Tom Ridge is a Republican and a notable U.S. political figure.
wants the U.S. to overturn or subvert the Iranian regime from within. See his
op-ed here. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
inspectors are once again inspecting Iran in a 3-day visit right now, but Ridge wants the U.S.
to act "unilaterally and decisively." He wants the U.S. openly to
support (and fund? and train? and make promises to?) anti-regime groups. He
wants the U.S. to declare that it's out for "regime change" in
it when he uses the word "unilateral", for he speaks of the
"impotence" of the U.N. resolutions and the West's sanctions.
subversion an act of war? There is no book of international law that answers
this question. Some people say yes, some say no. It clearly depends on the nature of the subversive
acts, which can range from protests to assassinations and sabotage. But no
matter how it is classified, U.S. support of subversion and open declaration
of a goal of regime change is or would be hostile. It is open interference
and intervention into Iran's political processes by the U.S. government. How
would the U.S. react if Iran supported groups inside America who wanted
drastic regime change here?
does regime change mean? Iran has had numerous elections, not all squeaky
clean, but then America's cities, states, and even national elections have
never been free from being stolen or paid for either. Iran already has its
form of democracy. It already has means of changing its leaders, directions,
and policies. So what does regime change mean?
change must mean more than a change of leadership to Tom Ridge. If regime
change means changing the political process itself or Iran's form of
government, then he is calling for revolution. And revolution is what he's calling
for, as his reference to the Arab Spring suggests: "In this era of the
Arab Spring it is time to support regime change in Iran, from within".
And even if he means steps short of revolution, though it's hard to imagine
what they might be, he's still calling for rank interference into another
nation's political affairs. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would turn
over in their graves if they heard this.
has time and again declared itself against domestic interference of this kind
and other kinds in no uncertain terms, that is, in the strongest and clearest
of language. See here, for example. The linked declaration argues that
such interference endangers peace and security:
of the fact that such policies endanger the political independence of States,
freedom of peoples and permanent sovereignty over their natural resources,
adversely affecting thereby the maintenance of international peace and
is an imperfect organization that does and declares many objectionable
things, but that does not mean it should be ignored when it comes up with
sensible and sound ideas, and non-interference in the domestic politics of
other nations is a sound idea.
claims or thinks that supporting regime change sends a message to the
mullahs. Sure, it does -- a hostile message. But they already have received
this message ever since Mossadegh was overthrown
and right down to the present. They are not fools. Ridge's proposal is
actually another hostile act along the road to war. It is an act that
forecloses diplomacy, an act away from diplomacy. The message he is sending,
however, is not to the mullahs. It's to the U.S. leadership, which he wants
to support revolution in Iran openly. No doubt, it is already acting covertly
op-ed has been published at the very time that the UN inspectors are in Iran
and Iran has again promised openness. His op-ed is designed and timed to
blunt the news of that visit. Ridge's op-ed is an act of warmongering, even
though it never mentions war and proposes regime change instead. This is
clear by its content, its timing, and by this statement: "Clearly, diplomatic
engagement has failed to halt Tehran’s nuclear drive. Sanctions have
nominated himself and the U.S. as the unilateral judge, jury, and executioner
of the current regime, disregarding the political processes within Iran,
disregarding the U.N. procedures to monitor and deal with signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and disregarding the terms of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) itself. The U.S. shall choose the enforcement
techniques and methods as it pleases, after arriving at a judgment as it
pleases, according to Ridge and other Iran warmongers.
this because Tehran is not kowtowing to his demand that they halt what he
calls "their nuclear drive". Iran has committed no nuclear crime,
not even that of polluting the atmosphere with repeated nuclear tests. I
believe that it has made some effort to understand how to build a nuclear
bomb and conducted some experiments along that path. I think it has perhaps
experimented or perhaps investigated how to cause an implosion that creates a
critical mass. I don't think that it has gone much beyond what any good
physicists and engineers could discover from open sources about building an
that the nuclear fears over Iran are way overblown and, furthermore, that the
nuclear issue is not even the central factor in the conflict between the U.S.
and Iran. It accompanies that central factor but is not itself the central factor.
Even if Iran had no nuclear understanding or was not developing nuclear power
for making electricity, the U.S. would still be on Iran's case. The central
factor is that Iran is making itself independent
and wants to be an independent power, out of the orbit and domination of the
U.S. and also Russia. The differences between the U.S. and Iran over Israel
and Hezbollah are symptomatic of that central factor. When the Israel lobby
or the oil lobby in the U.S. exert their influence and succeed in getting
U.S. policy-makers to act on their behalf, those factors wax in importance.
However, U.S. foreign policy toward Iran would still be aimed at dominating
Iran, even were those factors absent.
desire for independence manifests in many ways, such as wanting nuclear power
for electricity, so that it can sell more oil on the world market. It has an
indigenous military industry and wants to build it up. It has its own ideas
about its neighbors. It has its own ideas about using the dollar or not in
exchange for oil.
example is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. The U.S. pressured India into withdrawing
its participation in the Iran-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline. Pakistan
was pressured too but refused. Iran has already completed its portion.
Instead, the U.S. supports an alternative liquified
gas pipeline by an alternative consortium from Tajikistan through
Afghanistan. The latter is not close to reality. It requires a political
stability in Afghanistan that does not exist.
pipeline is a peaceful and progressive development approved by democratic
governments and the U.S. stands in the way. The U.S. talk about freedom and
democracy is a smokescreen. It wants to control these countries and control
the business opportunities. The U.S. fears political rivals. It fears
strength in foreign quarters that it does not control. The U.S. wants
satellites in one way or another. Its central reason for wanting to control
progress, competition, markets, and business rivalries is to control foreign
strength and independence. It wants to keep foreign nations weaker than
itself. The U.S. wants to keep Iran weak. This is the behavior of an
is advising the current emperor (Obama) what to do in order to weaken Iran
and control it. That is the purpose of his op-ed piece. Several reasons that
he mentions therein are absolutely peripheral and trivial. One of them is
mobs chanting "Death to America" in the funeral of the assassinated
nuclear scientist. What does he expect, loving praise for that deed? Is he
not calling for the death of the existing Iranian regime, if not their heads?
Doesn't he know enough not to place much stock in the expression of such emotions
surrounding such a touchy event? Or is Ridge himself trying to exploit
reason he gives is the case of a man sentenced to death by an Iranian court
for being a CIA spy. (His appeal is pending.) Whether true or not,
Ridge is grasping at another emotional straw to use such an event as
justification for advocating a U.S.-backed revolutionary movement inside
lists uranium enrichment as a big concern, but that is allowable under the
non-proliferation treaty. That treaty has several passages pertinent to this.
One says "all Parties to the Treaty are entitled to participate in the
fullest possible exchange of scientific information for,
and to contribute alone or in co-operation with other States to, the further
development of the applications of atomic energy for peaceful
purposes..." Among other things that signatories have agreed not to do
is "not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other
nuclear explosive devices..." Iran hasn't acquired any nuclear devices,
and it hasn't been accused of doing so. It hasn't manufactured any nuclear
of Article III of the NPT explicitly allows peaceful uses of nuclear energy
and production of nuclear material:
safeguards required by this Article shall be implemented in a manner designed
to comply with Article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic
or technological development of the Parties or international co-operation in
the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange
of nuclear material and equipment for the processing, use or production of
nuclear material for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of
this Article and the principle of safeguarding set forth in the Preamble of
Iran has allowed
inspectors into Iran in the past. It continues to allow U.N. inspectors into
Iran. They are there at this moment. Iran has a right under the treaty to
develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. It has not withdrawn from
the treaty, which is possible under Article X of that treaty with a three months notice and under extraordinary circumstances that
it regards as jeopardizing its national interests. The pressures exerted by
the West on Iran have not led it to withdraw from the treaty, which is
exactly what the U.S. would like to see it do, as that would provide a
pretext for open warfare.
wants to go further, and further leads in only one direction: war. Ridge
essentially wants to goad Iran into war, or else goad it into looking bad by
suppressing internal dissidents supported by the U.S., thereby providing yet
another excuse for making war on Iran.
no reason why the U.S. should be concerned with Iran as a matter of American
well-being or security. American well-being and security are furthered by
neutral, peaceful and fair relations with all nations. American well-being is
not furthered by expansionism over the globe and foreign policies that
require huge military expenditures. What does this do but create
near-perpetual wars? What does the empire do but drain the productive
capacity of Americans? What does it do but lead to attacks on continental
America? What does it do but lead to suppression of liberty at home? What
does it do but further socialist and fascist policies domestically? What does
it do but strengthen the hand of the establishment's control over us? What
does it do but exacerbate our own already large problems?
that the U.S. is concerned over Iran and cruising for an all-out fight is
that the empire demands weakness among all those around it that might
conceivably challenge its dominance. It demands compliant satellites wherever
it can create them or force them into compliance. Is this the historic role
of Americans? Is this what America is about? Is it about political domination
of the world? Is it about empire? Is it about suppressing progress and
liberty in the aim of keeping other nations weak? Is it about putting into
practice a psychopathology of power?
empire mean at home? Is America about stagnation, high unemployment, a
constantly rising price level, high taxes, TSA inspections, food stamps for
millions, huge bailouts, and boundless rules and regulations? Is it about
straitjackets placed on industry after industry? Is it about so-called
"sacrifices" that cost Americans dearly with no commensurate gains?
Is it about worthless educations? Is it about loss of industries? Is it about
loss of competitiveness? It is about turning into a fifth-rate nation?
America about peace, freedom, and progress? Is America about leaving other
peoples alone who are doing us no harm? Is it about opportunity? Is it about
getting ahead? Is it about creativity, invention, and individual flourishing?
Is it about renouncing tyranny, including tyranny authored by Americans that
is visited upon Americans here at home or upon peoples overseas?
America about rights known and respected? And if this is so, then it is time
long overdue to stop violating rights in foreign nations. It is time to leave
politics in other lands to those who live there. It is time to stop
attempting to secure our own rights at the expense of the rights of others.
It is time to stop interfering and intervening in other lands under the
rhetorical smokescreens of freedom, justice, security or democracy but really
with the central aim of control of foreign governments or reshaping foreign
political processes to the liking of the men and women of empire who own and
operate our foreign policies and who have adopted aims and methods that
deviate from normal aspirations, that are dysfunctional to Americans at
large, and that are dangerous to our well-being.
vague, and utopian ideals placed into practice by means that contradict them,
such as violence, violating rights, and warfare have to be viewed as
manifestations of illogical, irrational and deranged minds. In short, it is
time to reject the rule of psychopaths in our very own American
establishment, whom too many Americans ordinarily regard with an untoward and
altogether excessive degree of respect and acceptance. It is time to
terminate the national psychopathic nightmare that we are experiencing.
Michael S. Rozeff