© Horizon. -This Iranian man is a gardener working for Cultural Heritage Organi-
zation in Neyshabur, the city which had been the mega city of the world in ancient
times, the city with warm, kind and lovely people.
Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History PART 4b
Not only are the Anglo-Americans fully on board and preparing for a possible attack on Iran, but even the Franco-German Entente seems to be steadily leaning that direction. French President Nicholas Sarkozy made headlines recently when he “called Iran’s nuclear ambition the world’s most dangerous problem,” and further, “raised the possibility that the country could be bombed if it persisted in building an atomic weapon,” as reported by the Sunday Times. The article continued, “The biggest challenge to the world was the avoidance of conflict between Islam and the West, President Sarkozy told the annual gathering of French ambassadors. Iran was the crossroads of the Middle East’s troubles and its nuclear aims ‘are without doubt the most serious crisis that weighs today on the international scene,” and that, “A nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and the world must continue to tighten sanctions while offering incentives to Tehran to halt weapons development, he said. ‘This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran,’ he said. He did not say who would carry out such an attack, which has been suggested by policy experts in Israel and the US.”34 Further, it was reported that, “French Defence Minister Herve Morin warned on Sunday that Iran's nuclear programme posed a ‘major risk’ to the stability of the Gulf region. ‘It is necessary to make Iran understand that the nuclear risk creates a major risk of destabilising the region,’ Morin told journalists as he wrapped up a visit to the Gulf state of Qatar.”35
On September 14, it was reported that, “Germany denied on Friday that it wanted to hold off on sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. The government dismissed a report on the US TV channel Fox that it had broken ranks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and wanted to delay any sanctions to allow a deal struck between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on August 21 to take effect,” and it continued, quoting the German foreign ministry spokesman, “Germany is prepared to take the necessary steps against Iran, if necessary,” and that, “The five permanent Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany are due to meet to discuss a new draft UN resolution on sanctions against Iran on September 21 in Washington. Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is aimed at generating electricity but the United States accuses Tehran of covertly developing atomic weapons.”36
Another conflict, which is directly related to the growing Iranian conflict, has been accumulating significance in the region, as it was reported that, “Syria accused Israel of bombing its territory on Thursday [September 6] and said it could respond to the Jewish state's ‘aggression and treachery’,” and further, “Israel declined to comment on the charge by Syria, which said no casualties or damage were caused. The Syrian accusation was partly responsible for triggering a rise in world oil prices of more than $1.40 a barrel.”37 Another report stated that, “Syria is mulling a ‘series of responses’ after Israeli warplanes violated its airspace this week, Vice President Faruq al-Shara said in an interview with an Italian newspaper published Saturday. ‘I can say now that in Damascus a series of responses is being examined at the highest political and military levels. The results will not take long in coming’.”38
Press TV reported that, “Syria says Israel is planning to wage another war in the region after the Israeli army staged military exercises on the Golan Heights. The state-run Syrian daily al-Thawra said on Sunday that a recent war game by the Israeli military on the occupied Golan Heights has sent a clear message reflecting Israel's intention for waging a new war in the region.”39 Another report states that, “Tehran has announced its readiness to assist Damascus by all means to counter the violation of Syrian airspace by Israeli warplanes. Iran's ambassador to Syria, Mohammad-Hassan Akhtari said the Zionist Regime's provocative moves had prompted Tehran to offer help to the Syrian government. Earlier Thursday, Syria's official News Agency reported that several Israeli fighter jets had bombed Syrian territories. However, the Syrian army successfully forced the Israeli warplanes out of the Syrian airspace.”40
A September 12 report stated that, “Israel recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea, The New York Times reported Thursday. A US administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria, the Times reported,” and it quoted an unnamed official, stating, “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” and the article further said, “A US defense official confirmed Tuesday that Israel carried out an air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not know the target of the strike, which was conducted Thursday, but said the US military believed it was to send a message to the Syrians.”41
The Sunday Times later reported that, “It was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way,” and that, “Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea,” and it continued, “The Syrians were also keeping mum. ‘I cannot reveal the details,’ said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. ‘All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.’ The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.
Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from ‘secret suppliers’, and added that there were a ‘number of foreign technicians’ in the country. Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: ‘There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that’,” and further, “According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.”42
It was then reported that, “An official Syrian daily warned on Sunday that US ‘lies’ over nuclear cooperation with North Korea could serve as a pretext for an attack on Syria following an Israeli violation of its airspace,” and that, “Syria has said its air defences fired on Israeli warplanes which dropped munitions deep inside its territory in the early hours of September 6, triggering intense media speculation about the action. Israel has not confirmed the incident and kept up a policy of official silence, with the only details on the mysterious attack coming from foreign media reports citing anonymous officials.”43
Call It What You Want, It’s All Just a Game
As the prospect of a US-led war on Iran increases by the day, it is vital to understand the history of such actions. This was my intent in writing this essay, as to understand current crises and conflicts evolving in the region, it is important to examine the historical context of such crises over the past 200 years. Dating from the Great Game between the British and Russian empires for control of Central Eurasia, namely fighting for control in Afghanistan and Iran, the reasons behind the Great Game were simply stated as for maintaining hegemonic control. With brief alliances generating between Britain and Russia, formed for strategic conveniences, namely to counter rising German influence in the region in the lead up to World War 1 and during World War 2, the Great Game continued after the Second World War under a different name, the Cold War. For a new century, it was necessary to give a hundred year old strategy a new name, as especially after World War 2, the concepts of hegemony and expansion of control, imperialism in general, were not well received, considering the world just came out of Hitler’s attempt at such a strategy. In 1947, India gained independence from the British Empire, instigating the collapse of its imperial hegemony across the globe.
It was at this time, however, that the United States was now in the most pivotal position to exert its hegemony across the globe. With its extensive ties to Great Britain, the British latched onto the Americans in the Anglo-American Alliance, allowing not only for the US to protect US hegemony and interests abroad, but also British. To do this, however, there needed to be an excuse, as the world would not accept another global hegemon for the sake of hegemony. Thus, the Cold War came into being. Under the guise of deterring the spread of Communism under the auspices of the ‘Domino Theory’, the US managed to expand and protect Anglo-American hegemony around the globe. The Cold War was simply the third phase of the Great Game, as it applied the same strategies used for the previous hundred years, just under a new name and justified under a new threat.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, bringing an end to the Cold War, a New World Order began to form, the birth pangs of which were felt in the Middle East. This New World Order of creating a new global structure, of a more integrated global society, still has many conflicts arising out of it. After World War 1, the League of Nations was created in the hopes of securing a more integrated global community, which ultimately failed with the start of World War 2, after which the United Nations was created to serve the same purpose. Out of each world war, we see the move to create a more global society. Now, after the Cold War ended, we have a new conflict arising between the West and the East. This new conflict is about gaining supremacy in the New World Order, as many great powers seek to sway the balance away from a US-dominated New World Order, and towards a Russian or Chinese New World Order.
In the year 2000, then Chinese President, “Jiang Zemin called for joint efforts of the people of all countries to establish a fair and equitable new international political and economic order,” and he further stated, “With the collapse of the centuries-long colonialist system and the end of half-a-century Cold War, it has become increasingly difficult for hegemonism and power politics to go on and for the very few big powers or blocs of big powers to monopolize international affairs and control the fate of other countries.”44 In 2005, both China and Russia “issued a joint statement on a new world order in the 21st century, setting forth their common stand on major international issues, such as UN reforms, globalization, North-South cooperation, and world economy and trade. The statement was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao after their talks. During their talks, the two leaders discussed ways to further enhance the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Russia, and exchanged views on major regional and international issues,” and that “The joint statement said the two countries are determined to strengthen their strategic coordination in international affairs.”45 More recently, in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin called “for a radical overhaul of the world’s financial and trade institutions to reflect the growing economic power of emerging market countries – including Russia. Mr Putin said the world needed to create a new international financial architecture to replace an existing model,” and as the Financial Times further reported, Putin’s “apparent challenge to western dominance of the world economic order came at a forum in St Petersburg designed to showcase the country’s economic recovery. Among 6,000 delegates at the biggest business forum ever held in post-Soviet Russia were scores of international chief executives including heads of Deutsche Bank, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Nestlé, Chevron, Siemens and Coca-Cola. Business deals worth more than $4bn were signed at the conference – including an order by Aeroflot for Boeing jets – as executives said they were continuing to invest in Russia despite deteriorating relations with the west. Mr Putin’s hosting of the forum capped a week in which he dominated the international stage. He warned last Monday that Russia might target nuclear missiles at Europe if the US built a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic,” and Putin’s “speech on financial institutions suggested that, along with an aggressive recent campaign against US ‘unilateralism’ in foreign policy, he was also seeking to challenge western dominance of the world economic order.”46
So clearly, from this last statement especially, we can see that both China and Russia are not opposed to forming a New World Order, which would be largely based on international institutions and integration, both economically and politically, but they are opposed to the West’s dominance of such a world order, and instead, seek to challenge that dominance with their own. Ultimately, the goals are similar, but the methods of getting there is where the West and the East differ. As the above Financial Times article mentioned, large global corporations are still investing in Russia, despite recent setbacks in certain areas, which shows the support for the process of globalization, which has thusly shaped the current world order. International corporations have no allegiance to people or national identities, but rather seek to exert their control across the entire globe, and will support any nations with great influence, so that with the battle for control in shaping the New World Order, the corporations will always be on the winning side. As the multinational corporations seek a more integrated global society, they must first gain control of the world markets, integrating the economies first. With economic integration, political and cultural will follow. The challenge for the great powers of the world is which ones will be dominant in this process, and thusly, which ones will have dominant control over the New World Order.
Out of conflict, comes societal reorganization. We seem to rapidly be heading toward another World War, which would have its starting point with an attack on Iran. Talk of a ‘new Cold War’ is misleading, as if any conflict occurs with Iran, if the US attacks the Islamic Republic, there will be nothing Cold about it. This new conflict, the fourth phase of the Great Game, will give rise to competition between the great powers for control over the Middle East and Central Eurasia in order to achieve hegemony in the New World Order. It is likely that a New Great Game will lead to a New World War, out of which will rise the New World Order. Which ever great powers come out of the next war as the victors, if indeed there are any, it is likely that it will be that power which will lead the New World Order.
As I have mentioned Zbigniew Brzezinski much in this essay, as his relevance to American hegemonic strategy is almost unparalleled, apart from other figures like Henry Kissinger, I feel it is relevant to end with a discussion on testimony that Brzezinski recently gave to the US Senate. In February of 2007, Brzezinski, “the national security adviser in the Carter administration, delivered a scathing critique of the war in Iraq and warned that the Bush administration’s policy was leading inevitably to a war with Iran, with incalculable consequences for US imperialism in the Middle East and internationally,” and Brzezinski was quoted as saying about the Iraq war, “Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America’s global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America’s moral credentials. Driven by Manichean principles and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability,” and he continued, describing what he termed a “plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran”, of which he said would involve, “Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” [Emphasis added].47
Brzezinski’s startling warning should not be taken for granted. Even though many factions of the ruling class are divided, for example someone like Brzezinski, who is very much opposed to the neo-conservatives, they are all still playing the same game. The game is hegemony and empire, the only difference is that some people and some countries have different methods of playing. In previous centuries, the battle for control of Central Eurasia was called what it was, the Great Game, a game for control, a game for power. The difference between two hundred years ago and today, is that we are in a much more globalized, integrated society, which has turned this Great game into, as Brzezinski aptly named his blueprint for American hegemony, the Grand Chessboard. It’s no longer simply just a great game, but is now simply a board game for the global ruling class. Sacrificing pawns, a simple act for them, can be seen in the eyes of the moral society as the destruction of entire nations and peoples.
There’s only so many players in this game, and they all have the same aim, just different methods of getting there. The unfortunate aspect of this, is that the people of the world are being tossed around like pawns in a chess game. The world is meant for all people, not just a select few, to inhabit and have a say in. So, if these people want to play games, let’s put them back in the playground, because their mentality has yet to surpass that of children during recess.
Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led India to independence from the British Empire, once said, “Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.”
1 Castle, Time. “Is The Cold War Back?”
Reuters: August 22, 2007.
2 Reuters. “U.S. missile shield is provocation: Austrian minister.”
August 23, 2007: http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2352932420070823
3 Harding, Thomas and David Blair. “NATO steps up monitoring of Russia.”
The Telegraph: August 24, 2007.
4 AFP. “Russia-Georgia conflict nerve-racking.”
Press TV: August 26, 2007
5 AFP. “'Missile Defense not just against Iran'.”
Press TV: August 27, 2007.
6 BBC. “UK jets shadow Russian bombers.”
BBC News: September 6, 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6981541.stm
7 Sevastopulo, Demetri. “Chinese military hacked into Pentagon.”
Financial Times: September 3, 2007.
8 AFP. “Taiwan, wary of China, to hike military spending.”
Sino Daily: August 22, 2007.
9 Harney, Alexandra. “Top Chinese general warns US over attack.”
Financial Times: July 14, 2005.
10 Danahar, Paul. “Taleban 'getting Chinese weapons'.”
BBC News: September 3, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6975934.stm
11 AP. “Russia Agrees to $1 Billion Arms Deal with Iran.”
FOX News: December 2, 2005.
