The Empire and War

Two days ago, I briefly commented that imperialism was unable to resolve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which is assaulting the world’s population.  Today, I would like to tackle another subject that, in my opinion, is of great significance.

The current danger of North Korea being attacked by the United States, following the recent incident that took place in the former country’s territorial waters, could perhaps be avoided if the president of the People’s Republic of China decides to exercise his right to a veto, a prerogative that that country totally abhors exercising in agreements being discussed in the United Nations Security Council.

There is a second and more serious problem to which the United States has no possible response: the conflict created in relation to Iran.  This is something that has clearly been coming since President Barack Obama gave his speech at the Al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo on June 4, 2009.

In a Reflection that I wrote then, four days later when I had an official copy of the speech, I utilized a large number of quotes in order to analyze its importance.  I shall note some of them.

We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world. . . .

. . . [T]ension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.

That and other arguments in the mouth of an African-American president were really impressive, seeming to be evident truths like those contained in the Declaration of Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

I’ve come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. . . .

And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

He continued in this way, spelling out thorny problems in the universe of insoluble contradictions surrounding the policy of the United States.

“In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.”

“Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against US troops and civilians. . . .”

“America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known.  This bond is unbreakable.”

“Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.”

We now know that a rain of live phosphorus and other inhuman and cruel components, launched on the Strip with a veritable Nazi-fascist fury, frequently falls on the population of Gaza.  However, Obama’s affirmations seemed at the time vibrant and, on occasion, sincere, in that he repeated them time and time again in the midst of a feverish sprint about the world, wherever Air Force One arrived at its programmed hour.

Yesterday, May 31, the international community was shaken by the assault, in international waters, dozens of miles from the Gaza coast, by close to one hundred soldiers from the Israeli special forces, who descended from helicopters in the early hours of the morning, firing frenetically on hundreds of peaceful individuals of diverse nationalities, and causing — according to press reports — no less than 20 deaths and dozens of injuries.  The people attacked while transporting merchandise for Palestinians living under siege in their own country included citizens of the United States.

When Obama spoke at the Al-Azhar Islamic University of the “overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government,” and immediately added, “Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against US troops and civilians . . . ,” he was referring to the revolutionary movement promoted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who, from Paris, without a single weapon, crushed the armed forces of the most powerful gendarme that the United States had in South Asia.  It was very difficult for the strongest power in the world to resist the temptation of installing one of its military bases there, to the south of the USSR.

More than five decades ago, the United States had crushed another absolutely democratic Revolution, when it overthrew the Iranian government of Mohammad Mossadegh.  Mossadegh was elected prime minister of Iran on April 24, 1951.  The Senate approved the nationalization of oil, which had been its banner of struggle, on May 1 that same year.  “Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries,” he stated, “have not produced any results to date.”

It is obvious that he was referring to the great capitalist powers which control the world economy.  Iran took possession of the facilities in the face of the intransigence of British Petroleum, at that time called the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

The country was not in a position to train technicians.  Britain had withdrawn its skilled personnel and responded with a blockade of spare parts and markets.  It sent in the Navy in a call for action against the country.  As a result, Iran’s oil production decreased from 241.4 million barrels in 1952 to 10.6 million in 1953.  In those favorable conditions, the CIA organized the coup d’état that ousted Mossadegh until his death, three years later.  The monarchy was reestablished and a powerful U.S. ally came to power in Iran.

That is exactly the same thing that the United States has done with all other countries; since that nation was created on the richest soil of the planet, it has never respected the rights of the indigenous populations that lived there for thousands of years, or of those who were imported as slaves by the English colonizers.

Nevertheless, I am sure that millions of intelligent and honest Americans understand these truths.

President Obama can make hundreds of speeches trying to reconcile irreconcilable contradictions to the detriment of truth.  He can dream of the magic of his well-articulated phrases while making concessions to figures and groups totally lacking in ethics, and sketch fantasy worlds that only fit inside his head, which are planted there by unscrupulous advisors aware of his tendencies.

Two obligatory questions: will Obama be able to enjoy the thrills of a second presidential term without witnessing the Pentagon or the state of Israel — whose behavior demonstrates that it is not complying in any way with the decisions of the United States — using their nuclear weapons against Iran?  What will life on our planet be like after that?


Fidel Castro Ruz
June 1, 2010
11:35 a.m.

Translation adapted from Granma InternationalEn español.

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