Sunday, March 04, 2012

Try a Little Tenderness

I listened to President Obama’s speech to AIPAC. I didn’t like it. But I suppose given the audience and the present mindless hysteria about Iran, it was no doubt what he had to do. Obviously it was not the place to discuss Israeli war crimes, colonial designs on Palestinian lands and water, or their terrible racist treatment of those in Gaza. The one thing that did rather enrage me was his claim of Iranian hypocrisy. I do not know what he had in mind as it seems to me Iran has been very straightforward in its behavior. Besides, for an American President to accuse Iran of hypocrisy is so hypocritical itself as to be laughable. I realize that to say any positive words about Iran in the present climate of hate and distrust will be met with derision, but I truly believe we should calm down and consider carefully what is happening.

The basic issue is, of course, the possibility that Iran may make a nuclear bomb, at least that is the ostensible reason for the hysteria surrounding the situation. But consider what the situation must look like for Iranians. George W., the Dim, started the latest wave of anti Iran propaganda when he stupidly labeled Iran as part of an “axis of evil.” It seems to have taken root. We have John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” for example. AIPAC is constantly promoting war, all of the Republican candidates for their nomination, with the exception of Ron Paul, are not only in favor of attacking Iran, but apparently eager to do so. Newt Gingrich has promised that if he became President he would “hit them” for what they are doing. What they are doing is precisely what they are legally entitled to do, enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Romney has announced that if he becomes President Iran will not have a bomb. Rick Santorum, barely a hair’s breadth away from being a raving lunatic, has even accused President Obama of helping Iran to get a bomb, and has announced his intention to stop them. Both Israel and the United States have repeatedly threatened military force if they develop a bomb. In fact, Israel wants to stop them from even having the ability to make such a bomb, an obviously impossible task. To that end Israel has been systematically assassinating their nuclear scientists. They have also attacked their nuclear program with a computer virus to disrupt it as much as possible. At least one Congressman has said if Iran gets a bomb they will use it against the U.S., a claim so fantastically absurd as to make you wonder if he actually has a brain at all. And many people keep repeating that Iran is a threat, not only to Israel and the U.S., but, indeed, to the entire world! Someone else has even claimed that Iran wants to re-establish the Persian Empire! Another Congressman has announced that Iran has been at war with the U.S. for years. There seems to be no limit to what Iran can be accused of doing. Repeated over and over again is the accusation that Iran has said it wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” It is well known that is not what was said, but that is what the hawks want us to believe. And on top of all that, we have made it obvious that we would like a regime change. Consider at least a bit of history:

In 1953 the United States and the U.K., using the CIA, completed a coup in which they deposed the democratically elected leader of Iran and replaced him with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a brutal dictatorial leader that inflicted untold misery on the people, ruled until 1979 when a revolution, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, finally forced him to flee into exile. From 1980 to 1988 Iran was in a brutal war with Iraq, because Iraq had attacked them and was encouraged and aided by the United States and, although the war was not won by anyone, Iran was forced to sign an agreement to end the hostilities. Iran is believed to have suffered somewhere between 500,000 and a million casualties. For anyone to say now that Iran has been at war with the U.S. is, in a sense, true, but it is far more accurate to say the U.S. has been at war with Iran all that time. At this moment Iran is under severe sanctions and being isolated from the rest of the world, sanctions that basically will be extremely harmful mostly to civilians, including children. Is it any wonder that Iran does not want to surrender?

Iran (Persia) has had a high and cultured civilization for a very long time, since our ancestors were still dressed in the skins of animals. They have not attacked anyone for more than 200 years. They have repeatedly approached the U.S. to negotiate with them and have been rebuffed every time. They have announced they are not building a bomb and do not want to build such a bomb. The Ayatollah has said nuclear warfare is sinful, immoral. No one wants to believe him. In order to comply with Israeli demands Iran would have to give up what it is legally entitled to do. The fact that Israel and the U.S. insist Iran comply with their demands to stop enriching uranium (which they are presently doing under the watchful eye of the international community), and that Iran must be secretly trying to build a bomb is, to me at least, a tacit admission of our own wrongdoing. It is difficult to believe someone is not doing something when you know that you would do it if you were in their place. Tragically, everything Israel and the U.S. are doing is designed specifically to eventually cause Iran to do the very thing we say we do not want them to do. Our policy is so completely wrongheaded it cannot possibly succeed short of war. Of course our “Leaders” don’t care, they won’t die in it. And just think of all that delicious oil!

At least President Obama has so far resisted the pressure to attack, he has not yet kissed the hem of Netanyahu’s trousers, let us sincerely hope he will never do so. Most all the world knows that the U.S. and Israel are far more of a threat to peace than Iran, a truth that must be helping to sustain them throughout these dangerous times. Diplomacy will work with Iran if given a chance.

Note: The political system of the Islamic Republic (Iran) is based on the 1979 Constitution. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential needs, so that the course of their progress may be assured.

If this isn’t working perfectly for Iran, consider the United States, where it isn’t working at all.

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