Tuesday, 28 August 2012

United States biggest arms seller

Over the years it is being said that the United Sates creates most of the conflicts around the world but very few people are able to understand the underlying motive. It is the lust to keep its arsenal factories running at highest capacity utilization.

My second blog posted on 26th June highlighted this aspect. One of the latest reports by Reuters provides the latest numbers, though these pertain to 2011 and a lot has changed lately.

The report says that during 2011 the US arms sales touched record level US$66.3 billion, mainly because of $33.4 billion sales to Saudi Arabia alone. Other key buyers included United Arab Emirates and India.

The US sales were nearly 78 per cent of the global arms sales, which rose to $85.3 billion during 2011. The previous US record sales of $38.2 billion were achieved during 2008.
While Washington remained the world’s leading arms seller, nearly all other major suppliers, except France, recorded decline in sales during 2011. France signed arms sales valued at $4.4 billion in 2011, up from $1.8 billion a year earlier.

Russia, the world’s number two arms dealer, saw its sales nearly halved to $4.8 billion in 2011. The four major European suppliers — France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy — saw their collective market share drop to 7.2 per cent in 2011 from 12.2 per cent a year earlier.

Saudi Arabia emerged the biggest arms buyer among developing countries, concluding $33.7 billion weapons deals in 2011, followed by India with purchases of $6.9 billion and the United Arab Emirates with $4.5 billion. A point worth laughing is ‘Iran is fueling arms sales especially to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’.

The three major beneficiaries of the arms sales were Boeing, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin. The sale of $33.4 billion to Saudi Arabia comprised of 84 Boeing F-15 fighters, dozens of helicopters built by Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

The sale of $3.49 billion to the United Arab Emirates comprised of Lockheed Martin Corp’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, an advanced missile shield and $940 million for 16 Chinook helicopters built by Boeing.

The United States seems to be following a unique strategy whereby extreme volatile situation in created in the Middle East and imposition of economic sanctions on Iran. This helps in keeping crude oil price high. However, all these petrodollars are bagged by selling arms to oil rich countries.

The only point of concern is that the arms sales are on the rise due to growing animosity among the Muslim countries, especially Arabs vs. Iran. In the past Iraq assaulted Iran and the war continued for a decade.

During this war Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gave billions of dollars to Iraq to wipeout Iran from the global map. The stage is being prepared once again for a better coordinated assault on Iran but all remain shy of the nuclear capabilities of Iran. Though, Israel keeps on talking about attacking Iran, threat of nuclear war makes all jittery.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

US waging war against Iran

While the countries living under the influence of United States have been imposing newer and tougher sanctions on Iran, Israel has been threatening to take unilateral action against the country irrespective of the outcome of 5+1 negotiations. 

However, cursory look at the chronology of decisions made against Iran support the perception that the United States has been waging war against the country for more than three decades.

Many observers say that the war against Iran is already underway. A vicious media campaign, regular war threats, assassinations and acts of sabotage all testify that Iran is the target of an all out war. 

While all sorts of aggression and belligerence are taking place, an intensive campaign against Iran is being run in the mainstream media.  Hawkish, pro-Israeli think tanks in the United States are portraying a biased and distorted image of Iran to their people with the aim of preparing ground for a possible military attack.

Iran’s enemies say that they have a problem with Iran's nuclear program because they fear it may one day develop nuclear weapons and use it against Israel. They are also preaching Iran poses a threat to global peace and security. All this in incorrect as the reality is Iran refuses to be a slave to the Zionists financial and political interests. One may not be amused if one day it is announced that Iran is financing international terrorism through the export and sale of pistachio nuts.

Washington's animosity is neither new nor related to Iran's nuclear program. Soon after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and dethroning of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the US initiated hostility and enmity.  Under President Jimmy Carter, the US imposed a set of sanctions on Iran's oil sector and then blocked US$12 billion of Iranian government's assets in Washington.

After the deadly 1983 Beirut barracks bombing in which 241 US marines were killed, the US government renewed its sanctions, under the orders of President Ronald Reagan. The Bill Clinton administration toughened the sanctions in 1996 when US Congress unanimously passed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act that penalizing the foreign companies investing in Iran's oil sector.

On September 30, 2006 the act was renamed to Iran Sanctions Act as Libya was excluded. The George W. Bush administration, also antagonistic toward Iran imposed several rounds of sanctions against its oil, gas, insurance, agriculture and aviation industries. He also signed a law the Iran Freedom and Support Act on September 30, 2006 which allocated $10 million for anti Iran groups.

Barack Obama instead of finding a sustainable solution to end the nuclear standoff, assumed an aggressive position, intensified the sanctions, banned transactions with the Central Bank of Iran and even created hurdles for Iran to receive the payments for its oil exports.

It seems the sanctions have been imposed to bring Iran to its knees and undermine its position as a regional superpower. The Obama administration has vehemently pursued a policy of running covert operations in Iran through training, funding and assisting anti Iranian organizations such as MKO and Jundallah with the objective of spreading fear, sabotaging its security and also impeding its nuclear program.

Damaging Iran's nuclear program through sophisticated computer worms and malwares such as Stuxnet was another attempt by the US and Israel aimed at causing major blow to Iran. The Stuxnet worm was coded to sabotage computers operating at Iran's Bushehr nuclear facilities.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Will US pull troops out of Afghanistan?

A question is often asked by the citizens of countries directly or indirectly affected by the Proxy War in Afghanistan; will United States pull out its troops occupying the country after 2014? 

The overwhelming perception is, it will not. To understand this it is necessary to explore reasons why the country is being occupied under the disguise of Nato and ISEAF.

One point is very clear that the objective was not to liberate Afghanistan from the control of USSR or Taliban but to occupy it for economical and political reasons. Presence of Al-Qaeda was not an excuse for attack. Iraq was also not attacked because of Al-Qaeda but oil. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq had attack the world trade center.

One could find two possible reasons for occupying Afghanistan; valuable metals and geopolitics. Studies conducted by USSR showed that trillions of dollars worth precious and rare metals are present in Afghanistan.

Being the super power United States maintains its military dominance by brining countries all around the world under its hegemony to combat enemies. Afghanistan has an important place in the US foreign policy due to common borders with Pakistan, Iran, China and many oil and gas rich Central Asian countries.

After the Islamic Revolution Iran is being projected the biggest threat for the world, especially Arab monarchies and more recently for its nuclear program denouncing US hegemony. United States is planning for the ultimate day when troops will be deployed in Iran to takeover its nuclear assets. It needs an outpost near Iran and Afghanistan is the ideal country.  The two countries share a long mountainous border, which is virtually impossible fully monitor and defend.  

China is the second most powerful superpower, which is likely to surpass the gross domestic product of the United States by 2020 and become world’s strongest economic superpower.  United States already has outposts in Taiwan and South Korea, Afghanistan gives them a third root of attack should it be necessary.

Afghanistan was a hostage of the Cold War. The United States supported Pakistan and the USSR patronized Afghanistan and India against Pakistan. After Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 the Soviet leadership anticipated that in order to compensate its defeat in Iran the United States might seek to expand its influence in Afghanistan.

The USSR believed that getting control over Afghanistan could give it a perfect foot hold in South Asia and the Middle East. It would have access to a new ocean and proximity to the vast oil riches of the Middle East. There are no warm water ports in Afghanistan, but getting control over the Khyber Pass, an ancient trade route to China on the East and one step closer to Iran and Turkey on the West and Pakistan on the South, all with warm water ports.

With the disintegration of USSR, despite having tons of lethal arsenals and China focusing on its economy, the sole surviving super power seems too ambitious in establishing its hegemony in South Asia and MENA and Afghanistan appears to be the most ideal outpost. Therefore, probability of end to the US occupation of Afghanistan is hoping against the hopes. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pakistan in the grip of terrorists

On the last Friday of Ramadan in Pakistan killers were on the rampage, especially in Karachi capital of Sindh and Quetta capital of Balochistan. Earlier Kamra Air Base was attacked and nearly two dozen Shias were killed point blank in KP province. Though, on the face value these appear separate incidents but establish a common point ‘security forces in Pakistan are incapable of protecting Pakistanis as well as strategic installations of the country.

Many local and foreign analysts term these ‘security lapse’ but the reality is Pakistan in a state of war for more than a decade. Despite doing the best it has to hear ‘do more manta’ from the United States and face the pressure of ‘domestic constituency’ to pull the country out of proxy US war. There is growing perception that Afghan occupation by Nato forces may have other motives but bringing any change in the quality of life of Afghans, bearing the brunt of war for more than three decades. Some even go to the extent of terming it war of drug barons.

In the recent past Shia Hazaras have been the worst victim in Balochistan but now killers are on the rampage in KP and GB. For a considerably long time efforts are being made to show that that Shias and Sunnis are killing each other. However, with the Shia-Suni conflict becoming too visible in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, efforts are being made to instigate armed conflict between the two Muslim sects in Pakistan also.

Attack on the bus carrying participants of Youm-e-Qudus Rally in Karachi was to convey a message that any group following Iranian plan can face death in Pakistan. However, the cynics fail to understand that it is not the attempt of Iran to create its hegemony in the region but to remind the Muslims that Israel is occupying Palestinian territory for decades and Arabs have failed in getting the holy city of Jerusalem free from Zionist occupation.

