|Southwest Asia News Digest
EIR ONLINE EXCLUSIVE
EIR Cairo Visit Exposes Psywar Behind Cartoons
by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
As this author has just experienced during a visit to Cairo, the outpouring of rage provoked by the issue of the anti-Islamic cartoons is unprecedented. It had been building up, against injustice in Palestine, the ongoing destruction of Iraq, and the preparations for a military strike against Iran. But the cartoons were the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The cartoons were deliberately published to provoke such a reaction, and the reaction came, according to profile.
The enraged reaction will contribute nothing to overcoming the crises afflicting the Islamic and Arab world. To do this, governments and peoples must be equipped with an understanding of the larger geopolitical picture, in which the anti-Iran drive, and the psywar of the cartoons, are crucial pieces.
In this context, it was a happy coincidence that this writer, as an editorial board member of EIR, had been invited to Cairo, to present the views of Lyndon LaRouche on these and related issues, to an Egyptian audience. The invitation was to deliver a lecture at the Center for Asian Studies of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, on Feb. 6.
The focus of the presentation, entitled, "Strategic Options for the Post-Cheney Era: Implications for the Middle East and Asia," was on the two interconnected but opposing processes unfolding in the United States today: the drive for Presidential dictatorship, by the Cheney cabal, and the campaign, led by Lyndon LaRouche in the Democratic Party, to defeat this fascist effort and defend the U.S. Constitution. I told my Egyptian interlocutors, "You cannot understand anything about the current situation in U.S. politics, and U.S. policy for the world, unless you grasp this dynamic."
Most of the participants at the lecture were unaware of the revolutionary ferment which is sweeping America, under the slogan "Impeachment!" Two burning issues, it was explained, have mobilized the U.S. population in a drive to impeach the entire neo-con cabal that has usurped power in Washington: the Iraq catastrophe, and the National Security Agency spying scandal. Moves in the Congress toward plans for withdrawal of troops in a rational exit strategy were reported, sparked by the intervention Nov. 17 of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), which has gotten important backing in devastating critiques of the Bush Iraq policy from high-ranking military professionals.
A report of the mass turnout at town meetings with Murtha (for example, in Virginia, where 1,000 citizens showed up), impressed on the Egyptian audience that indeed something extraordinary is occurring in America. Egyptian press had reported on the NSA spying scandal, which had been exposed by the New York Times just prior to the debate on the Patriot Act. But the explosive potential of these revelations, to fuel the drive for impeachment, had not been conveyed to the reading public.
It was in the context of this dynamic internal U.S. political battle, that the threat of military action against Iran was located and discussed. The drumbeat for confrontation around Iran's nuclear energy program, was generally known. What was not known, was the broader strategic picture, specifically, how the British financial oligarchy has been manipulating the Iran affair, to prepare a military action which will bring down the current financial-monetary system, and pave the way for City of London financial interests to lay claim, through their hedge-fund holdings, to the vast raw materials assets in the world today. Their oligarchy's thinking is: He who holds these assets, controls the world. - An Electric Response -
The response, by the diplomats, political figures, press, and students attending the event, was electric. Many wanted a better grasp of the workings of internal U.S. politics. How is it that Bush won re-election? asked one student. Why does the American population not bring down the Bush Administration? How could the American people believe the lies about Iraq's presumed weapons of mass destruction, at the same time that they are being hit with higher taxes and deprived of basic social services? The courage displayed by the LaRouche movement and EIR in taking on the fascist conspirators, was lauded by many.
Other questions dealt with the strategic crisis points, especially Iran. Prof. Mohammad Sayed Selim, who heads the Center for Asian Studies at Cairo University, asked how one could account for the fact that China had apparently shifted its stance regarding Iran's nuclear program, and allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency "report" to go through. China is, after all, dependent on Iran for energy supplies. What will China's future strategy be? Another question was: What will future relations be among the United States, Russia, and China, if the latter two make use of their veto rights at the UN Security Council, to kill a resolution against Iran? Others asked about the implications of the fact that many Arab and Muslim countries had voted for the IAEA resolution on Iran: Did this not mean that the Iranian leadership was miscalculating the response from these quarters?
