A Child’s Guide to Iran-US Relations

There’s no denying that Iran is an unsavory state. It funds Hezbollah. Its record on women’s rights is abysmal. It hangs citizens — including gay teens — in public. Also, new evidence suggests that not Libya, but Iran, was responsible for the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

But, contrary to the administration’s claims, no hard evidence exists that Iran ships arms to Iraq. Nor does the International Atomic Energy Agency believe it’s capable of developing nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future. While only a fool would put such behavior past Iran, as pretexts for war they’re at lest as threadbare as those the administration used on Iraq.

After all, why attack Iran now when we didn’t in response to more obvious offenses, such as the hostage crisis, the Marine Barracks bombing or Hezbollah’s campaign against Israel in Lebanon?

Recently noted analyst Gareth Porter cited a paper called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.” Written in 2000, it served as the Neocons’ blueprint for the Bush administration’s military policy.

They actually admitted that Iran was “more the status quo power” –- in other words, no real threat. Then why obsess about Iran? It seems, Porter quotes the paper, that it wasn’t the nukes so much as the “constraining effect” a nuclear Iran would have on the administration’s plans for regional transformation.

They expect to achieve said transformation by means of another Neocon catch phrase. “Regime change” though, as Peter Galbraith writes, is “identified with the most discredited part of the Iranian opposition and unwanted by the reformers who have the most appeal to Iranians.” Of course, neither can anyone come up with an example of bombing driving out a country’s rulers.

In fact, it would require sending in troops on the ground to usher Mahmoud and the ruling mullahs out. Shades of Operation Eagle Claw (the star-crossed attempt to rescue the American hostages in 1980).

Why did Iran impose the Great Embassy Embarrassment on us anyway? What triggered it, if you’ll recall, was our decision to admit the deposed Shah into the US for cancer treatment. But the US and Iran have a longer history.

You remember history. It’s that stuff that those who don’t remember it should and those who remember it too much shouldn’t.

The US and Iran’s mutual history –- all history, in fact –- can be broken down to two basic grievances that even a child can understand. In other words: He hit me first and it’s not fair.

In 1952, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) controlled oil in Iran. At 85% British and 15% Iranian ownership, it sounds like a model for the arrangement the US seeks with Iraq. Worse, the British sought to further leverage their advantage by withholding their financial records from the Iranian government.

In response, Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, nationalized the company — just Iran’s 15%, though. That didn’t stop the United States, which stood to benefit from Britain’s hand in the Iranian till, from organizing protests to overthrow Mossadeq.

Once reinstated, our designated despot, the Shah, made his country safe for the West again. Today the administration expects Iranians to accept on faith that democracy will break out in the wake of regime change. But we forget that the rest of the world doesn’t have as short a memory as us. It was only 50 years that we nipped Iran’s democracy in the bud.

In other words, it’s obvious who hit who first.

Unjust as that was, another element of Iran-U.S. relations is even more likely to elicit that plaintive cry no parent is spared: “It’s not fair.” In the words of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, “Justice demands that those who want to hold talks with us shut down their nuclear fuel cycle program too. Then, we can hold dialogue under a fair atmosphere.” [Emphasis added.]

The injustice in question breaks down to four grievances. First and most obvious: We seek to deny Iran the right to develop nuclear weapons while in possession of same. (Of course, since it insists it’s not developing them, Iran can’t press the point.)

Second: We also seek to to deny Iran the right to develop nuclear energy. Yet that right is guaranteed by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which both the US and Iran have signed.

Third: We looked the other way as Israel developed nuclear weapons and we’ve drawn up a plan to provide nuclear energy and technology to India. Unlike Iran, neither are signatories to the NPT. Can you say WTF in Farsi?

Fourth: Not only does the administration fail to draw down our nuclear weapons in blatant noncompliance with the NPT, as well as oppose the Nuclear Test Ban and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaties, it’s developing new weapons. Americans may console themselves with the thought that nuclear weapons are less dangerous in our hands than in those of other countries supposedly less irrational. But Iranians look on, jaws agape, at how oblivious we are to our hypocrisy.

Like other international treaties, the NPT, thanks to the Bush administration, is on life support. Tearing down the “Do not resusciate” sign is a job for the next administration.

Who better to right these wrongs and restore justice? In other words who will not only save Iran from us, but spare us retaliatory attacks on our troops in Iraq and on our own soil, not to mention the havoc it could wreak on the economy? Every child looks up to heroes — or today’s hi-def version, the superhero.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the midst of a four-year makeover from hawk to diplomat. Scarcely the stuff of which legends are made, she’s notorious for capitulating when the going gets rough. To pin one’s hopes for avoiding war with Iran on her is to grasp at straws.

