FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Won’t Iran Act Like Our Enemy?

What a bad week for the war party. Darn you, Iran! The country that the armchair warriors most love to hate refuses to play the villain’s role assigned by the neoconservatives, “humanitarian” interventionists, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the establishment media.

First Iran quickly released 10 U.S. sailors whose armed boats had violated Iran’s territorial waters near the militarily sensitive Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. (Never mind why the boats were there; the official explanation keeps changing, but don’t dare suggest the reason was anything but innocent.)

Next Iran was found in full compliance with the nuclear agreement, killing its nonexistent nuclear-weapons program.

Then it released five Americans held in Iran in exchange for seven Iranians held in American prisons. (None of the 12 should have been jailed.)

What’s a war party to do when the Official Enemy won’t act like it? Where are militarists who seek the presidency to turn if they can’t count on their tacit allies, Iran’s hardliners, to sabotage the constructive actions of the reasonable Iranian president and foreign minister?

The U.S. government and its closest ally, Israel, have threatened to attack Iran for decades. Meanwhile they have conducted covert, proxy, and cyber war against the Islamic Republic. But Iran wouldn’t take the bait. George W. Bush hoped to bomb Iran into regime-change before he left office, but the U.S. intelligence apparatus documented that Iran was not building a nuclear weapon, leaving Bush’s plans in tatters.

The warmongers just can’t catch a break, but Iran’s un-enemy-like conduct doesn’t deter them. As true-believers, they are unfazed by facts.

Hillary Clinton is to be included in this group. In one of her presidential debates she listed Iran among the enemies she’s most proud to have made  — odd coming from a former secretary of state who says she helped prepare for the nuclear talks. In the midst of the good news last weekend, she called for new sanctions because Iran had tested a long-range allegedly nuclear-capable missile in supposed violation of a UN resolution. (The Obama administration obliged, although Iran protests that the missile is not nuclear-capable.)

It unclear why the arms-merchant United States and its Mideast allies are allowed to have long-range missiles, but Iran is not. It’s also unclear why that UN resolution is so special when the U.S. government has no problem with Israel’s 50-year-old defiance of UN resolutions regarding the oppressed Palestinians. Israel, of course, is the Middle East’s nuclear monopolist, refuses (unlike Iran) to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and thus is not subject to inspections, as Iran long has been. One also wonders what Iran could do with a long-range missile armed with a conventional warhead except to perhaps deter the long-threatened U.S. attack. Iran has a small military budget and no offensive capability.

The Republican presidential contenders saw aggression in everything the Iranians did last week and appeasement in everything President Obama did. We should be accustomed to such nonsense by now. You’d have thought Iran crossed into American waters or repeatedly threatened the United States. If under similar circumstances an American president did what the Republicans apparently think Iran should have done — presumably, ignore the intruding boats — they’d be screaming for impeachment. If, as they say, Turkey was justified in shooting down Russian military jets that briefly violated its airspace (it wasn’t), why are they upset when Iran peacefully apprehends armed U.S. naval craft in their waters?

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio all struck tough-guy poses, demonstrating once more why they and Clinton must be kept far from U.S. military power. Against Iran, the Republicans expressed their support for the barbaric theocratic Saudi Arabia, although it subsidizes bin Ladenites and commits genocide with U.S. support in Yemen.

Contrary to the hawks, Iran is the aggrieved party in the relationship with the United States. It tried to cooperate with America many times, including after 9/11, but was rebuffed consistently.

To be sure, Iran’s regime is an authoritarian theocracy, but Saudi Arabia is worse. Tehran, not Riyadh, has churches and synagogues, and Iranian women have far more freedom than Saudi women. Iran’s regime, an unfortunate reaction to CIA subversion of Iranian secular democracy in 1953, is no threat to Americans.

It’s past time for detente. If Israeli and Saudi Arabia don’t like it, too bad.

More articles by:

Sheldon Richman, author of America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.  He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

January 23, 2019
Paul Street
Time for the U.S. Yellow Vests
Charles McKelvey
Popular Democracy in Cuba
Kenn Orphan
The Smile of Class Privilege
Leonard Peltier
The History Behind Nate Phillips’ Song
Kenneth Surin
Stalled Brexit Goings On
Jeff Cohen
The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?
Cira Pascual Marquina
Chavez and the Continent of Politics: a Conversation with Chris Gilbert
George Ochenski
Turning Federal Lands Over to the States and Other Rightwing Fantasies
George Wuerthner
Forest Service Ignores Science to Justify Logging
Raouf Halaby
In the Fray: Responses to Covington Catholic High
Kim C. Domenico
No Saviors But Ourselves; No Disobedience Without Deeper Loyalty
Ted Rall
Jury Trial? You Have No Right!
Michael Doliner
The Pros and Cons of Near Term Human Extinction
Lee Ballinger
Musical Unity
Elliot Sperber
The Ark Builders
January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail