Well may Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warn students in Qatar that “Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.” She is, after all, an authority on the subject, representing a country where the Pentagon has long been ascendant. Her comment was followed up by Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s press secretary, who, at a February 16th news conference refused to deny the possibility of the U.S. taking military action against Iran, stating, “I wouldn’t rule out anything.” As anti-war activist David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet points out, this is “a public threat to engage in aggressive war…” The Charter of the United Nations forbids such threats, of course.
Writing for “Truthout,” Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, of Washington, D.C., believes Ms. Clinton’s intent “is to promote conflict and to convince Americans that Iran is an actual threat to their security.” This has long been Clinton’s policy. During her presidential bid in 2008 she said she would be willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran if that country launched a nuclear attack on Israel.
Ms. Clinton finds it convenient to ring the fire bell warning that Iran is developing its first nuclear device when the U.S. is sitting on a stockpile of 12,000 such bombs, and ally Israel—-which has rejected international monitoring and controls of its atomic arsenal—has an estimated 200 nukes. Former President Jimmy Carter writes “the United States has become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation”—yet, incredibly, Ms. Clinton is threatening Iran on this very issue.
Instead of worrying that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, Ms. Clinton might compare Iran’s “aggressive” policies with those of her own country.
First off, Iran’s army has not invaded Mexico on the lie that Mexico had WMD that threatened Iran, half way across the world. Nor has Iran invaded Canada on grounds Canada allowed terrorists there to train to attack Iran. However, the U.S. has invaded two of Iran’s neighbors, Afghanistan to the East and Iraq to the West on just such flimsy excuses. The Pentagon has also pressured a third Iranian neighbor, Pakistan, to allow it to operate in that country. Iranians might be pardoned for suspecting the U.S. deployment represents a geographic pincer operation.
Secondly, while Iran is not known to have infiltrated any Imperial Guards into the USA, the Pentagon’s Special Forces have been “on the ground” in Iran since at least the Summer of 2004, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker. Hersh said then President Bush’s Pentagon scouts were marking down the location of military installations and quoted one Pentagon consultant as telling him, “The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible.” It might also be recalled the CIA overthrew the elected government of Iran in 1953 and installed a dictatorship.
As if its roughly 1,000 military bases in the United States aren’t enough, the Pentagon has established 800 bases in 130 nations to project its power around the world. Very revealing is its refusal to return to their native populations the islands of Okinawa in the Pacific and Diego Garcia in Indian ocean.
The Pentagon operates 11 giant aircraft carriers and 11 amphibious assault ships as part of its nearly 300-ship fleet. These intimidating floating bases are armed with tactical nuclear weapons that can be delivered by some of its 3,700 warplanes to any point in the globe. It also operates 70 attack submarines to project its power globally. With its 500,000 personnel, the U.S. Navy is larger than that of the next 13 countries combined.
The Pentagon continues its risky, germ warfare research program. Since October, 2001, a compliant Congress has voted roughly $50 billion for this purpose in the absence of any threat from a foreign country. The only significant anthrax attack on the U.S.—against two liberal U.S. Senators and some media personnel—was found to originate from the Ft. Detrick, Md., a Pentagon installation. No trials ever resulted.
The Pentagon not only operates spy satellites to provide it with universal real-time information, it is also in violation of U.S. treaty obligations against militarizing space with a variety of schemes in the works, including deadly laser beams and the so-called “Rods From God” that can hurl non-nuclear devastation down upon any location on the planet. The Pentagon plays a prominent role among the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies, which employ an estimated 200,000 workers at a cost of $75 billion a year.
The Pentagon commonly has about $1 trillion in new death weapons’ research underway at any given time. Much of the best scientific talent in the country is being devoted to death science that is offensive, not defensive. Imagine how this money might be spent devoted to medical science!
The Pentagon is training security forces in scores of nations. Through its infamous School of the Americas it taught torture techniques to Latin military personnel. It has worked actively with numerous dictatorships that suppress the liberties of their people, such as the Kopassus Red Berets of Indonesia, the unit that ravaged East Timor.
The Pentagon is the world leading arms exporter. It authorizes tens of billions of dollars in weapons sales annually to India, Pakistan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Poland, among others. By one estimate, the U.S. is responsible for 70 per cent of the world’s $55 billion in weapons’ sales.
In actions that reveal its dark side and disregard for human rights and life, the Pentagon has been jailing without due process tens of thousands of “terror” suspects around the globe, torturing and murdering many. To date, not one high-level Army officer has been tried and convicted for these crimes. Does it not appear to you that the Pentagon brass are above the law?
To crown it all, the total outlay for all Pentagon and spywar activities this year will be greater than all the funds spent by all 50 state governments for the health, education, and welfare of their 300 million citizens. The Pentagon alone is gobbling up 53 per cent of the nation’s discretionary income. Writes James Carroll in “House of War,”(Houghton Mifflin): “The Pentagon is now the dead center of an open-ended martial enterprise that no longer pretends to be defense…the Pentagon has, more than ever, become a place to fear.”
In short, the Pentagon is out to strengthen its commanding military domination over the entire planet, on land, air, sea, and in outer space. Given its history of aggressive warfare and growing influence in America, it is ludicrous for Ms. Clinton to point the finger at Iran! The Secretary of State—who is so divorced from reality she once falsely claimed she came under sniper fire at a peaceful welcome ceremony in Bosnia in 1996—wouldn’t know an incipient military dictatorship if it was breathing down her neck. It may not be Iran, either. It may be the one headquartered on the banks of the Potomac only a couple of miles from her office at Foggy Bottom. #
(Sherwood Ross, who formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News, is a Miami, Fla., public relations executive for good causes. Reach him at [email protected]
Sherwood Ross is an award-winning reporter. He served in the U.S Air Force where he contributed to his base newspaper. He later worked for The Miami Herald and Chicago Daily News. He contributed a weekly column on working for a major wire service. He is also an editorial and book publicist. He currently resides in Florida.