It’s now beginning to look like, maybe, just maybe (if we’re really, really lucky) we may be able to get through the remainder of this year without launching another preemptive war in the Middle East, this time against Iran. Don’t count on it completely: the Bush Administration has all but promised a war with Iran before the end of Bush’s term. But, with our economy in virtual meltdown and our military already strained to the breaking point, practical reality might actually intervene and save us from another pointless and bloody war. This despite the fact the Bush Administration and the Israeli lobby passionately want to start a war against Iran.
Yet amazingly, most Iranians do not hate America, despite what America has done to harm their country. They may hate the regime in Washington, but they don’t hate most Americans, whom they see, correctly, as misguided serfs serving an evil master.
Consider what America has done to Iran. In the 1950’s, our CIA initiated and sustained a movement that overthrew the democratically elected President of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh (who had earlier been Time’s “Man of the Year”).
What followed was twenty-five years of dictatorship under our personally-chosen satrap, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who called himself the “Shah-an-Shah” (King of Kings). This strutting peacock of a tyrant (actually sitting on something called the “Peacock Throne”), created Savak, a secret police known for particular expertise in cruelty (trained, once again, by the CIA, quite possibly with assistance from Mossad).
Finally, unable to stand it anymore, the Iranian people rose up in revolution. They lurched for the first leader, any leader, who could lead them. Unfortunately, as with most revolutions, the new leader was not much of an improvement: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who instituted a harsh version of Shariah Law.
In the long run, however, Iran has evolved into a form of democracy, though the religious elites still clearly hold all the cards. Young people, clearly wanting a relaxation of some of the stricter tenets of Shi’a Islam, has demanded and gotten some liberalization of the law.
In the early 1980’s, our heroic leaders in Washington took up an alliance with a fellow named Saddam Hussein, supreme ruler of Iraq, supplying him with weaponry, including the raw components to make chemical weapons. There is strong evidence that the CIA helped Hussein in his bid for power, viewing him as a malleable tyrant who could be controlled.
Hussein (likely with CIA encouragement) launched a war against Iran. One of the more horrendous wars of the war-plagued twentieth century, the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s resulted in well over a million dead. Both sides used chemical weapons. (The oft-repeated claim that Hussein used chemical weapons “against his own people” was actually disputed at the time by our own CIA, which believed the chemical weapons used at Halabja actually came from attacking Iranian forces.) Iran, using human-wave battlefield tactics, with many soldiers in their early teens, managed to reach a stalemate against a much better-equipped and supplied Iraq.
Yet amazingly, most Iranians do not hate America. They may hate our ruling caste in Washington, but they understand that the American people outside of Washington are not their enemies.
Now, Iranians are subjected to yet another barrage of lies from the current American regime. They are said to be producing nuclear weapons, though there is not a shred of evidence this is true. The American administration has learned that facts don’t matter; a mere accusation, so long as it engenders terror in the mind-numbed American electorate, is sufficient for their purposes.
Iran, which has not invaded another country in over two centuries, is accused of wanting to rule the Middle East. Its economy, which has a GNP about on par with Denmark’s, could not build or sustain a modern war machine, even if Iran’s leaders wanted war, which they have stated repeatedly they don’t. But statements against war fall on deaf ears when they reach the Washington establishment.
Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad (whose name most American leaders don’t even bother to try to pronounce correctly) is accused of wanting to “wipe Israel off the map.” This alleged quotation was debunked almost immediately as a bad translation, yet the blood-soaked right wing in America continues to parrot the line almost daily. The actual quotation stated that the regime in Jerusalem would vanish from the pages of time–hardly the same thing as saying “wiped off the map.”
Ahmadi-Nejad is, predictably, called a “tyrant” and “the next Hitler” despite the fact he doesn’t even wield much power in Iran, and has no military authority whatsoever. But again, with the American propaganda machine, basic truthfulness doesn’t matter. Even the President of Columbia, allegedly a school that tolerates opposing views, rudely introduced Ahmadi-Nejad as an aspiring “dictator” at a speech there.
Barack Obama, in a rare, unrehearsed, off-the-cuff moment, correctly said that Iran is a tiny country, and not a threat the US, and that, sure, he would sit down and meet with Ahmadi-Nejad. Why not? Boy, did he ever learn quickly the power of the Israeli lobby. Within a day or so, he had to give the obligatory speech in which he called Iran a “grave threat.” He had to immediately replace a gaffe (also known as “speaking an unpopular truth”) with the official, anti-Iranian propaganda line.
Yet amazingly, most Iranians don’t hate America. What an amazingly patient people they must be!