"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Friday, 19 October 2012

NDAA Authorizes War Against Iran


By Rep. Dennis Kucinich

This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it.

H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War 
The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment.

This language represents a significant shift in U.S. policy and would guarantee that talks with Iran, currently scheduled for May 23, would fail. Current U.S. policy is that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, H. Res. 568 draws the "redline" for military action at Iran achieving a nuclear weapons "capability," a nebulous and undefined term that could include a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it is likely that a negotiated deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war would provide for Iranian enrichment for peaceful purposes under the framework of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty with strict safeguards and inspections. This language makes such a negotiated solution impossible.

At the same time, the language lowers the threshold for attacking Iran. Countries with nuclear weapons "capability" could include many other countries like Japan or Brazil. It is an unrealistic threshold.

The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution "reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war."

H.R. 4310: Authorizing War Against Iran and Preparing the Military for it 

While H. Res. 568 undermines our diplomatic efforts and lowers the bar for war, H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 begins military preparations for war. Section 1221 makes military action against Iran a U.S. policy. Section 1222 directs our armed forces to prepare for war.


(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

(2) At the same time, Iran may soon attain a nuclear weapons capability, a development that would threaten United States interests, destabilize the region, encourage regional nuclear proliferation, further empower and embolden Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and provide it the tools to threaten its neighbors, including Israel.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as U.S. and Israeli intelligence, have all agreed that Iran does not currently have a nuclear bomb, is not building a nuclear weapon and does not have plans to do so. Both U.S. and Israeli officials also agree that a strike on Iran would only delay their nuclear program and actually encourage them to pursue a nuclear weapon.

Sustained, diplomatic engagement with Iran is the only way to ensure transparency and prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Rejecting or thwarting any inspections-based deal we are currently seeking with Iran, even when analysts are expressing guarded optimism that a near term deal is achievable, makes pre-emptive military action against Iran more likely.

(7) In order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the United States, in cooperation with its allies, must utilize all elements of national power including diplomacy, robust economic sanctions, and credible, visible preparations for a military option.

Pursuing these non-diplomatic options, contrary to popular myth, does not help negotiations. U.S. policy toward Iran for the last three decades has primarily taken the form of economic sanctions, threats and isolation. None of these things has created meaningful change in the behavior of the Iranian government or achieved the transparency we seek. In fact, history has demonstrated that sanctions often preclude war; they do not prevent it. Sanctions hurt the same ordinary Iranians that we claim to support, and undermine their efforts to encourage democratic change in their country. Threatening military action against Iran can only undermine sensitive and critical diplomatic negotiations that could be our last chance to achieve the transparency and cooperation we seek from the Iranian government.

(8) Nevertheless, to date, diplomatic overtures, sanctions, and other non-kinetic actions toward Iran have not caused the Government of Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

The United States, IAEA and Israel have all publically recognized that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. In a January 2012 interview on CBS' Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated unequivocally that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. This clause further ignores that the U.S. and Iran have barely engaged in direct negotiations. Prior to last month's negotiations, the U.S. and Iran had only engaged in 45 minutes of direct talks since 2009.

(b) Declaration of Policy- It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran's neighbors with a nuclear weapon.

This is an authorization for the use of military force against Iran. It ignores the warnings of both current and former U.S. top military brass who have spoken in opposition to the use of military force against Iran, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. A February 2012 poll demonstrated that less than 20% of the Israeli public supports an Israeli strike on Iran if approved by the United States. Congress must avoid the same mistakes it made in the Iraq war and reject any language that can be construed as authorizing war against Iran.


Section 2 (A) pre-positioning sufficient supplies of aircraft, munitions, fuel, and other materials for both air- and sea-based missions at key forward locations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean;

(B) maintaining sufficient naval assets in the region necessary to signal United States resolve and to bolster United States capabilities to launch a sustained sea and air campaign against a range of Iranian nuclear and military targets, to protect seaborne shipping, and to deny Iranian retaliation against United States interests in the region;

(D) conducting naval fleet exercises similar to the United States Fifth Fleet's major exercise in the region in March 2007 to demonstrate ability to keep the Strait of Hormuz open and to counter the use of anti-ship missiles and swarming high-speed boats.

A plain reading of these provisions in H.R. 4310 taken together with H.R. 568 makes it clear: Congress is setting the stage for war with Iran.


Carnage or Sanctions? 

Six Million Iranian Lives at Stake
The US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran which directly and painfully target the population have created an inconceivable situation for those whose very lives depend on the medicine adversely affected by these barbaric sanctions. 

