Life often imitates Art, and Art often imitates Life. If this is held to be true, then one can deduce that the recent “fury” of Iran’s blustery rhetoric is an indication of futility for that nation’s leadership. While it is possible that this is wrong, here are some reasons that in many ways the world community views this latest situation with Iran and the United States as just another day at the office.
News outlets in the US, both liberal and conservative are beating the war drums with extraordinary irresponsibility.
Taking a look at both Drudge Report and Fox News on the conservative to libertarian ends of the political spectrum, we see this sort of bannering going on:
Restarting the draft? Over Iran? Seriously? And we can look at Fox News’ lead stories taken at the same time (January 6 at 2:57am EST)
In both of these we see a great deal of chatter, but the whole thing is really nothing more than drama for the news junkie who uses these networks for information. Let’s take a look now at our friends over on the Clinton News Network (an affectionate nom de jure for CNN):
As we see, both Fox and CNN take their political jabs as well, trying to indicate that this situation reflects a problem with President Trump (as has been the case ever since he announced his candidacy).
All of this reporting is drama.
As far as reporting real news goes, the story is far more and far less.
It is far less because while the leaderships of Iran and the United States are verbally posturing to show strength (with the media acting as accomplices in this for both sides, mostly), the drama and attention are stirred up, but at the same time, that is sufficient. There does not need to be a shooting war.
That is a good thing for both sides, because the United States will not attack Iran unless Iran attacks first. Since there has been an agreement in place in Iraq for US troops to be there, this makes the relationship very dicey. The killing (some say murder, and I cannot entirely disagree here) of General Soleimani is certainly a massive provocation. But while the US forces were being left alone by Iranian military in the region there was no cause for hostility. The attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad was an attack on sovereign US soil. This was an increase in hostility from the Iranian side that the American forces have not done, and in fact, have been very restrained from doing.
However, since the embassy is surrounded by Iraq and Iran is welcome, apparently the lines seemed fuzzy enough to the Iranian side to go ahead and try this. And for that they lost their top general.
Now, I write this as pragmatically as possible. I have no beef with the Iranian people or its government, but I cannot help notice that their governmet definitely has a gripe with the US. The most recent direct grievance I have received from sources in Iran suggest that the anger is over the severe sanctions and departure from the 5+1 deal known as the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), put in force by President Obama, which allows Iran to effectively mark time in their nuclear development programs. The conservative side in American politics strongly believes that Iran intends to produce a viable nuclear weapon, and the JCPoA was a miserable failure at preventing this; all it did was slow the process slightly and open a lot of financial pathways to Iran.
From the Iranian side the sanctions do appear to be very harsh, and unlike Russia, which has turned US sanctions against it to its own advantage, Iran’s government seems more interested in trying to get its way through bluster and rage, rather than negotiations. It is understandable that with America’s foreign policy record being severely dominated by the interests of globalists and the military-industrial complex, Iran has every right to be quite reticent to just go and try negotiations with the nation that has personified “indian giving” in so many ways. We get this.
But at the same time, President Trump has shown the world that he means business when he says he wants America out of foreign wars. Granted, his advisers are full of people that think wars are for fun and profit. But he demonstrated first with Kim Jong-un, later in Syria with the amazing rocket attack that hurt nothing, more recently with the pullout in norther Syria and with the present boiling crisis in his warning:
This statement echoes an opinion piece from the Washington Post last May, though President Trump knows that Iran’s victory in negotiations would be America’s as well. He wants to make things right with Iran. After all, the United States has no vested interests in that country’s oil, but they do see Iran as an exporter of terrorism. Iran doesn’t do very much to allay that concern when they regularly bluster about how they will destroy Israel and the US and whoever else.
In fact, it would be fair to say that, at least from a Christian perspective, the Iranian nation is run by a bunch of lunatics. Their behavior is very difficult to relate to the processes of thought and action in the Western world. It may well be that the Iranian government thinks the same about the Western way of doing things. But that is what negotiations are for: to get the garbage out in the open and start talking to each other and coming to an understanding.
The Russia Factor
Another piece of the puzzle is Russia. Russia has maintained good relations with Iran for decades, and it still does. However, just in the last week, the Kremlin released their “readout” of a phone call initiated by President Vladimir Putin to President Trump, thanking the American president for his country’s help in thwarting terrorist attacks in Russia. The terror attacks are from ISIS or related groups, and ostensibly we are dealing with Islamism. Iran has a problem when it relates its fury against the United States to Islam, because Russia, while having very peaceful interrelations between Muslims and Christians in its own territory, is committed to preserving Christianity everywhere. If Iran tries to make a serious move against the United States, it creates a real problem for Russia, which has been quietly working together with the US to improve relations, if only painfully slowly.
Speculatively speaking, it is likely that Russian authorities have already quietly spoken to the Iranian regime, to give them a warning: go this far, but no further. For that reason, rhetoric, which can be happily reported by everyone who thinks of this kind of thing as a spectator sport, can gin up the fires of passion on all sides and make good ratings. There is a further factor, as well, which just happened in the last 24 hours:
Iraq wants US troops out of the country.
Fox News carried a piece noting that Iraqi lawmakers approved a resolution to expel American troops from its territory, ending an agreement made four years ago to help Iraq fight against the explosive growth of ISIS in its lands.
Only for true war-hawks is this bad news. Even conservative Fox noted in an interview with retired Col. MacGregor, that if the Iraqis vote to expel the US, the US ought to simply pack up and leave. Why not? It may seem an “ungrateful” move by the country the US “liberated” twice, first from Saddam Hussein and second (and more importantly) from ISIS (even though there are serious irregularities that took place under Obama’s administration of this so-called help). But Iraq was set up to be a sovereign nation and they have every right to choose their destiny. It would have been worse for the Iraqis to simultaneously keep the US troops there and support the Iranian factions operating in country as well.
It is simple: The US departs and Iran and Iraq can play their games any way they like.
Of course, anything can happen.
Even as I write this, I know that the Iranian government is a true wildcard. Their formidable expression of resentment against the US is unmatched by any other significant power in the world. They have a powerful military and if they wanted to, they could indeed launch into a war with the United States and many lives would be lost. It would strongly resemble the long awaited Armageddon, and depending on how things went, it might actually turn out to be that long-predicted battle of all battles.
But this is doubtful. I take my inspiration from a piece of art. The book Alas, Babylon, written in the 1950’s by Pat Frank, describes World War III as a nuclear exchange, most of which took place in a single day. Before The Day, an accidental missile strike by an American plane chasing a fighter shadowing it decimates a major Soviet military emplacement in Latakia, Syria. The Soviet Union does not engage in bluster at all.
It goes dead silent.
If the talking and the bluster stops dead, that might be when to worry.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.