Cowboy’s Raid on Iran

Why does Washington seek to control Tehran, and is America’s new main enemy really so scary?

With persistence worthy of a better cause, drunk on either whiskey or his own successes, the American cowboy roams the world, waving around his “justice.” He got up in the morning, put a hamburger in his mouth, boots onto his crooked legs, a hat on his head — to shield his constantly overheated brain from the sun — and off he went to save the universe! The cowboy is constantly worried about finding the bad guy. That’s his obsession, which long ago became his life’s purpose. Someone has to be “taken out” and half a pound of “democracy” must be distributed to each of the orphans. A short while ago, the cowboy’s main bad guy was Osama bin Laden. Before him it was Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, and before them, an entire evil empire, the Soviet Union. Now Iran is playing the anti-hero in America’s endless TV series. In the new episode, the “good” Barack Obama with his inherited nuclear capability faces off against the “bad” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who tried to launch his own nuclear program. Shake in your boots, citizens of the free world! You’re in terrible danger! Iran is only pretending to tinker with the peaceful atom, while it’s actually trying to make its own atomic bomb. The Obama administration is trying to sell this scenario (which is based on an interpretation of International Atomic Energy Agency’s progress report) to the open-mouthed Western audience; pro-Western audience; and those who are undecided, but also frightened. The world is waiting: Will the possessed cowboy invade once again (this time Iran, instead of Iraq and Afghanistan), or is he just trying to be intimidating and flexing his muscles?

What’s behind this horrifying, propagandist picture? Is Iran as dangerous as it’s made out to be? Why is Iran the target of the information attack that the Americans have already launched?

Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet. But the U.S. is arguing: YET! If Iran gets them, you’ll all be sorry! However, the presence of an atomic bomb by itself does not mean anything. For example, North Korea has nuclear weapons. That’s nothing. They can’t even invade South Korea. It’s impossible to threaten your next-door neighbor with nuclear weapons. If you blow him up, you and your apartment will be destroyed too.

Iran’s nearest neighbors in the region, Pakistan and Israel, also have non-peaceful atom (the former — officially, while the latter — unofficially, but it’s been proven). The U.S. has never demanded that either Pakistan or Israel end their programs. Let’s say that Tehran, too, will get its own atomic bomb. What does that mean? Can Iran then wipe Israel off the face of the earth? No way! That’s a suicidal act. The use of atomic weapons on such a scale would cause an ecological catastrophe in the Middle East, and Iran would be hit by the rebound. Consequently, all of this American talk about Iranian desire to be fully stocked with atomic bombs is nothing more than a propaganda opportunity, designed to somehow cover up the U.S.’s desire to attack Iran.

Ten years ago, Americans had similarly looked for chemical weapons in Iraq before the invasion. The Americans schemed and schemed, and after the war was over, finally admitted that they did not find anything and said they made a mistake. But after establishing a “democratic” regime in Iraq, corpses cannot be revived. They were killed by conventional weapons, and will continue to die.

It’s the same thing now. The cowboy is just looking for an excuse to mess with the Muslim sitting quietly in the corner of the saloon. The cowboy will ask, “Why aren’t you drinking?” He’ll answer, “My faith forbids it.” The cowboy will reply, “How can a man not drink? You’re probably up to no good. You’re waiting until we all get drunk, and will then hit us, human rights activists, with a bottle in the head?” This is a rough translation of the diplomatic dialogue between Washington and Tehran into everyday language. However, the word “dialogue” should also be enclosed in quotes. One side is roaring and sending aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf, while the other only weakly resists, and says, “If you attack us, we’ll mine the Strait of Hormuz.”

It’s not even necessary to predict the outcome of a military conflict between the U.S. and Iran. It’s all clear. Mines can be removed from the strait within a few days. Nothing can stand in the way of the U.S. Navy. The so-called Iranian Navy is at best a coastal defense force. It’s true that 40 percent of world oil exports are transported through the Strait of Hormuz. But military action at that location will merely lead to a surge in prices for “black gold” for a week, which will enable the closest U.S. allies, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to capitalize on the situation.

It’s also impossible to export the “Islamic revolution” from Iran to other countries in the Middle East. If Tehran could do so, it would have taken that approach a long time ago. But religious differences are an insurmountable obstacle for this kind of ideological commerce. The Iranians are Shiites. They profess the kind of Islam that recognizes only the direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed as their leader. On the other hand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are primarily inhabited by Sunni Muslims, who are the Shiites irreconcilable ideological opponents. The famous Wahhabism, for example, is a type of Sunnism. For people watching TV somewhere in Arizona, all Muslims are alike. But for the Islamic world itself, these differences are significant to a much greater extent than the current differences between Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.

I think that economic sanctions against Iran are currently more important to the U.S. and the E.U. than a military invasion. After the 1979 revolution when the Shah was overthrown, Iran ceased to be America’s obedient puppet. The new regime nationalized the oil industry, and although Iranian share of world oil exports is only four percent, the U.S. exporters of democracy would very much like to regain control of it. The most likely scenario for regaining control is as follows: first, bleed the Iranian economy with an embargo on the sale of black gold, then increase discontent within Iran due to reduced living standards, and finally, launch another “progressive” revolution.

The U.S. would love to saddle both shores of the Strait of Hormuz. After this, the Persian Gulf would become an American bottle from which the mad cowboy will suck pure oil (instead of whiskey), until he can’t stay on his feet anymore.

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