Once Bitten Twice Shy


11-19-07, 10:07 am

Washington's behavior in pursuit of its campaign to whip up international hysteria over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program is reminiscent of its conduct five years ago.

The run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 was punctuated by a series of deliberately leaked lies and misrepresentations to smooth the way for the warmongers.

Everyone remembers Tony Blair's dodgy dossier, which contained the preposterous notion that Iraq was capable of raining weapons of mass destruction down on British bases in Cyprus at 45 minutes notice.

But this was not the only fabrication to be offered and swallowed whole by the ever-ready pro-war media.

There was the Pentagon claim that Iraq was importing uranium from Niger to produce nuclear weapons. This was pretty scary until it came to light that the proof for this was contained in forged documents.

Then, there was Colin Powell's imagination game show when he took aerial photographs to the United Nations and identified a range of images as chemical munitions bunkers, decontamination vehicles, biological weapons-related ballistic missile sites and trailer-mounted mobile biological research laboratories.

It was fascinating stuff and its only drawback was that it was absolute rubbish.

It was part of the output of the Pentagon's dirty tricks and psy-ops departments that were charged with producing false evidence and then distributing it round the offices of the major global media, both electronic and printed.

How convenient for Washington and London that the major information networks were ready – none more so than the once proud BBC – to set aside all critical faculties and to parrot this unabashed manifesto for death and destruction.

Despite that, the majority of people in both major invader states saw through the lies and marched in their millions in opposition to the slaughter perpetrated in their name.

Public opinion did not prevail then, but this does not devalue the united efforts made. Nor does it decrease the urgency of effecting such a mobilisation once more.

According to International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohamed El Baradei, Iran is co-operating with the IAEA, while insisting on its right, under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to carry out nuclear enrichment for peaceful purposes.

But Mr El Baradei's factual report is not good enough for Washington, which intervened secretively to try to nobble it before publication to make it less favorable to Tehran.

And its regional surrogate Israel raised the stakes last week by calling for the IAEA director-general to be sacked.

This conduct is similar to that pursued by the US with regard to Iraq, when both Mr. El Baradei and, to an even greater degree, his colleague Hans Blix were derided and ridiculed for their supposed failure to find Saddam Hussein's mythical weapons of mass destruction.

In fact, they were forced to leave Iraq by the impending invasion before they could finally confirm their non-existence.

Once bitten twice shy must be the watchword to prevent Gordon Brown's government following George W. Bush's march to war as slavishly as Tony Blair did.

This major task will require the united mobilization of all peace forces, no matter their disagreements on other questions, to prevent a potentially even greater disaster than imperialism brought about in Iraq.

From Morning Star