The Elections, Iran and al-Qaeda

The buzz about Iran’s possible facilitation of Al-Qaeda’s 9-11 terrorist movement has hit the airwaves. NBC, for example, had two segments on Iran in its July 19 ­04 national news. NBC’s news editors are well aware of significance of allotting so much of their 20+ minutes of news to this subject. “National media” such as Washington Post and Time magazine have devoted valuable space to the issue. President Bush promised to “look into the facts” about Al-Qaeda members’ crossing Iran on their way to the US.

What he didn’t say is the fact that no one can come to the US directly from Iran (legally or otherwise). These terrorists must have gone through a number of other countries. Turkey? UAE? Others? It doesn’t seem that Mr. Bush will “look into the facts”to see how these terrorists managed to cross those other, friendly, countries. It is also alleged that Iranian border authorities have not stamped terrorists’ [Saudi Arabian] passports. But how could they, if these terrorists were crossing the border illegally? Have those other friendly countries stamped the passports? All of these raise a question: Is Iran, another “axis of evil,” going to be used by Mr. Bush in his re-election efforts?

Two years ago around this time the news headline were all about Enron and other corporate scandals, failure of Bush administration’s economic policies and tax cuts, and so on. Predictions were that in upcoming November mid-term elections Democrats will hold on to the Senate, may increase their lead there, and even take over the House. Then news about Saddam Hussein, his WMD, his nuclear ambitions, and his links to Al-Qaeda started to crop up. In the beginning not too many took these serious. By August, however, things were changing. By October it was all Iraq and “the war president.” Republicans won the elections; held on to the House and re-claimed the Senate.

The likelihood of a full fledge war ala Iraq is slim. But how about some serious naval skirmishes and invasion of disputed islands in the Gulf?

Or bombing of Iran’s suspected nuclear facilities?

Even more likely is a clash between Iran and some regional surrogates. Already there has been a number of “incidents” between Iran and Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE. Iraqi defense minister had some very harsh words for Iran in his interview with a Saudi sponsored newspaper on Tuesday. Such a confrontation would be serious one. It has to be a believable clash sufficient for enough extra votes to ensure Mr. Bush’s re-election. The people (of the US, Iran, and rest of the world) will pay a high cost for such an event. How is the Islamic Republic of Iran responding?

The Khatami administration (a.k.a. reformist faction) is concerned about such a scenario. They have been all over the media refuting the allegations. Such a clash will tip the balance even further in favor of the powerful conservatives. The latter, incidentally, do not mind such a clash. In fact they may welcome it! It gives credence to their claim of struggle against “the Great Satan.” Some exiled Iranian opposition groups may consider the cost of such clash acceptable if this meant overthrow of the Mullas’ regime. This, unfortunately, may be wishful thinking. The Bush administration is neither willing nor able to overthrow the Islamic clerics’ regime. All it ends up doing is to reinforce their oppressive abilities. For Iranian people it will be a “lose lose” situation..

REZA GHORASHI is professor of political economy at Stockton College. He can be reached at: Ghorashi@stockton.edu


More articles by:
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes