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(DV) Whitney: Dubai and the Straits of Hormuz







Dubai and the Straits of Hormuz    
by Mike Whitney
March 6, 2006

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“If you want to understand the policy of a country, look at the map.”


-- Napoleon Bonaparte


Geography is fate.


United Arab Emirates is located at the center of an oil-dependent world. This tiny state forms the promontory that juts out into the famed Straits of Hormuz through which 40% of the world’s oil passes every day. Across the narrow straights sits Iran, the next victim on the list of “axis of evil” nations. Any attack on Iran will require that military forces quickly deploy to Dubai to forestall the closing of the straits and the subsequent devastation that would occur to world oil supplies and financial markets.


This is the critical point that is being intentionally concealed by America’s diversionary media. This is the reason that President Bush continues to force the Dubai port plan even though 70% of the American people and Congress resoundingly oppose it.


The importance of UAE as a staging area for future hostilities cannot be overstated. No military strategy can hope to succeed without first establishing a beachhead across the straits in Iran so that the danger of blowing up oil tankers and blocking passage is removed. This tells us that plans for an attack may be on track for late March as originally threatened by Israel.


For its part, Iran has been trying to work out an agreement for enriching uranium with Russia, although Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still insists that the NPT provides an “inalienable right” for the peaceful development of nuclear fuel.


Ahmadinejad is right, of course, but it makes little difference. The United States has already brushed aside the Iran-Russia plan and is pushing to have the Security Council censure Iran at its next meeting. So too, talks have broken off between Iran and the EU-3 without producing any positive results. The Euro-leaders are clearly abetting Washington’s gambit; paving the way for another war.




Ahmadinejad has done nothing to help his cause by blurting out absurd statements that have made him look foolish and irrational. (Israel should be “wiped off the map”) Still, it’s doubtful that anyone could withstand the withering “swift-boating” of the Western media once they commence their campaign of character assassination, the likes of which we have seen many times before.


Ahmadinejad recently said, “We want peace, security, and progress for all the countries of the region, especially our neighbors. History has shown that Iran is a good neighbor. We are just working on nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.” His comments, of course, were not covered in the western media since they conveyed the message of a responsible leader with benign motives rather than the ridiculous blather of madman.


As far as we know, however, Ahmadinejad has been straightforward in his claims. The IAEA has consistently found that Iran has fully complied with the terms of the NPT and that there “is no evidence of a nuclear weapons program.”


That hasn’t stop Washington, though. The die was cast for war with Iran nearly a decade ago in policy papers drawn up by far-right political ideologues that now control all the levers of foreign policy in the Bush White House.


The situation with Iran is bound to reach crisis level this week as the IAEA’s board off governors is expected to issue a statement expressing its fears that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.


Al Jazeera reported that, “Diplomats in Washington and Vienna said the Security Council could adopt a "presidential declaration" calling on Tehran to heed IAEA calls to suspend uranium enrichment and co-operate with inspections.”


A “presidential declaration”?


This is a clear admission that the IAEA has NOT found Iran in violation of its treaty obligations, but is looking for some way to accommodate the United States’ insistence that Iran should be publicly scolded by the international body.


Will this public humiliation be used as a pretext for war?


A Western diplomat told AFP the European countries had “decided against a resolution” at this week’s board meeting, after hearing from Russia and China that there was no support for one. (Al Jazeera)


Again, this suggests that there is no proof of foul play.


 Nevertheless, European leaders and the United States want to issue a “statement” that would call on Iran to voluntarily suspend all enrichment-activities and submit to more extensive investigations”. In other words, Iran is being asked to voluntarily give up all of its rights under the terms of the NPT.


But why would Iran willingly accept being treated like a pariah when there is “no evidence” that it has done anything wrong?


The hypocrisy of this Bush-backed plan is breathtaking. Bush just finished a trip to India and Pakistan where he effectively declared himself the final arbiter of who will get nuclear technology and fuel and who won’t. His actions were a clear affront to the IAEA, the UN, the NPT, and the United States Congress, who is supposed to determine such matters as treaties.


Bush has apparently elected himself the god of all things nuclear.


He has successfully destroyed the already feeble credibility the NPT by capriciously handing out nuclear technology to friends and withholding it from enemies. He turned the notion of evenhandedness and international law into a private fiefdom where science and technology are distributed according to the whims of Washington mandarins.


The NPT is dead.


Will this final assault on international agreements clear the path for war with Iran?


It is hard to say, but the Financial Times reported that, “Iranian activists involved in a classified research project for the marines told the FT the Pentagon was examining the depth and nature of grievances against the Islamic government (Iran) and appeared to be studying whether Iran would be prone to violent fragmentation along the same kind of fault-lines that are splitting Iraq.”


So, along with the $85 million Congress just voted to provide for “pro-democracy” movements in Iran, Marine Intelligence is looking for ways to exacerbate ethnic tensions to foment revolution to topple the Tehran government. The plan for “regime change” in Iran is still being aggressively pursued, even though neighboring Iraq is in utter chaos. 


The UAE port deal is just more indication that an attack on Iran is forthcoming. Its location is crucial to the success of any American invasion.


For the Pentagon warlords Dubai has become the strategic epicenter of the global resource war. As peace activist and author Uri Avnery said, “Regimes come and go, rulers rise and fall, ideologies flourish and wither, but geography stands forever. It’s geography that decides the basic interest of every state.”

All eyes should be focused on Dubai and the tenuous future of the Straits of Hormuz.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com.

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