By Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan
20 December 2013
Canada's hostile reaction to the recent agreement with Iran on curbing the possible development of nuclear weapons has pitted it against its traditional allies and raised fears that it is turning from promoting peace to warmongering. Demonising Iran is also further fueling hysterical Islamophobia in Canada and threatening the harmony that flourishes in this multicultural country by promoting Islam and Muslims as fanatical extremists.
The Ottawa Citizen, the main paper in Canada's capital, splashed a piece by the director of an international intelligence program that is idiotic, inaccurate and inflammatory. It warns that Iran, driven by its "Islamic extremist mentality," is out to destroy the United States and Canada and produce a worldwide catastrophe to "get the big prize, paradise."
Consider: "One scenario has (Ali) Khamenei realising his dreams with two surprise, ship-launched, high-attitude nuclear detonations above the United States. Physicists say these could fry all electronics within view of the airburst, rendering Canada an incidental - but devastated - target.
Specialists think such an attack's electromagnetic consequences could end life as we know it in the United States, with perhaps only 10 percent of the population surviving the collapsed infrastructure, the starvation and disease a year later. Canada would be part of this.
"A regional eruption would confront Canadians with gene-threatening nuclear fallout. Eastern Canada would see little of the Arabian Gulf oil shipments it ordinarily receives. International trade would be upended, along with Canadian economics. A worldwide depression would follow.
"Meanwhile, with possibly millions of victims in the Middle East and South Asia, epidemics would accompany the horror. Smallpox, for example, whether naturally occurring or spilling from damaged secret labs in the region, could be loosed on the planet."
Keep holding your breath. "Many intelligence analysts say we are only months or maybe weeks away from an Iranian A-bomb. Along with a nuke, Iran is rushing to develop ballistic missiles to carry atomic warheads regionally, and then across oceans."
And of course "Israel would have little choice but to assume a dangerous, hair-trigger launch-on-warning nuclear posture, given repeated Iranian threats to wipe out the Jewish state."
Nor is the threat from missiles alone, alas. "Canada is already believed to be thoroughly penetrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hezbollah and associated operatives. How much more aggressive would these groups' directing minds be under protection of an atomic umbrella?"
So "we should make our move. Canada must press for a redoubling of sanctions on the mullahs. And a cold assessment must be made about whether to strike Iranian nuclear targets, before they proliferate and be hardened any further."
Islam-bashers feel attacking and devastating Iraq and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on fabricated lies was just an appetizer. Now the US and Israel, to save humanity of course, must attack a country that has neither nuclear weapons nor the ships or missiles to use them - against a superpower that is bulging with nuclear, thermonuclear, chemical and biological weapons and has warships and planes throughout the globe. After Iran is destroyed, it would presumably be the turn of other Muslim countries who, Islam bashers say, are financing Jihadi madrasas around the world to preach hate and destruction of all non-Muslims in order to attain paradise.
Actually Canada has the same goal - preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons - as the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China. But Canada wants to impose further sanctions on Iran to make it capitulate. The others tried diplomacy and it worked. Iran agreed to curb its enrichment activities in return for an easing of some sanctions. This will apply for six months while a permanent agreement is sought. If the US finds Iran building nuclear weapons it says it will bomb Iran.
Canadian Foreign Minister Johan Baird said, however: "We think past actions best predict future actions and Iran has defied the United Nations Security Council and has defied the International Atomic Energy Agency in regard to its nuclear program."
But if past actions predict future actions, then diplomacy and the United Nations would have no place in today's world. France and Germany and all Europeans would still be fighting, Canada would still be forcing Aboriginal youth into residential schools, Japan would be trying to conquer China, and the British and the French would be fighting to rebuild their empires. As to flouting UN resolutions, no country has done it more than Israel though Canada's silence on this point is deafening.
As Andrew Cohen wrote in a column titled Contradictory and incoherent foreign policy, "… our stature may be so diminished that the Americans may not even care what we think. But why poke them in the eye, once again, as if Canada alone has cornered the market on skepticism on Iran?"
Canada's last ambassador to Iran John Mundy also called the Canadian stand "an incoherent contradiction in our foreign policy" and said it represented "a defeat for Canadian foreign policy towards Iran." Canada is marching backwards with eyes shut and a closed mind.
Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is a retired Canadian journalist, civil servant and refugee judge.