Inflaming Iran

Doug Bandow writes:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates must want Iran to build nuclear weapons. He didn’t say that directly. But how else should one interpret his latest threat against the embattled Persian Gulf state?

In what he said was his last major policy address, Secretary Gates expressed hope that Iraq would allow U.S. troops to remain. In fact, that’s a really bad idea, since America’s mission is over and Washington can’t afford to occupy the entire globe. Once defeated, forever occupied appears to be the secretary’s slogan. We are lucky that the Pentagon doesn’t still have army garrisons in Mexico, defeated back in 1848.

Secretary Gates talked about redeeming America’s blood “investment” and demonstrating that Washington planned to stay engaged in the region. He added: “It would be reassuring to the Gulf States. It would not be reassuring to Iran, and that is a good thing.”

Is it?

There obviously is much to dislike about Iran. An authoritarian theocracy with little sympathy for individual liberty. A troublesome meddler backing brutal Syria and aggressive Hezbollah. A regime with grudges against America’s favorite totalitarian theocracy, Saudi Arabia, and favorite democracy, Israel. A geopolitical adversary with strong connections in Iraq, which the Bush administration had hoped would become a base for American military operations. An untrustworthy government apparently developing nuclear weapons.

Obviously, none of these are good. But will failing to reassure Iran—in fact, doing the utmost to unsettle Iran—make the region safer? The fact that the regime is odious does not mean that it has no legitimate security concerns, concerns constantly exacerbated by Washington. If the United States does not reassure Tehran, the mullahs, and whoever might replace them, would be foolish to abandon their presumed nuclear program.

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1 thought on “Inflaming Iran

  1. dickerson3870

    RE: “We are lucky that the Pentagon doesn’t still have army garrisons in Mexico, defeated back in 1848.” – Bandow
    MY FEAR: It’s just a matter of time!
    SEE: “Wall Street’s Role in Narco-Trafficking” ~ by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, 06/01/11

    (excerpts) America’s Mexican policy–The Merida Initiative–is a nightmare. It’s undermined Mexican sovereignty, corrupted the political system, and militarized the country. It’s also resulted in the violent deaths of thousands of mostly poor civilians. But Washington doesn’t give a hoot about “collateral damage” as long as it can sell more weaponry, strengthen its free-trade regime, and sluice more drug profits into its big banks. Then everything is just Jim-dandy.
    There’s no point in dignifying this butchery by calling it a “War on Drugs”?
    That’s nonsense. What we’re seeing is a giant powergrab by big business, big finance and the US Intel services. Obama is merely doing their bidding, which is why–not surprisingly–things have gotten a lot worse under his administration. Obama has not only stepped up the funding for Plan Mexico (aka–Merida) but also deployed more US agents to work undercover while US drones carry out surveillance duty. Get the picture? This isn’t some little drug bust; it’s another chapter in America’s War on Civilization.
    Here’s an excerpt from an article in CounterPunch by Laura Carlsen that gives a little background:

    “The drug war has become the major vehicle of militarization in Latin America. It’s a vehicle funded and driven by the U.S. government and fueled by a combination of false morals, hypocrisy and a lot of cold, hard fear. The so called ‘war on drugs’ is really a war on people, especially youth, women, indigenous peoples and dissidents. The drug war has become the main way for the Pentagon to occupy and control countries at the expense of whole societies and many, many lives….”

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney06012011.html

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