July 9, 2010
Omid Memarian, writing for IPS, warns that sanctions recently imposed on Iran by the United Nations and the United States will adversely impact that country’s middle class. “Although the United States and its allies insist that the latest round of U.N. sanctions against Iran targets high-level government officials rather than the general population, interviews with a number of analysts, activists and journalists in Tehran reveal a growing concern over the impact on the country’s middle class,” Memarian writes.
German–Iranian political scientist Ali Fathollah-Nejad documents how “smart sanctions” are punishing Iran’s population at large and not its insulated leadership. “Sanctions – either ‘crippling’ or ‘smart’ — ultimately harm ordinary citizens. ‘Smart sanctions’ is as much of an oxymoron as ‘smart weapons’ which supposedly by ‘surgical strikes’ only take out evil components. Indeed, much as in the case of their militaristic brothers-in-spirit, in the end the ‘collateral damages’ of ‘smart sanctions’ remain dominant,” writes Fathollah-Nejad.
In August of 2009, author and Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, Hamid Dabashi, stated the obvious when he responded to the calls by the usual cast of rabid neocons — from the Hoover Institution, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the American Enterprise Institute (all played key roles in the invasion of Iraq) — for more severe sanctions.
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“From imposing ‘crippling sanctions’ to initiating ‘covert operations,’ all the way down to military attack by Israel and/or the United States amounts to a familiar scenario that has a very simple and coded antecedent in modern Iranian political culture: the CIA-engineered coup d’état of 1953, for which President Obama apologized during his speech at Cairo University in June 2009,” writes Dabashi. “Contrary to the vision and wisdom of the president, the political machinations of the U.S. Congress and the flawed advice offered by this group of panelists amount to a belligerent threat against the regime. That will exacerbate its self-righteous warring posture and have chilling consequences for the grass-roots civil rights movement inside Iran.”
In fact, as Paul Craig Roberts has noted, support for the “grass-roots civil rights movement inside Iran” has come primarily from the CIA. “The protests in Tehran [in 2009] no doubt have many sincere participants. The protests also have the hallmarks of the CIA orchestrated protests in Georgia and Ukraine. It requires total blindness not to see this,” writes Roberts. If Mir-Hossein Mousavi had succeeded in winning the election last year — an election accompanied by CIA orchestrated demonstrations — he “would have privatized the oil sector and brought back the Monarchy. The son of the former Shah, Reza Cyrus Pahlavi, would have ascended to the throne” once occupied by his father, notes French journalist Thierry Meyssan.
The globalist establishment, including the neocon faction, understand that political demonstrations, color revolutions, and CIA directed bombing and assassination campaigns inside Iran will not overthrow the government and lead to the re-installment of the Shah or some other regime amenable to their agenda. Instead of an effort to foment a coup or a highly unlikely uprising on the part of the Iranian people, sanctions and covert warfare inside Iran are designed to create social and political tension.
In order to understand what the elite have in mind for Iran, consider the sanctions imposed on Iraq. The near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council against Iraq — at the behest of the United States — following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in response to that country’s slant drilling of Iraqi oil was not intended to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait or even, as later insisted, to punish Iraq for its supposed weapons of mass destruction program. The sanctions were designed to completely destroy Iraq as a political, social, and cultural entity. The plan was to turn Iraq into yet another obedient and impoverished New World Order client state and destroy Saddam Hussein’s flirtation with Arab nationalism — the pan-Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt profoundly influenced young Ba’athists like Saddam — and put to rest once and for all his dream of becoming the modern Nebuchadnezzar of the Arab world.
“Seven years of the most comprehensive sanctions in modern history have reduced Iraq and its people to utter destitution,” Rick McDowell wrote in 1997, six years before the sanctions were supposedly lifted during the second U.S. invasion of the country. “To date, more children have died in Iraq than the combined toll of two atomic bombs on Japan and the ethnic cleansing of former Yugoslavia. The UN’s Department of Humanitarian Affairs reports that Iraq’s public health services are nearing a total breakdown from a lack of basic medicines, life-saving drugs, and essential medical supplies. The lack of clean water-50 percent of all rural people have no access to potable water-and the collapse of waste water treatment facilities in most urban areas are contributing to the rapidly deteriorating state of public health.” For the full extent of the sanctions, see Eric Hoskins, MD, The Truth Behind Economic Sanctions: A Report on the Embargo of Food and Medicines to Iraq.
Hoskins’ research reveals nothing less than a full frontal assault on Iraq — radically increased morbidity and mortality, rampant infectious disease and epidemics, widespread malnutrition, a population-wide reduction in general health status, a significant reduction in available medicines, curtailed food imports and agricultural production, and deterioration in water quantity and quality (as Thomas J. Nagy of George Washington University documented in 2001, the Pentagon intentionally used sanctions to degrade Iraq’s water supply).
As Joy Gordon wrote in 1999 (Sanctions as Siege Warfare), “sanctions appeared to be a nearly ideal device for international governance.” More specifically, sanctions serve as an ideal device to destroy a targeted country — in the case of Iraq, following a devastating military campaign — and open it up to globalist domination.
This pattern is now repeating itself in the concerted effort by the United States and the United Nations against Iran, albeit without a military campaign to increase the severity of sanctions. It appears, however, that the U.S. and Israel are setting the stage for just such a military campaign. Iran’s fledgling nuclear program will serve as the excuse for an attack in much the same way Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMDs served as an excuse to re-invade and further decimate Iraq in early 2003.
Iran, like Iraq before it, is much too proud and independent for the global elite. They are determined to reduce the last few remaining bastions outside their bankster economic control to smoldering ruins. In order to do this they must contrive a plausible excuse and hype a threat that does not exist.