FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Blowback Through the Looking Glass

by ROBERT WEITZEL

“If I had a world of my own . . . nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.”

– Alice in Wonderland

Alice: “You want democracy in the Middle East?”

Uncle Sam: “I do.”

Alice: “And Iran was a democracy?”

Uncle Sam: “It was.”

Alice: “With a constitution?”

Uncle Sam: “Of course!”

Alice: “But you replaced that democracy with a dictatorship?”

Uncle Sam: “ I certainly did!”

Alice: “I don’t understand you?”

Uncle Sam: “My dear, how else will democracy flourish in the Middle East?”

Alice: “It’s all so dreadfully confusing.”

In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” the White Queen assured Alice that “it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” A contemporary reader stepping into the “looking glass” world of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East may well understand the Queen’s contrariness as “blowback”—an event that appears to be without cause but is the unintended consequence of a past action. Blowback is a “sort of memory” that always works forward.

In 1953, Uncle Sam, at the behest of his British ally, stepped through the looking glass to attack Iran. The CIA’s month-long covert war deposed the popularly elected Mohammad Mossadegh and ended the Middle East’s oldest constitutional democracy.

To secure a foothold for democracy in the region—and keep oil flowing at an Anglo-American price—Uncle Sam placed Mohammad Reza Shah back on the Peacock Throne. The twenty-five years of oppressive dictatorship that followed was the “sort of memory” that came blowing back through the looking glass with the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which resulted in a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Iran and the transmogrification of Uncle Sam into “Shaytan Bozorg”—the Great Satan.

The Islamic Revolution brought to power a group of fanatically anti-Western clerics who have inspired a generation of new recruits in the war against the imperialist aggression of the West; a war that blew back through the looking glass—and the Twin Towers—as the “War on Terror.”

This June, both presumptive presidential candidates made their obligatory supplication at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington D.C. In the “looking glass” world of American politics, candidates for national office—from federal dogcatcher to the White House—cannot get elected without first being “voted in” by Israel’s representatives in the United States.

John McCain told the AIPAC audience, “The State of Israel stands . . . as the great democracy of the Middle East. [It has] thrived and . . . built a nation that’s an inspiration to free nations everywhere.”

Barack Obama told the same audience, “In a state of constant insecurity, Israel has maintained a vibrant and open discourse, and a resilient commitment to the rule of law.”

The White Queen told Alice, “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

In 1948, Uncle Sam was the first in line to recognize the birth of the State of Israel in the Land of Palestine. The birth pain of this “great [Jewish-only] democracy of the Middle East” is known to the entirety of the Arab world as the “Nakhba” (catastrophe)—the murder of 800 Palestinian Arabs in twenty-four separate Israeli terror attacks that were calculated to initiate the “ethic cleansing” of 700,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 500 villages.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied and began to illegally settle the whole of the Land of Palestine. It has since created an apartheid state whose “resilient commitment to the rule of law” has forced over four million Palestinians behind walls and beyond the reach of human rights.

In its sixty-years as an “inspiration to free nations everywhere,” Israel has yet to draft a constitution, much less a bill of rights. To do so would mean the self-destruction of the Jewish State as envisioned by the Zionist ideology that created and sustains it. If Israel is to self-destruct, it will be in an apocalyptic battle to save itself from itself.

Uncle Sam’s implicit support for Israel’s repressive policies against the Palestinian people and his overt support of Israel’s aggression against neighboring states has blown back through the looking glass with Iran’s determination to acquire the nuclear technology with which to both power and protect itself.

As AIPAC-vetted politicians vow to “totally obliterate” Iran if it continues along a nuclear path, the other side of the looking glass reveals Uncle Sam offering to help the Shah develop an Iranian nuclear weapons program in the 1970s, just as he had earlier given a wink and a nod—and no doubt assistance— as Israel began developing its now 200-strong nuclear arsenal.

Uncle Sam’s foreign policy in the Middle East has created Alice’s contrary world where “what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.” It is a world filled with the “sort of memory” that always works forward to become the stuff of nightmares and the roost for returning chickens.

Alice: “So, you ended a democracy that was and support a “democracy” that isn’t or ever will be until it ceases being a “democracy” so that democracy will flourish in a land whose only experience of democracy has been what democracy isn’t?”

Uncle Sam: “Well said!”

Alice: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

ROBERT WEITZEL is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI.  He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@mac.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
February 21, 2018
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein’s on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail