The demonization of Iran and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the White House, the State Department, Bibi Netanyahu, AIPAC, and the American media reminds me of the vilification of blacks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the American South by white racist politicians in the 1960s.
According to the received wisdom to which most ill-informed Americans subscribe, Ahmadinejad is a world class Jew-hating, Holocaust-denying, anti-semite who is building a nuclear weapons program to blow the state of Israel off of the face of the earth. But I don’t buy this; just as I never bought into the idea that blacks were inferior, even though I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi back in the 50s.
Just because Ahmadinejad has been able to see through the fact that Israel has brilliantly used the Holocaust to manipulate the entire world, particularly the United States, towards its self-serving agenda for over sixty years does not mean that he is a Holocaust-denier. If anything, it suggests that his grasp of the geopolitical consequences of the Holocaust is indeed quite profound. The only difference between Ahmadinejad and the other political leaders of the world is that he has the guts to stand up and confront the Israelis and their American sponsors for the hypocritical acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing waged against the Palestinians, all justified by the Holocaust.
But isn’t it time to step back and ask, “What’s really going on here?” How is it possible for a country like Iran to continue developing a nuclear weapons program, in the face of almost unbelievable opposition from the largest, most powerful, most militaristic, most violent empire in history? Are they out of their minds? What is the driving force behind what appears to be an act of complete insanity? What is the geopolitical paradigm underlying this bizarre behavior? Why is no one asking these questions?
I believe there is much more than meets the eye here, and it has virtually nothing to do with anti-semitism. Rather it has to do with global political power and the Chinese and the Russians drawing a line in the sand which says loud and clear, “Enough is enough.”
Needless to say, the American-Israeli cabal’s success in hegemonizing the Middle East and its supply of oil has not gone unnoticed by Beijing or Moscow. Isn’t it quite possible that the Iranian nuclear program is far more important to China and Russia than it is to Iran? Given the intensity of the anti-Iranian rhetoric from the United States and Israel in recent years, particularly during the recent presidential campaign, isn’t it likely that both Beijing and Moscow have sent messages to the White House saying, “Don’t even think about taking out the Iranian nuclear installation.”
While pretending to be opposed to a nuclear armed Iran, it does not take much imagination to envisage both China and Russia clandestinely supporting the Iranian nuclear project politically, technically, and financially. This is all about confronting the American Empire and stopping its further encroachment on the whole world.
But what about the charges of anti-semitism hurled at Iran by the U.S. and Israel aimed at undermining Iran’s credibility and trying to garner world opinion against an Iranian nuclear threat? From the standpoint of international public opinion, it is far more effective to depict Iran as a threat to Israel rather than as a threat to American imperialism, which is just what it happens to be.
Therefore, do we conclude that Iran is merely a pawn of China and Russia simply doing their bidding or does it have a mind of its own? Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Whoever he is, he is a very gutsy guy, surely one of the bravest men on the face of the earth!
The fact that President Ahmadinejad has agreed to serve as Secretary-General of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, which tries to position itself as independent of the U.S., Russia, and China, suggests that this story is far more complex than anyone could have possibly imagined. It leaves open the possibility for Iran to play a major role in promoting the interests of the small, less developed nations of the world while helping stop the spread of American imperialism with the support of China and Russia. That’s a lot.
Please be assured that the Machiavellian nature of all of this has not illuded me. As one unconditionally opposed to all forms of nuclear weapons, I have little empathy for the nuclear weapons programs of the U.S., Israel, or Iran.
But the point is that our presidential candidates, our government, its intelligence services, our academic experts, and our media appear to be virtually clueless as to what is most likely going on in Iran. Iran is where the rubber meets the road – perhaps the most dangerous spot in the world.
Isn’t it high time we took note of this possibility, started doing our own homework, and stopped listening to anything Bibi Netanyahu has to say about anything?
Thomas H. Naylor
October 31, 2012
Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning.