ATTACKING IRAN: AMERICANS WILL KILL EVEN THEIR
[By Dr. Mohamed Elmasry - Nov 17, 2007]
penetrate the mindset of the Bush administration on whether it will
attack Iran or not, you must read a perceptive book by Canadian historian
Prof. R. T. Naylor.
At first glance, Naylor's "Canada in the European Age, 1453 - 1919" (first
published in 1987 and reprinted in 2006 by McGill - Queen's University
Press) might seem dated and irrelevant to current affairs topics like the
American invasion of Iraq, or the risk of war against Iran.
But this book prophetically illuminates the mind of Washington and, for me
at least, leads to the sad conclusion that Iran will be attacked.
The background to my conclusion is rooted in the doctrine of colonization:
looting other people's wealth and enslaving them, while killing outright
those who resist. And this seems to be the dominant doctrine in Washington
It is a doctrine that has never changed from the earliest days of European
settlement of the Americas. The cost of colonialist looting was, and still
is, considered limitless - so high, in fact, that the price tag includes
scarifying the lives of your own people.
Naylor is an excellent storyteller. But the story he tells is a tragic one
of unbridled human greed, a passion for obtaining wealth at any cost and
using brute force power to loot, rob, kill and enslave other people whom
their aggressors deem to be less-than-human.
In 1503 Christopher Columbus explained his motive for "discovering" the
Americas. "Gold is a wonderful thing," he wrote. "Whoever possesses it, is
lord of all he wants. By means of gold one can even get souls into
Today's gold is oil. And today's Columbus and his brothers are George W.
Bush, his administration, and his allies. But the doctrine and motivation
are the same. For the sake of looting-for-profit, death, suffering and
destruction are all justifiable. Any measure of lying is also acceptable in
the process, along with the despicable tools of distorted religion,
propaganda, war-mongering and hate speech that aggressor-criminals wield to
lure a misinformed public to their side.
"The Spanish Crown decreed that Columbus's success was God's reward for its
having just completed the destruction of the Moorish (Muslim) kingdom of
Grenada," writes Naylor.
Columbus extracted gold and agricultural wealth through the forced labor of
indigenous peoples, while capital expenses for vast plantations were raised
through the sale of Indians from the Americas as slaves in Europe.
Many indigenous and Aboriginal people perished in the colonial gold mines
and many more were shipped off to Spain as slaves, "slavery being the one
enterprise from which quick and dependable profits could be made."
When Columbus first arrived in Espanola the population was thought to be
well over a million, but a mere 50 years later survivors may have numbered
as few as 500. Those Indians considered unsuited for slavery had their
hands cut off, were thrown to the dogs, or were simply impaled on swords if
their captors were in a hurry, Naylor continues.
"It was said that the traffic in slaves was so heavy that one could sail
from the Bahamas to Espanola guided by the trail of jettisoned bodies.
Jamaica suffered a similar fate. In 1509 its population was thought to be
equal to that of Espanola, but a decade later its Indian population was
"As to gold, by 1509 some $5 million worth (valued at pre-1971 prices) had
been extracted ... at a cost of about 1.5 million Indian lives."
Columbus was not only a war criminal but a consummate liar as well, Naylor
notes: "When Cuba was 'discovered' he forced his men to sign a disposition
certifying that they had reached the mainland of China."
Increasing mistrust in Spain and revolt in the Caribbean, however, resulted
in Columbus and his brothers being returned to Spain, humiliated, in
chains. Yet their successors in the New World maintained "order" with
similar cruelty by burning natives alive.
Today's situation in Iraq is not unlike the legacy of Columbus. Nearly five
years after the American invasion, more than 20 per cent of Iraqis
(numbering in excess of five million people) have been killed, wounded,
displaced within their own country, exiled as refuges abroad, or have lost
one or more next-of-kin. The rest of Iraq's population exists with little
or no security, clean water, electricity, or accessible education for their
children. But the oil -- their oil that is -- is looted every day by the
Americans. In the meantime the Americans are busy preparing to attack yet
another country, spreading more looting, more death, more suffering, and
more destruction next door in Iran.
Washington's horrendous agenda lays an intolerable burden on decent peace-
loving people everywhere, who wonder now how to stop another crime in the
making. Unfortunately, they may not able to stop it, but the effort is
still vital and they can be proud of having tried.
(Dr. Mohamed Elmasry is national president of the Canadian Islamic
Congress. He can be reached at