The most pertinent question raised was: How can Iran avoid a military confrontation, without giving up its right to a peaceful nuclear energy program? Here, the potential of the Russian proposal, for a joint uranium enrichment facility on Russian territory, was discussed. However, as Professor Selim noted, the cause of the crisis is not Iran's nuclear energy program. A quick glance at North Korea, which has acknowledged its nuclear weapons capability, shows that this is not the issue. Rather, it is the drive towards military aggression, in the context of geopolitical ambitions for hegemony.
The other leading issue raised by the participants was that of the anti-Islamic cartoons published first in Denmark. Here, as Professor Selim underlined, EIR had a unique analysis. Although at the time of the lecture, crucial information regarding the entities behind the cartoon affair had not yet been unearthed, it was clear by the modus operandi of the publications, as well as by consideration of the analysis situsthe context in which they appearedthat this was not the spontaneous initiative of some cartoonist, but a deliberately planned psychological-warfare operation, typical of intelligence agencies, aimed at creating the psychological climate within which a strike against Iran could be orchestrated.
That same evening, the debate was brought to a much larger audience, in Egypt and abroad, through Egyptian national television, Nile TV. Both Selim and this author were guests on the weekly program "Viewpoint," hosted by Nihal Saad. In an animated debate punctuated by calls from viewers, the issue was thrashed out, and the evidence presented that the current countdown to conflict has nothing to do with Iran's nuclear program. Selim noted that both South Korea and Japan have uranium enrichment facilities, and yet no one is questioning their legitimacy. Not only that, but North Korea, which has admitted to having weapons, is being offered negotiations and incentives, rather than military threats.
Selim was asked about the response of the Arab and non-aligned nations, which, in large part, accepted the IAEA resolution against Iran. He reported on how particularly the Persian Gulf states had been pressured by the United States to close ranks against Iran. Iran's nuclear program, he said, had never been cause for alarm in the Gulf Cooperation Council, until 2005, when U.S. diplomats began to put on the squeeze.
Selim referred to an important conference in a Gulf country that he had attended last year, during which U.S. representatives literally announced Washington's intention of bombing Iran, and asked merely, what the response of the neighboring countries would be. At the most recent Gulf Cooperation Council meeting, he recalled, there had been an explicit proposal to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in "the Gulf," that is, targetting Iran. Fortunately, he said, in the course of the conference, others intervened, to redefine this demand, to embrace the entire "Middle East," that is, including Israel, whose nuclear capabilities are well known. For Selim, the best thing the Arab countries can do, is to push through this demand for a WMD-free zone in the entire region. - LaRouche's Role in Solving the Crisis -
This author had the opportunity to elaborate on LaRouche's unique analysis of the crisis, highlighting what the British manipulation of the whole situation has been, and the objective of the London-centered financial interests in bringing down the entire world financial-economic system to impose a global dictatorship through control of raw materials. In this context, it was possible to brief the television audience on the raging fight in the United States for the impeachment of Cheney and Bush, and the revolutionary atmosphere this has created in the United States. Ultimately, it is the outcome of this political battle which will determine whether or not Iran will be attacked.
At the same time, the errors made by the current Iranian leadership were addressed. While Selim emphasized the fact, that Iran was wrong to even enter the discussions with the EU-3, because that meant taking the entire nuclear issue outside the proper context of the IAEA, this author noted the failure of Tehran to recognize the contrived, manipulated nature of the entire game, and the error of responding to provocations with counter-provocations. As for possible ways out of the crisis, it was clear that Iran does have options. In LaRouche's view, the Iranian government would do well to accept the Russian proposal for the enrichment of uranium in Russia, as the best option provided to Iran to defuse the crisis.
As a result of further discussions with journalists from Al Gumhuriya, Al Ahram, and wire services, it is expected that there will be major coverage on LaRouche's unique insight into the current crisis. The press showed special interest in the background information that EIR has compiled on the psywar operation around the Danish cartoons. To the extent that the broader strategic picture, as well as the nitty-gritty details of who's doing what to whom in the cartoon affair, can be made clear to a broad Arab and Islamic public, there can be hopes of thwarting the campaign for war.