Saturday 23rd Aug 2014
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Message from Middle East

View From Dubai

, by AIJAZ ZAKA SYED

America's own intelligence agencies say Iran is not building the Bomb. Yet Bush says Iran was dangerous, is dangerous and will be dangerous. If this isn't absurd, what is? wonders AIJAZ ZAKA SYED

The world would be so dull without its share of the Bushes, don’t you think?  He is a constant delight to watch and listen to. I often find it difficult recalling who we in the media turned to for comic relief before the US leader came along.
Even as the pundits scratched their heads over the findings of the US intelligence agencies this week that concluded Iran is not building nuclear weapons wondering if it signalled a turnaround in the US-Iran relations, Bush called an impromptu press conference at White House to thunder: “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous.”
Clearly, he had panicked over the National Intelligence Estimate report released earlier in the day.  Compiled by America’s all 16 intelligence agencies and hundreds of experts, the NIE is the closest you could get to objective analysis.
And America’s top intelligence agencies and sleuths have concluded that Iran had indeed been telling the truth all along.  That its loud protestations that it is not building nukes and that its nuclear programme is only aimed at peaceful purposes were after all true. The NIE reveals that even if Iran had ever flirted with the idea of nuclear weapons, it has long abandoned it.
In other words, the US agencies have demolished the big white lie spawned by their own administration that Iran is a clear and present danger to the world.

 The same white lies, the same spin, the same Goebbelsian propaganda that the world had been fed in the run up to the war on Iraq in 2003 have been employed against Iran, with the same ingenuity and with the same force and unity of purpose.u003cbr />  Why, only a month and half ago in October, Bush warned us of a Third World War and 'nuclear holocaust' if Iran was not prevented from building the NUKES that would hit Israel and other neighbours.u003cbr />  Which is why it is so interesting to see America's top sleuths call the bluff of their own government, illuminating the incredibly brazen lies and mischievous skulduggery that lies at the heart of this whole campaign.u003cbr />  And as the Middle East experts and wonks this week began wondering if these new findings by NIE would lead to the US-Iran thaw, Bush appeared on television screens to tell us: “No, not so fast. We won't let Iran off the hook so easily. The world cannot change as long as I am in charge.”u003cbr />  All this while he had been telling us about the 'evidence' gathered by the US intelligence agencies on Iran's shady nuclear programme, warning the Americans and the rest of the world how Iran remains a threat to peace.u003cbr />  And now he tells us, the stark and undeniable truth brought out by America's own intelligence agencies does not change anything on Iran. There's no question of a change of policy on Iran. Intelligence or no intelligence, Iran is a threat. The National Intelligence Estimate says and I quote: "We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015."u003cbr />  The NIE authors go on to explain in bold print upfront: "This NIE does not [italics in original] assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons."u003cbr />",1] ); //--> We in the Middle East – and sane and thinking people everywhere – had always believed there was as much truth in the Bushies’ charge sheet against Iran, as in their long list of accusations against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The same white lies, the same spin, the same Goebbelsian propaganda that the world had been fed in the run up to the war on Iraq in 2003 have been employed against Iran, with the same ingenuity and with the same force and unity of purpose.
Why, only a month and half ago in October, Bush warned us of a Third World War and ‘nuclear holocaust’ if Iran was not prevented from building the NUKES that would hit Israel and other neighbours.
Which is why it is so interesting to see America’s top sleuths call the bluff of their own government, illuminating the incredibly brazen lies and mischievous skulduggery that lies at the heart of this whole campaign.
And as the Middle East experts and wonks this week began wondering if these new findings by NIE would lead to the US-Iran thaw, Bush appeared on television screens to tell us: “No, not so fast. We won’t let Iran off the hook so easily. The world cannot change as long as I am in charge.”
All this while he had been telling us about the ‘evidence’ gathered by the US intelligence agencies on Iran’s shady nuclear programme, warning the Americans and the rest of the world how Iran remains a threat to peace.
And now he tells us, the stark and undeniable truth brought out by America’s own intelligence agencies does not change anything on Iran. There’s no question of a change of policy on Iran. Intelligence or no intelligence, Iran is a threat. The National Intelligence Estimate says and I quote: "We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015."
The NIE authors go on to explain in bold print upfront: "This NIE does not [italics in original] assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons."
Can it get any clearer than this?
Yet President Bush says these findings do not change ANYTHING. He insists: “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous.”
Why? Because, the US president explains, “they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” Can it get any better than this? If this isn't absurdly unreasonable, what is?
Now you are a criminal, if you know how to commit a crime.  Now, according to Bush law, you are a killer, if you know how to kill someone.  Socrates argued knowledge is power.  But according to Bush doctrine, knowledge is a crime.   Knowing something is doing it.  Iran is dangerous because its scientists know how to make a nuclear weapon.  Therefore, Iran must be dealt with, just as Saddam’s Iraq had been dealt with.  Who can argue with the proponents of this theory that you don’t have to be a nuclear scientist to know how to build the Bomb.
Anyone with access to Internet – which in today’s world means anyone – would tell you how to make a nuclear weapon.  Only making one isn’t so easy with the impossibly elaborate process and resources involved.  If it were that easy, every country on the face of earth would boast a nuclear arsenal. Who would explain this simple fact to the leader of the world’s mightiest power?  But doesn’t Bush know this? I can bet my life he sure does. Only he is not prepared to face this reality and admit it. Driven as he is by the agenda of our neocon and Zionist friends, he cannot afford to let Iran get away.
When Bush took over, Iraq and Iran had been the two big thorns in the Israeli lobby’s side.  One has been taken care of. The other remains to be dealt with. And it should be done so before this president leaves the White House.  Otherwise, they can always count on Bush’s successor, whoever he or she might be.  But isn’t the dangerous method in this madness that is apparent to ordinary hacks like me clear to the movers and shakers in the Arab and Muslim world? I have a feeling it is.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dramatic appearance at the GCC summit in Doha last week was a diplomatic coup.
The Arab leaders demonstrated rare foresight and political wisdom by inviting the Iranian leader to the conclave.  When was the last time you saw an Arab leader warmly clasp an Iranian leader’s hand and usher him in.  It was a rare and heart-warming sight to see King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Arab-Muslim world, and Sultan Qaboos of Oman embrace and lead Ahmadinejad in a procession.
UAE President Shaikh Khalifa was among the first to welcome the Iranian leader with a warm smile.  I hardly need remind my readers that UAE and Iran are involved in a row over three islands that once belonged to UAE. Which is why this unprecedented unity and solidarity in the ranks of Arab and Muslim countries is so refreshing. If only they’d demonstrated this unity and solidarity in the past, the map of the Middle East and the Muslim world would have been dramatically different today.
Whoever scripted this deserves kudos. And remember this came in response to the clever propaganda campaign that has been going on for some time on this front, warning the ‘Sunni Arabs’ against the nuclear threat of a ‘Shia Iran.’  Even a day before the GCC summit in Doha, Western news agencies screamed that the ‘Sunni Arab’ heads of Gulf states were meeting to “devise strategies” to deal with the threat of ‘Shia Iran’. By inviting Ahmadinejad to their meeting in Doha, the Arab leaders effectively trashed the Western media blitz.
By doing so, they sent a loud and clear message to Washington and the West: “We refuse to be dictated and played against each other.  We know who our real friends and foes are!”
The West would ignore this message from the Muslim street at its own cost.
[Aijaz Zaka Syed is a senior editor and columnist of Khaleej Times. Write to him at aijazsyed@khaleejtimes.com]


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