12 Katz, Yaakov and Herb Keinon. “Israel warns Russia on Iran arms sale.”
The Jerusalem Post: January 16, 2007.
13 RIA Novosti. “Nuclear source says Bushehr NPP to be completed in fall 2008.”
September 7, 2007: http://en.rian.ru/world/20070907/77280944.html
14 AP. “Merkel: Iran nuke policy like Nazism.”
The Jerusalem Post: February 4, 2006.
15 Reuters. “France's Sarkozy raises prospect of Iran airstrikes.”
YNet News: August 27, 2007.
16 Bryanski, Gleb. “Schroeder calls U.S. missile plan "dangerous".”
The Washington Post: September 8, 2007.
17 Brzezinski, Zbigniew, op cit, Page 55.
18 Lei, Yang. “SCO to stage joint anti-terror military exercise in 2007.”
China View: April 26, 2006.
19 ICTSD. “FROM THE REGIONS: CHINA INTENSIFIES REGIONAL TRADE TALKS.”
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest: October 1, 2003.
20 Hiro, Dilip. “Shanghai surprise.”
The Guardian: June 16, 2006.
21 Bhadrakumar, M. K. “China, Russia welcome Iran into the fold.”
Asia Times: April 18, 2006.
22 BBC. “Nato-Israel partnership boosted.”
BBC News: February 24, 2005.
23 Press TV. “Iran: US missile plan threatens Asia.”
Press TV: August 16, 2007.
24 AFP. “China's Hu meets Iran's Ahmadinejad, calls for closer ties.”
Agence France-Presse: June 16, 2006.
25 Sherwell, Philip. “Terror label 'paves way for air strikes'.”
The Sunday Telegraph: August 26, 2007.
26 Baxter, Sarah. “Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran.”
The Sunday Times: September 2, 2007.
27 Shipman, Tim. “Will President Bush bomb Iran?”
The Sunday Telegraph: September 3, 2007.
28 Sherwell, Philip. “Bush setting America up for war with Iran.”
The Sunday Telegraph: September 16, 2007.
29 Packer, George. “Test Marketing.”
The New Yorker Magazine: August 31, 2007.
30 Krauskopf, Lewis. “Pentagon plans base near Iraq-Iran border: report.”
Reuters: September 10, 2007.
31 Chamberlain, Gethin. “Iran spy post heightens Gulf tension with US.”
The Sunday Telegraph: September 10, 2007.
32 Juliano, Nick. “Instead of going home, British troops headed to Iranian border: Report.”
Raw Story: September 12, 2007.
33 DPA. “UK to boost Persian Gulf naval presence.”
Press TV: August 28, 2007.
34 Bremner, Charles. “Sarkozy talks of bombing if Iran gets nuclear arms.”
The Sunday Times: August 28, 2007.
35 AFP. “Iran's nuclear ambitions 'major risk': French defence chief.”
Agence France-Presse: September 9, 2007.
36 AFP. “Germany prepared to support new sanctions against Iran.”
Agence France-Presse: September 14, 2007.
37 Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. “Syria accuses Israel of bombing its territory.”
Reuters: September 6, 2007.
38 AFP. “Syria mulling 'responses' to Israeli airspace violation.”
Breitbart.com: September 8, 2007.
39 Press TV. “Syria: Israel waging another war.”
Press TV: September 11, 2007.
40 Press TV. “Iran backs Syria against Israel.”
Press TV: September 6, 2007.
41 AFP. “Israel believes N. Korea selling nuke material to Syria: report.”
Agence France-Presse: September 12, 2007.
42 Baxter, Sarah, et al. “Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’.”
The Sunday Telegraph: September 16, 2007.
43 AFP. “Syria warns of US 'lies' over Israel air violation.”
Agence France-Presse: September 16, 2007.
44 People’s Daily Online. “Jiang Zemin Calls for Fair New World Order.”
People’s Daily Online: April 13, 2000.
45 Xinhua. “China, Russia issue joint statement on new world order.”
People’s Daily Online: July 4, 2005.
46 Buckley, Neil and Catherine Belton. “Putin calls for new financial world order.”
Financial Times: June 10, 2007.
47 Grey, Barry. “A political bombshell from Zbigniew Brzezinski.”
World Socialist Web Site: February 2, 2007.
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© 2007 Andrew G. Marshall
"New Cold War: Great Game for Supremacy in the New World Order? -Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History PART 4a" HERE.