What is it exactly that President Bush has been lying about? Well, the list is pretty long. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on some of his more recent claims, in particular concerning Iran and the insurgency in Iraq.
1) Lies that started the Iraq war, are generally well known and can be best summed up as unfounded claims concerning Iraqi WMDs, alleged links between Saddam Hussein’s government and bin Laden’s terrorist network, and Iraqi connections to the 9/11 plot. Some of these lies took the form of blatant disinformation, selective presentation of intelligence, and intentional non-refuting of media stories. It is clear now that Iraq did not possess WMDs, had no working or other ties to al-Qaeda, that the Ansar-el-Islam group operated in Iraqi territory outside of Saddam’s jurisdiction, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 atrocities. That Saddam was a ruthless dictator, that he did commit crimes against humanity, and once possessed WMDs is true, as is the role the USA had in establishing and protecting Saddam as dictator, arming his dictatorship with conventional and non-conventional (WMDs) weapons, and turning a blind-eye to atrocities, using Saddam’s Iraq as a pawn in the Cold War and a proxy against revolutionary Iran.
2) Lies about Iran and the Insurgency: Throughout the last four years of the invasion and occupation of Iraq the US has frequently been involved in sabre-rattling towards the Iranian state, accusing Iran of having a hand in destabilising US occupied Iraq, supporting insurgents, and continuing to aid the Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas organisations, as well as developing a nuclear program with the intent of producing nuclear weapons.
Has Iran been involved in destabilising US occupied Iraq?
The largest political Party in Iraq is the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). The second largest party is the Islamic Dawa Party (IDP). Together these two Parties form the majority of the United Iraqi Alliance, which forms the ‘government’ of US occupation Iraq. Both of these Parties, and the vast majority of their leaders, were exiled in Iran under Saddam’s regime, and are heavily influenced by Iran. SCIRI in particular subscribes to the ideology prevalent in the current Iranian government, that of Velayat-e faqih, which argues for society to be governed by the religious scholars, the Ulema. The IDP, which was largely the predecessor to SCIRI, and many SCIRI leaders originated in IDP, differs from SCIRI in advocating greater governmental control by the ummah, the Islamic lay people. Both SCIRI and the IDP are pro-Iranian, and receive funds and ideological support from Iran. The other main pro-Iranian group in Iraq is the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr, although this group is generally more Iraqi-nationalist, and has been critical of too much Iranian influence in Iraq. As most readers will know, the US occupiers have been largely supportive of the United Iraqi Alliance, and credit them with representing the key to stabilising Iraq.
It is true that much of the blame for Iraq’s current sectarian strife can be attributed to actions of, primarily, SCIRI, in the form of SCIRI’s armed wing, the Shia militia known as the Badr Organisation. Officially this militia has been disbanded, with most of its members joining the newly constituted Iraqi Army and Police Forces. It is widely accused of disbanding in name only, and is thought to operate within the security forces as death squads involved in revenge attacks against Sunni insurgents, as well as ‘sectarian cleansing’ throughout Iraq.
So, has Iran been arming Iraqi insurgents?
The bulk of the Iraqi insurgents are composed of Sunni Arab nationalists, Ba’athists, Sunni Islamists and to a lesser extent foreign jihadists. All of these groups are known to be fiercely anti-Shia or anti-Iranian. The Shia militia (Badr Organisation and the Mahdi Army), although they have been involved in occasional fights with the occupation forces, have largely, especially the Badr Organisation, been working with the occupation forces to fight the insurgents. The idea of Iran supporting anti-Iranian or anti-Shia groups is laughable. The attacks on the Iraqi security forces and the occupation forces by the insurgents are much more likely to have received support (material and financial) from Sunni Arabs opposed to Shia and Iranian ascendancy in the Middle East, in particular, the Saudi Arabians. This website does not doubt that Iran is providing financial and material assistance to Shia militia in Iraq, in particular the Badr Organisation, as this militia’s role in attacks on the occupation or security forces are minimal compared to the Sunni insurgency, we are forced to regard the US arguments about the ‘peril’ of Persia in Iraq to be false with the intention laying a pretext for attacks on Iran.
What about Iranian WMDs?
Despite the remarkable similarity between these accusations and the ones levelled at Saddam’s Iraq (and the use of these as a pretext for war), this author is of no doubt that the Iranians are in the process of developing nuclear weapons. However, I do not regard this as an excuse for attacking Iran. My personal opinion is that nuclear weapons should be outlawed along with chemical and biological weapons, and that ALL nuclear weapons should be decommissioned. Despite my opposition to such WMDs I find it highly hypocritical to threaten sanctions and force on Iran when Israel is not similarly threatened, or Pakistan or India for that matter. The US invasion of Iraq and the ‘hands-off’ approach to North Korea serves as an example to many states worried about US aggression that possessing nuclear weapons does serve as a suitable deterrent to US militarism.
It is highly unlikely that the US is capable of an Iraq style regime change in Iran, due to its current overstretch in Iraq, Afghanistan, low level warfare in the Philippines, Columbia and Somalia, and the need to maintain a policy of containment in Asia of North Korea and China. The US does however possess the capability for a ‘shock and awe’ style aerial assault on Iran, targeting its nuclear facilities, military installations and infrastructure. It is also possible that the US will allow the Israeli air force through Iraqi airspace and allow the Israeli’s to bomb Iran. This will result in three predictable effects. 1) Iran’s nuclear capability will be set-back; 2) Iran and its proxies in Iraq (Badr Organisation) will retaliate against the US occupation forces in Iraq; and 3) The US public will be forget the current quagmire in Iraq as the whole region explodes in resistance against US imperialism and their Israeli proxies.
It is the duty of all to oppose this tragedy, to expose the lies of the Bush Presidency and to resist US imperialism. This website does not support the theocratic government of Iran, but recognises that an attack on Iran only strengthens this reactionary regime and hurts the workers of Iran; it can only lead to unnecessary misery for many innocent people.