Sunday, 27 May 2018

US Tries to Bully the World into Attacking Iran

America’s conduct towards Iran demonstrates just how much of a bully the US government is, that anything short of bending 100 percent to America’s agenda will eventually result in punishment and war.
Newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, known as an anti-Iran hawk, began the week by giving a frightening speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation, threatening Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history”' if it doesn’t capitulate to US demands. The 12 “basic requirements” Pompeo laid out, which verge on the absurd, went far beyond requiring Iran to refrain from developing nuclear weapons, which it was already doing. Among the conditions were that Iran withdraws its forces and support from groups across the Middle East that the US doesn’t like, including in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

That is never going to happen. Unlike the US, Iran is a part of the Middle East. It has every right to engage with its neighbors, certainly more of a right than the US, a country that is on the other side of the world yet constantly meddles in Middle Eastern affairs to secure its interests.

It’s also important to emphasize the difference between Iranian and American actions in the region. For the last several years, the US and its regional allies backed an armed rebellion in Syria made up of a collection of Salafi Jihadist groups in an effort to collapse the Syrian state. This policy gave rise to groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria as well as Iraq. If not for Syrian allies like Iran and Russia, the Syrian state would have likely collapsed and been taken over by Al-Qaeda or ISIS. In other words, the US made a huge mess in Syria and Iraq and Iran played a crucial role in cleaning up that mess in both countries through its support for the Syrian government and its backing of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq that were integral to the defeat of ISIS. Yet the US has the audacity to portray Iran as a destructive force in the region, when in reality it is the US and its allies that play the most disastrous role in bringing chaos to the Middle East with regime-change wars and support for Gulf monarchies, like Saudi Arabia, that spread extremism.

As for the Iran nuclear deal, it’s equally important to note that it is the US which is violating the deal against a compliant Iran, demonstrating that the price of honoring a treaty with the US is economic sanctions and potential war. That’s the message the Trump administration is sending to the world. It remains to be seen whether the European Union has the spine to stand up to the US. So far, the Europeans say they will continue to do business with Iran, uphold the Iran nuclear deal, and possibly invoke a law that allows European companies to dodge US sanctions, but whether they’ll follow through, only time will tell. 

But if the media discourse around Iran is any indication, it seems Trump’s war cabinet, led by mustachioed ultra-nationalist neoconservative hawk and newly-appointed National Security Adviser John Bolton, might get its way.


Is US Bellicosity Backfiring?

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 27th, 2018.]

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