Iran: The Unthinkable War
Part Four: What Makes for a Real “
by Juan Santos
It’s difficult to analyze claims that
It’s been almost 30 years since the so-called Iran hostage crisis, when, at the crescendo of the overthrow of the US sponsored torture state of Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iranian students seized the US embassy in Teheran, holding captive the US personnel whose job it had been to support the dictator’s regime, and to assure its compliance with US mandates.
The seizure of the embassy was precipitated by a report from Radio
It’s been almost 30 years since radio stations in the US began playing the “novelty song” Bomb Iran – to the tune of an old Beach Boys hit, Barbara Ann.
Rambo, Reagan and “Bomb Iran” were only the beginning.
The psycho-cultural stage for the entire development of overt neo-fascism in the
It is all but impossible to separate what the
This is the image of the international “savage” that neo-cowboys like Ronald Reagan and Rambo set out to re-conquer in the popular white imagination of the early 1980s, even as the rulers set about re-conquering a rebellious Black population through the “War on Drugs” in the wake of the Black Power Movement, and American Indians in the wake of Wounded Knee.
Thirty years later, these two groups, along with Chicanos, share the distinction of suffering the highest incarceration rates of any peoples on Earth.
All stigmas and stereotypes are used to tell a story that justifies violence against a target. If Blacks are “criminals” and Indians are “drunken” then Iranians are “terrorists” who present a clear and present danger to white capitalist Western “civilization.” And it is this simple image of “danger” that will ultimately be used to justify a nuclear attack on
If you clutch your metaphorical purse when the word “terrorist” comes walking down the sidewalk toward you, or gets on the elevator with you, then the past thirty years of deliberate conditioning has impacted you, and it’s going to be hard to speak with you objectively about Iranian “terror.” It may prove impossible.
But there’s no risk quite like the risk of being declared an unlawful enemy combatant, so with that proviso, let’s move forward.
First, for the sake of having a sense of proportion, let’s talk about what really rates as international crimes that might, properly, cause a nation to be deemed a rogue state, or a terrorist state.
In our list let’s include some of the universally acknowledged crimes a state might sponsor: genocide, the use of death squads, the widespread use of torture, the unprovoked or needless use of nuclear weapons, the crime of Apartheid, spreading chemical and biological weapons to those who use them to kill the innocent, the launching of unprovoked wars of aggression, and, of course, the deliberate starvation of mass numbers of civilians and the bombing of civilians. Since it’s germane, let’s include the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a crime.
These are things I think any reasoning human would agree are among the vilest of crimes a state is capable of, crimes against humanity.
In terms of the commission of these kinds of national and international crimes, the current regime in
US sponsored death squads committed genocide against the Mayan Indians in
That’s what I mean by a sense of proportion. Nothing that
It practices nothing close to Apartheid, it’s launched no wars of aggression - it’s invaded no one at all, it’s starved no one, bombed no cities, sponsored no genocide, trained no torturers or death squads, it’s seized no one’s land, exported no chemical weapons, has never used a nuclear weapon, has none, and is in compliance with the Non-Proliferation treaty.
But those who have committed just these crimes against humanity label
Sadly, the main thing
• In late 1979, Iranian students thought to be backed by the government occupied the US Embassy in
This was an act of war and popular revolution, not terrorism. Most, if not all of the embassy workers were actively complicit in crimes of the Shah against the Iranian people. They were, in any case, hardly innocent bystanders.
• Observers say
Attacks against military targets are, by definition not terrorist attacks, they are military attacks. The alleged Iranian links to the Argentinian bombing have never been proven.
Very well, then, but is every state that targets a writer a state terrorist regime? If so, the Bush administration’s going to have a lot of wars on its hands. Just ask the worldwide association of writers, International PEN. Bush will need to invade
Innocents don’t carry weapons or act as occupation forces in foreign countries. For the same reason, and by definition, there can be no such thing as a “terrorist” attack against the
Should theocracies be embraced? No. But those of us in the West have our own emergent theocracy to combat: the one in
Is it developing them? No. Not according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
There is, of course, a somewhat longer list of claims against
None of the claims has much more substance than those dealt with here, but for those inclined toward an academic source that treats the matter with the requisite dispassion, it’s worth reading.
End of Part Four:
Next: Part Five: The Apocalypse Factor