Interview with American journalist Sherwood Ross
Kourosh Ziabari - American journalist and political commentator Sherwood Ross believes that CIA is the world’s foremost criminal organization and that the anti-Iranian sanctions of the United States and its European allies are contrary to the principles of human rights.
Dec 31, 2012
“Iran is one of the world’s most peaceful nations.
It has not made war on a neighbor in modern times.
Its crime is oil.
The U.S. overthrow of the elected government of Iran in 1953 came about at the behest of the UK, whose British Petroleum antecedent was driven from the country for cheating the Iranians out of their fair share of the proceeds from the sale of oil,” he says.
Sherwood Ross is an award-winning journalist who formerly worked for the City News Bureau of Chicago, the Chicago Daily News, and for several wire services.
He is the author of “Gruening of Alaska”(Best Books) and several produced plays. He was active in the U.S. civil rights movement and was press coordinator for James Meredith’s “March Against Fear” in Mississippi.
What follows is the text of my interview with Sherwood Ross in which we have talked about Islamophobia, the prospect of Iran-U.S. relations, anti-Iranian sanctions of the West, Israel’s nuclear program and a couple of other issues.
Kourosh Ziabari: Dear Sherwood; in one of your articles, you pointed out that Muslims constitute some 1 percent of the U.S. population, but they are nearly 13 percent of the victims of religious-based hate crimes.
Why are the Islamophobic sentiments so rampant and prevalent in the United States?
This anti-Muslim discrimination is taking place while President Obama had promised to revitalize the United States’ relations with the Muslims.
What do you think in this regard?
Sherwood Ross: It is practically inevitable that some of the thoughtless multitude at the bottom of the education pyramid will embrace the aggression advocated by super-patriotism, which is rampant in the United States.
The 9/11 atrocity was pinned on Muslims within hours of the attack (it may well have been an inside job to justify subsequent U.S. wars) and the overwhelmingly negative picture of Muslims painted in the media since then reinforces this anti-Arab stereotype.
As for President Obama’s promises to do right in the Middle East, they are worthless as day after day he authorizes drone strikes against suspects in Muslim nations.
These attacks have claimed the lives of perhaps thousands, of innocent civilians. His conduct is an affront to the very principles of justice.
It has also given an expanded role to play for the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency that once employed President Obama.
When you reflect that the CIA is the foremost criminal organization in the world, and that it acts in a lawless and reckless manner, and has a history of initiating calamities and resorting to terrorism, you get some idea of the true character of the president.
Kourosh Ziabari: You’ve surely heard about the release of the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims,” directed by an Israeli-American man called Sam Bacile, and the subsequent republication of offensive cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in the French “Charlie Hebdo” magazine.
Who is behind these anti-Islam plots?
Why have the Muslims and their sanctities become the target of Western propaganda machinery attacks?
Sherwood Ross: There doesn’t need to be any one or any organization behind the plots being hatched.
They can truly be the work of isolated dunces who are not related in any way to the U.S. government or the CIA.
Pardon me, but the best strategy for dealing with these cultural affronts is to ignore them.
The demonstrations and rioting in reaction to the current movie, like the Danish cartoon before it, only achieve the cravings of their creators for publicity.
Muslim and Arab peoples must “consider the source” of these affronts and ignore them utterly.
Similarly, all the denunciations of Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” achieved was to sell more copies.
It is always best to put one’s passions aside in these matters and not resort to threats or force.
Kourosh Ziabari: Do you consider the Israeli war threats against Iran a continuation of President Bush’s War on Terror initiative?
Can we interpret Tel Aviv’s hawkish rhetoric on Iran as part of a larger plan to demonize and isolate the Muslim nations which resist the American imperialism? Does the Israeli regime have the capability or legitimacy to launch an attack on Iran?
Sherwood Ross: You are asking three questions here.
I can’t answer the first two.
As for the third question, no, Israel is bound to take its complaint to the United Nations rather than to even threaten Iran, much less attack it.
There is no legitimacy here whatever.
What there is plenty of is hypocrisy, because Israel reportedly has more than 200+ nuclear weapons and refuses to allow UN inspection yet it threatens Iran, which the UN says has not even one nuclear weapon, with war.
Kourosh Ziabari: The U.S. has just taken the name of Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) off its list of terrorist organizations.
Unquestionably, this decision is an outright declaration of war against Iran and its consequences will gravely affect the already strained relations between Iran and the United States.
What’s your take on that?
How can the United States justify this reconciliation with a terrorist group which is responsible for the lives of thousands of Iranians and Iraqis?
Sherwood Ross: The State Department’s terrorist list has a history of being consistently manipulated by the White House to suit whatever aim it is pursuing. Given President Obama’s penchant for waging wars without UN permission or Congressional approval, the most glaring error is that Secretary of State Clinton left the USA off the list.
According to world public opinion polls, foreigners live in fear the U.S., the days of President Franklin Roosevelt’s genuine “Good Neighbor” policy are long gone.
Kourosh Ziabari: In one of your important articles, you presented a list of the U.S. atrocities and hostilities against the Iranian nation during the past 50 years. Washington’s support for the deposed dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, its role in the Iraqi war against Iran which claimed the lives of dozens of innocent Iranians, its shooting down of the civilian aircraft associated with the Iranian Air Flight 655 and killing 290 passengers onboard, its campaign of media propaganda and economic sanctions, etc.
What are the reasons for all of these hostilities?
Why is the United States so adamantly following an anti-Iranian path...