Tariq notes that he (TA) never denied the symbolic meaning, "but finally you get over these things and you have to judge a politician [...] not on the basis of the fine words he speaks and utters but on the basis of what he does. That must always be the criteria for judging any politician -- left, right or center -- what they do, not what they say."
It's the sort of reality flacid butterballs like Danny Schechter can never grasp or deal with.
(I know Tariq Ali. I do not know Danny Schechter and have never visited his ritzy -- but trashy decorated -- NYC home.)
Butterball blogged that he was betrayed and the reality is Butterball betrayed his own beliefs and that's what destroyed him. Did you hear him lead a charge against the Libyan War? No, Danny Dump only objects to wars loudly when a Republican is in the White House.
"U.S. promotes assassination threats against Iranian scientists" (Sara Flounders, WSWS):
The International Atomic Energy Agency made public the names of Iranian nuclear scientists in a new report released this week. Publishing their names makes these scientists targets for assassination.
This unprecedented violation of international guidelines, and of the IAEA’s own Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, is the most menacing proof to date that the agency is not even superficially a neutral U.N. body that monitors nuclear weapons. Showing the agency’s bias, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met with the White House before meeting with U.N. officials on this latest report.
Several Iranian scientists have already been killed by bombs and drive-by shootings. The secretary general of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, Mohammad Javad Larijani, says the U.S. and Israel were behind the murders.
Exposing that these targeted killings are considered acceptable practice, U.S. presidential candidate Newt Gingrich declared that Washington is seeking to stop Iran’s nuclear program through maximum covert operations, including the assassination of scientists.
U.S. CIA or Israeli Mossad agents have also carried out virus attacks on the computers of legal Iranian centrifuges, explosions at Iranian industrial sites and continuing acts of sabotage. All this is part of an ongoing U.S. war that attempts to set back Iran’s development as a modern, self-sufficient country.
A new round of demands that other countries join in sanctions against Iran comes at a time of increasing crisis and upheaval in the region. The impact of an intractable capitalist economic crisis turns Pentagon war planners in an increasingly threatening direction.
The IAEA report was leaked to the press before its official release. Rather than presenting information from the agency’s countless inspections in Iran, it repeated discredited allegations originally made four years ago regarding a laptop computer “found” by U.S. authorities. The laptop supposedly showed Iran’s “intention” to construct atomic warheads.
The leak of the report follows a bourgeois media frenzy over a wild claim that Iran was planning to execute a Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.
Most ominous are the media reports of a possible Israeli military attack on Iran. Israel is totally dependent on U.S. financial, diplomatic and military aid to survive. Any attack on Iran could occur only with U.S. authorization and overflight clearance of regions where the Pentagon has controlled the sky for decades.
The right to develop nuclear energy
Like every other country, Iran is guaranteed the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology. Iran is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Today, at least 30 countries have nuclear power plants. According to the IAEA’s most recent “International Status and Prospects of Nuclear Power” report, another 65 countries “are expressing interest in, considering, or actively planning for nuclear power.” (iaea.org, March 2011)
But only Iran has faced every form of attack to block development of a nuclear energy program.
Every Iranian nuclear facility is under 24-hour-a-day surveillance by IAEA cameras, and Iran has not one nuclear weapon. Yet the U.S. continues to demand that Iran stop the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, because it could potentially lead to a nuclear weapon sometime in the future.
The IAEA does not criticize, attack or demand inspections of the more than 10,000 nuclear weapons that the U.S. holds, nor of the hundreds of nuclear weapons developed by Israel.
The bogus charges of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq — despite years of total monitoring of every industrial plant in Iraq — confirms that no inspection can satisfy Washington’s demands.
Sanctions on Iran’s oil refineries
The most recent U.S. sanctions are not focused on nuclear research. Instead, they are an attempt to hamper Iran’s petrochemical industry.
Iran nationalized its production of oil after a revolutionary upheaval drove U.S. and British imperialism out of Iran in 1979. Since then, every effort has been made to destabilize Iran and regain the vast wealth that once flowed into Western banks and corporations.
Due to its past unequal relation with imperialism and the years of sanctions since, Iran has had to import large amounts of refined oil and petroleum products, from gasoline to jet fuel, cooking gas and more. In 2008, Iran still had to import nearly 40 percent of its market needs.
However, after completion of seven new refineries and improvements to existing refineries, Iran is now almost self-sufficient in oil refining needs. This is why the U.S. is so determined to again block Iran’s refining capacity by hampering all forms of international investment.
As this entire resource-rich region continues to slip from U.S. imperialism’s control and domination, the danger of a Pentagon-inspired provocation against Iran escalates. All those who oppose imperialist war should be on heightened alert.
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Sara Flounders is a strong and consistent voice. She's 'too left' for some people but you'll notice she has a 'true north' like a compass. It does not vary. (I've stolen that compliment from something an editor said Thursday about C.I. I think the compliment applies to both women.)
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):