|Southwest Asia News Digest
Bush Issues Threats vs. Iran/Syria Prior to UN General Assembly
On Sept. 13, at a press availability with the Occupation-installed Iraqi President Talibani in Washington, George Bush issued warnings against both Syria and Iran, implicitly threatening military strikes.
Regarding Syria, one day earlier, on Sept. 12, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad had scheduled a press conference in a nearly empty State Department press room (most of the press had travelled to New York with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the 2005 World Summit) simply in order to accuse Syria of allowing insurgents to cross its border into Iraq, and to issue an indeterminate warning that they must cease doing it. "The Ambassador did speak strongly about Syria, because he understands that the Syrian government can do a lot more to prevent the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq," Bush said. "These people are coming from Syria into Iraq and killing a lot of innocent people. They're killingthey're trying to kill our folks, as well. And so, of course, he's speaking strongly about that.
"And the Syrian leader must understand we take his lack of action seriously. And the government is going to become more and more isolated as a result of two things: one, not being cooperative with the Iraqi government, in terms of securing Iraq; and two, not being fully transparent about what they did in Lebanon," Bush said.
At the same press conference, Bush insisted that the U.S. was going to proceed with an attempt to bring the Iranian nuclear program before the UN Security Council.
"I will bring the subject up with leaders whom I'll be meeting with today and tomorrow and later on this week," Bush said. "I will be speaking candidly about Iran with theHu Jintao, as well as with President Putin, for example. Just had a conversation with Tony Blair and the subject came up.... It is very important for the world to understand that Iran with a nuclear weapon will be incredibly destabilizing. And, therefore, we must work together to prevent them from having the wherewithal to develop a nuclear weapon. It should be a warning to all of us that they havein the past, didn't fully disclose their programs, their programs aimed at helping them develop a weapon. They have insisted that they have a civilian nuclear program, and I thought a rational approach to that would be to allow them to receive enriched uranium from a third party under the guise of international inspections that will enable them to have civilian nuclear power without learning how to make a bomb." He then reiterated the usual malarkey about how he found it odd that they wanted nuclear energy at all since they are "awash with hydrocarbons."
Syria Answers Khalilzad/Bush Threat with Challenge
On Sept. 13, Syrian Information Minister Mahdi Daklallah responded to the statements of U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Khalilzad (see above), saying, "There is a threat of aggression there, and a style which is reminiscent of colonial eras and cold and hot wars." The Syrian government denied these charges, and challenged the U.S. to present any evidence they have on this, publicly.
Nations Reject Cheney's War on Iran
As of Sept. 16, it appears that China, Russia, India, South Africa, and Brazil, which are all members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, among others, are refusing to provide the Cheneyacs with the figleafi.e., a vote by the IAEA to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for sanctionsthat the Bush Administration wants to back up its threats of military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. The IAEA Board of Governors will meet on Sept. 19.
The U.S. neo-conservative faction, led by Dick Cheney and State Department Undersecretary Robert Joseph, has been pressuring these nations with Iraq-style hoked-up intelligence reports.
But, at the same time, the threat of a unilateral war on Iran by Cheney is a major danger, as Lyndon LaRouche has warned. Leaders and the major press of these nations have been provided with LaRouche's statement of July 27 called "LaRouche Warns of Cheney's 'Guns of August' " in which LaRouche identified the danger that Cheney would order a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran, in retaliation for a "new 9/11 attack," even without international support. As EIR Online has reported, the wide circulation of LaRouche's statement has put a serious penalty on Cheney launching his war on Iran.
'There Is No Military Solution to the Problem with Iran'
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, stated the above in an interview with ABC TV's Barbara Walters, on 20/20 Sept. 9. Powell said that it would be creative diplomacy that could resolve any problems we might have with Iran.
Sharon Working Against Iran in the United Nations
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his cronies are working to get the Iranian nuclear question brought before the United Nations Security Council, Ha'aretz reported Sept. 15. Iran was discussed when Sharon met with George W. Bush on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting. Sharon also tried to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to support bringing Iran before the Security Council. Needless to say, Putin did not support the idea.