Many Western critics say that Iran has expansionist designs and attaining uranium enrichment technology is the first step for producing atomic warheads. Though, Iran has been refuting this allegation, United States under the pressure of Zionists want to teach it a lesson. More than 32 years of economic sanctions have failed to deter Iranians from their path. In fact Iran has emerged as a symbol of resistance against the US hegemony.   

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Blaming Iran for supporting Syrian Regime

Suffering from extreme Iran obsession United States never misses an opportunity to prove that Iran is a threat to Arabs. It had played on Sunni Shia divide in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and even in Pakistan.

There is growing perception that a proxy war is being fought in Syria in which on one side are US-supported rebels and on other side are Syrian forces, allegedly supported by Iran.

Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while talking to ‘Pentagon Reporters’ has once again alleged Iran for supporting the Syrian militia, which is generally made up of Syrian Shiite forces and being used for taking the pressure off the Syrian regime forces that have been at war for almost 18 months. In fact he openly accused Iran for playing a growing role by supporting the Syrian regime and helping in building and training a militia to fight opposition forces.

Dempsey was very cautious in admitting that US-supported rebels are now equipped with arsenal to down Syrian jets but said, “It appears Syrian rebels were able to shoot down a Syrian warplane” but insisted “I have no indication that they are armed with heavy weapons or surface-to-air missiles, at least not yet”. He admitted the MiG fighter could have been shot down with small arms fire. 

Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voiced concerns about Iran's growing presence in Syria, even as President Bashar Assad's regime steps up its aerial attacks against the rebel forces. Fierce fighting and attacks from warplanes and helicopter gunships have pushed the opposition forces back in key fronts, such as Aleppo.

"We do not think that Iran ought to be playing that role at this moment in time," the defense secretary said. He said that "it's dangerous, that it's adding to the killing that's going on in Syria and that it tries to bolster a regime that we think ultimately is going to come down."

This clearly indicates that the United States is openly supporting the rebels because it doesn’t wish Assad to remain in power, the same ‘regime change saga’ it has earlier played in many countries but does not wish to do the same in Bahrain.  The duality of standards clearly indicates that the grand US plan is not the dismissal of Assad but to create a justification for an assault on Iran.

Makkah Summit

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called an emergency Islamic Summit in Makkah to discussed key issues facing Muslim Ummah.

This offers an opportunity to Muslim leaders to discuss the prevailing situation, showing deep divided and to come up with solution that can exhibit their unity and solidarity. 

However, there is no mention of Iran, enduring economic sanction imposed by the Western countries for more than three decades. One can still recall that some of the Arab countries had provided huge funds to Iraq when it attacked Iran, which helped in extending the war for nearly a decade.

World renowned, Abdullah Omar Naseef emphasizing the significance of the Summit has said, "There is nothing strange in this call by King Abdullah for an emergency summit. It shows his deep concern toward Islamic issues as a prominent Muslim leader in the world," He also said, "This summit is being held at the right time, when the Islamic nation is facing a lot of challenges and crises, such as the worsening situation in Syria, the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and the continuing Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.”

A member of the World Council for Mosques, an affiliate of the Makkah-based Muslim World League, Dr. Baheej Mulla Owais said, "We are pinning great hope on this extraordinary summit and pray that it will be a great success in realizing its objectives." He also mentioned another summit held in Makkah, called by King Abdullah about five years ago to reconcile Iraqi factions. "That summit was successful in reducing the bloodbath between Iraqi groups and narrowing their differences. Sitting in front of the Holy Kaaba, they had pledged to stop fighting each other," he added.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on Muslim leaders to address the Syrian and Bahraini crises simultaneously in their gathering in Makkah. Iran has also proposed that the Palestinian issue and solidarity in the Muslim world should be discussed at the meeting and that divisive issues would not be raised. 

 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaving Tehran to attend the emergency Islamic summit said is likely to express the views of the Iranian nation on the issues facing the Muslim world. “This meeting is an opportunity for our nation’s standpoint to be explained clearly and for efforts to be made toward the convergence and protection of the interests and integrity of Muslim nations.”   

One just can’t resist from mentioning meeting of leaders of 42 countries who have given their node to participate in the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which is scheduled to be held in Tehran from Aug 26 to 31. 

While efforts by Saudi Arabia and Iran deserve appreciation, the bottomline remains can Arabs really come out of the pressure of United States? There is growing consensus among the analysts that toppling of Asad regime in Syria is part of the grand agenda to isolate Iran, which is considered a threat for Arab monarchies.