rkm: “Iran: a week that shook the world”

2006-06-03

Richard Moore

Iran: A week that shook the world
rkm
http://cyberjournal.org


Permit me to offer a humble analogy, comparing earthquakes to 
geopolitics. With an earthquake, the fault line is the focus of the 
event, but it's what happen on the two sides of the fault line -- 
extending for many miles -- that is of real concern. The fault line 
is merely a catalyst, facilitating the rapid adjustment of tectonic 
forces. It is the adjustment that knocks down buildings.

Iran has become a geopolitical 'fault line' - a catalyst facilitating 
the rapid adjustment of great-power forces. While Iran is the focus 
of developments, it is what happens in global geopolitics -- 
extending thousands of miles from Iran - that is of real concern. It 
is those power adjustments, not events in Iran per se, that will 
'knock down buildings' as regards the next phase of human history.

As background for this analysis, I recommend this recent posting from 
William Engdahl, in case you haven't already seen it:
     10 May -- Engdahl: USA's "geopolitical nightmare"
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1138&lists=newslog

Engdahl makes a very strong case that the neocon regime has totally 
botched it, as regards the balance of power in the big game: US-UK 
axis  vs.  China-Russia alliance. To begin with, there IS now a 
China-Russia alliance -- a development that has been greatly 
accelerated by the neocon's aggressive pursuit of their PNAC agenda. 
Rather than securing US dominance, the neocons have undermined US 
power and US prestige. As a consequence of this poor performance, 
Engdahl argues, the old guard Establishment -- the 'realists' -- are 
in the process of leashing in the neocons and arranging a shift in US 
(and lapdog UK) policy..

As regards the China-Russia alliance, note this article:
     31 May -- China-Russia relations at "record high" - Chinese President
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1215&lists=newslog
              [excerpt, EMPHASIS added]..."Through
         mutual effort, our relations have risen to a
         record-high level, and their STRATEGIC
         component is expanding dramatically," Hu Jintao
         said in an interview with official government
         paper Rossiskaya Gazeta.
             The Chinese leader said the two countries had
         been able to sustain high growth rates in
         trade for seven consecutive years and had made
         substantial progress in ENERGY and INVESTMENT
         cooperation.

As regards Iran directly, we know very well why the two sides have an 
interest there. Russia and China are seeking to expand their future 
oil sources, in the face of peak oil, and have have made deals with 
Iran to achieve that.  The US-UK axis wants to gain the upper hand in 
Iran in order to continue their traditional strategy of oil-based 
dominance. They want Iran's oil to be brokered through Anglo-American 
oil companies and banks, rather than by direct exchanges between Iran 
and its customers. As they did after invading Iraq, they want to 
cancel existing contracts and write their own new ones. Wherever 
possible, they want their hand on the global oil tap.

This scenario is well understood by both sides, despite the fact that 
US-UK mainstream media fail to report on it. US concerns about 
nuclear proliferation, in the case of Iran, are utter nonsense. For 
one thing, Iran is in complete compliance with international 
treaties, and has shown no signs of seeking nuclear weapons. For 
another, the US is one of the main causes of nuclear proliferation 
globally. In this regard the following articles are of interest:
     02 Jun -- U.N. watchdog: Iran not an immediate nuclear threat
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1231&batch=16&lists=newslog
     03 Jun -- Blix: U.S. Impedes Efforts to Curb A-Arms
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1233&lists=newslog


We can see a new confidence emerging in Russian and Chinese leaders, 
as they respond to the US-created crisis in Iran. A lot has changed 
since the invasion of Iraq. In that case Russia and China stood by 
while the Coalition of Willing Imperialists seized Iraq's oil. Not so 
this time. Russia has been openly arming Iran; the US is complaining, 
and the Russians are ignoring the complaints:
     29 May -- US urges Russia to reconsider missile export to Iran
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1198&lists=newslog

