|19 Jan 2008 @ 21:54|
Lakotah Unilateral Withdrawal from All Agreements and Treaties with the United States of America
We as the freedom loving Lakotah People are the predecessor sovereign of Dakota Territory as evidenced by the Treaties with the United States Government, including, but not limited to, the Treaty of 1851 and the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie.
Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States Government on the Lakotah People.
Lakotah , and the population therein, have waited for at least 155 years for the United States of America to adhere to the provisions of the above referenced treaties. The continuing violations of these treaties’ terms have resulted in the near annihilation of our people physically, spiritually, and culturally.
Lakotah rejects United States Termination By Appropriation policy from 1871 to the present.
In addition, the evidence of gross violations of the above referenced treaties are listed herein.
Lakotah encourages the United States of America, through its Government ,to enter into dialogue with Lakotah regarding the boundaries, the land and the resources therein. Please contact the Lakotah Interests Section, Naomi Archer, at (828) 230-1404 or info@Lakotafreedom.com.
Should the United States and its subordinate governments choose not to act in good faith concerning the rebirth of our nation, we hereby advise the United States Government that Lakotah will begin to administer liens against real estate transactions within the five state area of Lakotah.
Lakotah, through its government, appointed the following representatives to withdraw from all the treaties with the United States of America based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties entered into force in 1980 and the
U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007:
Teghiya Kte Heretofore known as Gary Rowland
Canupa Gluha Mani Heretofore known as Duane Martin Sr.
Oyate Wacinyapin Heretofore know as Russell Means
Mni yuha Najin Win Heretofore known as Phyllis Young
Lakotah Political and Diplomatic Relations with the United States of America
The first official contacts between Lakotah and the government of the United States of America began in earnest after the United States conducted a commercial transaction with France, commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803. Prior to that time, Lakotah exercised complete and unfettered freedom and independence in their territory. According to the fantasy of United States’ history, the Louisiana Purchase was a purported sale by France to the United States of 530 million acres (2.1 million sq.km.) for $15 million. Part of this sale included the territory of Lakotah who, of course never had knowledge of, nor gave consent to, the sale of their national territory.
The first treaty between the U.S. and any segment of Lakotah occurred in 1805, , and various other treaties of “peace and friendship,” between Lakotah and the U.S. As citizens of the U.S. began to invade and encroach on the territory of Lakotah in increasing numbers, tensions and violence erupted. To prevent full-scale war, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was requested by the U.S., to allow a transportation route through Lakotah territory. The treaty did not impair the sovereignty or the independence of Lakotah. In fact, the treaty expressly recognized Lakotah as an independent nation, and the treaty respected “all national business” of Lakotah.
After repeated violations by the United States of the 1851 Treaty, warfare broke out between Lakotah and the U.S. Lakotah defeated the U.S. in the so-called “Red Cloud War,” leading to the U.S. to call for another treaty conference at Fort Laramie. The second treaty agreed for the U.S. to abandon the Bozeman Road, and the accompanying military forts that had been built along it, and promised to keep U.S. troops and settlers out of Lakotah territory.
Almost immediately, the U.S. began violating terms of the treaty, allowing railroad and mining interests to trespass and steal Lakotah resources and territory. In 1874, the infamous U.S. military commander, George Custer, led an invasion of the most sacred part of Lakotah territory, the Paha Sapa (Black Hills), prompting an invasion of gold seekers, and provoking another war between the U.S. and Lakotah. As a result of the war, Lakotah territory was illegally occupied by the U.S., and billions of dollars of natural resources have been stolen from the occupied territories of Lakotah.
The United States has engaged in multiple military, legal and political strategies for more than a century to deny Lakotah our right to freedom and self-determination. In 1876-77, in violations of the treaties that it had signed with Lakotah, the U.S. engaged in a sell-or-starve policy to coerce Lakotah to sell our national homeland. Lakotah refused, and has consistently refused to the present time.
In 1871, the U.S. decided no longer to enter into treaties with indigenous nations, but the U.S. treaty-ending legislation made explicit that the new policy of the United States would in no way impair or limit those treaties already in force between indigenous nations and the U.S. Lakotah have consistently relied on the sanctity of the treaty between the U.S. and Lakotah.
As mentioned above, the United States has consistently violated the treaties between Lakotah and the U.S., resulting in the loss of life, resources, and territory for Lakotah. Although the United States was willing to take the benefit of its bargain (i.e., territory and natural resources) in signing treaties with Lakotah, it was almost immediately unwilling to respect the mutual bargain to the Lakotah. The U.S. began to use U.S. law and policy to attempt to diminish the political, economic and cultural freedom of Lakotah.
After signing the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the U.S. allowed its military, and its civilian citizens to invade Lakotah territory to steal gold, silver and other natural resources. The U.S. unilaterally violated the 1868 Treaty throughout the 1870s and 1880s by coercing alterations in the Treaty onto Lakotah, without the required 2/3 agreement of Lakotah, as required in the Treaty.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the ongoing freedom and independence of Lakotah in the landmark case of Ex Parte Crow Dog (1883), two years later, the U.S. Congress attempted to steal Lakotah independence through the passage of the Major Crimes Act, that unilaterally extended U.S. criminal jurisdiction into Lakotah territory.
These actions were followed by more arrogant actions of the United States, culminating in the shocking Supreme Court Case of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903). Although Lone Wolf involved the Kiowa and Comanche Nations in what is now the State of Oklahoma, its impact adversely affected Lakotah. In Lone Wolf, the United States not only said that it could violate, change or abrogate treaties with Indian nations unilaterally, but it also said that the U.S. Congress possesses plenary (absolute) power to legislate in any way in indigenous affairs without the consent or consideration of indigenous nations.
By extension, Lone Wolf has been used to violate hundreds of treaties between the U.S. and indigenous peoples, including Lakotah. Through the operation of Lone Wolf, the U.S. stole the sacred Black Hills, allowed the mining of billions of dollars of gold from them, admitted that the Black Hills were taken in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, and then offered to compensate Lakotah at 1874 land values. Lakotah have, to this day, rejected the offer of payment, and continue to insist on the return of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills).
An overview of violations follows:
Citizenship Act forcing United States citizenship upon all American Indians
Indian Reorganization Act a.k.a. Howard Wheeler Act (the first Apartheid Act)
Forced relocation during the decades of the 1950's over the 1960's.
Supreme Court decision disallowing our religions.
Even though we are citizens of the United States of America, we are denied protections of the United States Constitution while living on Indian reservations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The operation of the United States in the nefarious ways outlined above are a violation, not only of the sovereignty and independence of Lakotah, not only of the solemn treaty signed between the U.S. and Lakotah, but it is a violation of the fundamental law of the United States itself. Article Six of the United States Constitution explicitly states that treaties signed by the United States are the supreme law of the land, and must be respected by every court and by every lawmaker, as such.
Lakota 444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99; Porcupine, SD 57772 LakotaFreedom.com
1. Treaties of Fort Laramie, 1851 and 1868
Full text of these treaties can be found at [link]
2. Article VI of United States Constitution
Article. VI. -Debts, Supremacy, Oaths All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
3. Vienna Convention on Treaties 1969; specifically Article 49, Article 60 Parts I and II Article 49-Fraud
If a State has been induced to conclude a treaty by the fraudulent conduct govern questions not regulated by the provisions of the present Convention,
Have agreed as follows:
Scope of the present Convention
The present Convention applies to treaties between States.
Use of terms
1. For the purposes of the present Convention:
(a) 'treaty' means an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation;
(b) 'ratification', 'acceptance', 'approval' and 'accession' mean in each case the international act so named whereby a State establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty;
(c) 'full powers' means a document emanating from the competent authority of a State designating a person or persons to represent the State for negotiating, adopting or authenticating the text of a treaty, for expressing the consent of the State to be bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing any other act with respect to a treaty;
(d) 'reservation' means a unilateral statement, however phrased or named, made by a State, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a treaty, whereby it purports to exclude or to modify the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty in their application
Lakota 444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99; Porcupine, SD 57772 LakotaFreedom.com
to that State;
(e) 'negotiating State' means a State which took part in the drawing up and adoption of the text of the treaty;
(f) 'contracting State' means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty, whether or not the treaty has entered into force;
(g) 'party' means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force;
(h) 'third State' means a State not a party to the treaty;
(i) 'international organization' means an intergovernmental organization.
Article 60 Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty as a consequence of its breach
1 A material breach of a bilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles the other to invoke the breach as a ground for terminating the treaty or suspending its operation in whole or in part.