More dangerous is the fact that the Mossad Chief Meir Dagan who arrived in New York with Sharon, is to go to Washington to discuss the Iran question with his U.S. counterparts. It is well known that Mossad chief Dagan has been working full time on operations against Iran for approximately the past year.
Scott Ritter Exposes 'The Iran Trap'
As EIR has reported, former UN weapons inspector on Iraq, Scott Ritter, was consistently and uniquely correct, from early days of the Bush Administration, in stating that Iraq's WMD programs no longer existed. On Sept. 11, 2005, in an insightful op-ed for Al Jazeera online, Ritter laid bare what is involved in the current Iran/European Union/IAEA standoff.
All agree, he says, that Iran has resumed enrichment activities. All know that Iran has every legal right to do so. The hidden secret is that the EU-3 (Britain, France, and Germany) diplomatic effort is actually aimed at trying to prevent a U.S. military intervention, though no one says that.
Given that there is no legal basis to deny Iran its program, he argues, the EU-3 have to realize that their efforts are being used as a front for U.S. accusations against Iran. They have to confront the fact that U.S. policy is regime change. The Europeans think there is a Plan A (their diplomacy), which, if it fails, would be succeeded by Plan B (UN Security Council referral), and, if that fails, Plan C: U.S. military intervention. In reality, he writes, there are not three plans, but three phases of a U.S. policy, designed to lead to military aggression.
Ritter concludes: "Since the result of any referral of the Iran issue to the Security Council is all but guaranteed, the push by the EU-3 to have the IAEA refer Iran to the Security Council, while rooted in the language of diplomacy, is really nothing less than an act of war. The only chance the world has of avoiding a second disastrous U.S. military adventure in the Middle East is for the EU-3 to step back from its policy of doing the bidding of the U.S., and to confront not only Iran on the matter of its nuclear program, but also the larger issue of American policies of regional transformation that represent the greatest threat to Middle East security and stability."
Iraqi Committee Calls for Withdrawal Timetable
The National Sovereignty Committee of the Iraqi National Assembly has called for a timetable for withdrawal of foreign "occupation forces," Knight Ridder reported Sept. 14. The 18-member committee, dominated by Shi'ite Muslims, released its report on Sept. 13, declaring that the only way Iraq could achieve sovereignty was for multinational forces to leave. The report called for a timetable to be set for the troops to go home and referred to them as "occupation forces," a first. Committee chairman, Jawad al-Malikit, of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, read the four-page report to the National Assembly.
This is the second such request from Assembly members. In June, one-third of the Assembly members signed a petition asking the U.S. to set a timetable for withdrawal.
The report also asks the UN to issue a resolution declaring Iraq a sovereign country; the government to repeal an order enacted by the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority that gives foreign nationals here immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts; and for the government to have control over its intelligence operations, palaces, and prisons.
Iranian President Invokes UN Founding Principles
On Sept. 14, in stark contrast to George Bush's "perpetual war" bullying speech at the United Nations Sept. 14, earlier in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an appeal to the UN Charter in a rather effective parry to the intense U.S. push behind the scenes at the UN in New York to bring the Iranian nuclear program before the Security Council.
In a measured speech before General Assembly, the Iranian President outlined six principles that should underline the work of the UN: a promotion of spirituality and compassion for humanity based on the principles of monotheism; a rejection of unilateralism; a refusal to license "preemptive measures"; a representation for Islamic countries and possibly for Africa on the Security Council; and free access by foreign delegates [and heads of state] to UN headquarters. "Acceptance of unilateralism is exactly the negation of the United Nations and its raison d'etre," he said. "Unilateralism, production and use of weapons of mass destruction, intimidations, resort to the threat of the use of force, and imposition of destructive wars on peoples for the sake of security and prosperity of a few powers have indeed redoubled the historic responsibility of the United Nations to resolutely endeavor to institutionalize justice in all aspects of global interactions in the interest of human tranquility."
In a second statement later in the week, Ahmadinejad also said that Iran's nuclear technology research would be made available to all other Islamic nations, strictly for the peaceful purposes of development.