The United States has 140,000 troops occupying Iraq, a country thousands of miles from its borders. Iran borders Iraq. Which nation has the greater interest in Iraq’s future?
According to the U.S. media, the Bush Administration, and many Democrats, the answer is the country whose borders are thousands of miles away. And while America is free to invade, bomb, and kill thousands of Iraqis, many believe that Iran’s “meddling” in the affairs of its neighbor justifies the United States bombing Iran as well. International law does not grant America the unilateral right to intervene everywhere, but it does give other nations the right to protect their borders. The fact that so many Americans believe otherwise explains why we are now mired in Iraq, and why Iran is a potential target.
The American media’s focus on whether there is evidence of Iran “meddling” in Iraq—while describing America’s 140,000 troops there as necessary to prevent violence—is a tribute to the idea that America has the God-given right to operate by its own set of international rules. The notion that Iran, which shares a border and common religion with Iraq, has less of a right to be involved in that nation’s affairs than the United States could only be accepted by those steeped in “America is always right” propaganda from an early age.
Recall the controversial presidential election in Mexico in 2006. Let’s assume that Iran decided that the PAN Party’s admitted violation of Mexican election laws, and the resulting subversion of democracy, required military intervention to install Lopez-Obrador as President in place of the official winner, Felipe Calderon.
After bombing and invading Mexico, assume Iran used its military might to not only install Lopez-Obrador as President, but to maintain an occupying force to protect the democratic process from insurgents.
And assume that Iran not only kept this force in Mexico for nearly four years, but was now increasing its presence as part of its “surge” strategy to reduce violence.
Can anyone imagine America not “meddling” in Mexico in order to prevent Iran’s action?
And if we “meddled” in our neighbor Mexico’s affairs, would Americans’ think that gave Iran the right to bomb us?
America’s “Monroe Doctrine” unilaterally declared in 1823 that European nations should stay out of the affairs of the American continents. The Doctrine applied not just to North America, but to South America as well.
But while America opposes interventions in our hemisphere, U.S. troops have traveled the world invading other countries and overthrowing their governments. Our CIA even helped overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government in 1954—think that might explain why America is not real popular in Iran?
The rest of the world already thinks that America poses the greatest threat to world peace. Our election of George W. Bush in 2004—knowing full well that he lied about WMD’s in Iraq and that he was a dangerous psychopath—is viewed throughout the world as a harsh indictment of the American character.
Now the world looks on as the American media debates whether Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, and whether such meddling warrants U.S. military intervention. The fundamental question of why America has a greater legal or moral right than Iran to “meddle” in Iraq is virtually never addressed.
Nor has the media reminded Americans that the U.S. installed regime in Iraq is aligned with Iran, as this would destroy the narrative that has Iran undermining American efforts to bring regional stability. I know Americans are an ahistorical people, but have millions already forgotten that Sadaam Hussein was Iran’s chief enemy, and that Iran was thrilled when he was toppled from power?
As much as a US bombing of Iran seems insane, Dick Cheney has already proved himself delusional. Since he recently stated that we are making great progress in Iraq, he could also believe that bombing Iran would shift attention from the Iraq debacle, and be the only way to save the Bush Presidency.
One thing we know for sure. If Bush ordered the bombing of Iran, all Republicans, some Democrats, and nearly all DC pundits would be warning that Congress cannot cut off funding for the Iran war out of loyalty to our troops.
This is the level of psychosis that George W. Bush’s presidency has brought back to America. Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove has gone from satire to reality.
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