United States foreign policy is never fair or just, but at least, under previous administrations, it was somewhat predictable. Any country that elected a socialist leader would be destabilized until one more pleasing to the U.S., often barbarically cruel, could be installed there. Countries with oil in the Middle East would be bombed. Israel would get astronomical amounts of funding from U.S. tax dollars.
Under the current imperial leader, the unstable and bombastic president, Donald Trump, the violence continues, but where and when it will manifest itself is sometimes puzzling. In various ‘Tweets’ and other statements, Trump threatens Iran with complete destruction, something his National Security Advisor, the unhinged John Bolton, and the evangelical pseudo-Christian Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (who worships at the Israeli altar), take great glee in. On the other hand, he wants to keep a campaign promise of not starting any more wars. This dichotomy has lead news pundits to proclaim that the revolving door of the White House is soon to swing again, with Bolton and/or Pompeo finding themselves on the outside looking in. What’s the leader of the most violent nation on the planet to do?
Trump has reissued cruel sanctions against Iran, in violation of U.S. law, since the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was approved by Congress, and can only be rescinded by Congress. U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA also violates international law. But when you are Donald Trump, the rules don’t apply to you. This is true of every president, but most of them tried to be a bit more discreet about it. But Trump seems to believe that by attempting to cripple the Iranian economy, the government of Iran will come crawling to him, to negotiate a new deal; after all, Trump proclaims himself the world’s best at making deals.
Why, one might reasonably ask, would Iran, or any other government on earth, make a deal with the United States? Hasn’t Trump proven that the U.S. government’s word is meaningless? Trump has said he is willing to talk to the leaders of Iran, to resolve the issues that, in his mind and that of his deranged advisors and followers, threaten the very existence of the mighty United States.
If Trump & Co. really want to bring Iran to the bargaining table, this writer has a suggestion that might just get them there: honor the JCPOA. Yes, remove the sanctions and stop threatening allies with sanctions if they trade with Iran. Then, perhaps, the U.S. president could, through diplomatic channels, contact the leaders of Iran, and state that, while the JCPOA was and is an excellent agreement, there are one or two other points the U.S. would like to discuss.
Despite this suggestion, this writer hastens to say that he firmly believes that the government of Iran, like every nation, has the right and responsibility to protect its borders and its citizens. Therefore, in the case of Iran, having defensive weapons strong enough to deter and defeat any onslaught by the U.S. or Israel is of paramount importance. And while this writer also believes that the fewer nuclear weapons in existence, the safer we all are, he also believes that if Israel and the U.S., two violent, rogue states, have them, then Iran should as well.
It has been said that for Iran to comply with U.S. demands, it would cease to be Iran. Well, that’s just fine with the U.S.; for nearly three decades, after the U.S. overthrew the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and installed the brutal Shah of Iran as monarch, Iran did whatever the U.S. wanted. Who, in the U.S. government, ever cared that for twenty-six years the Shah brutally oppressed the people of Iran? Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, until 2015, the U.S. never ceased its aggression and hostility towards that nation. Finally, in that year, the JCPOA was signed, when President Barack Obama initiated overtures to Iran. Say what you will about Obama (and heaven knows there is plenty to say; his hands, like those of all his predecessors, are soaked in blood), at least he did reach out to Iran, for the improvement of the lives of common Iranians and to reduce one of the many hostilities the U.S. seems to love having.
But wait! If the U.S. and a few other nations talked Iran into giving up its nuclear program, one that Iranian officials have always said was for peaceful purposes, and not to create nuclear weapons, and if such action was said to improve the safety of the world, who could possibly object to it? Ah! Israel, of course!
Israel’s brutal, racist, long-term prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying for literally decades that Iran is just this close to creating nuclear weapons. Israel has even assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists. One wonders how the U.S. would react if, say, France sent assassins to Washington, D.C. to murder nuclear scientists. But Netanyahu was welcomed to the halls of the Democratic-controlled Congress to speak of the evils of the JCPOA, and urge Congress to vote against it. Alas, it was not to be! While much of Congress is bought and paid for by Israeli lobbies, those same Congress members faced a dilemma: do Israel’s bidding, thus handing their Democratic president a political defeat, or defy Israel, thus risking further campaign contributions, but providing a victory for Obama. (It continues to puzzle this writer how such a thing is a ‘defeat’ or ‘victory’ for any individual; should not all legislation be a victory for the people?). Ultimately, they decided to go with their fellow-Democrat, Obama, and disappoint the Zionist racist, Netanyahu.
But that was then; this is now. Trump withdrew from the JCPOA against the advice of all his advisors (all of whom have since departed the White House for greener pastures), the other signatories to the agreements, and the entire international community with the exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia. U.S. spokespeople, representing the most violent country in the world, accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism. A puzzling charge indeed, when made by the U.S., currently bombing multiple countries, occupying and terrorizing Afghanistan, and supporting and financing terrorists in Syria and Venezuela. Iran assists its allies, and has not invaded another country since 1798; yes, that is 221 years ago.
What is next for the United States? Will Trump be persuaded to walk the nation off the cliff by invading Iran? Can he have any cognizance of Iran’s strength, and that of its allies, including Russia? Does he really want to sacrifice countless lives, including those of U.S. soldiers, to please Israel?
Time will answer these questions; it is to be hoped that the answers do not mean more war, violence and bloodshed in the Middle East and around the world. Any invasion of Iran by the U.S. or Israel would have catastrophic consequences throughout the Middle East and the U.S., and could lead to a worldwide conflagration. One hopes that even the unstable and deluded Trump can see this, and will not pull the trigger to initiate such a disaster.