This increased confidence does not arise because Iran is more 
important than Iraq, but because of the increased relative power -- 
thanks to the neocons -- of China-Russia compared to US-UK. The 
'realists' understand that further confrontation will only accelerate 
this momentous power shift. In this next series of articles we can 
see the neocons being pressured into abandoning their unilateral 
invasion plans, and entering into the game of diplomacy. This is 
consistent with Engdahl's thesis, as regards the 'realists' 
tightening the leash on the neocon project...
     28 May -- GOP Heavy Hitters Pressuring White House to Talk With Iran
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1194&lists=newslog
     27 May -- U.S. Is Debating Talks With Iran on Nuclear Issue
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1192&lists=newslog
     01 Jun -- US offers direct talks with Iran...sort of
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1220&lists=newslog
     01 Jun -- Bush's Realization on Iran: No Good Choice Left Except Talks
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1221&lists=newslog


As with an earthquake, we are seeing major shifts unfolding very 
rapidly. On 27 May I saw the first public reports of the US 
considering talks, and on 2 Jun we already see a negotiation proposal 
ready for presentation to Iran:
     02 Jun -- Powers agree Iran nuclear package
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1228&lists=newslog
     02 Jun -- Expected Security Council Actions
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1225&lists=newslog

We don't yet have a text of this proposal, but we can learn much from 
the comments of the various parties. According to Russia, there is 
nothing in the proposal that authorizes the use of force, regardless 
of how Iran might respond to the proposal. I would be inclined to 
take this article at face value, because it is consistent Russia's 
long-standing position regarding the crisis, and because the reports 
I have seen coming out of Russia generally have been remarkably free 
of propaganda spin:
     02 Jun -- Russia: Iran proposal 'excludes use of force'
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1229&lists=newslog

What we don't know is whether or not the proposal imposes any 
preconditions on Iran: are they being asked to suspend enrichment 
while negotiations proceed? We do know that the neocons are publicly 
demanding such a precondition, and that the Iranians are adamant 
about refusing any preconditions:
     02 Jun -- Guardian: absurd to demand Tehran make concessions
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1230&lists=newslog
     03 Jun -- Iran unmoved by nuclear pressure
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1235&lists=newslog

My money says that preconditions are NOT part of the agreed proposal. 
If the Russians and Chinese had agreed to preconditions, they would 
have been shooting themselves in the foot. They know Iran would 
refuse, and that would put the US in a favorable position to continue 
its confrontational stance. Russia and China have become too shrewd 
and confident to fall into such an obvious trap. Instead, it is the 
neocons who have shot themselves in the foot, by committing 
themselves to multilateral negotiations. They've been squeezed from 
inside and outside -- by the 'realists' and the China-Russia alliance 
-- and these negotiations may mark the end of the PNAC agenda, at 
least in its overtly aggressive form.

Here's why I say the neocons have shot themselves in the foot: They 
seem to think they can make their unilateral demand for preconditions 
stick, but I suggest they are wrong. If the proposal does not require 
preconditions, then Russia and China will support Iran in not 
submitting to US demands. Meanwhile the same 'realist' elements that 
pushed the neocons into accepting negotiations can be expected to 
undermine domestic support for precondition demands (note the 
Guardian article above). Rather than Iran being isolated by the 
'international community', it is the neocons who will be isolated, 
both internationally and domestically. In the end I think they'll be 
forced to negotiate without preconditions, and from that position 
they won't be able to re-create an excuse for armed intervention.

An alternative possibility is that Iran will agree to preconditions, 
either because a time-limit has been set on enrichment suspensions, 
or because Russia and China have assured Iran that she would not be 
left hanging in limbo. In this alternative scenario, the neocons 
would save more face, but they would still have shot themselves in 
the foot. They will enter into talks, but they won't be able to 
dictate the outcome, and their attempts at conquest will continue to 
be stymied.


