Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Iranian Hysteria

I wonder why we just don’t admit we have no intention of negotiating with Iran and stop pretending. Khomeini has apparently turned down the offer of bilateral negotiations with the U.S., saying very clearly Iran cannot negotiate as long as they are being constantly threatened by the U.S. So what does our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, do? He begins by threatening Iran, making demands in advance, and, of course, making it impossible for anything positive to happen. This pattern seems to have repeated itself several times in the past few years. The U.S. threatens and makes demands, Iran resists, and, as I believe happened in at least one case, when Iran did not resist the U.S. withdrew the offer. This makes no sense to me unless you assume we do not truly wish to negotiate.
The U.S., and apparently at least some other countries, keep insisting Iran is attempting to build a nuclear bomb even though there is no evidence whatsoever this is true. Khomeini has said more than once they have no intention of building a bomb, evidence indicates this is so, but no one wants to believe it. Now it turns out there is some concern in Europe that their missile defense system may be flawed and might not protect them from Iranian missiles. What Iranian missiles? There is no reason whatsoever to believe Iran is about to attack Europe with missiles, none at all. And remember the excuse we were giving for building a missile shield system in Poland to protect Russia from Iranian missiles. There was, again, no reason to believe Iran was going to attack Russia. Nor is there any rational reason to believe Iran is about to attack Israel and certainly not the U.S., so why all the hysteria?
Personally, I believe there is a genuine element of racism involved in this peculiar situation. It seems predicated on the notion that Iranians are stupid, that if they had a bomb they would immediately begin to attack everyone, especially Israel and the U.S., apparently too stupid to understand they would immediately cease to exist. They are certainly not stupid enough to believe they could win against the overwhelming might of the U.S., Israel, and most of Europe. Iran has not attacked anyone for over 200 years, can we say the same? The IAEA has been monitoring the Iran program for years and have said they are complying with international rules, thus verifying they are apparently not trying to cheat and build a bomb. But still no one seems to believe them, seeming to believe instead that they are liars. As it is impossible for the IAEA to prove absolutely, beyond any doubt whatsoever, they “might” not be telling the truth, they cannot be believed. We demand in advance they do as we want and if they refuse they are the problem, they must be liars, cheats, and stupid. Now that’s the way to negotiate, especially if you have no desire to actually achieve anything.
And of course all the while the Israelis, along with the Neocons, are demanding we start bombing immediately, “before it is too late.” Too late to keep them from doing something they are apparently not doing. When you have someone like John McCain singing “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” and comparing their leaders to monkeys, while his woosie sidekick, Lindsey Graham, apparently just as bloodthirsty, echoing the same sentiments and bowing to Netanyahu’s demands that we attack Iran on Israel’s behalf,  can you wonder the Iranians might have reason to be concerned? Don’t forget the sanctions, now killing innocent Iranian women and children, another attempt to make them comply with our demands. Why should they have to negotiate over whether or not we kill their children, especially when we are not even at “war” with them? Killing Iranian children because of some paranoid Israeli fantasy is, at least in my opinion, even beyond immoral (it that is possible).  
It seems to me there is some kind of strange culture-bound “hysterical psychosis” affecting Western-Europeans, a form of temporary madness preventing us from acting rationally towards Iran. I also suspect part of the problem is the tendency on the part of many to confuse Iranians with Arabs, or lump them together. Thus Iranians, who are not Arabs, are unfortunately subjected to the same negative (and totally unfair) stereotype Westerners have long imposed on Arabs. I suggest this particular affliction is characteristic primarily of Western-European males who are middle-aged or older who have never overcome their stereotypical racist beliefs about citizens of the Middle East, especially Arabs (and especially including Palestinians).
Of course this whole pretense of negotiation has little or nothing to do with whether or not Iran is trying to produce a bomb. It has to do primarily with the Iranian threat to Western-European hegemony in the Middle East. Unless the Iranians are willing to concede that hegemony beforehand there can be no true negotiations. And of course if they did concede that in advance there would not really be negotiations because negotiations by their very nature imply a process taking place between equals. Khomeini understands this, the U.S. either does not or does not want to acknowledge it. Thus there will be no meaningful negotiations with Iran, the hysteria will continue, and unless President Obama can keep his head on straight in the midst of the crazies (including Netanyahu) there could even be another stupid, unnecessary and immoral “war” in the Middle East.

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