At War's Door: Confusion or Deliberate Duality in Reading Iran

Category: Featured, Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini Views: 4432

Ever since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Iran emerged in the world scene in February 22 1979, doubts, suspicions, insinuations, insults, threats and attacks have stalked it. In self defense, it forfeited the precious lives of hundreds of thousands of her citizens and unaccounted billions in wealth. While Saddam's Iraq was forced to pay billions in reparation ($53 b) to Kuwait for an occupation that lasted for seven months (August 2, 1990 - February 27, 1991), it paid nothing for eight years of a more vicious, humanly far more catastrophic, equally unjustified war on Iran.

To some habituated with post-Bolshevik adventures, the revolution was never good enough. To others beholden to the French and American revolutions, it was too arcane and anachronistic. Political scientists and journalists in vogue then had no clue where it had descended from and where it was headed. Being non European in its basis, it suffered from a lack of intellectual pedigree to say the least. Gradually and inexorably, the nobility of its effort was undermined. Thus, over time with sheer exhaustion in the face of dismissiveness, disinformation and misinformation, even some of her supporters began to think that it was a revolution that was too good to be true. Its survival instinct caused it to circle the wagons. The vaunted promise of freedom to even the Communists was soon abandoned as being too ambitious and romantic in the face of a Marxist counter revolution. Other counter-revolutionaries also took their hits as they placed their own set of barriers against the front-line of the core group of Iran's revolutionary undertaking. Hence, soon the picture was complete. It was a faulty undertaking riddled with faults. Harsh, inefficient, ineffective and prehistoric! Just as it had arrived from no-where, it was destined to disappear into no-where.

That, however, is yet to happen! Both the outsiders from the outside and those from the inside never fully understood, believed or accepted how the marriage and conception of the Iranian Revolution happened. They may have witnessed its birth, but they never understood the secret that crystallized it. What would explain such a failure? Hubris, for one, a lack of religiosity, for another, and a total lack of appreciation of the fundamental appeal of Islam and its historical presence among the Iranian people would give us three reasons. Furthermore, a lack of short-run view among its leadership and an overt lack of appeal to materialism in its basics really made this revolution unfathomable and unreasonable. Even as it established political freedom and granted adult franchise, allowed for property rights and free market, things the western republics and monarchies had pursued universally, they were not seen as causes to be espoused and outcomes to be appreciated. Like some food, despite its virtue, they were not kosher. Fearing that any praise would constitute an endorsement, eschewing silence as a matter of decorum, bad mouthing, second guessing and cynicism became the norm of all subsequent "coverage" on Iran. Barring the rare few, so much for truth telling and the Fourth State!

That inertia now promises a fertile ground among the people of a wide range of western countries for waging yet another unaccountable war, this time against Iran. The moral and intellectual hollowness here parallels that which existed in the extermination of European Jews, uprooting of Native Americans and the Aborigines and the 300 year long incarceration of the once proud West African people in the Americas. The first question at this time is why is it happening on the heels of Iraq and Afghanistan? The second question is why is it happening at all?

The immediate reason, it appears, is Israel's strategy to buy time so that the exhausted and utterly disenfranchised Palestinians become a permanent diaspora floating outside of the West Bank, if not Gazzah. With Egypt neutralized from speaking up, it would be ideal to prevent any other country from even speaking up for the Palestinians. Thus, the Iraq war bought Israel 10 years of precious time in executing that strategy. Another 10 years would work wonders toward that end. It already has had 20 years since the Oslo Treaty. The GCC countries have all been basically co-opted. According to her planners, it seems, the remaining countries will be easy to manipulate. Now, the "roving" journalist, Pepe Escobar, writing in The Asia Times on Jan 20, 2012 [The US-GCC Fatal Attraction] makes two points about the GCC and the US that are telling in understanding a non-defense of Israel based justification for vilifying Iran. The fact that GCC collects its oil revenue in dollars rather than a mixture of currencies gives value to and stabilizes the US dollar. Secondly, by 2013 the GCC is likely to hold about $ 3.8 trillion in foreign exchange reserve. Should oil price hit a high of $100 per barrel, this GCC reserve could grow to "staggering" $ 5.7 trillion, exceeding that of China by well over a trillion dollars. Thus, with all this money invested in western asset holdings, a politically repressive but stable ally in GCC is very much in the US interest.

However, to those politicians and journalists who are willing to sacrifice their first-born to alleviate Israel's concocted existential crisis, two words of caution. First, nobody imagined that Egypt would assert its independence and correct its peace-time relationship with Israel. Secondly, nobody also thought that Turkey, the much touted secular leader nation for Muslims, would become a turncoat and turn on Israel. In fact, Rick Perry's name-calling of Turkey in South Carolina's Republican debate held on MLK Day was not in response to a real international relations question. It was a masked threat from AIPAC to Turkey. If it did not watch out, Turkey could be reduced to next Iraq or Iran by the irascible Israel. Perhaps it could even instigate Kurdish rebel forces from Northern Iraq to attack Turkey's military as it is capable of feeding and fomenting others from that region to punish Iran. Does one really think that all Muslims nations will roll over and play dead forever? How many more surprises will one need to witness in order to understand that a reality is at play here? Muslims exist and Islam matters to them.

The other reason is an unrecognized fallacy into which many western intellectuals and reporters have landed themselves. The official primary reason why the US objects to Iran is its theocratic-politics. I dub it "official" because it may not be the real reason. Afterall, the US coexists with other theocratic as well as inordinately secular and ex-Marxist states. So, there is no coherence why the US detests Iran so much. Of course, legitimizing Iran would stabilize it and make it more successful and appealing. Then what would happen to the friendly neighborhood monarchs and despots? However, if Iran's political religiosity is truly a cause for objection, then the Islamic religion must be better understood, if not appreciated, and Iran's behavior examined under that backdrop.

So what has been done to examine Iran's statement that it will not build the Bomb owing to religious objections? The west has Jihad deep in its foreign policy lexicon for a while now. Over the last decade, it has seen how the fanatical version of Jihad plays out. There is a mainstream version, too. Iran subscribes to that version. What that version says is that collateral damage, especially of non-combatant people, is completely disallowed. The Bomb cannot avoid inflicting massive collateral damage of the type absolutely disallowed under Islam's Shari'ah. Its lesser version, the Neutron Bomb, is even more disallowed. Now, as to Iran's walking the talk, what evidence do we have? The real IAEA and the CIA reports say that since 2003 Iran has foregone steps in that direction. However, digging further back in its history when Iran was engaged in a life and death struggle with Saddam's Iraq under the haze of western commissioned nerve gases, what did we see? Iran would not respond in kind to Saddam's bombing of populated areas. Her religious leadership determined that inhabited urban areas could be bombed after prior warning was given to the residents of those townships.

So, is Iran living a lie? Should its bluff be called and must it be stopped in its track as it pursues the Bomb? Are we defending Israel, the GCC countries, or both? Or is it our pride? If it is oil we seek to defend, is there any reason the Iranians would not sell? Anyway, is it the oil we consume or the profit we make from it that really concerns us? Finally, is Iran a religious state or not? It cannot be both. Are we about to go into a new war under so much confusion?


Dr. Shafi A. Khaled is a freelance writer. He teaches and does research in Business & Economics.

  Category: Featured, Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini
Views: 4432

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Older Comments:
In the late nineties I read a letter to the editor in one of the popular science magazines floating the idea of using Muslims to replace Russia as justification for western military budgets. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan running down, the west needs a new target. Whereas Russia was a strong target owing to its stockpile of nuclear weapons and such, that war stalled as a "cold war". None of the Muslim countries are that strong individually and so far the west has attacked the "low hanging fruit". Even Pakistan was told by Rumsfeld that it would be "bombed into the stone age" if it didn't cooperate in the war with Afghanistan, so its nuclear weapons have not given it full liberty. Iran successfully threw off the western installed dictator and survived their proxy war via Iraq. From the west's point of view, Iran is an example that must be corrected. (necessary if the US is to have any influence over Iraq)
What the people that responded to the trial balloon in the magazine didn't realize is that from Allah's point of view the Umma is Israel and Israel is the Umma. "Israel" being defined as the collective of strong definition monotheists. "Israel", like all of Allah's viewpoints, is a meritocracy not an aristocracy. The golem Israel does not qualify, it's "citizens" obey the golem before obeying the revelation sent to them. So on top of the curse on those that steal, the territorial expansion method of the golem's adherents, there is the curse on those that attack Israel via the War on Muslims. The result will be very bad for humanity. Iran didn't go beyond established bounds attacking infrastructure or innocents and succeeded; "Christianity" abandoned the bounds of strong definition monotheism with Constantine and has been in constant non-peace since. They have been chosen, chosen to become an object lesson. Batten down the hatches. Only those that join with their brothers in obeying revelation will do well.

This is again as Gore Vidal said " Endless war for endless peace" . Or as Chris Hedges called it in his book " war is the thing that gives us meaning " . See we can bomb the heck out of people to make sure that they are "free" and the rest of the world " safe". Which with the policies that we take with the rest of the world all of us are neither . Rest assured that if it is not Iran it will be someone else. Sallam Alakium .

Israel long identified all the strong Muslim countries. It wants them taken out so that it can dominate the region without fear of retaliation for its policies against the Palestinians.