June 08, 2006

 

An Un-Diplomatic Diplomacy: Tehran 1 - Washington 0

Washington’s war-mongers currently find themselves in a highly discredited position vis-à-vis Iran. Washington's lies have come back to haunt it. For months it has been beating the drums of war and “regime change,” proclaiming its holy mission to democratize an already democratic government (while its long-standing Mid-East friends and allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as its new friend Libya, continued to suffer extreme forms of political repression that countenance no opposition).

In the case of Iran, though, Washington was a perfectionist. Iran’s imperfect democracy had to go, and presumably be replaced by a dictatorship mindful of US interests. In reality, Washington was fearful that Iran’s independent political behaviour was setting a bad example for the rest of the Third World.

Washington took advantage of a manufactured nuclear crisis to cloak the nature of its actual concern. The United States, by far the most dangerous country in the world, with more invasions of foreign countries staining its history than one cares to think about, was concerned that Iran, one of the most peaceful countries in the world (it has not invaded a single country in over 250 years) was a danger to world peace. The irony is mind-boggling.

This week, the entire house of cards began to tumble down on the warmongers’ heads. There is nary a mention of “regime change” anymore. Suddenly, Washington finds no difficulty in dealing with the (imperfect) Iranian government, and has, in fact, offered to supply US nuclear know-how in exchange for Iran’s acceptance of highly watered-down conditions. Suddenly, Iran is no longer a nuclear threat, even though nothing has changed on the ground.

Washington, having begun from a position where “all options were on the table,” to quote Condi’s favourite threat, now has nothing left on the table! It has been stripped bare of the last shred of credibility it may still have possessed.

Still, the game’s loser will no doubt try to pretend to have won the game. Washington’s “subtle diplomacy” will be eulogized all around, as if there had been anything subtle about its threats to rain down nuclear missiles on an essentially defenceless nation.

In reality, the prize for diplomatic subtlety should unquestionably go to the government of President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Tehran’s honest dealing finally forced Washington to abandon its sham “diplomacy.” It may not be an exaggeration to say that Tehran has founded a new kind of diplomacy, that is, a diplomacy of telling the whole truth and remaining steadfastly attached to one’s principles, as opposed to what diplomacy has come to mean –- telling advantageous lies. It is also a diplomacy based on peaceful intentions, as opposed to the usual kind of diplomacy, where the threat of initiating warfare in case things do not proceed to one’s liking is always retained in the background.

The metaphor of “carrots and stick” has been used to describe the diplomatic game plan of the Big Six Powers in relation to Iran. In the end, though, Bush, Hugo Chavez’s donkey, finds himself eating the carrots while beating himself over the head with the stick.

Comments:
Seen from Europe, America has become a decadent luxury item we can no longer afford.
 
No kidding--this is very well put. It is sometimes hard to gage American news from England, but I agree on the sudden switch in tactics. Amazing, isn't it? What kind of effect is this having on the Ameican public's opinion of Bush?
 
When you study history, ytou realise that being a US friend can be very dangerous. All theit friends soon or later will become their ennemy.

Accent Grave
 
Very good post, and a very interesting blog also.

I have a blog, written in Spanish, I share many of your points of view. ¿May I take the '70 ad about the former Iranian Sha and his nuclear project for a post? I think this is worth be spread and known.

Cheers!
 
Thanks for your comment, Jack. Please feel free to spread the word.
 
The most frightening thing over here in the states is how many people have been so fully programmed to see any dissent as unpatriotic and any questioning of the Bush Administration's motives as partisan attacks by people with no solutions. If the critics are against the War in and occupation of Afghanistan and/or Iraq, they're characterized as people who would have rolled over for the Third Reich. These are frightening people, still clinging resolutely to the idea that Saddam & Iraq were another Hitler and Germany, and that what was done was necessary to stop it at an early stage.

As I've said, they're frightening people.

Between Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Right-leaning talk radio in general and the packaged statements pushed onto the Sunday political programs there are millions who are either not thinking or are processing false information.

The problem is that they hear it repeated again and again from their televisions and radios until what the administration wants them to believe seems "obvious" to the people.

In my 45 years this is the most frightening and surreal time I've lived through. We're not affording it now on any level, and I shudder to think of the absolute ruin we'll be by the time they're done.
 
While I agree with much of what you say, calling Iran a democracy is disingenuous. Iran is not even an "imperfect" democracy. It's a theocracy. Talk to the women of Iran who have been severely repressed by this so-called democracy.

Perhaps Washington has changed tactics because world diplomacy is working, i.e., I suspect that European countries have been yakking it up quite a bit on the line to Shrub - they don't need our saber-rattling and Shrub has been talked off the bridge - for now. We could still see an October surprise - just in time for the mid-term elections.

Interesting, thoughtful blog - glad I visited. I came by this way on a suggestion from http://fragmentia13.blogspot.com/
 
Thanks for your comment, Bird. Iran, in 1979, by means of nothing less than a full-scale social revolution, removed itself from more than a quarter of a century of US domination, exactly so that it could have some social progress and democracy. The model for that progress has been an indigenous one, because models for social progress in the Third World cannot, by definition, be imported from the imperialist countries. As one commenter on this blog (Vincent Valdmanis) put it in his comment on another post:

"In pre-Revolutionary Iran, under the secular, pro-Western Shah, literacy rates among women were abysmal. The Iranian Revolution changed all that with the establishment of a far-reaching system of free higher education. The gender segregation of the educational system especially benefitted women in conservative regions [of the country]. No longer concerned about the possibility of co-ed classes, conservative families permitted their daughters to attend university for the first time. A whole generation of women became enfranchised. Now literacy rates among Iranian women are over 90 percent and there are more women in Iran's universities than men. The Revolution's position on gender segregation also led to a demand for a large female professional workforce; women in Iran hold many positions in traditionally male-dominated fields such as medicine, law and government. This transformative development was an intentional consequence of the Revolution. But it gets overlooked in the West by conservatives who can't stand the Revolution's goals of social justice and by liberals who can't understand the Revolution's dress codes."

The developments of the last quarter of a century in Iran have been infinitely more complex than the simplistic images projected by the corporate-owned newsmedia in the West. For a realistic picture, please refer to Iranian sources and the alternative news and commentary sources linked to this blog.
 
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