As the dust settles on Donald Trump’s latest high octane game of chicken with the Islamic Republic, an eerie calm seems to have risen like fog from Soleimani’s grave to take its place. But while the whole world exhales, war nerds like myself struggle like David Carradine to find the loop to loosen the belt around our throats. That’s because deep down in our wonky ill-nourished guts we know that this shit is far from over.
Unlike Trump’s usual foreign policy impulses, that seem to be governed more by techno-Tourette’s syndrome and penile insecurity than anything resembling a sane strategy, there is a very sick method to the madness when it comes to his dance with Iran, and that’s because the clumsy footed fuck is dutifully following the same choreography as George W. Bush. The choreography of slow consistent escalation that can only end in the most devastating war the world has seen since the fall of Germany’s Third Reich and the rise of Uncle Sam’s Fourth. Trump may be a pathologically unbalanced wild card on every issue from abortion to bathroom etiquette, but he still takes his marching orders from the same Zionist piggy bank as the neocons he won 2016 mocking.
Every step Trump has taken since entering the topographic maze of Pennsylvania Avenue has been tailor made to provoke Iran into the genre of open warfare they have masterfully avoided since their Reagan era bloodbath with Trump’s Middle Eastern counterpart Saddam Hussein. The violation of the Nuclear Deal. The escalation of the Shia genocide in Yemen. The recognition of colonial Jerusalem. The build up of troops to fight our own former proxies in neighboring Iraq. The Gulf of Tonkin games in the Strait of Hormuz. And now the calculated cold blooded murder of Iran’s greatest strategist, the man who designed the Islamic Republic’s cagey Fourth Generation foreign policy which has made a fantastic fool of the nation’s most fearsome foes.
According to Iraq’s embattled PM, Qassem Soleimani died on his way to peace talks with his Saudi adversaries that Trump himself encouraged. He was shot down in the most chickenshit cowardly ambush our government has thrown since J. Edna plied John Dillinger to the Biograph Theater with a whore in red. There is no going back from this one, kiddies. The dye is cast. The only question left worth asking now is what do we, the few proud anti-imperialists living in the belly of the beast, do about it? How do we prevent World War 3?
We certainly have the numbers on our side. Every poll from here to Sunday makes it abundantly clear that Americans are not willing to follow our fearless leader into the killing fields of Persia, not after the Iraq fiasco. So this should be easy, right? Wrong. Liberal democracy has been carefully constructed to be the most effective form of authoritarianism in the history of mankind. That’s because it’s a prison built out of mirages of myth and illusion, rather than the cold rebar enforced stucco of vulgar totalitarianism. Their is quite simply no need for bars once you’ve convinced a populace that safety and security only exists within the cozy confines of their cells.
One has to look no further than Trump himself, a man so vile to the very establishment he belongs to that a third Red Scare was needed just to keep him and his followers in line on the dogma of the New Cold War. But he’s jumped through every hoop like a purebred Clintonian on Iran for the cold hard cash of men like Sheldon Adelson, men like the shadowy nameless creatures who have made the social democratic Donald, Bernie Sanders, the largest recipient of defense industry donations in 2020, even as the system hedges its bets by tossing tacks onto his campaign trail. The sad reality is that voting don’t mean jack-shit when the banks own the ballots. To quote Neil Young “….We’re finally on our own.”
So what do we do then, dearest motherfuckers? To be dangerously frank, whatever the fuck it takes. That’s how we pulled our troops from Indochina in the early Seventies. Sure, cunts like Ken Burns will have you believing it was the work of thoughtful politicians and banjo-strumming pacifists, but every successful social upheaval in history has been the beneficiary of a diversity of tactics. America didn’t suddenly come to its senses on Vietnam, it was terrified that not leaving those jungles would mean losing control of the mothership.
Kids were clogging the Capitol streets with Vietcong flags and repurposed football helmets while whole platoons were turning their guns against the officer class and refusing to die for them or their stupid fucking war. Sure, the American public was gradually won over by the Quixotic non-violent street theatre of the Yippies, Woodstock and the McGovern campaign. But, as disturbing as it might sound, that public support had to be weaponized by the incendiary propaganda of the Weather Underground, Stonewall and the Days of Rage, creating a culture of near apocalyptic upheaval permeating every corner of the zeitgeist. Even then, it wasn’t enough to end the slaughter. It simply forced Custer to take to the sky and blitz millions of yellow people charcoal black before starving them with near genocidal sanctions.
Judging by the statistics of the war machine’s own optics on the results of a hypothetical American ground invasion of Iran, I’m willing to bet that this will be the likely strategy of today’s blood thirsty mandarins. A devastating air war on Iranian infrastructure coupled with the kind of crippling sanctions we’re already seeing. The results will be genocidal. Iran won’t exactly be conquered, it will simply be reduced to a garish and malleable slush of shattered dreams and mutilated viscera.
It’s these kind of moral revelations, along with the fact that the Helter Skelter of the Summer of Hate broke far too many good eggs, that convinces me that the anti-imperialist movement in this country needs to do more than just tear a page from the SDS playbook, we need to write a whole new chapter. We need to take a page from the book of Soleimani and develop our own form of Fifth Generation Warfare. We need to use the theatre of the New Left without the careless body count. We need to bring the war home, but only the parts of it worth fighting. The civilian militias of Muqtada and Hezbollah. The popular occupations of enemy embassies by the rowdy youths of Bagdad. The regional drop-out autonomy of Rojava. I’m not saying things wont get ugly. We must prepare ourselves for that eventuality. But we don’t need to be the ones who make it ugly.
I guess it goes without saying that I’ve always been a bit more Malcolm X than Martin Luther King, but lets face it, dearest motherfuckers, the war on Iran has already begun. We need to bring that war home to end it, but we need to fight it right. It’s the only way we’ll deserve to win.