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The Irrationality of Iran Vilification
By Danny Sjursen
WN: It is now almost in every geopolitical instance a truism that if the United States says “black” the reality is the inverse – or significantly other. Such is the case in the article highlighted below. America’s view of geopolitical realities is systematically and systemically flawed in favour of its will to worldwide domination: end of story – but tragically, inflicting another deadly “end” on the untold millions and the Good Earth unlucky enough to be in its way.
The side illustration makes the irony in terms of Iran explicit, as does the featured image above.
In response to Michelle Obama’s impassioned speech during the 2016 US Elections, about Donald Trump and his abusive misogyny, I wrote an “Open Letter” to her that praised her for her right-on criticism of Donald Trump’s bullying megalomania, but then asked a series of questions about America’s status in the world of which, apparently, she, a privileged Black woman married to an overt Uncle Tom, seemed entirely oblivious. One can only wonder at why such (willful?) blindness.
In response, a family member remonstrated, “What can one expect otherwise from the President of The United States?” Which of course is the point! What business does any decent person in America have aspiring to run the ruthless American Empire (yes, Bernie Sanders included)?! Radio host Hugh Hewitt was brilliant in asking Evangelical Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson if he was prepared to do what every President unthinkingly (or otherwise) does: murder thousands of children under his mandate.
Put differently: one can aspire to be “The Godfather” of a brutal crime syndicate – and be the proud wife of such, but one cannot aspire to be decently human simultaneously; anymore than one can aspire to be President of the United States or married to one and be decently human as well. The offices are mutually exclusive.
This of course is the famous story of Alexander the Great and the Pirate:
In the “City of God,” St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. The Emperor angrily demanded of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” To which the pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor [today the President as I reflect on the story here].” St. Augustine thought the pirate’s answer was “elegant and excellent.” [Then he bequeathed to the Western world two abominable doctrines: “just war“, and “just hell” of eternal conscious torment. See my reflection here.]
There are many grand ironies in the world. The Myth of “America the Righteous Leader of the ‘Free World’ ” is possibly the Grandest of them all.
“Rip It Up”
Iran hawks live on both sides of the political aisle. In 2015, for example, Hillary Clinton told an audience at Dartmouth College that Iran represents “an existential threat to Israel.” Though she expressed tacit support for Obama’s then-pending nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — she added that “even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems… [Iran is] the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.”
When it comes to real rancor toward Iran, however, you have to look to the right. Senator John McCain, for instance, immediately cried foul about the JCPOA, calling it a “bad deal” likely to “nuclearize” the Middle East. More colloquially, as both a candidate and as president-elect, Donald Trump repeatedly vowed to “rip it up,” while former governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee accused President Obama of “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven.”
Despite the bellicose rhetoric, intelligence and congressional testimony indicate that Iran is complying with the JCPOA. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey — not exactly a dove — believed that the deal reduced the risk of Iran weaponizing its nuclear power. All the appeals from the president, various pundits, neocons of every sort, and congressional hawks to withdraw from it also neglect an obvious reality: the JCPOA is a multilateral deal and none of our partners (Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and Germany) will support “tearing up” the agreement. Imagine the optics of a future American unilateral abrogation of an agreement Iran is complying with: the onus will be on Washington alone; its allies will continue to abide by the deal and, with genuine justification, Iran’s leaders will be able to depict the Americans as destabilizing “cowboys.”
Here’s the reality of the present situation: despite decades of sanctions and the military containment of Iran, the U.S. has not significantly affected its policies or stance in the region. Few in Washington display the courage to ask the crucial question: Why continue? Why not a creative new approach — the gradual normalization of relations?
Though you wouldn’t know it, given the prominence of Iranophobes in Washington, the U.S. has little to lose. Current policy is counterproductive in so many ways, while Washington’s never-ending bellicosity and threats to “rip up” the nuclear agreement only undercut Iran’s moderates and the eminently sensible President Hassan Rouhani, who recently won a smashing electoral victory against a hardline, fundamentalist opponent in which a stunning 73% of Iranian voters cast ballots. Why not make it more, not ever less, difficult for Iran’s conservatives to vilify the U.S.?
Please click on: Misplaced Iranophobia