Meanwhile, as Porter wrote in another column, CENTCOM chief Admiral William Fallon may have “privately vowed that there would be no war against Iran on his watch.” But he recently met with Arab leaders to convince them to unite against Iran. In other words, “Don’t look at me when it comes to stopping war with Iran in its tracks.”

Is there no public figure speaking out against an attack on Iran? The lack of anything more than an occasional peep from Congress leaves one with a sinking sensation. Where’s the hero who will not only save Iran from us, but ourselves from us?

Such a person, however unlikely looking and despite his advocacy of nuclear energy, exists: Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He may be a Nobel laureate, but he’s not one to sit on his laurels. A recent New York Times profile termed him “everyone’s best hope.”

But the Washington Post referred to him in a recent editorial as the “Rogue Regulator.” Guess it thinks he takes the “peace” in Nobel Peace Prize too literally. In fact, he’s about all that stands between the administration and its plans to attack Iran.

Here’s a collection of his preemptive strikes against preemptive war:

“I would hope that everybody would have gotten the lesson after the Iraq situation, where 700,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives on the suspicion that a country has nuclear weapons.”

“So, [Iran has] the knowledge [to build a nuclear weapon]. Sure, they have the knowledge. Are you going to bomb the knowledge?”

“Careful! If we turn up the heat too high the pot could explode around our ears.”

And, for those who were wondering why, every chance it gets, the administration smears ElBaradei. . .

“I have no brief other than to make sure we don’t go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other. You do not want to give additional argument to new crazies who say ‘let’s go and bomb Iran.'”

“If practically all nuclear powers are modernizing instead of reducing their arsenals, how can we argue with the non-nuclear states? I deplore this two-faced approach.”

Finally the coup de grace:

“It’s hard to tell people not to smoke when you have a cigarette dangling from your mouth.”

International affairs really aren’t much different from the schoolyard. It’s all about who hit who first, what’s fair and who will stand up to the bully.

Russ Wellen is on the staffs of Freezerbox, OpEdNews and Scholars & Rogues. He can be reached at: russwellen@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Russ, or visit Russ's website.

33 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Kenny said on September 26th, 2007 at 5:29am #

    We lawyers always advise people not to admit anything they don’t have to. Mr Wellen claims that Iran finances Hezbollah, but there is in fact no evidence to support that claim other than from sources that have every interest in falsifying such evidence. Equally, there is no evidence to link Iran to Lockerbie, indeed, I haven’t even heard the claims that Mr Wellen refers to. Such “evidence” must surely come from the same unreliable sources. Moreover, isn’t it just a bit too convenient that this “evidence” should be “discovered” precisely at the moment that the evidence against Libya has been discredited? Might it not just be that some people are scared silly of the question: “If not Lybia, then who?”.

  2. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 6:38am #

    How can anybody miss the contemptible display by Lee, the lawyer, Bollinger blatantly whoring for his Israel First paymasters.

    Where is the outrage by the “community of scholars at Columbia University” at Bollinger’s whorehouse theory of objective inquiry?

    Lawyers are for sale, but Lee Bollinger was an expensive joke for the Zionist Propaganda machine.

  3. Russ Wellen said on September 26th, 2007 at 8:09am #

    It’s ironic that an article by myself, who posts piece after piece taking the administration to task for planning a war on Iran, could be interpreted as favoring an attack on Iran.

    Even though ElBaradei may not be as Iran-friendly as you might like, he’s all we’ve got.

  4. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 9:23am #

    What evidence SUGGESTS that Iran “was responsible for the explosion of Pan Am…?”
    What a pitch…!
    You are only trying to help by suggesting “stuff.” Right?

    What about … “the more obvious offenses like the hostage crisis or the marine barracks bombing..” Kill our Marines, willya!
    More sincere help? Never subterfuge.
    What a pitch!

    You pitched, “may not be as Iran-friendly…” in your follow up blog. More spin.
    ElBaradi is very Iran friendly and very objective about Iran, as you well know.
    You can’t give it up. You would use your mother for spin.

    What about a “nuclear Iran?”
    What about a nuclear Israel?

    What about the babies – the babies in the incubators? You forgot the babies.
    “New evidence suggests” that the Palestinians and the Iranians killed the innocent babies.

    Wellen, let me suggest that you and your child’s guide to pitching are one big pitch.

  5. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 9:54am #

    NOT LIBYA, BUT IRAN. Iran dunnit.
    Not Libya, but Iran. Not Libya, but Iran.

    They could have maybe?

    Can’t you see that I am NOT pitching a new Israeli line.
    I want to expose the foul lies and the forked tongue “suggestions” and deceptions of the administration.

    Isn’t ElBaradi connected with the Lockerbie thing?

    I’m in your corner. Swallow it.

  6. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 10:17am #

    Correction and apology.

    Really new evidence suggests that the Palestinians had absolutely nothing to do with the vicious murder of the innocents aboard Pan Am Flight 103.
    I mis-spoke when I suggested that the Palestinians done it, or possibly had their filthy hands in it. They are innocent this time, probably.

