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3 Jan, 2010

Is a second “Decade From Hell” in the making?

Originally Published: 03 Jan 2010

For all those who have been fervently wishing each other a peaceful New Year, be warned that it is likely to be anything but. The same bunch of people who have been at the forefront of wars, conflict and state terrorism over the last few years are sending out clear warnings of more mayhem to come, possibly in 2010.

Not content with having attacked both Iraq and Afghanistan respectively in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction that were never found, and a terrorist mastermind who has never been found, the American-Israeli establishment is cranking up the global mind-bending campaign for an attack on Iran.

The last week of December is when the world tries to get into a happy mood. Christmas is time for some peaceful reflection, fun and festivities. This year, Christmas, the Islamic and Jewish New Years all fell at roughly the same time. The spirit of these annual occasions is to seek “peace on earth” and “goodwill towards mankind.”

Yet, it was on December 23 that Alan J. Kuperman, the director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at the University of Texas at Austin, was provided with op-ed space in the illustrious New York Times to make a blatant, direct and unequivocal call for more bloodshed in what is already one of the most unstable and inflamed parts of the world.

Said the article, “Incentives and sanctions will not work, but air strikes could degrade and deter Iran’s bomb program at relatively little cost or risk, and therefore are worth a try. They should be precision attacks, aimed only at nuclear facilities, to remind Iran of the many other valuable sites that could be bombed if it were foolish enough to retaliate.”

It added, “Negotiation to prevent nuclear proliferation is always preferable to military action. But in the face of failed diplomacy, eschewing force is tantamount to appeasement. We have reached the point where air strikes are the only plausible option with any prospect of preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Postponing military action merely provides Iran a window to expand, disperse and harden its nuclear facilities against attack. The sooner the United States takes action, the better.”

Coming not too long after the President Obama’s “war is peace” Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the call by Mr Kuperman sent a clear and distinct message of an attack that is long known to be militarily ready and for which the world is now being mentally prepared in a déjà vu scenario of Iraq 2003.

Mr Kuperman’s column is widely available on the internet, so I will not quote further from it. Just Google the headline, “There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran”. But place it in the context of the steady drip-drip-drip of finger-wagging commentary emerging from Israeli, American and some members of the British UK political and defence establishment, and there is no doubt of the agenda that is playing out here.

Personally, I have no problem with Mr Kuperman’s column. The right to voice one’s views is the price one pays for living in democratic societies. But a closer look at its contents will show that Mr Kuperman’s call for violence has placed him in the same category as terrorists who also share a like-minded preference for violence when negotiations fail.

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Mr Superman (oooops sorry, I mean, Kuperman) will find himself on any terrorist watch-lists or be racially profiled at an immigration counter.

Should Mr Kuperman’s call be implemented, and if its political, economic, social and cultural consequences reverberate in the far corners of the globe, especially on those who have no quarrel with Iran, he and his supporters (and I am sure he has many) should be ready to face equally blatant, direct and unequivocal calls for counter-attacks on governments and institutions of the attackers.

Indeed, Mr Kuperman’s full-frontal call leaves no room for argument about whom to hold responsible for the consequences of an attack on Iran. If he wants more war, he and his supporters should be courageous enough to take responsibility for the wider violence that will result.

Accountability is a two-way street. Democracy means no one should be held above the law and those who make wrong decisions should pay the price for it.

That, of course, is something that Mr Kuperman probably will not have to do. Clearly, he believes his rationale for violence is “right” and “just”, and Iran should be held responsible for bringing the consequences upon itself.

There is no difference in that line of thinking and the statements issued via smuggled video-tapes from the caves of Afghanistan by terrorists who also think their war is just and who also blame their victims for bringing the violence upon themselves.

In today’s might-is-right world, however, only a chosen few have the self-proclaimed right to pursue a “just” jihad, and never be held accountable for any of the tragic suffering and devastating humanitarian consequences that results from it.

After all, an attack on Iran would mostly kill the sub-human Muslims, and Shia Muslims to boot. That’s collateral damage. Blame the Iranian theocracy.

TIME magazine recently described the 1990s as “the Decade from Hell.” Global warming is on the rise, mini-conflicts are raging in many parts of the world, the poverty-alleviation targets of the Millennium Development Goals have no chance of being met, and peace and stability is a distant illusion.

An attack will be a perfect solution by providing a much-needed global distraction from these pesky little problems. A second decade from hell is just what the doctor ordered.