The West is sharply aware of the devastating inhuman effects of the sanctions on the sick people. On September 4, the Washington Post published an article titled In Iran, Sanctions Take Toll On The Sick, which details how dug shortages are particularly affecting “cancer patients and those being treated for complex disorders such as hemophilia, multiple sclerosis and Thalassemia, as well as transplant and kidney dialysis patients." 

Fatemeh Hashemi, Head of Iran’s Charity Institute for Special Diseases, has voiced grave concern for the six million patients suffering from special diseases and their families who are desperately wrestling with the problems originating therefrom. In fact, the US-led sanctions are exacting their deadly toll on the terminally ailing patients. 

"We feel the shortage mainly for cancer and MS drugs. Of course, Thalassemia and dialysis patients are also the targets of these hardships. All these problems stem from the sanctions the US has imposed on the banking sector and the difficulties in transferring foreign currency," Hashemi said.

The bitter question is: Is the West taking sadistic pleasure in incurring genocidal deaths or does the West naively believe that they are achieving their fiendish goals in the Muslim country?

Bitterly exasperated by the fact that a large multitude of patients are on the brink of death on account of the US-led sanctions, Fatemeh Hashemi wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon two months ago. Part of the letter which was sent through the Iranian Foreign Ministry reads: “Although medicine is not included in the list of the sanctions, the aftermaths of the sanctions, the impossibility of transferring money through the banks as well as the appalling atmosphere created thus has cast its cumbersome shadow upon medicine and healthcare in Iran and has austerely affected the import of medicines in the country. As the head of an institute dealing with the lives of six million patients, I hereby implore you to exert all your endeavors to champion human rights in lifting the sanctions as they are political in nature and prove to the inexcusable detriment of the patients in Iran.”

Many of the Thalassemia patients in Iran are threatened by death due to the paucity of Desferrioxamine or Desferal, a medicine which helps keep their blood iron at a safe level in the body. Thalassemia patients keep having blood transfusions which cause extra iron in the body. When blood transfusions are regular, iron gathers in the body and is amassed in some organs such as the liver, the heart, and the endocrine glands. Functioning as a foreign body, the iron eventually damages the organs. One of the main drugs which helps keep the blood iron at a safe level is desferrioxamine or ‘Desferal’.

In a recent speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has blasted the illogical western sanctions as ‘barbaric’ and described them as a war against a nation. 

“The West is angry and they have used Iran’s nuclear energy program as a pretext [to impose sanctions]. They claim that they will lift the sanctions if Iran backs down on its right to nuclear energy. They are lying. Out of spite and revenge, they decide to impose illogical sanctions against Iran.”

As the leader says, the nuclear energy program is only an excuse for the West. 

To be precise, the West is well aware that Iran has never sought a nuclear weapons program nor does it ever wish to do so. However they appear to be incapable of finding a better excuse than Iran’s nuclear energy program to go ahead with their barbaric sanctions with the ultimate goal of installing a US-friendly regime in the country. A recent article by David Frum reveals how Washington uses the sanctions as a strategy to bring about regime change in Iran. He says, “The U.S. has three goals vis-a-vis Iran: minimalist, maximalist and in-between. The minimalist goal is to compel Iran to surrender its nuclear ambitions and submit fully to international monitoring. The in-between goal is more generally to moderate Iran's obnoxious behavior, including state sponsorship of terrorist outrages such as the recent attempt to murder the Saudi ambassador to Washington. The maximalist goal is to apply enough economic pressure to incite domestic revolution and the fall of the regime.” 

Apart from his naïve perception of the status quo in Iran, he touches on a very important issue which tops the US agenda: regime change in Iran. Parenthetically, Frum used to be Bush’s speech writer and was well connected to the White House. His unconscious confession to this grand delusion entertained by the US officials indicates how very removed from reality the Washington officials are and how infernally adamant they are on bringing about this change at whatever cost, even the lives of millions of people. 

The sheer idea of imposing illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic and jeopardizing the lives of millions of patients is indeed an act of brutality which runs counter to the very true spirit of humanity as well as to international humanitarian laws.
Since when has the act of endangering the lives of the ailing people become part of a dirty political game played by the West? 

What a shame!

In cahoots with the US, the West is willingly or unwillingly exterminating the Iranian patients through these illegal sanctions. Indeed, they will be held accountable for the human loss they are inflicting upon the Iranian nation: surely, the eyes of God are watching them and they are held in divine abhorrence.


Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.

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