Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tightening the Screws

Today as I write this it seems that american plans for launching some strike against Iran are being put into place. If anything american actions recently show that war is on it’s mind for Iran. If you doubt this consider how america’s forces are behaving recently.
In early October the new aircraft carrier uss george h w bush was launched, somewhat ahead of schedule, and plans to build the next carrier, the uss gerald r ford, are being put into place. Just two weeks before the navy also launched it’s first littoral combat ship, designed to deploy troops to shore positions faster and to handle and assess threats from foreign combatants. Already the uss dwight d Eisenhower has been ordered to deploy with it’s battle group to the Persian Gulf. This is to augment the iwo jima strike force, consisting of three amphibious attack ships and their support vessels. The Eisenhower has been undergoing refit, meaning it’s structure is more vulnerable, and the crippling of the ins hanit by Hezbollah used Iranian technology in July 2006 has shown that american warships in carrier battle groups, which are similarly built in hull structure, can be easily taken out by Iranian technology. Also the american military has retired the F-14 Tomcat fighters from service, in all likelihood an attempt to free up money to be spent on the F-22 and other new fighter aircraft the ameircan military is producing. Considering how many of these ships are old and american air and ground forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are short on material this assumption is a logical one.
Should the american military attempt such an attack in all likelihood it would be a failure. The american government is unpopular and it knows it. Judging by the domestic steps it is taking one can only conclude that some sort of crackdown is being prepared. In late September congress passed a bill granting the government the power to detain anyone indefinitely who it suspected of being an enemy combatant. Though similar laws since 9/11 have been passed the timing of this is a sign that something is being considered, namely a crackdown on American citizens who oppose their government’s criminal actions. Consider also how communications lines with the representatives of governments who question American acts and preparations for aggression are occurring. For instance the Russian ambassador to the UN’s e-mails are frequently blocked, as are the Chinese ambassador to the UN’s e-mails. Such an act is done to prevent representatives of foreign governments from hearing how people in america really feel about their government. Such blocking of communications sparked former Iranian President Khatami to tour america so that he would be able to more directly communicate with america to prevent aggression against his country. Hopefully the representatives of Russia, China, Germany, France, and Britain will remember this when they meet to consider action to be taken against Iran, since such actions occurred three years ago when the issue of Iraq was at stake. Already american bakdealing has helped cause a rift in the Shanghai Cooperative Organization nations and China and Russia are taking little action to heal this rift. They would do well to remember that after Iran's defeat over Herat in the 1830's as the result of western manipulation China and the rest of Asia soon feel under western influence. Today, these Asian nations should unite instead of allowing divisions to form.
Khatami’s tour of america showed much of how the american government is planning aggression against Iran. For one, the american government financed demonstrators who protested Khatami’s speeches throughout his american tour. This would have gone unnoticed had not the demonstrators themselves bragged about how the american government was financing their protests. Even more noticeable was what happened when Khatami traveled to the Boston area. The governor of massachusetts mitt Romney ordered all law enforcement agencies to refuse Khatami protection, casting the specter of some act of violence, possibly american backed, against Khatami. In response to this the mayors of Boston and Cambridge ordered their police departments to provide protection for Khatami’s visit. They not only did this but in doing so they prevented any act of violence from occurring. Just as alarming was the fact that many Iranian groups and groups who oppose american aggression did not plan to take action to protect Khatami. Case in point; the Nation of Islam would not plan any actions in support of Khatami for his Boston visit, citing the guarantee of security by those aforementioned mayors as a reason not to mobilize. Their refusal was flawed for several reasons. First, it deprived Iranians of extra support to counter the government backed protesters and since groups like answer and ufpj would not mobilize many in the anti-war movement were deprived of extra support to attend Khatami’s event. Second, if the security forces arranged for Khatami’s visit turned on him or someone made an assassination attempt there would have been extra people to take retaliatory action. This is something people should bear in mind for future occurrences.
Just as alarming is the treatment of Iranians and of those who oppose american aggression. Once again these people are on the receiving end of harassment, be it arrests on false and frivolous charges, harassment by electronic surveillance, wiretapping, mail tampering, and stalking. Unlike three years ago there is a clear lack of leaders and many in the anti-war movement and other dissidents are too scared to take constructive action. Even worse is how today Iranian groups and other so-called dissident groups are encouraged not to speak out and are rewarded by the government for it, and some groups even placed in situations where they are provoked into action. One instance occurred in January 2006 at MIT. Throughout that month several Iranian studies groups held lectures which were open to the public. What most of the attendants were unaware of was that in the building next to where the lectures were being held the nanotechnology lab, where work on american military projects occurs, was left unsecured. Had some attack on the nanotech lab occurred most certainly the Iranian student groups would have been blamed. Also noticeable is how Iranian groups at colleges are discouraged from inviting speakers who express dissenting and anti-war views to speak at campuses and from being involved in social justice events. Even more alarming is how Iranian organizations are often discouraged from getting involved in social justice and in supporting Iranians who are on the receiving end of government harassment, let alone organizing any event more controversial than a No Ruz celebration. Such behaviors are the signs of groups that either accept their persecution or are too lazy to do anything about it.
During times of crisis people should never hesitate to resist any attack against themselves. In this day and age the majority of Iranians in america appear to be tolerating, or too weak to do anything about, the persecution they are receiving. This behavior must be reversed if Iranians, let alone any ethnic group, in america are to avoid the fate of similar groups in nazi germany.

Peter Khan Zendran

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