Date: Thu Feb 03 2011 - 03:36:23 EST
Fake Anti-war Activism. The Humanitarian Road Towards an all out Nuclear
War? by Michel Chossudovsky [image:
*November 5, 2010*
Some of America's wars are condemned outright, while others are heralded as
"humanitarian interventions." A significant segment of the US antiwar
movement condemns the war but endorses the campaign against international
terrorism, which constitutes the backbone of US military doctrine.
The "Just War" theory has served to camouflage the nature of US foreign
policy, while providing a human face to the invaders. In both its classical
and contemporary versions, the Just War theory upholds war as a
"humanitarian operation". It calls for military intervention on ethical and
moral grounds against "insurgents", "terrorists", "failed" or "rogue
Taught in US military academies, a modern-day version of the "Just War"
theory has been embodied into US military doctrine. The "war on terrorism"
and the notion of "pre-emption" are predicated on the right to "self
defense." They define "when it is permissible to wage war": jus ad bellum.
Jus ad bellum has served to build a consensus within the Armed Forces
command structures. It has also served to convince the troops that they are
fighting for a "just cause". More generally, the Just War theory in its
modern day version is an integral part of war propaganda and media
disinformation, applied to gain public support for a war agenda. Under Obama
as Nobel Peace Laureate, the Just War becomes universally accepted, upheld
by the so-called international community.
The ultimate objective is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize
social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing,
from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the US NATO led war.
War becomes peace, a worthwhile "humanitarian undertaking", Peaceful dissent
The outbreak of the war on Yugoslavia in March 1999 was in many regards a
watershed, a breaking point in the development of the "Just War" fought on
"humanitarian" grounds. Many sectors of the Left both in North America and
Western Europe embraced the "Just War" concept. Many "progressive"
organizations upheld what they perceived as "a humanitarian war" to protect
the rights of Kosovar Albanians. The war was described as a civil war rather
than a US-NATO led bombing and invasion.
At the height of the NATO bombings, several "progressive" writers described
the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), as a bona fide nationalist liberation
army, committed to supporting the civil rights of Kosovar Albanians. The KLA
was a terrorist organization supported by the CIA with links to organized
crime. Without evidence, the Yugoslav government was presented as being
responsible for triggering a humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. In the words of
"The Kosovo War was a just war because it was undertaken to avoid a likely
instance of "ethnic cleansing" undertaken by the Serb leadership of former
Yugoslavia, and it succeeded in giving the people of Kosovo an opportunity
for a peaceful and democratic future. It was a just war despite being
illegally undertaken without authorization by the United Nations, and
despite being waged in a manner that unduly caused Kosovar and Serbian
civilian casualties, while minimizing the risk of death or injury on the
How can a war be "just", when it is "being illegally undertaken", resulting
in the deaths of men, women and children?
An illegal war, which constitutes a criminal act is upheld as a
Several progressive media joined the bandwagon, condemning the "Milosevic
regime" without evidence, while at the same time condoning the NATO led war
and expressing mitigated support for the KLA. In the words of Stephen
Shalom, in a ZNet article:
“I am sympathetic to the argument that says that if people [the KLA] want
to fight for their rights, if they are not asking others to do it for them,
then they ought to be provided with the weapons to help them succeed. Such
an argument seemed to me persuasive with respect to Bosnia.” (quoted in
Michael Karadjis, Bosnia, Kosova & the West, Resistance Books, 2000, p.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), which is known to support US foreign policy "urged
regime-change for Yugoslavia, either through President Slobodan Milosevic's
indictment or a U.S. war to affect the same outcome." (Edward S. Herman,
David Peterson and George Szamuely, Yugoslavia: Human Rights Watch in
Service to the War
*Global Research*, March 9, 2007). According to a HRW Fred Abrahams
published in the *New York Herald Tribune*:
“[T]he international community's failure to punish Milosevic for crimes in
Croatia and Bosnia sent the message that he would be allowed to get away
with such crimes again. It is now obvious that the man who started these
conflicts cannot be trusted to stop them.” (Fred Abrahams, "The West Winks
at Serbian Atrocities in Kosovo," International Herald Tribune, August 5,
1998. quoted in Edward S. Herman et al, op cit)
Punishing a head of State by waging war on his country?
In 1999, Milosevic was portrayed by the "progressive" British weekly *The
Observer*, as the "Butcher of Belgrade". (See Peter Beaumont and Ed
Vulliamy, Ten years on, the end of the
*The Observer*, 24 June 2001)
The same reasoning was put forth in relation to Saddam Hussein, in the
months leading up to the March 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. Saddam
Hussein was described by the same author of the London Observer as the
"Butcher of Baghdad":
"Saddam's lonely childhood, bloody path to power and final, deadly
miscalculation of his foreign enemies are charted by Peter Beaumont, foreign
affairs editor" (See Peter Beaumont. The death of Saddam
* The Observer*, Sunday , December 31, 2006)
Meanwhile, the names of the "butchers of Washington, London and Brussels",
who waged a "Just War" on the people of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Palestine
and Iraq are rarely mentioned.
