I want to be frank and talk about something that has been sitting at the back of my mind for a while now. I am sure it has been on the mind of other Americans. I want to talk about a matter that has now been brought into the forefront of my thoughts with the end of the election.
Today, I want to talk about Iran and America.
Iran has been a looming specter in American foreign policy since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The inevitable result of poor post-colonial management policies — including CIA actions against democratically elected leaders — in an attempt to keep a western-friendly leader in power, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been an enigma for American diplomats for the last thirty years.
Not being a communist government and traditionally being allies of Afghanistan and rivals to Russia and the USSR, Iran does not necessarily fit into the “West versus East” paradigm that defined most of the Cold War, and while it does have a strong trade relation with China, this was mostly developed after the thawing of U.S-China relations.
However, between pre-revolution political coups orchestrated by America, the hostage crisis at the embassy following the revolution and the increase in tensions in the area following the election of President Ahmadinejad, it would seem to me that, for one reason or another, we are on a path to war with Iran.
I am not saying this as a war hawk, raring for a real fight to test American metal against Persia and all that jingoist filth that will most likely begin to spew from the mouths of our politicians within the next few months. I say this as someone with an eye for patterns and an interest in foreign affairs.
The status quo in the Middle East is changing. Where it’s headed I can’t say, but between the destabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan and the events of the Arab Spring, the old balances of power are crumbling. In particular, the civil war in Syria, the country called “Iran’s closest ally,” is very troubling for peace in our time.
With the conflict spilling over the borders into Turkey and Turkey’s assurance of a right to defend, itself it is possible that NATO may be dragged into the conflict. If that were to occur, Iran would most likely be obligated to enter the conflict on the side of Syria under the terms of an agreement for military cooperation signed in 2006.
Not only that, last week Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he would be more than willing to attack Iran over its Nuclear Enrichment Program, with or without America’s support; it seems as if there are numerous vectors outside America’s sphere of influence pushing towards war.
This is not to say that Iranian President Ahmadinejad and his Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution are not without blame, thanks to their warmongering ways. In fact, the attack against a U.S drone on Thursday is believed to have been carried out by pilots of this army. This sort of aggression is clearly an attempt to egg America into a conflict.
Taking into account, however, that America is just barely getting out of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think you would be hard pressed to find a large group of people ready to kick off a new war between America and Iran. This is evident in the imposition of non-combat means to stop or sabotage Iran’s uranium enrichment plans.
Yet looking at the news coming out of the Middle East –– the speeches and conflicts and the posturing –– I can’t help but feel everything is sliding towards war. On the eve of Bush’s inauguration, the Onion published an article with the headline “Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over.” I hope the article they published on election night titled “Obama Announces We Are Invading Iran Right Now” avoids the same prescient fate.