Letter from America: Hillary’s Hypocritical Comments in South Asia
Recently, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Bangladesh. It was a short visit. She flew into Dhaka from China after convincing Chinese leaders to free blind dissident Chen Guangcheng. The stop in Bangladesh was "personal" to renew old friendships with Bangladesh. Two of her “favorite men” in the world are Bangladeshis – Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammed Yunus, a pioneer in providing microcredit to the poor, and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of the world's largest development organization - BRAC.
Since 1995 when she visited Bangladesh with her daughter Chelsea, Ms. Clinton has been something of a household name in Bangladesh. That was quite obvious from the throngs of people that stood four to five rows deep along the motorcade route to welcome her recently. A sign along the motorcade route read, "Heartiest congratulation to our beloved U.S. foreign minister Hillary Clinton." Many in Bangladesh hopes that she would one day return to Bangladesh in Air Force One as President of the USA.
During her visit, Secretary Clinton met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and the Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia. The U.S. State Department has not been pleased with Hasina Government’s treatment of Professor Yunus over the past 18 months. Talks between Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni focused on Bangladesh’s potential to become an economic powerhouse. Goldman Sachs has listed Bangladesh among its “Next 11” countries that have potential to become major economies. Ms. Dipu Moni urged Ms. Clinton to assist Bangladesh in lowering U.S. tariffs on Bangladeshi imports while they explored a long-term trade and investment agreement. Ms. Clinton expressed hope that this visit will illustrate the U.S.’s commitment to Bangladesh’s transition to a peaceful democracy.
In India, Ms. Clinton stopped in Kolkata, a first for a U.S. Secretary of State, and met with West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee. During her trip she cajoled India's leaders to reduce oil imports from Iran. She was asked why she was not tougher on Israel, which has its own undeclared nuclear arsenal. She tried to refute the premise and defend U.S. government policies. She called the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran "the principal threat" and said that U.S. ally Israel had “legitimate” worries.
"I think that Israel is very worried that if Iran were to get a nuclear weapon, there might be a decision by some future leader and that would be devastating," Clinton said. Israel, she said, must protect itself from Iran — "a regime that has a history of aggressive behavior, and I don't think you deal with aggressors by giving in to them." She stressed that the United States has no quarrel with the Iranian people.
Clinton’s comments unfortunately belie truth and are simply ludicrous. If past history is any barometer to judge, in the last three centuries since the death of Emperor Nader Shah (d. 1747 C.E.), Iran has never been an aggressor; rather it has been a victim of aggression. Since the discovery of oil, Iran became a victim of Anglo-American aggression. In 1951, when the Iranian Parliament under the visionary leadership of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq nationalized the sprawling Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) after London had refused to modify the firm's exploitative concession, the British government wanted to punish Iran. It resorted to threats and sanctions.
After the loss of India, Britain's new prime minster, Winston Churchill, was committed to stopping his country's empire from unraveling further. The U.S. President Eisenhower and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, were dedicated to rolling back communism and defending democratic governments threatened by Moscow's “machinations”. In Iran's case, with diplomacy having failed and a military incursion infeasible (the Korean War was underway), they decided to take care of "madman Mossadeq" through a covert action under the supervision of the secretary of state's brother, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen W. Dulles.
Allen Dulles approved $1 million on April 4, 1953 to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddeq." They found a traitor Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi as the man to spearhead a coup to topple Dr. Mosaddeq. And the rest is history!
On August 19, 1953, Dr. Mosaddeq was removed in that CIA-sponsored coup and Gen. Zahedi was appointed Prime Minister. Dr. Mosaddeq was arrested at the Officers' Club and transferred to a military jail shortly after. On August 22, the Shah returned from exile. Dr. Mosaddeq was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to three years’ solitary confinement in a military prison; he later died while in house arrest in 1967. His supporters were rounded up, tortured and killed.
Zahedi's new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium and "restore the flow of Iranian oil to world markets in substantial quantities", giving the U.S. and Great Britain the lion's share of Iran's oil. In return, the U.S. massively funded the Shah's resulting government, including his army and the notorious secret police force, SAVAK. Over the next several years tens of thousands of Iranians were killed by the agents of the Savak, which was created under the guidance of American and Israeli intelligence officers in 1957.
The puppet regime of the Shah was overthrown in a popular revolution in 1979, thus ending a quarter-century long history of Iranian hostage-taking by the U.S. government, courtesy of the CIA. And as the later evidences revealed from the documents seized in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the Carter Administration was involved in a conspiracy to unseat and sabotage the new revolutionary government.
In the post-revolutionary years, the US government "began to look more favorably toward Saddam Hussein as a potential counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Carter. Even Iraq’s invasion of Iran could not possibly have taken place without the US involvement. In his book, Saddam Hussein: The Politics Of Revenge, Said K. Aburish says that during Saddam Hussein’s visit to Amman, Jordan in 1979, there is "considerable evidence that he (Saddam Hussein) discussed his plans to invade Iran with the CIA agents."
During the Iran-Iraq war the Reagan Administration removed Iraq from a list of State Sponsors of Terrorism so that the Dual-use technology could be sold. It also supported Iraq with several billion dollars worth of economic aid, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and direct involvement in warfare against Iran.
President Ronald Reagan announced that the US "could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran", and that it “would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.” He dispatched Donald Rumsfeld in 1983 and 1984 as his personal emissary to Saddam Hussein. The CIA Director William Casey personally spearheaded the effort “to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war… The United States also provided strategic operational advice to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat. For example, in 1986, President Reagan sent a secret message to Saddam Hussein telling him that Iraq should step up its air war and bombing of Iran. This message was delivered by Vice President George H. W. Bush who communicated it to Egyptian President Mubarak, who in turn passed the message to Saddam Hussein. Similar strategic operational military advice was passed to Saddam Hussein through various meetings with European and Middle Eastern heads of state” (quoted from the sworn court declaration of former NSC official Howard Teicher, dated 1/31/95, regarding 'Iraqgate’).
At the height of war with Iran, the US government exported 70 shipments (including Bacillus anthracis) of pathogenic (i.e., 'disease producing'), toxigenic (or 'poisonous'), and other biological research materials to Iraq pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S.
Department of Commerce. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sent Iraq 14 separate agents "with biological warfare significance," according to Senator Riegle's investigators. It did not matter to the US government that Saddam Hussein was using 101,000 chemical munitions against Iran. When the Iraqi military turned its chemical weapons on the Kurds in 1988, killing approximately 5,000 people in the town of Halabja and injuring thousands more, the Reagan administration actually sought to hide Iraqi leadership culpability by suggesting that the Iranians might have carried out the attack.
The U.S. Navy cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 within Iranian airspace which killed all 290 civilian passengers and crew on July 3, 1988. The United States has never formally apologized for the attack, and instead in 1990, Captain William Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit by President George W. Bush for his service as the Commanding Officer of the Vincennes.
Even after all these years with Saddam Hussein killed, and the Iranian revolution 33 years old, the relationship between the USA and Iran has not improved an iota. The USA continues to provide material support for terrorist activities inside Iran and has been at the forefront of its all-out economic war, at the behest of Israel, against Iran, falsely accusing that the latter is trying to develop nuclear weapons. This charge is absurd given the fact that Iran’s uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes and that both Israeli and US intelligence agencies have concluded that Tehran is not developing a nuclear bomb.
The Iranian leaders, since at least 1997, have maintained that they are not after nuclear bombs. In 2006 President Ahmadinejad declared that “Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defense doctrine and Iran is not a threat to any country.” In his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams he said, “We are against atomic bomb.” In 2009 the Iranian supreme leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei declared, “We fundamentally reject nuclear weapons and prohibit the use and production of nuclear weapons.” He even issued a fatwa.
Can Ms. Clinton cite a single such statement from any of the Israeli leaders about their own nuclear program? Israel from day one of her illegitimate birth has been an aggressor and at war with all her neighboring countries. Who is threatening whom?
And yet, despite many such clear denouncements of nuclear weapons by Iranian leaders and repeated assurances, along with the unequivocal assessment by her own government’s intelligence agencies, Secretary Clinton had no bite of conscience to repeating lies against Iran.
During her visit to Bangladesh, Ms. Clinton advocated for “non-interference” in Grameen Bank, urging the Bangladesh government not to hamper the internal operations of the bank. One simply wishes if she is ready herself to walk the talk when it comes to Iran. Her behavior can be summed by a single word - Hypocrisy!
- Asian Tribune -