What it means to have "all options" on the table

The continued insistence of “all options” on the table; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, U.S. President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the infamous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush, with reagard  to Iran’s nuclear program, that “all options are on the table”.

Putting the  “options” aside, the “table” itself is a matter of controversy. Which table is the U.S. President referring to? Who is in the position to decide the destiny of Iran’s nuclear program? What’s wrong with Iran’s nuclear program that a nation of 70-million should be made to endure “crippling sanctions”, continued threats of a military strike, and isolation? What’s the definite answer to the simple question of why the U.S., France, and Israel should possess nuclear weapons? Who is more offensive and violent: Iran, whose nuclear program there is no evidence to suggest has any military purpose, or the adventurous, aggressive trajectory of Washington and its allies?

Robert Parry, an award-winning American investigative journalist, austerely addresses the issue. In an April 2 article in Consortium News, he notes: “if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.”

As Parry notes, the “bomb bomb Iran Parlor Game” has much to do with the regular psychological operations the U.S. government ruthlessly directs against its victims, as has been seen repeatedly, in which the U.S. government resorts to the most ruthless methods of black propaganda to demonize and demoralize its opponents.

In order to thwart Iran’s efforts to achieve a zenith of high technology and prevent the country from becoming an influential player in the Persian Gulf region and beyond, a large number of conservative think-tanks and pundits direct psychological warfare against Iran. Although the New York Times by itself is a leading front for running misleading and untruthful articles, numerous websites, blogs and community portals have also functioned as virtual mouthpieces for Washington so as to regularly disseminate deceptive stories and misrepresent what’s happening in Iran.

Over the past three decades, and especially following the eruption of the nuclear dispute with Iran, the U.S. has vigorously been carrying out media operations to incite anti-Iranian sentiments. Some recent efforts include the establishment of websites such as “United Against Nuclear Iran” and the Hollywood production of movies like “300” and “The Wrestler”. The battle for public perception is not limited to mainstream media outlets, but also involves bloggers who have similarly mobilized to take part in the demonization of Iran.

Above all, carrying out psychological operations is one of the most sensitive and delicate responsibilities of the U.S. Army, the CIA’s Special Activities Division (SAD) and National Clandestine Service (NCS). SAD is in charge of providing the U.S. President with “special” options where diplomacy and military action is likely to fail. The U.S. President has the authority to order the commencement of a new clandestine operation whenever necessary. Covert and intangible intervention in foreign elections is one of the main tasks of SAD. It also carries out missions to undermine or even overthrow a regime which does not comply with the interests of the U.S. administration. SAD has a long history of carrying out paralyzing missions of psychological propaganda against many nations, including Bolivia, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

In Iran, where people still remember the bitter memory of U.S.-backed coup d’etat of 1953 that brought down the democratic government of Dr. Mosaddeq and inaugurated the tyranny of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, SAD has accomplished numerous operations, several of which have been revealed by the investigative journalists.

In July 2008, for example, the renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh published an article in the New Yorker and revealed that the Bush administration had taken practical steps, including the authorization of a Presidential Finding to legitimize the illegal entry of paramilitary troops into Iran, through the borders of Iraq, so as to help overthrow the government of Iran. Based on the documents he had obtained, Hersh wrote: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran…. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”

Hersh cited a Presidential Finding, a highly classified document only available to the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees. This greatly highlighted the significance of his revelation. “The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change, working with opposition groups and passing money” Hersh quoted an informed, anonymous source as saying.

SAD has also carried out significant actions such as preventing the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from winning the parliamentary elections in 1948 and 1960s, overthrowing the government of Guatemala in 1954, and staging the 1957 coup d’etat of Indonesia that removed from power the popular, democratically-elected President Ahmad Sukarno and led to a terrible massacre in which almost 1 million people lost their lives.

History seems to repeat itself once again. Under the decree of someone who won a Nobel Prize of “Peace”, the U.S. has been banging the war drum in the Middle East.