The growth of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), particularly the meetings emphasis on security and defence and the new membership applications, are creating worldwide tensions similar to the standoff before the Second World War.
The Presidents of the six permanent member countries of the SCO: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met in Shanghai on the 15th of June, along with ministers from the recently invited observer countries: India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas, and the presidents of Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan. Iran’s observer status at the meeting attracted more attention from the world community than the meeting itself, particularly because of the current tension over its expanding nuclear programme. The latest statements from Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki sound increasingly agreeable to the latest incentive package offered by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the United States. Including transfer of peaceful nuclear technology and support for Iranian membership to the World Trade Organisation, although both are careful always to state that the Iranian government has not yet reached a decision. The cause of my fears is responses to the offer from other prominent members of the Iranian government, particularly threats of U.N sanctions if Iran continues its uranium enrichment programme. Most notably the response of Iran’s supreme leader and staunch U.S enemy Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quoted by state media as saying: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not succumb to these pressures.”
These mixed signals coming from Iran, and first the U.S precondition of Iranian enrichment cessation to bring the U.S into the first direct discussions in 27 years, which, abandoned will now allow Iran some nuclear enrichment capabilities providing it suspends its enrichment activities before and during the talks, Condoleezza Rice giving them weeks to make a decision. Which brought the response from the Iranians that a response would be giving by August 22nd, all giving me the impression that both sides are being seen to favour a diplomatic solution, but neither is willing to sufficiently compromise for such a solution, leading to some analysts including ex C.I.A and Presidential adviser Ray McGovern predicting military action from the U.S as early as July or as late as October. Personally, I think the possible consequences of military action against Iran are too politically suicidal for even Bush to contemplate seriously, but as I have said before, the prominence of Cheney and Rumsfeld and other supporters of the PNAC ideologies in the Bush administration, leading America’s foreign policy from behind the scenes continue to make anything possible. The meetings closing statement from Chinese president and chair of the ten-country meeting, accounting for half the human race: “We hope the outside world will accept the social system and path to development independently chosen by our members and observers and respect the domestic and foreign policies adopted by the SCO participants in line with their national conditions.” Following all SCO members vowing to defend each other’s sovereignty and the alliance in general, was undoubtedly a warning to the U.S and others who seek to interfere in the internal affairs of the SCO’s sovereign states, which the U.S didn’t like to hear, in the current intensive-care of diplomatic efforts with Iran, and will increase the tension of any potential military standoff ensuing if diplomatic solutions aren’t reached.
A large majority of the SCO countries are oil rich, including Iran if their application for full membership is granted, meaning China will fight their corner to ensure it can continue its massive oil consumption; securing its path of becoming the world’s second superpower on a par or even superseding previous U.S domination. This complicates things, on the one hand making military action against Iran less likely because of Chinese and Russian support. On the other hand Chinese and Russian Veto’s make UN sanctions against Iran almost impossible, which, according to statements from the Bush administration like, Iran getting the bomb is not an option and military action is always on the table, may make military action the only option. During the Shanghai meeting Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly invited the SCO members to meet in Tehran to discuss energy exploration and mutual development, which lead to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin calling for the creation of an SCO energy club, further strengthening ties between the SCO member and observer countries. The expansion and unification of the SCO is very worrying for the U.S, who applied for observer status at the same time four of the above were granted, the U.S’ application was denied because it shares no fluvial or land frontiers with any of the SCO member or observer countries. The U.S’ strongest Asian ally is also concerned by the fortification of the SCO to rival the U.S alliance, a senior spokesperson for Japan said: “The SCO is becoming a rival block to the US alliance; it does not share our values. We are watching it very closely.” The stage is set for World War 3, two major alliances butting heads in much the same way as the powder keg of Baltic and European alliances erupted into World War 2. All it would take is a terrorist attack(s) with Iranian trademarks, which some analysts, again like Ray McGovern, predict may be staged.
