An excellent article that I thoroughly recommend by Lenni Brenner, a veteran American Jewish anti-Zionist whose seminal book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators showed how during the war, the Zionist movement collaborated with the Hitlerites and fascists whilst opposing the entry of Jewish refugees to any country bar Palestine. In this article Lenni makes it clear that opposition to war against Iran and opposition to the regime in Iran are quite compatible. Further Lenni shows how the United State’s concern isn’t the undemocratic and repressive nature of the Iranian state and proclamations to this effect by Clinton are just so many more imperial lies. Because who is it that the USA is allied to? That beacon of liberation Saudi Arabia!
The Alliance Between the USA and Saudi Arabia
The media is now full of articles re the danger of an attack on Iran by Israel or the US. The AWG must make this a major OWS focus. It must get OWS funding for a website documenting America’s imperial ‘super power’ character, Israel’s colonialism and why they and Saudi Arabia, a male chauvinist absolute monarchy, are allied against Iran. The site must also accurately describe the holocaust denying and oppressive Iranian regime, and its internal opposition, left and right.
There are two reasons why we, opponents of US imperialism, must also critique Iran. The world audience needs full info as to what molds the Tehran regime’s responses to the crisis. And many people – especially Americans, Israelis, Saudis and Iranians – are already aware of sinister aspects of the Islamic Republic’s policies. If we only denounced its foreign foes, they would automatically see us as Tehran’s ‘defense attorneys’ and therefore be suspicious re the quality of our evaluations of its enemies. Appropriately citing Iran’s past or present misconduct will serve to assure its many critics, left and right, that our accusations re its adversaries are likely to be valid. Indeed clearly presenting a rounded picture of all the players on the Middle Eastern stage will attract further public attention to OWS.
In a US election year, the world is constantly reminded about US sanctions vs. Iran, and Israel’s assassinations of its atomic scientists. But how many Americans understand how closely Washington and Jerusalem collaborate? They were gearing up for a drill, “Austere Challenge 12,” designed to improve co-operation against incoming missiles. However, after the latest assassination, the Israeli journal Haaretz reported that it was “postponed…. in order to avoid an escalation with Iran.” It is now scheduled to take place in October, i.e., just before the election, so Obama can answer Republican charges that he isn’t really Israel’s patron. It will be “the largest-ever joint drill by the two countries, involving thousands of US soldiers.”
THE US AND ISRAEL’S SAUDI ALLY
Many voters know that the US arms Saudi Arabia. As it is the world’s only government that doesn’t allow women to drive cars, the alliance is unpopular. But most voters are not well informed re the extent of Saudi involvement in the maneuvers against Iran. Excerpts from articles documenting its role, and the internet addresses of the complete reports, must also be on the proposed website.
A January 7 NY Times article, “Pressed by US, Asian Countries Look for Ways to Reduce Purchases of Iranian Oil,” reported that
“Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said it would increase production if needed to make up for any decline in exports from Iran.”
A January 16 Times article, “Chinese Visit to Saudi Arabia,” said that Washington hopes it will ‘loosen China’s ties to Iran.”
Oil is obviously involved in the US-Saudi relationship. But how many Americans fully understand why Obama authorized a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the biggest weapons pact in US history?
A June 16, 2011 Financial Times article, “Arab spring tests US-Saudi relationship,” explained why:
“The relationship is founded on the core understanding that the US will provide security for Saudi Arabia, which in return will do its part to keep oil prices stable.”
Most oil producing countries pump up limited amounts and want a high price. But capitalism slows down if the price is too high. However Saudi Arabia has the world’s second largest oil reserves and the US frequently gets it to pump more, thus lowering the price. This crucial fact re oil must be on our site.
We must also emphasize that this isn’t the first time Washington and Riyadh united. In 1973, a cousin of Afghanistan’s King launched a coup against him and became its first President. In 1978, he killed a leader of the pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. The PDPA and the ‘modernist’ army successfully revolted. The new atheist-dominated government abandoned most Islamic Sharia law and closed many mosques. It proclaimed sexual equality, banned bride price and forced marriage. They stressed female education and political activity.
