Monday, June 15, 2009

"Assessing the Role of US Foreign Policy, Israeli Security, & Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories"part7

Transcribed by Scott Senn

"Assessing the Role of US Foreign Policy, Israeli Security, & Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories"part7

Part 7

In fact, the US-style of what's called neo-colonialism – you know, developed paramilitary or military forces, colaborationist forces, to control the population and make sure they don't do outrageous things like express sympathy when some other part of the population is being slaughtered – that's very "encouraging" and we're good at it. It's second nature. Now General Dayton's forces are the soft side of population control. There are also much tougher and more brutal forces in the West Bank: they're called General Intelligence and Preventive Security. And those guys are really tough, not like Dayton. They're trained by the CIA. There's no supervision for CIA training. So they can really train, you know, mass killers. General Dayton is technically under State Department supervision, and that means Congress occasionally has a look at and maybe some soft-hearted Congressman will say something about human rights conditionalities. But the CIA-trained forces can just be, you know, unconstrained in brutality, and torture, and terror. So that's the tough part of the "encouraging" developments, which finally give Israel a "legitimate partner for peace" for the first time.

Well, let's go back to the "reconceptualization", the core of the Obama policies. Israel-Palestine is now side-lined, with the exception of supporting the "encouraging" development of paramilitary forces to control the population and keep them quiet; and we now have to move towards a "coalition" of Israel [and] the Arab "moderates" who are now willing to cooperate with Israel against Iran. Well, what's US policy towards Iran? Obama and Kerry agree that the US must maintain the threat of force against Iran. So that's what it means to say, "All options are open." Threat of force is first of all in violation of international law: Take a look at the UN Charter; it says, "the threat or use of force" is barred, is criminal. But the US has no particular interest in international law. It's also against the will of a large majority of the American population. A large majority of the population thinks we ought to enter into normal relations with Iran: no threat of force. But the population is as irrelevant as international and domestic law are.

So they [Obama and Kerry] agree on that. And they agree on a lot more. The Obama administration is willing to negiotiate with Iran, but on a condition: namely, the condition that US demands – namely, the ending of uranium enrichment – are conceded in advance. So if Iran agrees to our conditions, we'll then negotiate with them, but not before. That was put most clearly by Vice President Biden who spelled out the administration's position. He said that the US is willing to negotiate if Iran first puts a stop to its "illicit weapons programs." Well, what are Iran's "illicit weapons programs"? There was a National Intelligence Estimate [http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf] a year ago – a little over a year ago [November 2007] – which concluded, with "moderate-to-high confidence", that Iran had no weapons programs and hadn't had any for years. But that doesn't matter: the Obama administration, when it came into office said, "We reject the Intelligence Estimate." They conceded that they had no evidence, but we don't like it, so we reject it. So therefore they have "illicit weapons programs". And until they stop the programs, which they may or may not have (and US intelligence says they didn't have them), we can't agree to negotiations.

We also read constantly that the "international community" has demanded that Iran stop uranium enrichment. First of all, everyone agrees that uranium enrichment is a right of Iran: they signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty; they have the right of uranium enrichment, unlike Israel, say, which didn't sign it, doesn't have that right, but has a couple hundred nuclear weapons. So who's the "international community"? Well, the "international community" consists of Washington, US allies who agree with Washington, and nobody else. It omits most of the world. The Non-Aligned States (most of the world's states) forcefully support Iran's right to develop – to enrich uranium for nuclear power. So they're not part of the "internatinal community". A large majority of Americans agree with them: about seventy-five percent agree, yes, Iran has the right to enrich uranium. So they're not part of the "international community". The "international community" is reduced to Washington and whoever goes along with them. Okay, so in that sense, it's true the international community demands that Iran stop its enrichment of uranium. Just to add a little bit to the irony, the programs that Iran is carrying out were strongly supported by the United States, by Kissenger, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, as long as the Shah was in power. The US had installed a brutal tyrant, overthrew Iranian democracy. They [the Iranians] somehow remember that, but we're not supposed to. And during that period, the US insisted strongly and helped Iran develop uranium enrichment programs. In fact, a lot of it was done at M.I.T., where I was. [There was] a big fuss about it when the Shah sent thousands of nuclear engineers to be trained at M.I.T. to develop nuclear enrichment programs. Well, that was then, you know; then, the country was ruled by the tyrant we imposed. Now, not; so now they "don't need" nuclear energy.

There is no attention at all paid to the most important proposal, which a large majority of Americans agree to: that is, to establish a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region, which is the right idea. That would include Iran, Israel, and any American forces deployed there, with a verification system. Okay, that would mitigate, if not eliminate, any potential threat that Iran poses. But that's off the agenda, because it would mean that Israel has to get rid of its illegal and huge collection of nuclear weapons and of course the US forces wouldn't be able to have nuclear weapons there. The US has also blocked nuclear-weapons-free zones in other parts of the world because it wants to deploy nuclear-armed forces there: in the South Pacific, Europe, and elsewhere. But this one is off the agenda, though a large majority – about seventy-five percent – of Americans favor it. Well, Obama did give a speech, which you read about, to Iran, you know, reaching out in friendship on the Iranian new year Nowruz. A lot of publicity for that. What did he actually say? He said, "Yes, we're delighted to deal with you." (A big, radical change from the Bush administration.) "But first you have to show that you're responsible members of the civilized world: You have to give up arms and terror. Okay?"


(to part 8)

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