However the neocons do still have one card up their sleeve - the 
false-flag-incident card:
     03 Jun -- Former CIA Analyst Says Iran Strike Set For June or July
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1238&lists=newslog
             Former CIA analyst and Presidential advisor Ray McGovern,
         fresh from his heated public confrontation with Donald
         Rumsfeld, fears that staged terror attacks across Europe and
         the US are probable in order to justify the Bush
         administration's plan to launch a military strike against
         Iran, which he thinks will take place in June or July.

The neocons may think they can play this card, but they will find 
that the walls have ears.

            "Some of the biggest men in the  United States are afraid of
             something. They know there is a power somewhere,  so
             organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so
             complete, so  pervasive that they had better not speak above
             their breath when they  speak in condemnation of it"
             --President Woodrow Wilson

Wilson is speaking here of the financial elites behind the scenes, 
those who decide whether to make or break neocons or realists (or the 
League of Nations), depending on circumstances. The neocons have 
their covert resources, but there are overseers of the overseers. 
Consider the recent gunshot incident at the US Capital:
     31 May -- US Capitol sealed off after 'gunshots' heard
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1211&lists=newslog
     31 May -- Gunfight at Capital Hill Corral??
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1214&lists=newslog

One never knows whether to believe Tom Flocco. His stuff makes sense, 
and claims to be authoritative, but I can seldom find independent 
corroborations for his more radical claims. I can't find reliable 
contradictions to those claims either, so they are worthy of some 
consideration. In the 'Gunfight' article above he claims that the 
neocons were planning on "disrupting northeast rail traffic via a 
fake terrorist attack." British and French intelligence agents, 
according to Flocco, had obtained damning evidence of this plot, and 
were killed in a shootout in the Capitol garage.

This story may or may not be true, but it is the kind of thing I 
would expect if the neocons try to play the false-flag card. They 
will find that there are spooks following their spooks. We cannot 
expect to have this full story played out in the media. It's too 
embarrassing for all parties concerned. The details will be kept 
within 'the family', as with all gangster activities.

If the neocons are being put on a shorter leash, then their close 
collaborator -- Israel -- will need to have its leash tightened as 
well. Consider these articles:
     26 May -- Bush: U.S. would aid Israel if attacked
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1183&lists=newslog
     01 Jun -- shift in US-Israel relations??...Israeli view
        http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/?id=1217&lists=newslog
           ...Bush's statement seemingly is a step in the direction of the
         defense alliance, even if it is a verbal promise that is not
         enough to send a military force.... In the absence of a
         definitive interpretation, one can understand the Bush
         statement in a different way - as shackles on Israeli
         freedom of operations. If America is ready to defend Israel,
         why give it billions a year in military aid? And why does
         Israel need an independent nuclear capability if it is under
         the American umbrella? And if Israel is attacked, should it
         wait for approval from Washington before it responds, or act
         according to its own best judgment?

Why indeed is this 'aid' being offered, unless to rein in Israel's 
unilateral options? Everyone already knew that the US would come to 
the aid of Israel, if the US wanted to; no need for Bush to announce 
that.

---

All of these developments have unfolded into the public view in the 
space of one week, from 27 May to 3 June. If I am understanding them 
correctly, these developments mark a major historical shift in the 
world balance of power. Heretofore Washington and London have gotten 
by with claiming to be the voice of the 'international community'. 
China and Russia have now emerged from the background, and are with 
confidence making their own voices heard -- as befits their status as 
world powers.

The tectonic forces have been building for some time. With Iran as 
the catalyst fault line, we have seen a geopolitical earthquake take 
place over the past week. What had seemed to be a uni-polar world has 
now clearly become a multi-polar world. The 'realists' knew this had 
become inevitable, and are now engaged in damage control. The neocons 
will take the fall; they will serve as the sacrificial lamb, carrying 
all the blame for the excesses of their regime (as did Nixon before 
them). The elites behind the scenes will as usual remain behind the 
scenes, their primary role in the whole episode going unreported.

rkm
http://cyberjournal.org

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