Iran: What’s Really Going On



By Justin Raimondo
Published 06/19/09 


Amid all the internet brouhaha over events in Iran — the “greening,” so to speak, of the blogosphere — what has been missed, so far, is the meaning and significance of the American response. On the surface, that response has been rigorously proper. In his most recent remarks, President Obama told reporters that it would be unseemly for the US to be seen as meddling in the Iranian electoral process. 

This provoked a fusillade of self-righteous on the neocon Right: “He should speak out that this is a corrupt, flawed sham of an election,” bawled John “Quick Draw” McCain. Unlike McCain — whose tendency to go ballistic is inadvisable in general and impermissible in a US President — Obama understands that a US government endorsement of the Green Revolution would be the kiss of death for Mousavi — perhaps even in a literal sense. 

“It’s important to understand that although there is some ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons.” 

Very smart — and so threatening in so many ways that it almost makes me pine for the good old days of the Bush era, when dumbness was de rigueur in Washington. 

Obama realizes that the Iranian students flashing their green-painted peace signs — or is that a “V” for victory? — are fervently patriotic, and, being good nationalists, are all in favor of Iran’s nuclear power program. He knows Mousavi’s history as a conservative, albeit a relatively moderate one, in the context of Iranian politics. What strikes me as ominously threatening is the certitude with which he averred that Iran “is pursuing nuclear weapons.” Are they really? Someone please tell Dennis Blair, because he testified just 3 months ago that the U.S. intelligence community still stands by the spooks who exhibited a similar degree of certitude back in 2007 when they announced Iran had long ago given up its nuclear weapons program, and there was no evidence they had restarted it. 

A US President hasn’t come right out and contradicted his own intelligence agency since …. Well, since George W. Bush ignored the CIA and went with the manufactured “evidence” of Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction” generated by Dick Cheney’s office and other, even less savory sources. Aside from this disturbing parallel, however, here’s another: 

“The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mir Hossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element…It is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran’s nuclear program when he was prime minister.” 

These are the words of Meir Dagan, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, testifying before a committee of the Israeli Knesset. Like American neocons Max Boot and Daniel Pipes, Dagan believes the alleged madman Ahmadinejad is good for Israel — on the grounds, as Pipes puts it, that it is better to have an open enemy than one whose agenda is not quite so obvious. This should put to rest concern over the hysterical Israeli claim that Iran represents an “existential threat” to the continued existence of the Jewish state. If that were true, they’d be cheering on the Green Revolution for all they’re worth: as it is, their top officials are openly rooting for a man who — they insist — is calling for their extermination. 

Note how closely Obama’s evaluation of Mousavi follows Dagan’s. This is not to say they are wrong, factually: indeed, to characterize the Green revolutionaries as anything other than confirmed nationalists would be a mistake. And that really is the core issue, as far as the US and Israeli governments are concerned: democracy schmocracy — the Iranians, by god, are not going to be allowed to challenge either Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the region, or American hegemony. 

The US and Israel are determined to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear technology of any sort. This is quite contrary to the letter and spirit of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Israel refuses to sign, never mind adhere to. In his many statements on the subject, our sainted President has declared that the acquisition of nukes by Iran would set off a regional “arms race” — without (for all his vaunted “smartness”) acknowledging that Israel’s possession of hundreds of nukes long ago set that race in motion. 

The reality is this: “change” may be in the cards in Iran, depending on how the battle in the streets of Iran’s cities turns out. But it is most certainly not on the agenda in either the US or Israel, nor anywhere else in the Western world, as far as policy toward Iran is concerned. The recent spate of bombings and other acts of terror in Iran’s eastern provinces — carried out byJundullah, a radical Sunni group known to have received assistance from the US, according to journalist Seymour Hersh — signals to Tehran that there will be no let up in a campaign for “regime change” that started under the previous administration. 

Anyone who believes the Obama administration is about to cut the Iranians any slack is in for a disappointment of major proportions. Change may be in the air in Tehran, but it’s the same old warmongering in Washington, D.C. Obama’s warhawks are lying low, for the moment, preparing for a long siege. For the moment, the prospect of a US-Iranian confrontation is taking a back seat to the drama being enacted in the streets of Tehran, but the War Party’s day will come, of that you can be sure — and a lot sooner than anyone thinks. 

Copyright © 2009 Campaign for Liberty



Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

—Thomas Jefferson


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