2 A material breach of a multilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles:
(a) the other parties by unanimous agreement to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either:
(i) in the relations between themselves and the defaulting State, or
(ii) as between all the parties;
(b) a party specially affected by the breach to invoke it as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty in whole or in part in the relations between itself and the defaulting State;
(c) any party other than the defaulting State to invoke the breach as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty in whole or in part with respect to itself if the treaty is of such a character that a material breach of its provisions by one party radically changes the position of every party with respect to the further performance of its obligations under the treaty.
3. A material breach of a treaty, for the purposes of this article, consists in:
(a) a repudiation of the treaty not sanctioned by the present Convention;
(b) the violation of a provision essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the treaty.
4. The foregoing paragraphs are without prejudice to any provision in the treaty applicable in the event of a breach.
Lakota 444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99; Porcupine, SD 57772 LakotaFreedom.com
2 Paragraphs 1 to 3 do not apply to provisions relating to the protection of the human person contained in treaties of a humanitarian character, in particular to provisions prohibiting any form of reprisals against persons protected by such treaties.
4. United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights 2007; specifically Article 37
1 Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honor and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
2 Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
5. Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903) Full text of the decision can be found at: [link]
Note: Lakotah precludes all litigation and political intrusions not relevant to Lakotah.
Lakota 444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99; Porcupine, SD 57772 LakotaFreedom.com
www.cannabischurches.net More >
|28 Apr 2007 @ 20:23|
Please Go here [link],
scroll to the bottom of Byron Richard's hard hitting article- where with one mouse click you can send a form letter instantly to your Senators and Congressman opposing S.1082 The FDA Revitalization Act of 2007 which is scheduled to
go to the Senate floor for a vote on Monday, April 30th.
(THATS JUST 3 DAYS FROM NOW SO PLEASE ALERT EVERYONE YOU KNOW!)
(The Senate bill will probably then also rushed to the Floor of the House shortly thereafter a few days or weeks later so we must continue to be vigilant past monday.)
This treacherous 262 page bill which supposedly "protects us" from dangerous drugs actually does the OPPOSITE and has been ably exposed by Byron Richards, author of Fight For Your Health- Exposing the FDA's Betrayal of America in conjunction with attorney Jonathan Emord who is working with us in an effort to kill it.
Outrageously, the bill would create an actual DRUG COMPANY inside the FDA!
This Drug Company would be called the "Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration" and if we allow this monster to be created inside the gates of the FDA, all bets are OFF, the Agency will work OVERTIME to protect its OWN PATENTED TOXIC CRAP from ALL UNWANTED COMPETITION!
This bill gives the FDA sweeping new power to attack safe dietary supplements (read Byron's article for details.)
The bill renews the Prescription Drug User Fee Act which had expired, and Kennedy has set up a payola scam akin to business owners paying protection money to the mafia whereby drug companies wanting faster approval on their products can pay the FDA which will receive $380 Million or more than 50% of their budget for new drug approvals from the industry they're supposedly "regulating."
Senator Grassley has expressed grave reservations about this bill, wanting to know why a special center can't be set up inside FDA to monitor the dangers of drugs already on the market but his alternative bills won't make it to the floor because Kennedy controls the committee.
The Life Extension Foundation has made it possible to oppose this dangerous bill with just one MOUSE CLICK allowing you to INSTANTLY send a form letter to your Senators and Congressman- so please go here: [link] scroll to the bottom and click on the button that says "TAKE ACTION NOW"!
Then please call your Senators via the Capital Switchboard at
202-225-3121 to lob in the same message: "NO TO S.1082- the FDA Revitalization Act! It doesn't protect us from unsafe drugs, it does the opposite! It creates a drug company inside FDA while giving FDA broad new power to attack safe dietary supplements!"
For Health Freedom, John C. Hammell, President International Advocates for Health Freedom 556 Boundary Bay Road Point Roberts, WA 98281-8702 USA [link] email@example.com 800-333-2553 N.America 360-945-0352 World More >
|20 Sep 2006 @ 18:00|
.....Invoking the “death and suffering” inflicted upon American civilians five years ago before such an international audience clearly raises the following question: what about the far greater death and suffering unleashed upon the world by US militarism in 9/11’s aftermath?
According to a recent UN report, over 100 Iraqis are being killed every day under the US occupation, meaning that Iraq suffers the equivalent of 9/11 each and every month. Since the US invaded the country three-and-a-half years ago, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died. Many thousands more civilians have been killed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the death toll among US troops in the two occupied countries has now surpassed the number of deaths inflicted on September 11.
[link] More >
|8 Feb 2006 @ 19:26|
The article says it all. Will we ever learn? It doesn't look as if we will, just look at history.
WSWS : News & Analysis : North America
An American tragedy—the plight of the US war wounded
By James Cogan
7 February 2006
One of the terrible legacies of the criminal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is the number of maimed, sick or traumatised former US soldiers—many of them just in their twenties—who will require medical assistance for the rest of their lives. For political reasons, the scope of the tragedy is barely being reported despite the impact it is having on a significant layer of young men and women, their families and communities.
Due to improvements in surgical techniques, medicine, body armour and transportation, only nine percent of American casualties in Iraq die from their wounds, compared with 17 percent in Vietnam and 23 percent during World War II. The official US death toll since November 2001 stood at 2,513 as of February 7—261 deaths in Afghanistan and 2,252 deaths in Iraq. The official wounded number stood at 17,096—676 in Afghanistan and 16,420 in Iraq.
The lower death rate compared with previous wars means that soldiers are surviving after suffering horrifying injuries. As many as six percent of all wounded in Iraq who could not return to duty have required amputations, compared with three percent in earlier conflicts. In Army hospitals alone, more than 330 troops have had an arm or leg amputated—53 suffered multiple amputations. The total figure of amputations is likely to be higher. The Marine Corp, which does not release casualty data, has engaged in some of the bloodiest fighting in Iraq and suffered a considerable proportion of US casualties.
In features published on October 25, 2005 and January 31 this year, the New York Times has documented the plight of some of the worst cases of wounded soldiers—those who have been classified as “polytrauma” patients. Citing the director of the Veterans hospital in Tampa, Doctor Steven G. Scott, the Times reported that the typical polytrauma case had “head injuries, vision and hearing loss, nerve damage, multiple bone fractures, unhealed body wounds, infections and emotional and or behavioural problems. Some have severed limbs or spinal cords”.
At least 215 soldiers have been treated in four specialist centres dedicated to keeping the most severely wounded alive and rehabilitating them. Several new patients are admitted each week—mainly casualties of roadside bombings in Iraq. Many have major brain damage and have needed to be taught how to speak and walk again, even how to swallow. In a grim indication that the Pentagon has well-advanced plans for future wars, the Department of Veteran Affairs plans to construct 21 more such specialist centres.
One case cited by the Times concerned a 29-year-old marine with profound brain injuries, third-degree burns and a damaged nervous system. He and his young wife will require hundreds of thousands of dollars of assistance each year to ensure adequate care and ongoing treatment and rehab.
Paul Pasquina, a military doctor at Walter Reed Hospital, told the Times in October 2005: “Someone who loses one limb is a challenge to get back to a meaningful, functional lifestyle. But someone who loses three limbs, on top of other types of soft tissue wounds, fractures, head injuries, spinal cord injury, paralysis...?”
Complicating the physical rehabilitation are the emotional and psychological problems provoked by memories of how they were wounded and the extent of their injuries. Doctor Scott told the Times last month: “We expect to follow these patients for the rest of their lives. But I have a great deal of concern about our country’s long-term commitment to these individuals. Will the resources be there over time?”
Concern over the long-term fate of the wounded is compounded when the true dimensions of the casualties that have been suffered by the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq are considered. On top of the official figure of close to 20,000 killed or wounded-in-action since November 2001, there are now tens of thousands of soldiers who have been evacuated from Central Asia or the Middle East for “non-battle injuries” or disease, and tens of thousands more who have developed psychological problems since their return to the United States.
US Transportation Command statistics, cited by journalist Mark Benjamin in a Salon article on December 13, showed that at least another 25,289 troops had been evacuated from Afghanistan and Iraq for injuries that were not sustained in combat.
The most recent figures from the US Army Medical Department, for example, show that from March 19, 2003 to November 30, 2005, there had been 21,610 evacuations of Army personnel from Iraq—i.e., the figure does include marine, navy or air force personnel. A total of 6,087 had been evacuated for “non-battle injuries”, such as back injuries, broken bones, soft tissue wounds and sight and hearing defects. Another 12,417 had been evacuated under the category “disease”. The diseases include cases of general surgery, neurological disorders, heart and lung problems and psychiatric illnesses such as depression, suicidal tendencies and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The extent of war casualties soars once soldiers return. The number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who have sought health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has already passed 100,000—or close to one out of every four of the troops who has served in the occupied countries and subsequently left the US military.
An unknown number may be related to what was called Gulf War Syndrome by veterans of the 1991 war—various ailments that some specialists believe have been caused by exposure to depleted uranium or side-effects from anthrax vaccines. By 1999, over 100,000 First Gulf War veterans had sought VA medical treatment for conditions such as leukemia, lung cancer, chronic kidney and liver disorders, respiratory ailments, chronic fatigue, skin spotting and joint pain.
According to VA statistics cited in December by the Dallas Morning News, some 9,600 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were being treated for PTSD. The number who should be receiving treatment for the disorder is believed to be far higher. An Army study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that, due to the stigma that surrounds psychiatric care, only 25 to 50 percent of soldiers who develop PTSD seek assistance. The Defense Department estimates that 18 percent of Iraq veterans and 11 percent of Afghanistan veterans will develop PTSD symptoms at some point. This suggests that tens of thousands of ex-service personnel may already be attempting to cope by themselves with a highly debilitating disease which can lead to self-harm, emotional crisis, and, in severe cases, suicide or acts of violence.
In the Minnesota town of Hibbing, the local Daily Tribune reported this month on an address by a National Guardsman, Keith Huff, who served a year in Iraq and returned in January 2005. Huff told a February Rotary meeting: “We had a hard time adjusting to your world and we felt alienated. I couldn’t tell my wife she was married to a killer and that I was good at it. I had a hard time reengaging in the community. I can’t explain what it was like to be over there and come back.”
An internal army survey, cited in Stars and Stripes in December 2005, showed alcohol abuse among returned veterans was 21 percent one year after returning from the war zone; 22 percent suffered from anger and aggression issues; and 15 percent intended to break up with their partner.
The wave of new victims of American militarism arriving home and needing treatment at VA hospitals and clinics comes at a time of growing need of the VA system by veterans of earlier wars. An increased number of veterans of the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War are registering for VA health care, possibly because falling living standards are making more eligible for the means-tested assistance. As well, the surviving veterans of WWII are at an advanced age.
The Bush administration’s proposed budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs in fiscal year 2007 is $US80.6 billion, with some $US34.3 billion being requested for health care—an 11 percent increase. The soaring cost of benefits and medical treatment for the war wounded will more than likely be met by cutbacks to other programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Students, parents rebuff US military recruiters
[17 November 2005]
US death toll hits 2,000—grim milestone in a criminal war
[26 October 2005]
|21 Jan 2006 @ 22:06|
Is it not true that:
-- if we do nothing,
--vote for ANY candidate (because really they are all for power, greed, lies and corruption),
--pay taxes to fund war and corruption and
--don't look at our actions and lifestyles as being a part of the bigger picture...
then we are really part of the cause of the wars, hunger, poverty, sickness, disease, and suffering in the world? To say no is to lie for these scenarios go on and on with NO end in sight. Here is another example...Ignore it with the same peril as ignoring the Iraq situation before it started.
WSWS : News & Analysis : Middle East : Iran
The political issues behind the Iranian nuclear confrontation
By the Editorial Board
21 January 2006
The escalating confrontation between Iran and the major powers over Tehran’s nuclear programs raises crucial political issues.
Once again the Bush administration is recklessly setting the course for military conflict. Again, the European powers, Russia and China, caught between Washington’s demands and their own economic interests in Iran and the Middle East, have chosen to appease the US. While economic sanctions are currently under discussion, the White House has repeatedly made clear that “all options”, including a military attack, are “on the table”.
The EU-3—Britain, France and Germany—have called for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for punitive sanctions. Russia and China are yet to finally agree. However, at a meeting on Monday in London, all five concurred with the US that Iran had to “return to full suspension” of its uranium enrichment activities, thus providing the pretext for increasingly aggressive measures against Tehran.
The entire rationale for UN action against Iran, recycled endlessly in the international media, reeks of cynicism and hypocrisy. All five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the US, Britain, France, Russia and China—have nuclear weapons and have failed to meet their obligations as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to dismantle their huge nuclear arsenals.
There is nothing benign about these stockpiles. Rather their purpose is to bully, threaten and ultimately be deployed against smaller, weaker powers, as the incendiary comments of French President Jacques Chirac last Thursday make clear. Speaking at a nuclear submarine base in Brittany, Chirac warned that France would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against any state that sponsored a terrorist attack against vital French interests. “The flexibility and reactiveness of our strategic [nuclear] forces allow us to respond directly on the centres of power,” he declared.
A glaring double standard is applied to Iran, which is being menaced with economic sanctions and military strikes over its nuclear programs, while US allies—Israel, India and Pakistan—already have nuclear weapons. Other countries, such as Brazil, either have built or are currently constructing uranium enrichment plants, which are not outlawed under the NPT.
Just as it used Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration is exploiting the Iranian “nuclear threat” to advance its ambitions for untrammelled domination of the resource-rich region. Iran, which has the world’s third largest reserves of oil and the second largest reserves of natural gas, sits in a key strategic position astride the Middle East, Central Asia and the increasingly important Indian subcontinent. Even if the Iranian regime were to abandon all nuclear programs and completely demolish its nuclear facilities, Washington would invent another pretext for its provocative actions, which are aimed at establishing US ascendancy in the region over America’s European and Asian rivals.
In opposing the predatory activities of US imperialism in the Middle East, however, the World Socialist Web Site does not give any political support to the reactionary theocratic regime in Tehran nor to any attempt on its part to acquire nuclear weapons. The Islamic Republic established following the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 represented the interests of dissident sections of the bourgeoisie, not those of the working people who brought down the hated dictatorship. The clerical powerbrokers have maintained their rule for three decades through ruthless repression, directed above all against any independent movement of the working class.
In response to the latest threats, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that his government will defy the UN Security Council and proceed with plans to develop uranium enrichment. In a press conference last weekend, he condemned what he called the “medieval attitude” of “bullies” and issued vague threats that “a time might come that you would become regretful, and then there would be no benefits in regretting.” In a veiled reference to the danger of skyrocketting oil prices, he declared: “They confront us and deal with us in very harsh and illegal language, but ultimately they need us more than we need them.”
No one should mistake Ahmadinejad’s bravado for a genuine struggle against imperialism. The aim of this limited challenge is to pressure the major powers for a more advantageous relationship for the Iranian bourgeoisie and to bolster Iran’s position as a regional power. For the past two years, Tehran has been seeking to use the nuclear issue to manoeuvre between the US and the European powers for a formal agreement with the EU for closer economic and political relations, in return for concessions on its nuclear programs.
Ahmadinejad obliquely referred to “war criminals” who back Israel and those who “fight wars in other countries in order to get security for themselves”. But, for all its posturing against the Bush administration, the Iranian regime is an accomplice to the US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite its formal opposition, Tehran cooperated with the US-led invasion of Iraq, calculating that the defeat of its regional rival would only strengthen its own position. In Iraq itself, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is closely aligned to the Iranian regime, openly backed the invasion and now forms a central component of the US puppet regime.
Ahmadinejad blandly declared last weekend that “our goal is the peaceful use of nuclear technology” and again asserted Iran’s rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. Whatever his public statements, however, the president is connected to the most right-wing elements of the theocracy, who insist that Iran has to have not only nuclear power plants, but nuclear weapons as well. The construction of nuclear weapons is viewed as the means to establish Iran as a regional power in the Middle East, just as the Indian government is attempting to do in South Asia.
There are no doubt those in the Iranian regime who calculate, or rather miscalculate, that if Iran had nuclear weapons the US would be compelled to come to terms with Tehran in the same way that it did New Delhi after its 1998 nuclear tests. However, a few crude Iranian nuclear weapons would not seriously deter US aggression. In fact, the construction and testing of an Iranian nuclear weapon would only heighten the danger of a military strike or all-out war by the US and its allies, with devastating consequences.
The danger of imperialist war will not be ended through the acquisition of nuclear weapons by countries like Iran and North Korea and bloodcurdling threats to incinerate millions of innocent working people, in Israel or South Korea or elsewhere. Such threats play directly into the hands of US imperialism. Washington has exploited the outrage produced by Ahmadinejad’s openly anti-Semitic statements, denying the Nazi Holocaust and calling for the state of Israel to be “wiped off the map”, to justify the current international action against Iran.
