Donald Trump is an unfolding disaster for the entire world, and nothing he has done as President seems honorable. He has wrecked numerous Washington agencies, denigrated public education, shows no concern for the environment and so on. Nothing he did before he became President was based on honest dealing, whether in his personal or business life. This in not one man’s opinion: the record is there for all to see. And he has neglected his campaign promises regarding foreign policy.
The most obvious question is that even while most of the world rejects Trump as an adequate U.S. President, slightly more than half of Americans may not – which tells one something about the caliber of the judgment of “average” Americans. One might be thankful for NOT living in the U.S. nowadays, despite the fact of relative prosperity, which in fact may not last much longer for a variety of reasons.
But here we witness the dean of West Asia correspondents from the West, Beirut-based Robert Fisk, writing this week that Iran’s leaders at first concealed the truth about who and what downed the Ukrainian airliner near Tehran. The Iranian public rejected this concealment quickly and so the truth of the disaster was quickly exposed. Fisk suggest that Iran has been changed “forever”, that no longer can Iran’s religious leaders claim infallibility.
One begs to differ with Fisk’s views. First, no one in Iran has claimed infallibility. Because none CAN claim infallibility without becoming quite fallible. This is akin to declaring one’s self a god (if not the ONLY God) which is utter blasphemy. (Al-Hallaj, a Sufi in Baghdad in the 10th century, pronounced that he was “the Truth” in a moment of ecstatic spirituality, which at the time suggested he was calling himself “god”. This did not go over well in Abbasid Baghdad and al-Hallaj was executed in 922.)
Iran’s leaders did not dither for long in blaming themselves for the aircraft disaster, and it’s worth noting that there are reports that there might have been American or Israeli sabotage of the electronic guidance signals and reporting equipment in Iranian airspace. In fact, this is probably the chief cause of the tragedy although it may take some time to prove and expose it thoroughly. Iranians need to go light on the government, in part because Iran’s government has proven to be far more honest than the U.S. or European governments.
Great disgust, for example, must be reserved for the UK, France, and Germany, under the threat of Trump tariffs on the European auto industry, for in effect dumping the JCPOA this past week. It’s one thing to do the wrong thing, but it’s far worse to do the wrong thing out of cowardly failures to stand by commitments and abide by their terms. INSTEX was apparently a delaying tactic! Nothing more than a false promise to Iran. The entire Middle East must begin to look even harder north and east for reliable partners, to Russia and China especially, who are not threatening.
Iranians must understand that their government has done nothing wrong, and the U.S. demonization of Iran is madness. But it is largely because Iran is so resource rich, and this has been the case for many decades. If Iranians want to tinker with who runs the country and how, this ought to wait until external Western threats are history, and especially those of the U.S. and Israel. The threats against Iran’s people re too great to allow any disunity.
Take Trump Administration spokesman Brian Hook describing how a new “nuclear deal” with Iran would differ from the JCPOA. In brief, that Iran would NOT be allowed to enrich any uranium, Iran’s missile defense programs would be curtailed, Iran’s alleged “regional aggression” (which has been defensive and requested by regional allies) will end. These demands are equivalent to Iran giving up its sovereignty and defenses entirely and are so arrogant as to be angrily laughable.
Maybe Iran ought to offer conditions for a new deal suggested by Hook? NO nukes permitted in the Middle East at all, liberation for Palestine, U.S. Navy barred from the Persian Gulf, U.S. troops out of West Asia and bases dismantled, and Western oil companies barred from Iran, Iraq, and Syria at least. And that’s just for starters. Why is anyone supposed to pretend that a nuclear Iran is a threat to anyone as opposed to what it really is – a deterrent to more U.S. or Western and Israeli aggression?
Iran deserves much better than anything the West has meted out to it since the fall of Mossadegh. Sometimes ahead it will get much better for Iran. Fortune waxes and wanes. The problem, as ever, is how long it’s going to take.