Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pots, Kettles, and the Colour Black...

The Bush administration is preparing to declare that Iran's Revolutionary Guard is a 'terrorist' organization, if imposed, the declaration would suggest another twist in the more confrontational turn in US governments approach to Iran, and would be the first time that the United States has added the armed forces of any sovereign government to its list of terrorist organizations. Putting the Revolutionary Guard on the foreign terrorist list would serve at least two purposes for the US : to pacify, for a while, administration hawks who are pushing for possible military action, and to further press America’s allies to ratchet up sanctions against Iran in the Security Council.
Is'nt there something deeply ironic in this news? Is it possible that such a declaration may prompt impartial observers into considering whether the Bush administration possesses sufficient moral authority to apply this epithet to any element of a sovereign states defence forces, regardless of how quasi-autonomous of the Iranian state proper they appear to be?
The eminent American historian Howard Zinn
has called the times we live in an 'age of irony'. In his book 'Terrorism and War' ( Chapter 3, A Peaceful Nation?, pp.50-56 Seven Stories Press 2002) he considers the history of the USA in terms of their claim to be a 'peaceful nation' a claim which George W Bush made when he announced the commencement of bombing in Afghanistan.
"You can't tell the Native Americans we were a peaceful nation as we moved across the continent and engaged in hundreds of wars against the Indians. The United States engaged in at least twenty military interventions in the Caribbean in the first twenty years of the last century. And then from World War II through today, we've had an endless succession of wars and military interventions.
Just five years after the end of the most disastrous war in world history, after World War II, we are at war in Korea. And then almost immediately we are helping the French in Indochina, supplying 80 percent of their military equipment, and soon we are involved in Southeast Asia. We are bombing not only Vietnam but Cambodia and Laos.
In the 1950s, we are also involved in covert operations, overthrowing the governments of Iran and Guatemala. And almost as soon as we get involved in Vietnam, we are sending military troops into the Dominican Republic. In that period, we are also giving enormous amounts of aid to the government of Indonesia, helping the dictator Suharto carry on an internal war against the opposition, in the course of which several hundred thousand people are killed. Then the U.S. government, starting in 1975, provides critical support to Indonesia's brutal campaign to subdue the people of East Timor, in which hundreds of thousands of people are killed.
In the 1980s, when Reagan comes into office, we begin a covert war throughout Central America, in El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and especially in Nicaragua, creating the counterrevolutionary force, the Contras, whom Reagan called "freedom fighters."
In 1978, even before the Russians were in Afghanistan, we are covertly sending arms to the rebel forces in Afghanistan, the mujahedeen. Some of these people turned out later to be the Taliban, the people who suddenly are our enemy. The national security adviser to Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, boasted that he knew U.S. aid would "induce a Soviet military intervention" in Afghanistan. In fact, this happened, provoking a war that lasted ten years.[44] The war was devastating to the people of Afghanistan and left the country in ruins. The moment it was over, the United States immediately moved out. The people that we supported, the fundamentalists, took power in Afghanistan and established their regime.
Almost as soon as George Bush Sr. came into office, in 1989, he launched a war against Panama, which left perhaps several thousand dead. Two years later, we were at war in the Gulf, using the invasion of Kuwait as an excuse to intensify our military presence in that area and to station troops in Saudi Arabia, which then became one of the major offenses for Osama bin Laden and other Saudi Arabian nationalists. Then in the Clinton administration we were bombing Afghanistan, Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Iraq again.
So for Bush to call us "a peaceful nation" means forgetting an enormous amount of history. Now, maybe that history is too much for Bush to take in, but even a small part of it would be enough to suggest that we have not been a peaceful nation. In fact, it is safe to say that since World War II, there has not been a more warlike nation in the world than the United States. "

With this weight of involvment in sponsoring wars, invasions, and dirty tricks against numerous sovereign states, United States governments in general and the Bush administration in particulat should steer well clear of flinging accusations at other governments. That is not to say that the Revolutionary Guard in Iran are a bunch of choirboys, far from it. Yet when the USA deems them to be 'terrorists' the impact of this accusation is sullied somewhat by the murky and unsavoury track record of the accuser. To point out this inconsistency is not 'anti-american' , in fact it is the strong desire of all right thinking people that the Government of the United States returns to the principles upon which that great nation was founded.
As Republican Congressman for Texas Ron Paul puts it in his book ' A Foreign Policy of Freedom'
"I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. In other words, noninterventionism....Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Nonintervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not mean that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations "
If the USA returned to these founders principles in the conduct of its foreign policy, then it would be going a considerable way to repairing the immense damage, that has , sadly, been done to its international standing in recent years. A restoration of the United States moral authority would permit it to make declarations concerning world affairs, which would attract the respect this nation deserves, putting an end to the mealy mouthed hypocricy as exemplified by this recent statement concerning the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.


Ali Mostofi said...

What you fail to realise is that the IRGC puts Iran second to Islamic ideals. The real true Iranian Army does not.

What GWB should have said, was that he would rather deal with the traditional nationalistic forces of Iran.

What bothers a lot of us in the non violent resistance opposition, is how Iran is used by both the radical right and the radical left as a ping pong ball.

Iran's nationalism is above politics.

Gabriel said...

Thanks Ali for your comments, but I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say that 'Iran's nationalism is above politics'

Pulkit said...

Hi Gabriel,

Just as is customary in Blogospher, I must compliment you for an immaculate blog, which you have clearly worked hard for.

Now, this post is again well contrived. You raised pertinent points. I endorse the non-intervention theory. I certainly endorse intervention, on a case-to-case basis, by the U.N--only if the U.S would graciously pass on the baton to the world body.

Anyways, you can join our blogroll at, if you feel that the regime in Iran needs a change. We advocate only a peaceful trasformation of power, brought about by patient parleying, diplomacy and pressure-tactics. I feel the idea of telling the Iranian people that the U.S will deliver them of this tyrant, but will have to inadvertantely drop a few bombs on them as well, doesnt seem convincing. The people can not be punished for a mess that they haven't conceived.

Join our incresing blogroll, if you want. Anyways, nice blog.

Peace...............There is a dearth of it

Have Fun..........While it lasts

Ok! It's not all that gloomy, have fun.

grimupnorth said...

Hi Gabriel - just saying hello. Will link to your blog.....

hamidreza said...

hi, thanks for your comment. your post was interesting. keep going ;)

Renegade Eye said...

The definition is oppurtunistically being manipulated, to serve the needs of varying despots.

In El Salvador the govt calls any demonstration or mass movement terrorism.

I linked to your blog, under A for An.

Juan M. Garcia said...

Hi: Your blog is very good and I'm sure you will get a lot of visitors. Join Blogging to Fame at I did so and my visits increased a great deal, in addition to the fact that you meet a lot of people.
good luck.
Saludos Desde Cuba

Gabriel said...

Grim up North and Renegade Eye I have linked your sites thanks for doing the same.

Petercrys said...

Hi dear friend' really a beautiful blog you have. well i also famed you in blogging to fame. i hope you will take me as a friend and come to see my blog an if you like it "fam me" i will be waiting for you. . .

Juan M. Garcia said...

Hi Gabriel:
I don't know what happens with BTF. Try to nominate your blog again and let me know to vote for you. I added a link to your blog in Desde Cuba. Good Luck.
Greeting Desde Cuba

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