International

Obama’s Iran Dilemma

The recent Iranian military exercises in the sea close to the strategic Straits of Hormuz, which is the conduit for the sea-borne transportation of 60 % of crude oil for the world, has served a loud and categorical warning to the US military brass. It’s only the ultra-right fanatics and Zionist war-mongers who are purblind to not being able to read the message. Or is it that they don’t want to read?

The Iranians could just be posturing, and probably were, but they have let no one in any doubt of what they would do in retaliation for any Israeli-US, or Israel-only, military strike against their alleged nuclear sites.

Sinking a couple of ships in the neck of the straits would block it for the passage of oil tankers carrying crude for countries as overtly dependent on oil from the Gulf as China, India and Japan. It would be choking off the booming and bustling economies of these countries and scores of others, something that is enough to send shivers down their spines. This is not to mention the spike this would cause in the global oil prices, shooting them literally through the roof and irreparably damaging the fragile economies of not only the developing world.

The fright that any prospect of galloping oil prices could cause to Europe is also a case in point and needs hardly any elaboration, given the present turmoil in EU member states, such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland, to mention only a few, spawned by their woeful economies. The wobbly British economy itself should be a stark warning to the war-mongers in that country always eager to join their bigger partner from across the Atlantic in military adventures overseas.

The red light for Europe couldn’t be starker. EU is being bamboozled by the Israelis and their American Zionist cohorts as much as they have been needling Obama to sign on to their dotted lines against Iran. European states with their economies in a tail spin can well understand what a horrendous price in suffering their economies and people are being asked to bear by Netanyahu and his followers just to satiate their hunger to cripple Iran.

Striking Iran to cripple its alleged nuclear weapons programme is only a ruse to the bigger objective to effect ‘regime change’ in that country. It’s an old American ambition to sabotage and dismember the present Islamic regime of Iran and supplant in its place a more pliable and ‘co-operative’ regime. What the American neo cons are after is a regime that would strongly resemble the regime of the discredited Shah, who prided himself on his role as the policeman of US interests in the Gulf.

Regime change in Iran is also a dream of the oil-rich Sheikhdoms of the Gulf, headed by Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah of which, according to Wiki-leaks urged his American allies to chop off the head of the Iranian serpent.

However, the success of western collusion in the toppling of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi and the extinction of his regime has given a new spur to the Zionists and their cohorts in Europe and US to apply more intense heat on Iran and rally their forces to disrupt the Islamic Republic.

So the get-Iran crusade has drawn a multi-faceted and broad-based programme to annihilate the Iranian regime.

One aspect of it is to weaken Iran economically with the expectation that ever-more stringent and biting sanctions would bring the regime crashing on its own feet. Obama has been more than willing to oblige the Zionists and their right-wing cabals in this campaign. US, on his watch, has been progressively widening the scope of sanctions against Iran with the aim of-in the words of a  State department spokesperson in the wake of Obama signing into law the latest measures against the Iranian Central Bank-”tightening the noose” around Iran’s neck.

But Netanyahu is still not happy with Obama and continues to demand ‘more’ action from him. Ironically, this state of affairs should remind Obama of his constant demand from Pakistan ‘to do more’ on the front of fighting terrorism in its border region with Afghanistan.

The other aspect of the concerted campaign against Iran is to weaken it diplomatically and strategically by eliminating its supporters.

A principal and prime target on the minuscule list of states friendly to Iran is Syria. The two countries have basked in the sunshine of warmth and camaraderie since the Islamic revolution in Iran. Syria, it may be noted, was the only Arab country that stood by Iran during its epic struggle to contain the Iraqi onslaught, in the eight-year war. Iraq, then under Saddam had the blessings of US and its western allies, as well as the collective backing of the Arab League, sane Syria, of course.

Little wonder, therefore, that US and its European allies are so keen to bring down the Assad regime in Syria, not out of any empathy or love for the Syrian people, oppressed under Assad, but because Assad’s elimination would, in their sense, deal a crippling blow to Iran.

Israel under a rapacious Netanyahu has thrown its full weight behind the movement to topple Basher Al Assad and achieve a regime change in Damascus. He has Obama’s unquestioning loyalty in this nefarious campaign. So have Israel and US the unflinching support of oil-rich Arab Sheikhs and potentates in this dastardly game.

Qatar, the tiny Sheikhdom with huge wealth of oil and gas has been in the forefront of the western-sponsored movement against Syria, just as it was in the campaign against Qaddafi’s Libya. It’s amazing how effectively this little pigmy has been punching way above its weight with the help of its Al-Jazeera television network that has, over the years, become as much an active cog in the western propaganda machine against the Arab and Islamic worlds as old hands like BBC and CNN.

Why is Qatar or any other oil-rich Gulf principality so actively engaged against Syria is not such a mystery. They think that by lending their tiny weight but bulging pockets to the Zionist and western efforts to topple unsavoury Arab regimes, such as Assad of Syria, they would buy western, particularly American, insurance that such a day wouldn’t face them, ever. It’s ironic that conservative and undemocratic Gulf regimes that are so niggardly in allowing freedoms to their own people are prepared to bankroll movements for the rights of oppressed Libyans or Syrians.

Ironic it’s also in the case of President Obama that just as he goes on adding to the regime of sanctions against Iran to oblige the Jewish lobby in US, Netanyahu continually goes on raising the bar for him; his goal-post of ‘do more’ keeps incrementing all the time.

Netanyahu feels smugly confident that he has Obama by his tail. A weak and wobbly, vacillating president in the year of election is as good as a ripe apple ready to fall into Netanyahu’s lap. The Israeli warmonger feels he’s in a win-win situation, vis-à-vis Obama.

At the turn of the year, with his re-election bid looming large before him, Obama has but a single-item agenda: get re-elected by any means. He knows, as much as Netanyahu, that crossing the swords with the Jewish lobby in his bid would be tantamount to hara-kiri on his part. So much as he may smirk at Netanyahu’s agenda of war against Iran he may have no choice but give in to it as the Israeli hawk methodically whittle downs his defences and exposing his weakness in full view of the world.

Political pundits are no longer talking of if but focusing on when Netanyahu and the jingoistic cabal around him cast the die against Iran. Ideally from their point of view the Zionists may have drawn a red circle around mid-summer when Obama would be immersed up to his neck in his re-election campaign and could, at best, throw up his hands in disgust at the temerity of the war-mongers. But he will have no guts to take them on or cross their path.

The Zionists also feel confident that with help from their conservative Arab ‘friends’ they will have seen the last of the Assad regime in Syria by that period. Iran, no doubt, has a heavy agenda of mischief from its enemies to deal with. Does its leadership have the wherewithal to deal with these enormous and mounting challenges is the question of the day.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2012 on page no. 18

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