Archive for the 'Iran' Category

Partial Justice Is No Justice

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For crimes he committed against humanity, Saddam has been sentenced to death by hanging.

“The former Iraqi leader was convicted over the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail following an assassination attempt on him in 1982.

“However, some legal experts have argued that Saddam Hussein’s ongoing trial for atrocities committed against the Kurdish population should be allowed to reach a verdict before he is executed.”

But the “legal experts” and the international media are missing the bigger picture: Partial justice is no justice at all. His execution, even if carried after the verdict of his Kurdish case, will deprive the world of a man who could well be tried for crimes he committed in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. During the eight-year war, through international backing, he used chemical agents not only against the Iranian army, but also against Iranian civilians.

The execution of Saddam means the end of a process of justice, which, if pursued ideally, could have even dragged high-profile warmongers such as the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, for his backing of Iraq’s army and chemical program during the war. Unsurprisingly, however, Rumsfeld’s involvement seems only to be the tip of the American iceberg: Donald Reigle, the head of a Senate Committee reports:

UN inspectors had identified many United States manufactured items that had been exported from the United States to Iraq under licenses issued by the Department of Commerce, and [established] that these items were used to further Iraq‘s chemical and nuclear weapons development and its missile delivery system development programs.

The report continues:

The executive branch of our government approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq. I think that is a devastating record.”

Unfortunately, this devastating record doesn’t end here. America, through countries like the Saudi Arabia and Italy, conducted most of its aid in a bid to make sure Iraq won; because, Iraq’s defeat in the war, in Rumsfeld’s words, “would be contrary to U.S. interests.” America even voted against a Security Council resolution condemning Iraq’s use of chemical agents during the war.

But it wasn’t only these countries that were involved in making the bloodbath happen. Germany, U.K., France and Spain have all had their fair share of monetary profits in return for the blood of the 20,000 Iranian soldiers and thousands of civilians who lost their lives.

It seems as if today everyone has forgotten about the souls of these individuals and those who lost their lives as a result of the Iranian retaliation. This rotten system, which does almost nothing other than ensure corporate benefits, is endangering the percipience of humankind. We are no longer noticing all the bad that’s being done because bad is no longer “bad.”

Take, for example, the “aid” that is being given to the poor countries of the world. For every dollar given in aid to poor countries, 13 dollars are squeezed out in various forms; and this voracious corporate appetite is being supplied form the stomachs of the 780,000,000 people who starve to death every year due to a shortage of food. These are the people who neither contracted the aid nor received any portion of it.

Peace, amity, humanity—all are becoming mere political gibberish and are losing their true values…to me at least.

Further Reading:

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MyScribbles Responds: Answers to Comments on America’s Dirtiest Open Secrets

When I originally posted America’s Dirtiest Open Secrets, I intended it to be only of educative nature. However, it became astonishingly popular and attracted an unprecedented level of user comments. However, most of the comments were illogical and emotional. I had tried to supply proof in order to substantiate what I said, but instead, I met irrationality and emotionality. I received a lot of comments like: “The second part of # 3 is bullshit”, “Yes, we people of the U.S.A. completely f*cked things up and now take full responsibility for the error of our ways”, “i’m getting really tired of reading so much ant-america crud. if you don’t like living here in america them move!! better yet,join the dam*ed iraqi movement”, “…but your article is hypocritical, fallacious, a harangued calumny!…But its good though”, etc.

However, there were some very thoughtful comments too from which I learned a lot. Also, there were some that require more attention. Here they are with my responses to them…


“We should have allowed the Russians to simply conquer Afghanistan How dare we interfere!”

Did you know that the Afghans were better off during the Soviet-installed regime of Dr Najibullah than during any other period in the last fifty years? Prices were low, employment was high, food and ration were distributed among the people plentifully and the country was peaceful. Everyone was happy. Then came the Mujahideen and worse yet, the American-sponsored Taliban. Life became very bad for everyone. Killings, beatings and public executions became the order of the day.

And by the way, you didn’t interfere because you wanted to help; you interfered because you wanted to curb the growth of the Communist bloc in Central Asia.

“And Iran, a country 3 times the population of Iraq, should have been allowed to conquer their neighbor.” [Comment justifying the US backing of Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war]

Actually Iran didn’t attack Iraq; rather, it was the other way round. Even if it had been so, do you think it would have been legitimate to urge and help Iraq to counter the Iranian attack by the use of chemical weapons on civilians?

“Yes, we tried to help a friendly government (the Shah) and stopped helping when the crazies took over.” [Comment about the American help for the start-up of the Iranian nuclear program during the Shah]

You were not helping a ‘friendly country’, you were using a yes-man (the Shah) to further your own profits. Remember the six billion dollars in cash profits that went into corporate accounts in America?

“And yes, I remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do you remember Pearl Harbor???” [Comment justifying the American use of the atom bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Oh, yes, I remember Pearl Harbor: It was a military base in Oahu, Hawaii, which was attacked by Japanese fighter planes on December 7, 1941. It was a military base. And you are trying to make the attack on a military target as an excuse to mount an attack on two purely civilian targets. And remember, one of the basic criteria for selecting Hiroshima and Nagasaki was that the bombs should produce the highest possible effect on the morale of the Japanese people by killing them and inflicting damage unto them and their property to the maximum extent possible.

“there is nothing wrong with helping another nation create something of this nature” [comment about America’s backing to start Iran’s atomic program during the Shah]

 

There are many problems with helping a nation gain an atomic bomb. The foremost problem is that you are going against the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (I admit, the US helped start Iran’s nuclear program before the NPT came into effect). Then there is the problem of irresponsible usage and further proliferation. I think these two reasons are enough to deter any nation state from helping another nation to make an atomic bomb.

“Fat man and Little boy probably did more to stop continuing attempts at conquest than anything ever has in history, it puzzles me why not many see this as clearly as I do.” [Comment justifying the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

 

 

Fat Man and Little Boy have also probably killed more civilians in one shot than any other bomb. I believe the use of a weapon of mass destruction is almost never justified; and, in the circumstances prevalent in Japan at that time, it was a complete no-no. This view is echoed by Einstein and Szliard, the two scientists who prompted America to make atom bombs. Furthermore, according to General Douglas McArthur, General Carl Spaatz, Brigadier General Carter Clark, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy and some other high-ranking American army officials at that time, the target of deterring the Japanese from further continuing the war could have been achieved by other more feasible tactics. In addition, as General Eisenhower had advised the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, in July 1945, the Japanese had almost essentially been defeated much before the use of the bomb. Wikipedia has a good argumentative article both for and against the use of the atomic bomb. I hope you will read them and come to a more rational conclusion rather than an emotional one motivated by patriotism and other such feelings.

 

“I also notice that you post nothing of the good Americas has and continues to do around the world. Why don’t you write about how wonderful your world would be without America?”

First, it is wrong that I don’t write the about ‘good’ things America has done. Second, there are not enough really good things done by America to inspire me to write about them. All I see are maladministration, misconduct, anti-human and egoistic policies being pursued by American politicians.

My world (as an Afghan) would have been far better if it weren’t for America. It would have been far better if I, my family and my people hadn’t suffered in the hands of the American-backed Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It would have been far better if I hadn’t suffered the disastrous effects of the destructive policies pursued and formulated in Washington. It would have been far better if my country hadn’t seen the wars and destruction it saw in the hands of superpowers including Britain and Soviet Union. It would have been far better if I had lived and educated among my people and in the peaceful atmosphere of my country. It would have been far better if I hadn’t been rendered destitute as a result of American and Soviet imperialistic policies.

 

Also, the world would have been far better for me and many other people form Vietnam, Iraq, North Korea, the Balkans, Japan, Cambodia, Palestine, Israel, Niger and all other places around the world where they are either directly affected by American policies or indirectly by the misconduct of its greedy multinationals and puppet regimes.

 

 

“You cannot lay the blame for Al-Quaeda on America, no more than you can lay the blame of atrocities of any war upon the shoulders of civilians.”

America created Al-Qaeda, funded it, provided it with logistical support and expertise and legitimized it among the Muslim people. This is a solid, proven fact. Don’t you think America should be blamed for it?

 

 

 

“I just…I’m scared of the terrorists.”

That is exactly what the Bush administration wants you to be. It wants to capitalize upon your fears in order to levy more tax on your hard-earned money so that they can spend trillions of dollars on buying arms and creating and funding organizations like Al-Qaeda.

 

“i’m getting really tired of reading so much ant-america crud. if you don’t like living here in america them move!! better yet,join the dam*ed iraqi movement”

Just because you are tired of hearing ‘anti-American crud’ doesn’t mean the realities have changed and that America didn’t do the wrong it has done. All of this ‘anti-American crud’ is intended to awaken negligent citizens in America and to motivate them to take action.

 

Also, I am not living in America. I am an Afghan living in Pakistan.

 

“This guy is an Afgan living in Pakistan. Most likely a pashtun loser. Get a life moron, your country is doing great without you. Come back to Afganistan and w’ll kick your butt in public.”

Yep, I am an Afghan living in Pakistan. However, I am not a ‘Pashtun loser.’ Quite on the contrary, I am a Hazara—one of the three largest ethnic groups and the most down-trodden one. Please do not try to make a distinction between the different ethnic groups in my country. We are trying to stay calmly and peacefully together. Oh, and who are you to kick my butt in my own country?

And by the way, if you can not contribute to a public debate like this in a responsible, logical manner, why do you resort to irrationality and bad behavior?

