Piddling in the Think Tank

So let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Obama signed the JCPOA with Iran and other countries to get out of a tight spot. He was on the verge of being forced to go to war with Iran. That would have been a disaster. Signing this agreement was supposed to relax the tension. The agreement itself was a charade, for it was an agreement to control a nuclear program that didn’t exist. But by signing it Obama could dodge the pratfall of war. The agreement, signed in 2015, limited a program that all American spy agencies agreed had ended in 2003. This claim itself was a face-saving farce to give plausibility to their characterization of Iran’s villainy. In truth Iran never had a program to create nuclear weapons. By restricting this non-existent program Obama could say he got something in return for not going to war and so show that he was still tough in case anybody asked.

The JCPOA gave a win to Hasan Rouhani whom Obama hoped was our man in Tehran because he had defeated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an American bête noire, in Iran’s Presidential election. Rouhani had won on a promise to negotiate with the Former United States to ease sanctions on Iran. Ahmadinejad insisted it was a waste of time. Of course the real fuss was over dollar hegemony, the dollar monopoly over oil sales. Iran had rebelled from dollar hegemony and Obama thought that Rouhani, so westernized, would somehow herd them back into the corral.

Months and months of negotiations followed in a farcical hammering out of a framework to hedge a program that didn’t exist. All of Europe, Russia, and China sent diplomats to chime in. Oh those negotiators hammered away at that framework. Imagine how hard it was for the Iranians to argue their side about limiting their non-existent nuclear weapons program. After all they didn’t want to look like they gave away too much. Everyone clambered into their clown suits just to save Obama’s face. I would love to know what the non-American negotiators said to one another when they were alone during this time. But they endured this ridiculous idiocy and publicly pretended they were actually doing something all in order to make Obama look good and so allow him to escape from the mess he had stupidly stepped in. The Iranians humiliated themselves and played in this farce in order to get the deal done and so ease sanctions. When everyone thought they had gone on long enough to look like hard-nosed negotiators they signed the JCPOA and Obama didn’t have to go to war with Iran and end civilization. If human existence is a good thing then this was a win for mankind. The fig leaf was in place. It was historic. The whole world breathed a sigh of relief. The sanctions the Iranians humiliated themselves to get lifted never were, thus proving, yet again, the perfidious nature of the Former United States.

Sounds normal, right? Clowns playing Nero while the world burns. But then along comes Trump who declares that it is “the worst deal in history.” He scraps the fig-leaf deal and offers to renegotiate. Given that all the Former United States got was a fig leaf in return for not going to war, he had a point, but it seems somehow to have slipped his mind that the Former United States lost in Iraq and Afghanistan and really really needed that fig leaf. This time Trump wants to restrict Iran’s real weapons programs. But Iran noticed what happened to Gaddafi and they have a lot of enemies, all allied with the Former United States. Rouhani, and anyone who voted for him, looks like a complete fool for having gone through the rigmarole of the JCPOA. Ahmadinejad was right all along, and the JCPOA has now become a big win for him. For it revealed to all and sundry that the Former United States is not agreement capable, as he said.

So now Trump is in Obama’s mess, slip-sliding into a war with Iran that everyone with half a brain knows will destroy the world economy just for starters. But this time Obama’s way out is closed. Rouhani can’t possibly negotiate with the Former United States again, nor can anyone else in Iran. Nor can anyone else anywhere. Trump ought to write another book called, “The Art of No Deal, No Time , No Place, with Nobody.”

The real problem is that the Former United States is played out, but the deep state ( spies mostly) don’t want to admit it. They have piddled in the think tank and spoiled all the think. American influence in the Middle East is near zero. Even the Saudis are thinking of abandoning dollar hegemony. The debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere have demonstrated complete incompetence. The fates of Gaddafi, after he gave up his weapons, Saddam, after he asked April Glaspie for permission to invade Kuwait, and Noriega, after running the CIA drug trade, expose the Former United States as a double-crosser par excellence. Even if you wanted to be their lacky you can’t determine what they want. Regime change is off the table because no regime propped up by the FUS could last a month. Look at the farce in Venezuela! Look at Ukraine!

The military is hors de combat. For those who carried out American military adventures, the truth burns in the darkness. Ordinary soldiers, if they are not monsters (and many are), know their cause was unjust. In the dark, they can’t hide from themselves that they are murderers and torturers. They commit suicide in record numbers because once home, without the support of their accomplices in crime, they have to face the music or go insane. The butter of praise, for example in the middle of NBA games, only reveals to those who have committed atrocities the emptiness of the ignorant applause. Those who praise them do not know them. To accept the praise is to deny their own existence. To live with themselves they must don a permanent mask over the visage of a madman. Their faces are haunted as they stand at center court and wave to the embarrassed fans who turn away in shame.

Whether the United States betrayed its ideals, becoming the Former United States, or only pretended to have them in the first place is a question for think tankers. The ideals of states, like “American values,” (name one) are mostly bullshit to inspire patriotism anyway. The real American ideal is the lone cowboy, always going west to escape the rule of the state. In a country now run by spies, it is all about the Benjamins. In any case, the Former United States, shorn of its pretended or real idealism, is now a clockwork without a purpose, grinding on for no reason as it hurtles through space. With no purpose of its own, the Former United States was easy pickings for the Neocons who thought they were doing the bidding of Israel.

The creation of Israel is shaping up to be the biggest mistake the Jews made in 5000 years. With an extraordinary history of retaining identity in spite of having no real home, they developed remarkable skills to withstand constant hostility. Just when the west was opening up to them, Jews flocked to Zionism. It is as if the Jews, embracing “western civilization,” suddenly became Greek and agreed with Plato that man is homo politicus. Using the skills for living as strangers, they pursued with Biblical ruthlessness the project of a Jewish state. Having committed outrageous acts in Zionism’s cause while pretending to be citizens of other countries, they turned all Jews living outside Israel into agents of a foreign state. It is as if the whole Jewish people suddenly woke up to discover they were spies. Antisemitism, once thought dead, now has a visible object, and Israel cannot survive without Jews living and being accepted as citizens elsewhere.

American allies– Britain, France, Germany and others – are pooped out. The obvious stupidity and barbarism of the American adventures they supported against their own interests have left them with governments of sock puppets and lap dogs. The far right is rising all over Europe at least in part to dump the liberal political clowns that have so completely disgraced themselves in fealty to the FUS. These governments, even that of Britain, are shriveled balloons, each waiting for its own personal swat to float it into the dust bin of history. Both the Former United States and Israel tremble at the thought of a free Germany. What will happen when the true history of the Morgenthau Plan following WWII is well known?

Of all the governments waiting for a kick to send them into the dust bin of history, that of the Former United States is the most ready. For, now that the Former Soviet Union is gone, The FUS is the unique existing country to have been founded on an idea. Perhaps that idea was once fervently held, but it has long ago given way to a new idea, the Benjamins. What happens when the Benjamins turn into bubkis?


Michael Doliner studied with Hannah Arendt at the University of Chicago and has taught at Valparaiso University and Ithaca College. He can be reached at: