Summary: In pursuit of dominance over the Middle East the US government destroyed Iraq, one of the two regional powers. Now we run the same playbook against Iran. Being a docile and easily led people, we don’t notice the similarity, or that our government trashes America’s greatest accomplishment on the world stage — and perhaps its primary legacy.
- This is success …
- … but it paints a sad picture of America
- Other posts about Iran
(1) This is success for the US …
“Iran Loses the Economic Battle”
by John Allen Gay, The National Interest, 4 October 2012
While negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are at a standstill, news this week indicates that Iran is clearly losing the economic battle. As in other cases, currency problems in Iran may contribute to an unpredictable and destabilizing political outcome.
Iran’s currency fell by more than 18% against the dollar on Monday and another 8% on Tuesday, marking a new low in Iran’s continuing economic crisis. The figures are grim: a sheaf of rials worth ten thousand dollars a year ago would be worth about $3,750 Monday and $3,500 Tuesday; on Wednesday, there were protests in the bazaar.
Short of buyers, oil production has fallen dramatically. Peugeot has ended its role in Iran’s auto industry, which has seen production declines of up to 50%. Inflation and shortages have become daily troubles. Various basic goods reportedly have doubled or tripled in price in the last year. Chicken has become a luxury item.
Officially, inflation is at 23.5% ; unofficially, it is at least a few percentage points higher. With manufacturing lagging and certain imports (especially gold) growing in spite of the rapid currency depreciation, Iran’s foreign-exchange troubles apparently are being “passed through” as inflation.
Extreme shifts are coupled with widespread political uncertainty (some of the rial’s worst days have been around nuclear negotiations) and a central bank hobbled by international sanctions. Iran may be on the verge of a bout of hyperinflation.
More about this: “Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering“, Glenn Greenwald, Guardian, 7 October 2012 — “Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery though a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive.”
Let’s recap the play: Our government, along with Israel’s, has incited fears about Iran’s nuclear program (public information doesn’t allow us to determine if they are largely baseless, like those made since 1984). They’ve hyped fears about what Iran would do with nukes, fears contradicted by history. these have allowed us to impose crippling sanctions on Iran.
(2) but it paints a sad picture of America
All of this serves to cloak our actual goals, continuation of our decade-long program to destroy all rivals to the US in the Middle East. The two poles of power in the Middle East are Iraq and Iran. We weakened Iraq with 13 years of sanctions plus fake accusations about nukes, with our invasion and occupation destroying the ruins. Now we’re repeating the program with Iran.
The sad part of this is the inability of the American people to see what what’s happening. This willful blindness by the people of a great nation deserves pity (but not from our victims). We’ve become like the people of the great city of Nineveh in Jonah chapter 4, whose people who could not tell their right hand from their left.
Consider what we once were. While our victory, with our allies, in WWII was impressive, far great was our magnanimity in setting the term of the peace. And after that was our rebuilding of our foes, and construction of the institutions to build a new world. A new framework of international laws, a forum to resolve grievances between nations, and the global institutions to build a better world — the WTO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the many other agencies through which we can learn to work together.
It’s not that this new order worked as well as we hoped, and of course it served US interests as well as our dreams. But we’ve not only done something rare in American history — giving up on this project — but even become the enemy of what we created. Our mad empire violates its laws (invasions, occupations, assassination, torture, mercs, etc). Our mad trade and fiscal deficits imperil its structure. Our defection removes its most powerful supporter.
Consider what we could become. It starts with each of us resolving to do better, and setting higher standards for ourselves and each other.
(3) Other posts about Iran
See all posts about the war the US and Israel wage against Iran at this FM Reference Page.
Summaries of the war:
- The hidden objective of our alliance against Iran, 11 June 2012
- Threats to attack Iran are smoke. Sanctions on Iran are our tool. Weakening Iran is our goal., 14 June 2012
- Hegemon at work on Iran, doing what hegemonic powers do. No war needed – or likely., 17 July 2012