The world prays for the wisdom and cool of Iranians
An Iranian friend, a photographer known internationally for fine documentary work, asked plaintively last week when the U.S. might stop trying to sink Iran and Iranians. I had no ready answer, but the question was painful to hear because I could also hear concern, grief and empathy for others.
No question the re-imposition of extreme sanctions is damaging, particularly for average Iranians. The Trump Administration would have the Iranian people believe it is on their side (it’s not) as the administration also tries to claim Iran’s government is the cause of all the troubles. (Clearly, Trump and gangsters wants chaos in Iran and the fall of the current leadership.) But claiming that the government is largely at fault is simply a lie.
Iran is historically and resource rich and has a talented population, but is one currently and primarily beleaguered by U.S. sanctions and hostility from the Saudis, Israelis and Emiratis, the sole serious U.S. allies in the Middle East. Sure, things look grim currently to most Iranians like my famous Iranian photographer friend, but one might argue that the situation for the U.S. is potentially even grimmer.
There are Middle Eastern natives right here in my hometown in North Carolina who understand the situation far better than most Americans. One happens to be the elderly manager of a BP gasoline station who arrived in the U.S. from Jordan long ago. Whenever I stop by we talk and he said this week: “The U.S. is not that far away from becoming a ‘Third World’ country.” And in some ways, he is correct even if such a judgement seems implausible.
Consider what a box the U.S. has put itself in to since the early 1970s. It’s a box long in the making. Richard Nixon’s decision in the early 1970s to cancel the gold standard and Washington’s arrangement with the Saudis to have oil priced in dollars, which in part allowed the U.S. to finance its economy through the simple action of printing fiat currency, supported by the Petrodollar, required other countries to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. The pricing of oil in dollars has been crucial, but the U.S. has in effect been printing waste paper (fiat dollars) and obtaining consumer goods and resources in return, a situation that has permitted the U.S. to squander many trillions of dollars on wars without suffering economic consequences so far. Yet those economic consequences are looming like never before because in many respects the U.S. is so heavily in debt now it is virtually broke – unless the fiat money printing can continue in exchange for valuable resources.
This explains why the U.S. cannot easily scale down its relationship with Riyadh, and why the Saudis have been allowed to erect such a now widely recognized corrupt, undemocratic and repressive regime and also promote jihadism, even as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi last month has provoked many, even in the U.S., to condemn the Saudis. And remember, many of the 9/11 operators were Saudis, and Saudi Arabia was not sanctioned as a result of 9/11 and its longstanding statecraft of using jihadist terrorism as its primary geopolitical methodology.
It’s a “box” alright that the U.S. cannot extricate itself from given the risk that extrication would likely crash the lynchpin of U.S. imperialism and economic power – the dollar. And in the background the Zionists have been wielding enormous influence in Washington as the sole other serious “ally” of the U.S. in the Mideast, and that country, too, is certainly one of the most reviled on earth for its aggressions and war crimes and human rights violations. No country has ever had such horrible “allies” in the Mideast as the U.S. now has, and it can’t easily let go of either. And it’s sad the U.S. did not use the JCPOA towards additional accords with Tehran.
Meanwhile, Iran has long been the prime target of U.S., Saudi and Zionist ire, especially since the revolution in 1979. The propaganda has been intense against the Islamic Republic for decades mostly because Iran has refused to cave to U.S. demands and has remained independent and has not jumped in to the toxic “box” of craven users and abusers in league with U.S. efforts to maintain its destructive Empire of Chaos.
From the U.S. and its “allies” point of view, nothing Iran has done has been met with favor, including the widely respected signing and negotiation of the JCPOA, which the U.S. rejected last May. But most of the rest of the world community has and remains in favor of Iran and is trying to maintain the JCPOA, and respects Iran for its adherence to it. Iran, in fact, has been looking far better to the world community and the U.S. propaganda against it has been looking to many increasingly like, well, bullshit. It’s a world that is growing mighty tired of U.S., Saudi and Zionist military aggressions. This is above all a delicate, slow PROCESS wherein the U.S. and its allies in the Mideast are losing their credibility, friends and respect, and above all, this process must be allowed to continue. (Foreign minister Javad Zarif has suggested Iran is willing to negotiate with the U.S. but only on a basis of U.S. respect for Iran.)
And this process could be interrupted, even reversed, by hardliners in Iran who, feeling defensive and set upon and fearful of losing their power, use threats to try to fend off the U.S. and its two Mideast allies.
Iran quite possibly will “win” this current challenge eventually provided it maintains a cool posture and continues to reach out to sympathetic countries, Muslim or not, great powers like China and Russia or not, for ways to circumvent the sanctions and maintain some balance even while Iranians suffer unfairly for a while. And even while Iran’s leaders feel threatened, and rightly so under current circumstances, they can further their cause, one must imagine, if they are also willing to address and reduce internal discord and repressions that have been so wildly announced and grossly amplified by the U.S. and allies as false “proof”, relatively, of a “bad” Iranian government.
The fact remains that the Saudis and Israelis have horrific governments, far most troubled and undemocratic than Iran’s. As for the U.S., it now has a relatively shallow patina of real democracy and its warmongering in recent decades will be seen for what it has been – utterly criminal – in time.