“Can we truly believe everything written in Wikipedia? My history is not that strong but I believe in the saying that history is written by the victors. There may be more than meets the eye.” [Comment regarding the selection of my sources to back my opinions]

If you were to believe any source of information, you would most probably believe Wikipedia. It is written by knowledgeable people volunteering from around the world. It has a good moderation policy. If a writer shows a biased opinion or inaccuracy, readers and writers from around the world can point it out and the problem would be settled in a ‘discussion page’. This doesn’t mean Wikipedia is completely accurate and unbiased, but it is much more accurate and unbiased than any other source because it is not bounded by corporate or state interests.

“Yes, the USA has done great things for world as well.”

I don’t remember anything truly nice done by America. All the ‘nice’ things done are a result of the cunning of American administrations in shaping the public view in their own interest. And very honestly, maybe I am too skeptical of the American foreign policy to notice the ‘nice’ things, but I am very truthfully waiting for someone to show me something truly good that America has done for all the peoples of the world.

“But average American people are not in the situation room at the Pentagon.” [Comment arguing that American citizens are doing enough to keep a check on their politicians]

America is a democratic country in which the policymakers can be directly held accountable for their wrongdoings. And quite honestly the rest of the world hasn’t seen any remarkable sense of responsibility from the American public in the wake of the destructive policies its policymakers pursue. Many Americans say, “Look, I’m an average American guy. I can sense all the terrible things done by my government. But I did my part. I didn’t vote for Bush and the other creeps.” But they fail to recognize that their democratic duties range far beyond only using their vote. As George Bush once said, “With great power comes greater responsibility”, and, as the citizens of the most powerful country in the world, you have the greatest responsibility to keep your policymakers sane.

I am not saying America has to be 100% noble and sane. It is powerful. And power, by nature, is subjugating, dominating and greedy. Therefore, American citizens have to do their best to keep it as sane as possible.

America’s Dirtiest Open Secrets

(Or Five Things Everyone Must Know About America)

The Americans admit it themselves and I agree: They are a bunch of oblivious folks too engrossed in their struggle to obtain the American Dream to pay heed to anything else. They have too much of a blind faith in their democratic values and in their elected leaders. Therefore, they do too little to keep a check on the activities of these leaders. Resultantly, they pursue policies which, despite being in negation to the American values, go unchecked—even supported at times.

This post attempts to introduce to them—and to all of my readers—some of the dark policies pursued by American politicians.

  1. America created the biggest and most dangerous terrorist organization—Al-Qaeda. Yes, America created Al-Qaeda. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan in the late 70s, Al-Qaeda emerged as an international Jihadi movement against the Soviets. It was funded directly by the Pakistanis and Saudis and indirectly by America, which channeled its military hardware and other logistics through the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate. For more details, read this Wikipedia article.
  2. America created the Taliban. Again yes, America created the Taliban. Ahmad Rashid, a widely acclaimed Pakistani intellectual, writes in his book, Taliban, that: “The Taliban originated when the CIA with ISI recruited radical Muslims from around the world to fight with the Afghan mujahadeen against the Soviet Union.” Ahmed Rashid also estimates that after 1982 more than 100,000 Muslims from dozens of countries received political or military training in the CIA-backed camps of Pakistan and Afghanistan. For more details, read this Wikipedia article about Taliban.
  3. America sold arms to Iraq and urged it to use WMDs against civilians in Iran. During Iraq’s war with Iran, many American policymakers, arms suppliers and makers benefited immensely by selling large amounts of weaponry to Iraq. These weapons included chemical agents like cyanide. In addition, America also encouraged Iraq to use chemical weapons against Iranian civilians and helped Iraq develop its chemical weapons arsenal. For more details, read Iraq and Chemical Weapons: the US Connection by Daniel E Boles.
  4. America helped Iran to start its nuclear program. During the Shah’s period, America signed two agreements–the Atoms for Peace Program and the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation Agreement–with Iran to urge it to start its nuclear program. These two pacts, which would help Iran build up to 20 nuclear reactors, brought the US corporations as much as $6 billion in profits. However, after the Iranian revolution of 1979, America stopped backing Iran and its nuclear program. Resultantly, the program remained suspended for some time. Today, however, Iran is still trying to pursue what it calls a peaceful nuclear program. For more details read this Wikipedia article and this report written from an Iranian perspective.
  5. America is the only country to have used WMDs against civilians. Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki? American bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, killed 66 and 39,000 innocent civilians respectively. This Yale University website has a very good report.

America also used Depleted Uranium (DU) in the Gulf War, in the Balkans and allegedly in its recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. DU is a highly penetrating, toxic element which can cause an increase in cancers and severe birth defects. The use of DU not only affected American war veterans, but has also thousands, maybe millions of innocent people in areas it was used. DU is considered to be a WMD and its use is prohibited by many international agreements. For more details, read this BBC report, this Information Clearing House article, this Sunday Herald report and this report by Prof. M. Miraki, an Afghan expatriate [WARNING: This last report contains extremely graphic images which most visitors may find disturbing].

