inputs. Effort to ignore them is equivalent to ignoring India when deciding Kashmir policies. Most important, as mentioned previously, both organizations are anathema to Al-Qaeda and the revolutionary Salafist jihadists. They would be glad to contribute resources to contend with the Islamic extremists.

Letter from Gaza, Salafism: A New Threat to Hamas
NYT By DANIEL WILLIAMS, October 27, 2009

Armed Salafis are challenging the authority of Hamas, the Islamic party that rules the Gaza Strip and has fought Israel for two decades. Gaza Salafis say Hamas surrendered its credentials as an Islamic resistance group when it declared a unilateral cease-fire after a 22-day war with Israel that ended Jan. 18. Hamas’s Health Ministry said 1,450 Palestinians were killed in the conflict. The Israeli Army put the toll at 1,166 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

“They believe Hamas has been neutralized and has given up the fight,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza.

Hamas, which is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations, is holding dozens of Salafis in jail, trying to persuade them to end their opposition, said a Hamas police spokesman, Rafik Abu Hani. “They want to implement their own ideas through weapons, and we can’t allow that.”

Leave the Middle East to the Middle East people.
The western powers, who are rapidly sinking economically, assume they know what's good for the Middle East peoples. Their advice and manipulations have been so well constructed that, for decades, the Middle East has been in constant turmoil and mostly controlled by authoritarian governments. At a UN General Assembly meeting, a Saudi ambassador to the United nations said to western ministers, with a tearful voice, "Why don't you just leave us alone?" Good advice.

U.S. counter-productive policies have encouraged terrorist organizations and defeated those most willing to assist in the war against terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco and Pakistan, and present Iraq, all recipients of U.S. aid and "close allies" with the U.S., are the biggest contributors to international terrorism. Gaza's Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iran, and the previous Iraq made no proven contributions to international terrorism and engaged in its suppression. So, whom does the U.S. help and whom does the U.S. punish?

Sanctions applied to Iran will harm Iran and "backfire" on the American people. Expect higher oil prices, increased instability in the Middle East, increased animosity toward America, and increased terrorism. If the Islamic regime falls, there will be anarchy and another opportunity for Al-Qaeda to establish itself. Strange as it seems, the present Iran, wedged between uncertain Iraq and non-certain Afghanistan, may be the prefered Iran for the moment.

The great Albert Einstein provides another solution to America's problem. His other well quoted phrase: 'God does not play dice with the universe," can awaken the U.S State Department that the words apply to its dealings: "The United States should not play craps with the world." If U.S. astrophysicists could figure a means, the government would probably ask them to place the Earth in a circular orbit. The elliptic orbit, which maintains universe stability, is not aesthetically satisfying.

january 2012