Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Primer On Persia
   Iran, doing business as Persia for 2,500 years and one of the world’s centers of civilization, is deemed a pariah by our pols and press.
    So what did Iran ever do to the United States?
    In 1979, radical Iranian students occupied the American embassy in Tehran, taking its staff hostage. After 444 days the hostages were released safe and sound. None said they were mistreated. The students also released thousands of embassy documents showing the intimate relationship between the U.S. and Israel and the fallen Iranian dictatorship.
    What did the U.S. ever do to Iran?
     In 1953, the CIA overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian government and restored the former shah, or king, to power. The reason was to grab Iran’s oil. For the next 25 years the shah’s regime, advised and armed by the U.S. and Israel, tortured and slaughtered thousands of its citizens while the foreign oil companies battened.
    In 1980, following the overthrow of the Shah’s dictatorship by a popular revolution, the U.S. advised and armed its then ally Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in a war of aggression against Iran that took a million lives.

   When Iraq failed to defeat Iran, the U.S. began a concerted effort to overthrow the new religious regime in Tehran that continues to this day.  Congress even openly appropriated hundreds of millions of a dollars for this effort.
    In recent years, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran with the proclaimed purpose of “strangling” its economy. In other words, bringing misery and ruin to 80 million people.

    What's the U.S. beef with Iran?
    Washington claims that Iran’s regime practices repression at home and terrorism abroad in order to gain dominance over its part of the world. At the same time, the U.S. maintains warm relations with nations in the region that are far more retrograde and repressive than Iran. As far as terrorism goes, the evidence tells us that by far the chief generator of terrorism, from 9/11 to ISIS, is the Wahabi branch of Sunni Islam centered in feudal Saudi Arabia, which, along with Israel, is America’s best kissy-face ally in the Middle East.
    What about Iran and nukes? 
     There are three possibilities: that Iran already has nuclear weapons and, like Israel, is keeping it a secret ; that, as our intelligence agencies all say, it doesn’t have them, and in fact stopped trying to build them years ago; or, as our pols and pundits endlessly repeat, that Iran has been months away from getting them for the last 36 years.
    The so-called Iran deal agreed to in Vienna would ensure that Iran doesn’t get nukes—which may be a moot point if it already secretly has them. In exchange for Iran forsaking nukes, the U.S. and its partner nations lift their trade sanctions and let Iran get back its own money that has been held by the big financial houses.
    The true reason for the deal is that, finally realizing that the current Iranian regime is not about to go away, the U.S. is now willing, as in Cuba, to recognize its existence and try to dominate it by less than military means. The hope is that Iran’s millions of well-educated young people will be willing to surrender their nation’s independence in exchange for access to consumer goods and the western lifestyle. It might work, but probably not. Iran is too big, too strong and too proud to let itself become another Honduras for apps and tablets.
    One of the greatest and most durable lessons of history is that people everywhere prefer to be ruled by their own kind. We Americans have never acknowledged that truth, preferring to believe that the other 95 percent of humanity craves American “leadership” and must be punished for not accepting it.
    I’m not particularly partial to the Iran deal. If the yahoos in congress kill it, the result will be a body blow to the American empire as countries that have already signed on to the deal like China, Germany, France, Russia and the UK realize that American “leadership” can no longer be depended upon to be wielded by grown-ups rather than by children of the corn. It's a message that the self-proclaimed 'world's greatest country' is no longer run from the White House but from the nut house called Congress. To me, that’s useful info.
    From Latin America to the old Silk Road in central Asia, independent-minded countries are creating economic work-arounds to diminish their dealings with a fading but still avid American empire. A failed Iran deal will only add allies and make them increase their efforts.