ACK! Bush urges Iran to “come clean.”
OK, I had to respond to today’s headline, so my post on the Congo is going to have to wait. The Congo War (1998-present) has been called “The Forgotten War” because it simply isn’t on the radar in the western media. Millions dead, millions displaced, most people have never even heard of it. So I guess in a way by putting the post off another day, I am also guilty of same. On the other hand, at least I mention it from time to time.
Anyhow, this was too good to pass up because it really illustrates how this game is played by the USA. A quick update, a few days ago a new US military report concluded that Iran had given up their nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure. This is basically what the UN inspectors have been saying as well, so it is more evidence that Iran is indeed living up to its treaty obligations under international law.
How did the USA respond to this positive news? In an entirely predictable manner, Bush said it’s not enough. And this will be his response to anything Iran does to comply with our demands. Ten million UN inspectors could walk across Iran hand in hand and inspect every inch of the country, and Bush would simply claim we needed to do a body cavity search of every Iranian. The point here, is that it simply doesn’t matter what Iran does, the USA is never going to accept the current regime in Tehran. Let me repeat myself, this “crisis” is not about what Iran is doing or might be doing, it’s about the USA not accepting the legitimacy of the Iranian regime.
So this whole situation frustrates me for at least two major reasons. The first is that so many people accept the mainstream narrative that this is about Iran trying to “take over the middle east” or meddle in Lebanon or support terror or whatever. Iran isn’t doing anything the USA and Israel aren’t doing a thousand times over, so this is basically the pot calling the kettle black. This isn’t really about Iran at all, it’s about the USA trying to topple the theocracy in Iran. And it might even be about the USA setting itself up to justify a military attack on Iran, though the jury is still out on that one.
Secondly, this is frustrating because it is a pointless and maybe even counterproductive strategy. As regimes go Iran is one of the less troublesome ones, we are far better off integrating them into the world community than isolating them, some of our supposed allies have done far more to spread chaos and nuclear technology willy nilly around the world. The Iranian regime has actually tried to be a member of the world community in good standing. They have signed and complied the the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, again, unlike several key US allies. They are in a position to cause us great trouble in Iraq, or make life there difficult beyond belief. If left in peace, it’s in their interest to support our regime in Baghdad, and governments for the most part can be reliably expected to act in their own best interests.
Unless they get so powerful and or ideologically driven that they blind themselves to the negative consequences of their actions. Which unfortunately is what largely appears to be going on in Washington. So I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I do know that it really doesn’t matter how many concessions the Iranians make, it won’t be enough. I can only hope that we make it through the next year or so without someone in Washington or Tehran doing something rash that could be used as a pretext for wider violence. I’m not saying the people running Iran are saints, don’t get me wrong on that. There do not appear to be any countries run by saints, but I digress.
Taking a broader view, for the Risk players out there, I’m currently seeing the situation in the Middle East and Central Asia as analogous to a game of Risk. And it’s at that point in the game where one player (in this case the USA) thinks they have enough pieces and cards to sweep the board clean of enemy pieces and win the game. And as often happens in the game of Risk, the enemy got a lot of good rolls when we invaded Iraq, and we lost a lot of pieces. It was pretty exciting, but finally we got some good rolls in Iraq. (Well, that’s debatable but it’s my analogy, so bear with me.)
So now the American player has a decision to make, does he still have enough cards and pieces to carry on with his sweep of the world, and invade Iran, or should he pass the dice and regroup? I hear the Bush family played a lot of games when they were kids, I hope ol George was good at Risk.
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