This enraged Riyadh. In 1979, Democratic criminal Jimmy Carter got it to send Osama Bin Ladin and other fanatics to fight the new rulers. They helped Carter train Afghan Islamic fundamentalists in terrorism against the Soviet Union’s military, sent by Moscow to protect the progressive regime.
Victory inspired Bin Laden to believe that Allah would also help them defeat America’s “crusaders.” The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was “blowback,” CIA slang for disastrous after-effects of its maneuvers.
Given this history, most folks assume the Saudi regime also hates Israel. But London’s January 12, 2010 Times reported that
“Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities…. Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.”
The Times quoted “a US defense source” as saying “This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.” The complete report must be on our site.
In 1948, King Ibn Saud was definitely against the US-backed creation of Israel. But an American company discovered his oil and the kingdom knew zero re how to pump it. So he didn’t break with Washington. Over time, the Saudi dynasty adjusted to Israel’s existence, while nominally denouncing Zionism, to please ‘the Arab street.’
Now Saudi Arabia and Israel have a common enemy – Iran. Only the Sunni (People of the Tradition and Community) version of Islam is official in Saudi Arabia. But 10% to 15% of its people are Shia (Followers of Ali) Muslims. Most live in the Eastern Province along the Persian Gulf with its massive oil fields. In the Shia-majority city of Dammam, there is no Shia call to prayer or cemetery for Shia. The mayor, police chief and all Shia girls’ school principals are Sunni.
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the present absolute monarch, claims Shia-ruled Iran is behind equal rights demonstrations in his country and in the island Kingdom of Bahrain, connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, where Shia are the majority, also oppressed by a Sunni dynasty.
The last thing Riyadh wants is a Shia A-bomb. But it can’t stop Iran from producing one, hence its support for Obama’s effort to close the world oil market to Tehran, and its alliance with Israel.
IRAN, A RIGHT-WING OPPONENT OF THE US
Iran’s regime is also blowback from Washington plotting. In 1951, under Mohammad Mosaddegh, the elected prime minister, Iran nationalized the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, owned by the British government. Winston Churchill imposed an embargo on Iranian oil. The Shah (King) opposed Mossadegh, fearing the embargo would ruin Iran.
Churchill enlisted the US in deposing Mossadegh. In 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower authorized “Operation Ajax.” The first Anglo-American coup effort failed and the Shah fled the country. But then Mosaddegh was arrested by the pro-Shah military, backed by the CIA, and the Shah returned, a staunch pro-American enemy of the USSR.
In 1963, the modernist Shah announced a “White Revolution,” land reform, sale of state-owned enterprises to capitalists, enfranchising women, allowing non-Muslims to hold office, and a literacy campaign.
In a 1964 speech, Ruhollah Khomeini, a Grand Ayatollah (Shia’s highest clerical rank), denounced the Shah for submitting to the US and Israel. The Shah presented
“a law to the Parliament according to which…. American military advisers, together with their families, technical and administrative officials, and servants – in short, anyone in any way connected to them – are to enjoy legal immunity with respect to any crime they may commit in Iran!… Why? Because they wanted a loan from America and America demanded this in return!….
If the religious leaders have influence, they will not permit Israel to take over the Iranian economy; they will not permit Israeli goods to be sold in Iran – in fact, to be sold duty-free!…
If the religious leaders have influence, they will not permit people’s innocent daughters to be under the tutelage of young men at school; they will not permit women to teach at boys’ schools and men to teach at girls’ schools, with the resulting corruption….
Let the American President know that in the eyes of the Iranian nation, he is the most repulsive member of the human race today because of the injustice he has imposed on our Muslim nation….
So the government wants the Messenger of God to play no role in our affairs, so that Israel can do whatever it likes, and America likewise. All our troubles today are caused by this America. All our troubles today are caused by this Israel. Israel itself derives from America.”
Khomeini was jailed and then exiled.
In 1975, the Shah set up a one-party state, declaring that
“A person who does not enter the new political party…. belongs to an Iranian prison, or if he desires he can leave the country tomorrow.”
He tortured leftists and rightists, but a mass revolution began in 1977 and he fled the country in 1979. Khomeini returned, ultimately becoming Supreme Leader of an Islamic Republic. Nationalists and Marxists who also fought the Shah were executed by the thousands.
IRAN, A RIGHT-WING OPPONENT OF ZIONISM
Khomeini’s opposition to Israel was based on politics as well as theology. The Shah had campaigned against Iraq’s control of the Shatt al-Arab river between the two countries, leftover from British domination of Iraq. He funded Iraqi Kurd rebels, arming them with Soviet weapons which Israel seized in wars with Arab regimes and then handed over to the Shah. In return, he was the first Muslim leader to recognize Israel.
From 1977 until the Shah’s downfall, I took part in demonstrations called by the Committee for Artistic and Intellectual Freedom in Iran. In 1988, an Iranian comrade from my CAIFI days subscribed to Tehran’s Ettela’at daily newspaper. He told me that it was serializing my 1984 book, The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir. Later in 1988 Ettela’at published it as a pirated book.
Ettela’at liked The Iron Wall because it discussed how Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the Zionist Revisionist movement, had sent young followers to be trained at Mussolini’s Naval Academy in 1935-36. Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s father was Jabotinsky’s secretary when Revisionism’s leader died in 1940.
The also liked the book because it dealt with Yitzhak Shamir, Israel’s Prime Minister in 1984. Shamir had been a founding member of Lohamei Herut Israel (Lehi), Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, a 1940 split off from Jabotinsky’s organization. In 1941 Lehi delivered an offer to a German diplomat in Beirut. If Hitler would send Europe’s Jews to Palestine, Lehi,
“under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”
But nobody is perfect. I wrote that the Nazis murdered six million Jews. The pirate translator corrected this in a footnote:
“The figure six million as the number of Jews who were killed by the German Nazis, which is always bandied about by the Zionist propaganda agencies to make people feel sorry for them, provoke sympathy, and drag Jews to Palestine, is so fantastic that it could in no way be accepted. For by looking at existing documents, the number of European Jews massacred by the Nazis could not be greater than one million.”
Such holocaust denial is an Islamic Republic constant. In December, 2006, an International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust was held in Tehran. It was hosted by Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The guest list featured former KKK leader David Duke, a leader of Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, and others convicted in European countries where holocaust denial is illegal.
The December 13, 2006 Jerusalem Post quoted Ahmadinejad’s conference speech:
“The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom [and] elections should be held among Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner.”
The world rightly ignored his declaration that Palestine’s “Jews, Christians and Muslims” should “select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner.” It was made by the President of a government commanding women to wear loose-fitting coats or cloaks and scarfs that cover their hair in public, to an audience including a guest Kluxer and a neo-Nazi.
This year, Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, denounced holocaust denial because “Ours is an anti-racist cause.” Now OWS, also “an anti-racist cause,” must oppose Washington and Jerusalem’s campaign against Iran in that spirit.
If we denounce Obama and Netanyahu, their partisans will attack us: ‘OWS is defending a holocaust-denying regime.’ Our answer must be
‘No! We condemn Ahmadinejad’s fanaticism. But Obama’s sanctions are severely hurting the Iranian people’s livelihood.’
After Ahmadinejad’s 2009 rigged election victory, Vice President Biden said that
“It sure looks like the way they’re suppressing speech, the way they’re suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there’s some real doubt.”
OWS must ask sanctions supporters
‘Why is Obama making Ahmadinejad’s millions of opponents suffer for his policies?’
Netanyahu says an A-bomb armed Iran would be “an existential threat” to Israel. OWS must challenge him:
‘If you stopped building Jews-only West Bank settlements, and granted all Palestinian refugees the right of return to pre-1967 Israel, why would Ahmadinejad or any Iranian President nuke Israel?’
OWS must tell Israel’s “99%” that the sure way to head off a future Iranian A-bomb is to help Palestinians get 100% of their rights. It must also tell Americans that if they want a peaceful Iran they should march against Obama’s sanctions and Netanyahu’s assassinations and demonstrate on behalf of Iran’s anti-Ahmadinejad “crowds.”