It was a fundamental truth that most Americans were too overcome with anger to anticipate. The unnecessary American war against Iraq in March 2003 only accomplished one unintended goal, making Iran a much more powerful nation than it was. The Iraq war failed to free the Iraqi people and it had nothing to do with the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on Sept. 12, 2001. Now, we’re stuck with the consequences
By Ray Hanania
No one wanted to listen to reason on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after 19 hijackers claiming to be representatives of the Islamic religion, crashed four hijacked commercial planes, three into the World Trade Centers’ Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Americans wanted revenge, and most wanted safety. But President Bush, led by extremist Vice President Dick Cheney and incompetent warmonger Donald Rumsfeld decided to make their personal agenda the agenda of the American people by using the terrorism as an excuse to eliminate their old adversary, Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein.
On March 19, 2003, the United States, without provocation and on the basis of a politically manipulated United Nations resolution and the backing of politically whipped up members of the incompetent U.S. Congress, invaded Iraq, a country that had for many years been a funded and armed American ally.
When the terrorists committed suicide in their attack on Sept. 11, 2001, they left Americans feeling they had been denied justice. We NEEDED to kill someone. Instead of focussing on the rise of radicalized fanaticism that had embraced a corrupted form of Islam, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld focused on Iraq.
And today, 12 years later, we are faced with a heated debate about how to deal with the one consequence of the Iraq war that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have refused to address, the empowerment of radical Iran.
In a speech defending the nuclear agreement with Iran, Obama laid out the case for how the war on Iraq undermined peace, failed to achieve security for Americans and strengthened Iran.
“Those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary,” Obama said during a speech today, Wednesday, August 5, 2015.
“More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent.”
Obama spelled out the challenges Iraq faces and the rise of extremism. Iraq did not undermine al-Qaeda, it helped create more extremist terrorist groups.
“Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein,” Obama said.
“I raise this recent history because now more than ever, we need clear thinking in our foreign policy, and I raise this history because it bears directly on how we respond to the Iranian nuclear program. That program has been around for decades, dating back to the Shah’s efforts, with U.S. support, in the 1960s and ’70s to develop nuclear power. The theocracy that overthrew the Shah accelerated the program after the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, a war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to brutal effect, and Iran’s nuclear program advanced steadily through the 1990s despite unilateral U.S. sanctions.”
Obama added, in a criticism of the fundamental lie that Vice President Dick Cheney pushed to justify the Iraq war, “When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges, the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb, that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges and showed no inclination to slow, much less halt, its program.”
For more than a decade in the 1980s, Iran was at war with Iraq. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein led that fight at the behest and financial support of the United States political institution that includes many members of Congress and the U.S. Senate that are still in public office.
Iran was a threat, a product of anger and hatred against American caused by America’s support of the most brutal dictator in the 2nd half of the 20th Century, the Shah of Iran, who was backed, funded and armed by the United States. The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was responsible for the mass murder of more than 1 million Iranian civilians as a part of his efforts to control the country and rape it of its wealth. Pahlavi declared himself a God — “Shah in Shah” — and built lavish palaces while his people starved to death.
Anyone who criticized his government was grabbed by the Iranian Secret Police, the Savak, detained, tortured and murdered. Their bodies were destroyed in the same way that narco-terrorists in Guatemala and Mexico eliminated their drug rivals.
The Shah was put in power in 1953 after a CIA-run coup that removed the country’s Democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Shah was finally thrown out of office and his dynasty of tyranny and mass murder was brought to an end on Jan. 16, 1979. On November 4, 1979, the victims of the Shah’s American-financed oppression stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans there who were held hostage until Ronald Reagan was elected President 444 days later.
From 1980 until 1988, the United States provided Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with money and weapons, including chemical weapons, to battle Iran in a proxy war with the Soviet Union supporting Iran.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians and Iraqis died fighting that American-driven political war, building animosity and anger at Americans who were viewed as hypocrites and liars who spoke about Democracy but advocated oppression. Americans spoke about freedom but advocated repression and brutality.
Today, the United States faces the consequences of that immoral policy and the damage that America caused to the Iranian people.
No one is surprised that Iranians are angry at America for what it did to kill its people. Iranians can see the damage and the lies that America did to Iraq. And Iranians see the hypocrisy of the American foreign policy which financially and materialistically supports the oppression of Christians and Muslims by Israel and the building of more than 250 armed Israeli nuclear bombs.
Why is Israel allowed to have nuclear weapons in the world’s most volatile region, but Iran is not allowed to have nuclear energy to power its economy?
The biased mainstream American News Media, which feeds the racist hatred that is the foundation of the American people, has protected Israel, prevented the dissemination of the truth about the American involvement in the murder of millions of Middle East civilians through Iraq, Iran and Israel, and have presented Iran as the evil power while whitewashing Israel’s war crimes.
Americans are lucky that Iranians have been even willing to sit down and negotiate with us, thanks only to the sincerity and genuine efforts of President Barack Obama.
Obama represents the true spirit of America and the U.S. Constitution which Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld represent the real extremism religious movement, the Christian-terrorism, which is an even bigger threat to the real fundamentals of American morality than Islamic terrorism.
Islamic terrorism is here in the world today thanks in a large part to the blind and stupid and selfish extremist policies of past American administrations.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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