Monday, June 07, 2010

The kidnapping of Shahram Amiri

An Iranian scientist who disappeared during a religious pilgrimage in June 2009 has sent a message that he was abducted by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
I am Shahram Amiri, a lecturer at Malek Ashtar University, and at the moment I am in the town of Tucson in the US state of Arizona. I was abducted on the 13th of Khordad 1388 in a joint operation by terror and kidnap teams from the US intelligence service CIA and Saudi Arabia's Istikhbarat. I was kidnapped from the holy city of Medina
The story the United States tells is that he was enticed to leave. If he says in his own voice that it is not true, it is impossible to credit the US version.
Shahram Amiri's wife and other family members reportedly protested outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran last fall, claiming that Amiri had been taken against his will. She said she had last spoken to him on June 3, while he was in Saudi Arabia, when he called her from Medina. She told the Iranian news agency ISNA that Amiri reported that he had been questioned by police in Saudi Arabia. She also denied that Amiri worked for the nuclear program.

According to the people briefed on the intelligence operation, Amiri's disappearance was part of a long-planned CIA operation to get him to defect. The CIA reportedly approached the scientist in Iran through an intermediary who made an offer of resettlement on behalf of the United States.
In an episode like this, disgrace just comes from all directions. It is difficult to even measure. We can look at the United States first. Barack Obama's administration seized the assets of a mosque. I think to kidnap a believer while making the Hajj is more shameful than that. When we realize that Barack Obama represents the highest amount of respect for the religion of Islam that the United States' political system can produce in a President we see in tangible form that US antipathy against Islam is not based on personality but is a structural component of the reality of power in Washington DC.

There are many African Americans with intimate familiarity with Islam who, if told of a plan to kidnap a scientist from Arabia during a Hajj would fire the person who made the suggestion. None of those people could have become President of the United States. In a similar vein, there are many Egyptians who would not think to help Israel "put Palestinians on a diet" by laying siege to 1.5 million civilians. But none of those Egyptians could have become President of Egypt. There are many Palestinians who would have respected the democratic rights of the Palestinian voters and disobeyed US/Israeli orders to disregard the results of the election. Any Palestinian who had demonstrated personal strength or allegiance principle would have been blocked in Palestinian politics by the United States and Israel.

We see that the American political system has found the American black man with a Muslim middle name who is the most willing to commit affronts against that religion and installed him to power. There is a sense in which it is not really his fault. In a similar case, United States has found a weak Egyptian and maneuvered him to power. If Mubarak had been strong, someone else would have been president of Egypt.

I'm going to write later about why the son of a weak stooge dictator makes an ideal replacement because of the emotional and psychological issues. For Gamal Mubarak to break from the United States would be to admit that his own father was weak. Even though it is true, and it is obvious, the fact that it would be painful to acknowledge for Gamal makes Gamal perhaps the most reliable person in Egypt to continue the relationship his father forged. In addition his father has likely trained him, both consciously and subconsciously to subvert any sense of independence.

Barack Obama is familiar with Islam the same way Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are familiar with Islam. The way current king Abdullah and has father Hussein of Jordan were familiar with Islam. He was selected from a fairly large population specifically for his characteristics of weakness and subservience.

And this discussion of course leads us back to the ruling family of Saudi Arabia. The religion of Islam, as I understand it, holds that if a person follows the pillars of the religion then another person cannot question the authenticity of his religious belief. Only God can question the Saudi royal family's commitment to Islam - even if they help the United States kidnap a believer while performing a pilgrimage. Even if the reason the United States is interested in kidnapping the person is because Israel calculates that its political hold of territory taken by force depends on being able to threaten its neighbors, and even threaten Mecca itself, with nuclear attack and on Israel's threats being unanswerable.

In deference to my understanding of Islam, I will not call the ruling family of Saudi Arabia false Muslims. I've read Saudi sympathizers with its royal family questioning the Islam of others, but if the religion reserves that judgment for God, I will not make that judgment myself.

Assuming the Saudi royal family consists of true Muslims, they are likely nearly the weakest and most easily manipulated Muslims in the country - which is why Britain at its colonial height allied with them and not another family. Today Saudi Arabia is ruled by people who grew up in homes led by colonial puppets. People who think of their father, their earliest psychological symbol of male strength and see, in their mind's eye, a person whose job was to bow to the Queen of England or the President of the United States.

But the truth seems to have emerged. The United States should be ashamed. The President of the United States probably is not ashamed, but it is now even more difficult to look at him with any respect. If Gaza was the first clue, this abduction seals the case. But the type of person who could feel shame, who has standards for his behavior, could never have been elevated in the US political system. The problem is not the personality but the system.

The same is true for Saudi Arabia. They helped abduct a scientist making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Did so to strengthen the strategic position of Israel as Israel annexes more territory and pushes more Muslims from their homes. If we look to the beginning of the Saud dynasty's colonial relationship with the West, we will find the explanation.


Fahad said...

Shahram hasn't been on hajj but umrah. There are two videos on internet, one shows him fine and comfortable in the U.S. Saudi-Arabia is not a friend of Iran, rather a foe. Shi'a Islam is a nightmare for Riyadh.

Shahram has obviously not revealed any sensitive information to CIA (with the possible exception of the Fordow site of planned uranium enrichment). Otherwise, the 2010 NIE would be out, I suppose.

It is not about Obama's middle name or Islamic mores, it is about the politics of a struggling uberpower, don't forget.

Arnold Evans said...

Umrah. Thanks for the correction.

The United States in its decline from superpower status is a subject I'm gathering some thoughts on in the back of my mind right now. It is very interesting because one would think that in a decline a country is more prone to make spastic, desperate moves.

But I can't think of any lurches toward militarism as the Roman empire fell, or the Mongol or the British. Maybe that is because the actions of empires are understood in the context of their expansions - which are more violent than their declines. Maybe it is because historians have a bias toward empires that has led to downplaying or herocizing their mistakes. Maybe I just haven't read enough about past empires.

The 2010 NIE won't be released, but it just says that Iran is moving toward what Robert Gates calls being a virtual nuclear state. Meaning that Iran is enriching uranium as we all know without any classified briefing.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly believe that Shahram Amiri was abducted??

This is the most absurd story I have ever heard. There is more chance of him being taken by Santa Claus.

When the truth does come out, which it will, I only hope that this will help the people of the region fully understand the war of information being conducted by their nations and that the USA is not the cause of your problems.

The more you feed the World with lies the more unbelieveable you become. The quicker your downfall. Keep it up!!

lidia said...

yes, sure, USA rulers NEVER kidnapped foreigners, never lied and never did ANYTHING to harm other peoples - not in Iran, not in Iraq, not in Lebanon, not in Palestina and so on. The peoples in question are just too stupid and believe their own lying eyes, and not an Anon, how knows way better. What a pity that such sort of propaganda seems to work OK only for many Americans, and not for peoples of the ME LOL