Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban
Warning from the Obama administration’s submission to Israeli pressure, in an interview with the Lebanese OTV, Michael Scheuer, a ‘former’ senior CIA officer, said: “Three hundred million Americans could wake up tomorrow to discover that a foreign leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, led them to war with Iran, which might lead to war with the rest of the Muslim world”. He added, “Israel has no value whatsoever when it comes to American interests. It does not produce or give us anything we need. The only thing we get from it is that it is leading us to a religious war it seeks with Islam”.
Documents released by the National Security Archives Center, after having been declassified, show that hours after the 9/11 attacks, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talked about attacking Iraq – according to minutes of a meeting held that day – and asked for “evidence which shows an alleged relationship between the former head of the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda leader”. The United States acknowledged later that no relation existed between the former Iraqi regime and the 9/11 attacks. Nevertheless, it went ahead with invading Iraq.
In his memoirs, ‘former’ British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that “there was no evidence to prove Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda”, or that it possessed mass destruction weapons”. The decision to invade Iraq was taken on the first day that George W. Bush and his team took office.
Shall we wait, every time, for a certain official responsible for waging a war to retire, to know the real objective of that war? The more important question is: why do not Western officials, who play leading roles in their countries with impact on the lives of millions of people in other countries, dare say the truth and behave accordingly? Why do they, in moments like invading Iraq, toe the line of other forces and reduce themselves to mere instruments. The answer might be that these forces are capable of shaking their positions or even putting an end to their political existence altogether under one pretext or another.
If we examine what is happening today, in light of what happened in the past, we find that the six countries involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program state repeatedly that they “prefer a diplomatic solution with Iran”. President Obama, during his election campaign, said he “does not want or intend to strike Iran”. Even today, Augustus R. Norton, Professor at Boston University, said, “There is little enthusiasm at the Pentagon to launch war against Iran”. Who then is drumming up war against Iran? And who is drumming up war against it or against Lebanon every time the prospects of a peaceful settlement looms on the horizon? One should also ask about the source of Islamophobia; and its relation to what Israel is trying to achieve in terms of massacres and ethnic and religious cleansing of Muslims and Christians in order to create their Jewish state.
There are two main factors here: the first is that most Western media are owned by sympathizers with Israel and edited by people of their ilk. That is why most Western officials do not dare say the truth when it comes to Israel’s crimes. They might whisper in private, or write in their memoirs after they leave office and become ‘former’ officials about the racist reality of Israel. But it is rare to find a Western official prepared to sacrifice his position to reveal the truth to the World. When Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh did this, she lost her life in obscure circumstances. That is why private memoirs of ‘former’ officials shed light on past events. But we should learn the lesson from past decisions which brought destruction and disasters to millions of people in order to avoid similar ones which could bring the world similar disasters.
The second factor is that Arabs in general still deal with the United States, which gives billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel, in addition to the money given to expand settlements and support settlers, as if it were neutral and an honest broker between Arabs and Israelis. In this regard, they should not spend hours of research to find out that this is only an illusion. They only need to recall footage of American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arriving in occupied Palestine and received by Shimon Peres, holding his hands and massaging them with warmth and affection. Her body language reveals that they are one side trying to entrap the Arab side and destroy it. She did so, as if she had not heard the racist statements of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who said about the Arabs, on the Jewish New Year celebrations, “God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians”; and as if she did not hear of Israeli soldier Eden Aberjil, after she posted photos of her blindfolded Palestinian prisoners on Facebook, “I would enjoy killing Arabs”. All this racism did not merit a word of condemnation from any Western official.
The reason is pretty clear; and the essence of which could be found in an article by Jeff Gates entitled “How the Israel Lobby Took Control of U.S. Foreign Policy” in which he explains how AIPAC invites candidates for elections who show a willingness to serve Israeli interests and provides them with a list of contributors who could double their election budget, and how AIPAC insures that its candidates are elected to Congress. He gives names and figures of people whose political history changed after they relied on Zionist money, particularly President Harry Truman who recognized Israel minutes after the announcement of its creation. Gates concludes that “Therein lies the perils of an entangled alliance that induced the U.S. to invade Iraq and now seeks war with Iran. By allowing foreign agents to operate as a domestic lobby, the U.S. was induced to confuse Zionist interests with its own”.
This explains why the US Defense Secretary protested what is expected to be a deal to sell Russian missiles to Syria after Israel declared its opposition to the deal, although it is armed to the teeth with all sorts of mass destruction weapons.
Part of the tragedies of the peoples of Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia, and the dangers threatening Iran, Sudan and Yemen, is caused by the cowardice of leaders and their succumbing to the dictates and temptation of Zionist money and the blackmail of the Israeli media and not responding to their human conscience and the interests of their nations which they are supposed to represent.
Prof Bouthaina Shaaban is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University. She obtained her Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University. She was the spokesperson for Syria and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through email@example.com