United States’ government spokespeople are forever demonizing Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has proclaimed that Iran is the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism. In keeping with this, the possibility of the U.S. waging war against Iran is very real.
We must remember that Iran has not invaded another country since 1798: yes, that is 222 years ago. The U.S. is currently bombing, or supporting the bombing, of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia. It is sanctioning Venezuela, causing untold suffering there, wanting ‘regime change’ in that nation also. And Pompeo has the temerity to say that Iran is the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism. By any objective standard, that title must go to the U.S.
President Donald Trump and his cohorts continually raise the false flag of Iranian threats to the world, against all facts. This follows the centuries-old playbook of U.S. war-making: disagree with the policies of another nation, then create a narrative that positions that nation as a threat to the world or its own citizens; maintain that rhetoric until at least some people start to believe it, and then invade. And generally, the only people who really need to buy-in to this particular fairy tale are members of Congress who are very pliable when it comes to starting a war.
In 2015, Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States entered into an agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This agreement regulated Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for ending sanctions against Iran. The agreement was signed during the administration of President Barack Obama, and it is no secret that Trump has tried, during his nearly four years in the White House, to reverse anything and everything Obama accomplished.
From October 2015 to May 2018, United Nations inspectors were certifying Iranian compliance. As required by U.S. law, Congress was also certifying compliance to the President every 90 days. Trade between Iran and other nations grew, and it was generally considered that the world was a safer place, since Iran’s nuclear development activities were being closely monitored (it is important to note here that the government of Iran has always said, and continues to assert, that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes. The same cannot be said about the United States’ nuclear program).
Trump criticized the law from its inception, calling it the ‘worst deal ever’. And once the anti-Iranian hawk John Bolton was appointed National Security Advisor, the agreement was doomed. Bolton declared that by February 11, 2019, the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, there would be ‘regime change’ in Iran. Indeed, he put in plans to make that happen, the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA and reinstalling of sanctions being chief among them. During Bolton’s tenure as National Security Advisor, he was a major cheerleader for hostility towards Iran, running the false flag of Iranian aggression up every political flagpole he could find. His plans for Iran were thwarted, however; he, and many U.S. politicians, have never understood, or even attempted to understand, the nationalist fervor of the Iranian people and their pride in their revolution and their government.
Not only did Trump withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, he threatened economic sanctions against some of the U.S.’s oldest and most trusted allies if they continued to honor the agreement. Headed mostly by weak leaders, they crumbled under Trump’s threats. As a result, all the advantages that were promised to the Iranian people, and which they enjoyed for nearly three years, were lost.
Trump and his spokespeople have said that the Iranian government is harmful to its own people, but due to U.S. sanctions, the Iranian economy has been crippled, leaving countless people out of work. Trump’s assertions about the Iranian government constitute another false flag; it is the U.S. government, not the Iranian government, that is harming the Iranian people. Trump has even refused international appeals to the U.S. to at least temporarily suspend sanctions during the current pandemic. Sanctions, defined by some as a war crime, are a tried and true method of U.S. terrorism. For years, the U.S. flew the false flag of Iraqi threats. After years of sanctions against that country, it was estimated that at least 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result. In 1996, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked by Lesley Stahl, a correspondent on the program ’60 Minutes’, about this. Stahl asked:
“We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
One wonders how deciding whether to kill half a million children is a ‘very hard choice’. Would any thinking, feeling human being ever need to think twice about this? But this is U.S. governance, and the achievement of U.S. geopolitical goals is worth any price, even the innocent blood of 500,000 children.
And what of sanctions against Iran, a nation with a population more than twice that of Iraq? The false flag of Iran’s threats to the world has been raised, and sanctions imposed. How many children will need to die for U.S. goals to be reached?
In June of 2017, I visited Iran where I spoke at conferences in Tehran and Mashhad. Both cities were busy, bustling and modern, although steeped in history. I have often wished more U.S. citizens would visit Iran. If they did, they would see who is suffering as a result of the sanctions.
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, aggression against Iran has only escalated, including the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, a blatant violation of international law. One can only imagine the U.S. response had Iran assassinated a prominent, beloved U.S. general.
Despite Trump’s many offensive words and gestures that have become business as usual during his presidency, his defeat in November is far from assured. And his likely opponent, former Vice-President Joe Biden, is hardly a dynamic agent of change who will usher in a new world order. A second term for Trump will undoubtedly bring the U.S. to war with Iran, a war that will be far more devastating to the world than the ignorant and uninformed Trump can possibly imagine. Such a war would engulf much of the world, with the potential to bring a level of suffering not seen since World War II.
The nations of the world must stand up to the United States. Avoiding such a catastrophic war should be everyone’s goal.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Robert Fantina is an author and peace activist. His writing has appeared on Mondoweiss, Counterpunch and other sites. He has written the books Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy and Essays on Palestine.
Featured image is from AHT