About the only person in the Middle East a worse poker player than George Bush was Saddam. He never could get the thinking right when it came to trying to figure which way the US would go in reaction to his gambling moves. He must have thought that he was on the winning side when he was fighting the Iranians. Saddam refused to believe that the US would allow him to hang, because he thought the US recognized that only Saddam could deal with the Shiites and the Iranians. He was convinced of that up to his last night.
That was clearly on his mind while he was being hanged. The Persians and the Shiites were cursed by him as he was being executed. A final thought. His dying curse should remind us, if reminding is necessary, that the big story in the Middle East is not between Arab and Jew, but between the mutually hating wings of Islam. The Arabs are roughly on one side with the Iranians on another. Someone should be thinking about Saddam's curse and ask the question as to what the Sunni and Shiite divide means to US policies.
This is especially true while we are busy parking naval assets in the gulf. Technologies have a nasty habit way of sneaking up on navies. The sinking of a single ship has resonated as a rallying cry in drawing more than a few powers into wars that may not have been of a time and place of their choosing. The video scenes of a sinking or listing US carrier would present an image that would be cataclysmic. Why do I bring that up?
We have a leader in George Bush that has no sense of proportion when it comes to risking US assets on bets that do not have a sufficient payoff. The Arabs know it. If they could get the US to do their dirty work for them by taking on Iran and at the same time get damaged in the doing, better yet. If in the doing Israel got the blame, well, that would be winning the trifecta. Maybe we better watch where we are parking those carriers and consider the implications if one does takes a hit.
It seems that the Iranians may have noticed that there may be an Arab campaign against them.
Regional media’s info ops against Iran
By Hassan Hanizadeh Tehran Times
Arab countries’ media outlets have begun a massive coordinated propaganda campaign against Iran.
This propaganda orchestra, which is seemingly being conducted by a maestro, seeks two goals. First, it aims to exaggerate the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. Secondly, it seeks to create division between Shias and Sunnis in order to isolate the Shias.
For some time now, articles have appeared in the Arab press trying to convince the world that Iran’s civilian nuclear activities are a threat to world peace and global security and that Tehran has been violating international law.
Most of the writers of these articles used to praise Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and blamed Iran for the regional crisis.
After the fall of Saddam, current Iraqi officials and former opponents of the dictator revealed that Saddam had spent five billion dollars per year during the war to pay such writers.
Former Iraqi information minister Latif Nasif Jasem has acknowledged that after the Defense Ministry, his ministry had the largest budget, which was used to hire Arab writers, and that this funding came from Persian Gulf littoral states’ generous financial assistance.
Saddam’s ouster in 2003 revived the hope that Arab media outlets would halt their divisive approaches and make efforts to promote Islamic and regional convergence, but, to the contrary, they have now launched a new media campaign against Iran.
Although it is obvious that terrorists with ethnic and sectarian biases are the main cause of insecurity in Iraq, the Arab media paint a different picture in their analyses and news reports.
They are attempting to give the impression that Iraq’s Shias are culturally and religiously dependent on Iran, and they describe Hezbollah as Iran’s agent in Lebanon.
These measures are being taken with the aim of diminishing the great victory of Hezbollah in the eyes of the Arab world because this Islamic resistance group’s popularity soared among Arabs after its 34-day war with Israel last summer.
These media outlets have focused on Hezbollah’s confrontation with the Lebanese government, the execution of Saddam, and Iran’s influence on Iraq and have alleged that Iran is attempting to create division in Lebanon and arming Iraqi Shias and that Iraq’s Shias kill Sunnis.
It is hard to find an Arab media outlet that does not talk about the so-called Iranian threat in its leading stories. It seems that a professional extra-regional media center, which is much slicker than most Arab world journalism, is pulling the strings in this propaganda campaign against Iran.
These media are trying to give the impression that the United States and its allies are on the verge of launching a nuclear war against Iran which would totally change the world.
An Arab satellite television network recently broadcast a detailed report of the arrival of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf to scare the people of the region.
Despite the fact that access is restricted to U.S. ships armed with nuclear weapons, this network claimed that its reporter had been given a tour of the vessel.
The report describes the warship as a mobile ultramodern city that can target every part of the region with its nuclear missiles.
These media outlets aim to create a tense, militarized atmosphere in the region and blame the situation on Iran’s nuclear activities.
Certain Arab media outlets, many of which are based in Western countries, have created an anti-Iran mood in the West in recent years, and the Islamic Republic can only counter these information operations by formulating a comprehensive media strategy.