*Fake Anti-war Activism: Heralding Iran as a Nuclear Threat*
Many people in the antiwar movement, while condemning the US administration,
also condemn the government of President Ahmadinejad for its bellicose
stance with regard to Israel. The Jus ad Bellum reasoning used as a pretext
to bomb Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds is now being applied to Iran.
President Ahmadinejad allegedly wants Israel to be "wiped off the Map" as
first reported by the New York Times in October 2005:
"Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday
that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians
would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported. Ahmadinejad was speaking
to an audience of about 4,000 students at a program called "The World
Without Zionism," .... His tone was reminiscent of that of the early days of
Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies
since then, and anti-Israel slogans have been common at rallies."(See Nazila
Fathi, Wipe Israel 'off the map' Iranian says
<http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/world/africa/26iht-iran.html?_r=1> - *The
New York Times*, 27 October 2005)
The alleged "Wiped Off the Map" statement by Iran's president was never
made. The rumor was fabricated by the American media with a view to
discrediting Iran's head of state and providing a justification for waging
an all out war on Iran:
On October 25th, 2005 .... the newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, titled "The World Without
Before we get to the infamous remark, it's important to note that the
"quote" in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late
Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted
Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to
Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been
credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents
a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.
THE ACTUAL QUOTE:
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:
"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv
That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a
bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English
word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to
Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is
a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map.
Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the
specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).
So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"?
The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The
Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original
farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the
western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's
President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having
uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".
The full quote translated directly to English:
"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of
Word by word translation:
Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e
(occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of
time) mahv shavad (vanish from).
(See the detailed article by Arash Norouzi, Israel: "Wiped off The Map".
The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out
War on Iran <http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21188>,
Research* February 20, 2007)
What President Ahmadinjad was essentially calling for in his statement was
"regime change" in Tel Aviv.
This alleged "Wiped of the Map" statement has served not only to justify a
pre-emptive attack against Iran but also to subdue and tame the antiwar
While the danger of an all out war on Iran is a matter of concern, it is by
no means a priority for the US, Canadian and European antiwar movements. In
the US, there are very few antiwar events focussing on US-Israeli threats
directed against Iran (See Main US antiwar collective: United for Peace &
Justice : Index, United for Peace & Justice :
On the other hand, there is an ongoing campaign led by United Against
Nuclear Iran" (UANI), calling on President Obama and the US Congress to
prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. (See UANI home
The UANI collective, founded by Obama appointees Richard Holbrooke and Gary
Samore, claims to be integrated by "human rights and humanitarian groups,
the labor movement, political advocacy and grassroots organizations"
(Coalition | UANI)
Notwithstanding Arash Norouzi's disproval, many in the antiwar movement,
while condemning the US, continue to believe that Iran constitutes a threat
and that the solution is "regime change". The funding of NGOs (which are
constituent members of major antiwar collectives) by tax exempt charities
and corporate foundations, has also contributed to weakening antiwar
activism in relation to Iran. Iran is viewed by many within the antiwar
movement as a potential aggressor. Its non-existent nuclear weapons are
considered, a threat to global security.
A pre-emptive war using US made tactical nuclear weapons against Iran has
been on the Pentagon's drawing board since mid 2003. Both president Obama
and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have stated that "all options are on
the table" including the use of nuclear weapons against Iran, without
realizing that the use of nuclear weapons could lead humanity into a global
nuclear war as outlined by Fidel Castro in a recent speech:
"Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon
and I don’t harbour the least doubt that an attack by the United States and
Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards
a global nuclear conflict. (Fidel Castro Ruz, VIDEO: Fidel’s Message against
Nuclear War: "In a Nuclear War the 'Collateral Damage' would be the Life of
All Humanity." <http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21541>,
Research*, October 21, 2010)
*War and the Economy*
The war economy is presented as a means to generating employment. At the
height of an economic crisis, trade unions are called upon not only pay lip
service to job creation in the defence industry but also to soften their
antiwar stance. In a twisted irony, according to the Washington Post, a war
on Iran would have the added advantage of resolving the economic crisis and
triggering a "war recovery":
"What else might affect the economy? The answer is obvious, but its
implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy.
Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that
economic crisis? World War II.
Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in
Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, he can
spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This
will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him
on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy
I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get
re-elected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the
greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this
threat and contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world
safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in
history." (David Broder, The War Recovery, Washington Post, October 31, 2010
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