tariq ali has spoken on this very astutely. the jist of what i get from him is this:
iran was right there with the US backing the invasion of iraq. they of course had very tense relations with the US for some time before that, but by the time the US invaded iraq there was something of an alliance for the sake of opposing saddam. iran could have tied things up and been half-friends, if they weren't so stubborn. almost every other middle east dictatorship has done so, there's no reason why they couldn't have, especially at the start of the US war with iraq.
it didn't help that after they answered bush's opportunistic "axis of evil" hostility by getting defensive and hawkish, they carried on with their internal affairs in their usual despotic and antidemocratic fashion (not to mention the antisemitic barking at israel, an apartheid state which certainly does deserve fervent criticism, but of course not the kind of racial hatred they get from iran).
once iran went down this road, bush and then obama couldn't resist the posturing denouncements of one of the only dictatorships in the middle east that isn't our friend. not that they're any worse than the other middle eastern dictatorships, but they're not our friend, which is obviously the true crime -- if bush or obama cared at all about democracy they would never have supported mubarak, or the house of saud, etc... (the same argument applies very obviously to the question of cuba versus china, as the political prisoner situation is far worse in china than in cuba, and yet china is not embargoed by the US but rather our premiere trading partner). the hypocrisy is obvious, but i think even the patriotic folks in the US are pretty tired and disillusioned by now when it comes to our leaders' pronouncements of somehow caring for "democracy" and needing to "promote" it.
so that's how iran's clumsy leaders made an easy job of becoming our enemy, a stupid move for sure. of course this is no excuse for what the US is doing. tariq ali's basic point is simply that the iranians weren't tactful at all.
anyways the nuclear question regarding iran is a total joke. chomsky has gone over this many times -- a majority of the US population (and that of iran, as with most in the middle east) favors the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in the middle east. this is an option that would solve the iran problem in a week. of course that's off the table for the US government, like so many other issues that have a polled majority backing among the US populace (lifting the cuban embargo, drug war reform, opposition to war in general, etc). there's no way the US government would ever agree to de-nuke their middle east bases as well as israel's nuclear arsenal (pretty much the worst kept nuclear secret in the world, though it receives no international scrutiny from the US or europe).
what a shame, because if the US govt were to try that enormously popular option, iran would agree to halt their nuclear programme immediately, and the whole conflict could be averted in a short matter of time. a diplomatic, peaceful solution, which would easily be supported by majority populations of both the US and iran -- off the table, of course, since we in the US don't have a real democracy but a "top-down" one (in the unusually frank words of reagan's state dept aide tom carothers) which prevents highly popular issues from even being considered by our government.
just wait for obama's second term, or a republican in his place, and i'd give it better than 50% odds this is going to happen. the hawks consider this low-hanging fruit, they'd like to get it over with and move on to planning the next big war (china or russia). it's only a matter of a few months of "pro-democracy" posturing in the media and other propaganda to get some of the population on board. and as with so many examples of recent history (recent war in iraq, george h bush's wars in iraq and panama, the eventual congressional approval of funding for the contras, vietnam, and so on), support for this war wouldn't have to even reach 50% in any poll, in order for over 50% of the senate (and even over half of congress) to be on board -- such is the practical nature of american "democracy."
lemur68 wrote: jimmy two hands wrote: Andrew. wrote:
Looks kinda like a bingo card.
What the hell is in Turkmenistan that we want?
it's another country surrounding iran. like, look at the bases around venezuela: a base in colombia makes sense for its natural resources (and cause its our only south american friend), but why also the bases throughout the caribbean islands and the carriers in the caribbean sea? to surround venezuela.