America’s use of the herbicide, Agent Orange, not only caused health problems and damage to its own veterans in Vietnam, but also to millions of Vietnamese who live in areas sprayed by this toxic agent. Currently there are 150,000 Vietnamese children with birth defects caused by Agent Orange. For more information, read this BBC report, this Wikipedia article, and the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

With all these hideous crimes, I fail to find a reason why Americans still back administrations which are not only against American values, but also against the common human morals; which kill indiscriminately and which only think of their own personal ends and those of a few corporations. This makes Noam Chomsky’s claim that thought control is conducted to spread a matrix of necessary illusions, true; and, the necessity of ‘an intellectual self-defense’, inevitable.

 

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Arguments for Iran’s Nuclear Program

The US-Iran nuclear standoff is one of the hottest political issues of today. While for many the US stance is clear, that of Iran is little understood. This post tries to explain the Iranian stance on the issue.


America and Israel—two of the most outspoken proponents of dismantling the Iranian nuclear program—level the following charges against Iran:

  1. Iran doesn’t need nuclear energy because it has vast oil reserves. This means, despite its claims, it is not acquiring the technology for civilian purposes. Rather, it is striving to make a bomb.
  2. If it gets the bomb, it will destroy Israel, whose existence it doesn’t reconcile with.

The Iranians counter the arguments by the following points:

  1. Iran needs nuclear fuel.
    • Its population has doubled over the last two decades leading to an increase in energy demand. This is coupled with a decrease in oil production. During the Shah, Iran produced 6 million barrels of oil per day, while it currently produces only 4 million barrels.
    • It regularly imports electricity due to shortages.
    • The excess capacity required to produce enough electricity to meet demands would cost Iran $40 billion excluding the cost of buying power plant equipments. Harnessing nuclear power costs a fraction of that amount, considering the fact that Iran has vast supplies of uranium ore.
    • Burning too much oil to produce electricity to meet demands will deplete Iranian atmosphere too drastically.
    • It wants to spend its precious oil reserves for other more beneficial purposes.
    • It wants to diversify its energy sources in the backdrop of its fast depleting oil reserves.
    • Even countries rich in oil like Britain and Russia rely on nuclear power
  2. Iran is not pursuing a military nuclear program
    • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, issued a fatwa (religious edict) forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on August 9, 2005.
    • Currently Iran can only enrich uranium up to 3.5%, which is good enough for producing nuclear energy, not for bombs (Weapon-grade uranium has to be enriched up to 90%).
    • The IAEA inspectors have found no convincing proof that Iran is pursuing a program for military purposes. In fact, the US too has no convincing proof; It is only leveling allegations based on hypothetical assertions.
    • Iran’s former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said on December 14, 2001: If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.
  3. It is Iran’s right to have nuclear technology for peaceful purposes
    • Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows all signatories to build nuclear facilities and enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

It must be noted, however, that Iran's nuclear program was started in 1960s "under the auspices of the US within the framework of bilateral agreements between the two countries."

Further Reading:


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Perspectives on the Iranian Equivalent of the French No-Headscarf Law

In a move "reminiscent of the Nazis", the Iranian parliament has reportedly passed a bill requiring religious minorities to wear badges for identification. The bill is yet to be rattified by the "Supreme Leader", Ali Khamenei, before it takes effect.

This reminds me of the French no-heascarves-at-school law. The French law, which requires students from a Muslim background to take off thier headscarves while at schools, was aimed at creating homogeneity among students. However, it ended up creating more differences by bringing drastic changes in the clothing styles of a considerable number of students. Furthermore, It was a blow at the personal freedom of Muslim girls. It stopped them from observing their religious practices properly, as it is required of ladies in Islam to wear headscarves. It was also a very good indicator of the French definition of democracy..

The Iranian law, which is passed to help identify religious minorities, requires Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians to wear yellow, red and blue stripes of cloth on their dresses respectively. It too, if passed, will end up creating differences among Iranians and would make the religious fragmentation more visible. It too is a blow at the personal freedoms of the "religious minorities". It too is a good indicator of the Iranian model of democracy, which is very much on a par with the French one.

However, the fact worth mentioning here is that this is a move by the Iranians and should not be construed as in line with the Islamic ideology. This is analogous to the fact that the banning of headscarf from schools is strictly a French move, which can and should not be construed as representative of the Western democracy. This is a fact which is very often misunderstood: Many phenomena rampant in Muslim societies like forced marriages, honor killings, etc are not Islamic; they are construed by many as Islamic because they have been widespread among Muslims for a long time.


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