Thursday, February 24, 2011

Iran: Getting It Straight

Many Americans who should know better still seem clueless about Iran. It is not U.S. business to foment regime change in Iran, whatever we may think of its rulers and their policies. It is our responsibility to achieve regime change in Washington. With that accomplished the rest of the world would have a real shot at democracy, which under prevailing circumstances it does not because Washington regularly destroys popular rule whenever the occasion presents itself.

It has become fashionable to make appeals to "universal values" as a basis for criticizing the Iranian government (and other anti-Washington governments, too, for that matter). But these self-serving rationales do not wash: George Bush, after all, did the same in justifying his invasion of Iraq.

It may very well be that freedom is a universal aspiration, and there can't be much doubt that personal freedom in the U.S. is far more developed than it is in Iran. But what follows from these facts, if indeed they are facts? That we have the right to judge, condemn, and destroy the Iranian revolution, which retains considerable popular support 32 years after the fact? Certainly not.

In the context of the U.S. overthrowing Iranian democracy, encouraging the Iran-Iraq war, continually threatening to invade and bomb the country, assassinating Iranian cabinet members and a Supreme Court justice, imposing crippling sanctions, blowing up an Iranian civilian airliner and applauding the result, openly insulting the Iranian president on a visit to the U.S., in view of all this, American criticisms of Iran for its "sexist," "homophobic," and "backward" social policies are obnoxiously irrelevant. And given organized Jewry's longstanding efforts to push the U.S. into direct confrontation with Iran, it hardly needs to be said that this is a brand of politics that apartheid Israel truly loves.

For all the good it has done in alleviating personal suffering the LGBT community and its endlessly self-referential "politics" shares a large part of the blame for this attitude. Apparently, the top priority of a country targeted for destruction by Washington and surrounded by its imperial wars should be to immediately grant unrestrained sexual freedom to gays, lesbians, transvestites, and transsexuals. Without complete sexual liberty national sovereignty has no meaning. Sure.

Another factor in the misplaced criticism of Iran may be the contempt for all religion on the part of so many secular social critics. The fact that all prior civilizations grew out of religion, and that the world's first scientific industrial one appears to be leading the human race to extinction, does not seem to bother these people, though it certainly ought to.

The bottom line is that we should develop a real radical politics and stop the ridiculous posturing. Washington has been public enemy number one inside and outside the U.S. for a long time now. Let's achieve regime change there first and leave the discussion of others' shortcomings for later.

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