Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Alternative Isn't Pretty

Peace With Persia

Iran has legitimate aspirations that need to be respected--
but those legitimate aspirations do not include control over
the oil that the United States and other industrial countries need.
--Henry Kissinger, Washington Post. 9/16/07

Iranians regularly attend mosque where they proclaim “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Their president regularly claims that the Jewish holocaust never happened and that Israel must be erased from the map as were the USSR and the Union of South Africa. On the other side, many Israelis are actually hubristic enough to believe that 70 million Iranians are eager to nuke Israel and thereby commit mass suicide and destroy their 5,000-year-old civilization for the 30 minutes of schadenfreude they might relish before retaliatory Israeli and U.S. nukes lift them to paradise.
Meanwhile, Israel regularly threatens to bomb Iran if it gets near getting the bomb. The White House regularly warns Iran with war if it keeps developing the bomb. And U.S. intelligence keeps repeating that Iran gave up its bomb program in 2003.
Ah, that we were merely talking about threats. A couple of years back, Bush got congress to vote $400 million to effect regime change in Iran. That means overthrowing their elected government by outside force, a longtime but spotty specialty of ours. The recent suicide bombings of high-ranking Revolutionary Guards officers in the disputatious Baluchistan border region of Iran by a faction that Seymour Hersch of The New Yorker and Brian Ross of ABC News have named as CIA assets seem to indicate that Obama is still spending that appropriation.
This admix of provocation and posturing has been going on for 30 years. I’d be happy to see it continue for another 30 or 50 or 100 years if it meant avoiding a big and brutal war.
Iran is governed by a nasty right-wing theocracy of the sort that Christian yahoos dream of establishing here. It treats its own people stupidly and brutally. Given all that, it’s an anarchist hippie love commune compared to our kissyface ally, the medieval hell hole of Saudi Arabia. What’s more, Iran is one of the more peaceful nations on earth. The present regime hasn’t attacked another country in its three decades in power. Indeed, Iran, nee Persia, has not attacked anyone in 250 years. For most of that time it has been on the receiving end of imperial aggression, having most recently been invaded in 1980 by Saddam’s Iraq in cahoots with Reagan’s America.
True, the Iranians sponsor various armed factions in their neck of the woods. But who doesn’t? Israeli rented satraps ran a rump state in Lebanon for 22 years. Our Pentagon contractors wallow in pig heaven from profitably arming every every macher and mullah from Haifa to the Himalayas
Iran could end this standoff tomorrow. It has only to announce that it’s giving away its oil to Exxon and Chevron, its security services to Israel, and its military to Pentagon contractors to rebuild and rearm it with zillions of dollars worth of American weapons. Media bad-mouthing of Iran would end as abruptly and totally as it did when Nixon showed up in Red China, which up until that day had been portrayed as the most evil regime in the history of the universe.
The cuter Ayatollahs would show up on Comedy Central, Leno and The View. Ahmadinejad would start dating Britney Spears. Nobody in America would henceforth give a hoot about whether Iran really had nukes. The poor devils the ayatollahs tortured and killed would be depicted as troublemakers deserving their fate.
The crisis would also end if Washington and Wall Street accepted the reality that after 30 years Iran was not about to surrender its oil to Henry Kissinger’s clients and revert to an obedient component of the empire. But though Obama talks about talking to Tehran, he, like Bush, apparently thinks he can still threaten and terrorize the Iranians as well. Not likely.
There’s a new line-up of forces in the world that can’t be stopped by Predator drones or clones of Teddy Roosevelt. The U.S. is insolvent and energy short. Iran and its proleptic partners, China, Russia and Venezuela, are rich in both real and black gold. Washington can’t even handle 14th century Afghanistan let alone an energy and economic alliance of that proportion. I hope Obama gets around to figuring out that it’s time to make peace with the Persians. Otherwise, he could easily get us into something we really hate and fear: a fair fight.