Ahmadinejad’s reactionary appeals to nationalism and xenophobia cut directly across the only practical and progressive strategy for combatting the eruption of US militarism: the development of a broad global offensive against war and imperialist oppression by the international working class, based on the struggle for a socialist program. The natural allies of working people in Iran are workers throughout the Middle East, including Israel, as well as in the United States, Europe and internationally, not nationalist demagogues like Ahmadinejad or any other faction of the Iranian bourgeoisie.
The surprise victory of Ahmadinejad in last year’s presidential poll was itself the product of a deepening economic and social crisis in Iran for which no faction of the capitalist class has any solution other than to place the burden onto the backs of working people. His populist appeals to “put Iran’s oil wealth on people’s tables” struck a chord with workers and young people who are increasingly disenchanted with the corrupt theocratic regime that has brought enormous wealth to a few at the expense of the vast majority.
Ahmadinejad’s win reflected above all the political bankruptcy of the so-called reformists led by former president Mohammed Khatami, who came to power in 1997. Khatami promised to improve living standards and establish basic democratic rights, but did neither. He responded to every significant movement of workers and students by immediately closing ranks with the conservative hand-liners to crack down on dissent. At the same time he sought to open up the Iranian economy to foreign investors and, to that end, improve relations with Europe and the US, even as Washington invaded neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq and threatened military intervention against Iran itself.
While Ahmadinejad capitalised on popular disgust towards the “reformers,” he has no solution to the social and economic catastrophe confronting millions of Iranians. Despite its large reserves of oil and gas and the current high price of oil, the Iranian economy is suffering from high inflation, a lack of investment and decrepit infrastructure. According to an estimate by the National Iranian Oil Company, the oil industry desperately needs $70 billion over the next 10 years to modernise the country’s dilapidated infrastructure.
UN economic sanctions on Iran will intensify the country’s deep social crisis. The population is very young—nearly 50 percent is under the age of 20 and 70 percent is under 30. The official unemployment rate is 16 percent, but other estimates put the figure twice as high. Only half of the one million new job-seekers entering the market each year find work. According to a government study in 2004, joblessness among 15- to 29-year-olds was set to skyrocket to 52 percent in less than two years.
The fact that the Iranian ruling class is compelled to rely on Ahmadinejad is a sign of the political impasse that it has reached. Unable to address the needs and aspirations of the Iranian masses, it is forced to turn to a populist demagogue to whip up anti-Semitism and chauvinism to divert attention from the government’s failure to solve the social crisis at home and its manoeuvring with imperialism abroad. The climate of national emergency will undoubtedly be exploited to further wind back what limited democratic rights exist in Iran and crack down on dissidents, including various minorities.
As the confrontation with US imperialism and its allies deepens, the regime in Tehran may well decide that it has no alternative but to embark on the course of developing, testing and stockpiling nuclear weapons. There is no doubting the very real dangers posed by the Bush administration, which has enunciated and aggressively acted upon its doctrine of preventive war with reckless indifference to the consequences and contempt for international law. While insisting Tehran restrict its nuclear activities, the US is openly flouting the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by developing a new generation of “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons that are aimed precisely at the type of protected underground facilities that exist in Iran.
The working class, however, cannot give any support to the building of an Iranian nuclear weapon, which would inevitably be justified through a frenzied nationalist campaign to defend the Iranian state and the so-called Islamic revolution. The threat of nuclear war is not an answer to imperialist aggression, but a recipe for a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East and beyond. The only realistic alternative to the predatory policies of imperialism and the danger of nuclear war is the program of revolutionary class struggle.
What is required is the construction of a broad, politically independent movement of the international working class that tackles the root cause of war and social inequality: capitalism and the outmoded nation state system. In opposition to all forms of nationalism, racism and chauvinism, workers must unite their struggles to reconstruct the economic system on socialist lines to meet the social needs of humanity as a whole, rather than the profits of a tiny handful. That is the program advocated by the World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International and fought by its sections around the world.
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[13 January 2006]
European media report US plans to strike Iran
[5 January 2006]
US and EU-3 make another provocative move against Iran
[29 September 2005]
US-EU deal on Iran: a step towards confrontation, not a negotiated settlement
[25 March 2005] More >
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