Mixed signals from Iran; the president seeming to back diplomatic efforts, while the man who will ultimately make the decision maintains the hard-line stance of not giving up Iran’s definite right to nuclear energy, seems like a show to ensure support from their allies in the event of military action looking likely. While similar conflicting U.S messages create the same impression of doing everything in their power to reach a diplomatic outcome, so they can attack Iran without fear of Russian and Chinese interference should Iran decline the six-nation incentive package. The trouble is China, Russia and many of the world’s (Islamic) countries agree with Iran that their compliance with the non-proliferation treaty gives them the right to nuclear energy, leaving the burden of proof on the EU and U.S that Iran are attempting to gain nuclear weapons. Therefore, Iran undoubtedly have the upper hand in this situation, which I believe will mean them continuing to create the impression of willingness to compromise for a diplomatic settlement, when in reality they (especially Khamenei) have no intention of giving in to their long running (U.S) enemy, making U.S military action a certainty.
Any form of military action against Iran will erupt into a massive global conflict, whether Russia and China get involved or not, not least in the reawakening of the military wing of the Lebanese Hezbollah, who would attack parts of Israel within range of their, now large quantities of surface-to-surface missiles. These attacks on north Israel would bring Israel into the conflict resulting in at the very least, air strikes, naval bombardment and the use of artillery and battlefield missiles, possibly even border crossings by Israeli infantry and armoured units. Iran would also, at the very least step up its support and armament of Iraq’s insurgency, possibly sending over several divisions of the revolutionary guard, already linked with Iraq’s substantial Shia militias undoubtedly creating a force of serious reckoning, furthering the already severe consequences of the Iraq Pandora’s box. As well as increasing the substantial global problem of Islamic extremist terror by awakening the many dormant Iranian terror cells, unleashing a wave of terror across Europe to make Al Qaeda look like girl scouts. Not to mention support of Iran from other Islamic states, such as Morocco unleashing further waves of terror from Al Qaeda and other terror cells and networks. Possible international support from their strong allies Russia, China and India would turn a catastrophic global conflict into World War 3 and possibly lead to the second use of the world’s deadliest nuclear weapons. Analysts also believe military action against Iran’s nuclear programme may lead to their withdrawal from the, then undermined non-proliferation treaty and the stepping up of the programme, concentrated on creating weapons, meaning any parts of the programme still being managed covertly could be turned into an Iranian-underground-nuclear arsenal aimed at the west, or in the worse case scenario weapons could be bought from China or Russia, at the very least as deterrent against U.S use of the weapons, due to Bush’s alleged itchy nuclear trigger-finger.
In closing, America’s use of the understandably significant public fear of Islamic Jihad terrorism after 9/11 to justify first the war in Afghanistan, rightly an Islamic extremist terrorism base, but also necessary for future U.S oil supply security, then Iraq, which has now proved to have been invaded primarily for U.S hegemony. If the war on Iraq hadn’t proved so costly in everyway for the Bush administration, I believe Iran would have been invaded shortly after. These invasions are the initiation of the first stages of the Project for The New American Century’s plans under Bush Jnr, very similar to the Nazi plans for a new world order based on the superiority of the Aryan race. Another similarity is that the war on Terror, having done nothing to combat the many terrorist cells across Europe and around the world, which are actually increasing, instead invading two third world Muslim Countries, one with no ties to terrorism and atrocities like Fallujah and Haditha, which must bring some Muslim’s to the conclusion it is a war on Islam. Nazism was also a war for domination, or, was it a war on Judaism, given the numbers killed in the holocaust; the same conclusions could be reached. President Bush is waging the war on terror, while at times portraying a misguided belief he is working on behalf of god, whereas Hitler and many of his associates believed the Fuhrer to be possessed by the devil. In conclusion, the selfish imperialism under the rouse of fighting terrorism and spreading human rights and democracy through forceful regime change, are steadily leading the more of the world into conflict, take the Al Qaeda allied Islamic courts Union gaining a large power base in Somalia for instance. An Iran invasion could well be the final trigger for the catastrophic beginning of World War 3.