    The Iranians done it with absolutely no help from their Palestinian pals. Or maybe a little help, as the evidence suggests?
    That is not to say that the Palestinians may not have liked it.

    And new evidence suggests that the Palestinians still think that the Libyans done it. In this the misled Palestinians have been had by who knows what kind of propaganda.

  7. Shabnam said on September 26th, 2007 at 12:22pm #

    The Zionist lobby, the clever one, tries to bring the destruction of Iran through “nuclear holocaust” by mix talking. First the “child” shows his innocence by presenting Iran with warm words such as “denying”,
    “unsavory” and “abysmal” to set the stage and prepares the reader for the worse, like the Zionist Kouchner foreign minister of France and his president, a Zionist war. This “child” attacks Iran for execution of people and gays, but forgets to say these two were convicted of rape charges, right or wrong I do not know since I did not attend the trial. It was widely publicized in the opposition groups as “execution of gays in Iran.”
    This “child” innocently brings a charge which has been put forward by imperialists and Zionists, the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, with no prove to confuse the readers of this site, not knowing that readers of this side are not as ignorant as general public who are brain washed by the media. The “child” continues to bring certain facts by a source, Peter Galbraith, who does not believe in MEK despite the fact that US has relationship with this terrorist gang where MEK is on the state department list as terrorist. Peter Galbraith is pro Zionist who is determined to bring about the Zionist’s plan “map change” in the Middle East where it has become the policy of the American empire in the Middle East and Central Asia and he is very active in creating the first puppet state for Israel, Kurdistan on American’s expense. Israel gives Kurds military training like what Israel doing in Sudan where was involved in training the separatist of Southern Sudan and Darfur now. Israel destablizes Islamic countries and set for disintegration by creating tension among minorities.
    I join with other readers who do not trust you and say that WE ARE NOT STUPID. You may find more enthusiastic readers somewhere else such as FORWARD.

  8. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 12:33pm #

    Shabnam, the Peter Galbraith pitch and plant was a dead giveaway.

    It appears that the Israeli peeyar boys and girls are getting worried about their cyber soldiers falling as flat as a pubescent Palestinian heterosexual teen-ager under an Israeli bulldozer.

  9. Steven Sherman said on September 26th, 2007 at 12:40pm #

    Regarding charges that Iran hangs homosexuals, see:

    http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/pourzal220507.html

  10. JE said on September 26th, 2007 at 12:58pm #

    I don’t understand the comment about Hezbollah. While you may not agree with their ideology, and indeed I certainly do not, they have never invaded another country and seem to seek to preserve Lebanon’s right self-determination as a sovereign entity. So funding a militia that sought to protect Lebanon from Zionist aggression, which is more than could be said for the Lebanese Army…is wrong?

  11. JE said on September 26th, 2007 at 1:03pm #

    Never Forget Think Tanks actually pay “fellows” to go on to websites and spew their propaganda to obscure debate…

  12. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 2:17pm #

    Wellen, if the Lobby cans your ass for gross incompetence, blowing your cover, and hopelessly stupid framing behavior; here is The Israel Project site for job starters.

  13. Shabnam said on September 26th, 2007 at 2:28pm #

    Thank you JE

  14. gerald spezio said on September 26th, 2007 at 2:37pm #

    JE, Iran funds Hezbollah.

    A Israeli bird told Wellen, and Wellen told us.

    Hezbollah uses the funds to perform clitorectomies on innocent young girls, you know. They also buy ropes to hang their “homos.”

  15. Hue Longer said on September 26th, 2007 at 4:41pm #

    I’m all for DV allowing these articles…I think the authors are not used to their offerings being handed back. Reading the surprise of the patronizing when confronted cracks me up.

  16. Deadbeat said on September 26th, 2007 at 6:13pm #

    I’m all for DV allowing these articles…I think the authors are not used to their offerings being handed back. Reading the surprise of the patronizing when confronted cracks me up.

    Hue you are correct and why I like DV.

  17. Russ Wellen said on September 27th, 2007 at 3:41am #

    Thanks, Gerald. The Israel Project is right up my alley!

  18. Ward said on September 27th, 2007 at 5:44am #

    I particularly like this article. It presents arguments in a clear, reasoned fashion. It avoids name-calling and makes its points in a calm tone of voice. Several of the points are quite telling.

    The timing on the Lockerbie “new evidence” makes me nervous, too. But I don’t think accepting or denying an Iranian roll in that act of terrorism affects the overall strength of the piece. Wellen’s point that the Iranians have sometimes supported terrorism is conventional wisdom. I especially like the telling compilation of El Baradi quotes.

    It strikes me that shouting and becoming angry while debating with someone is a way of trying to bully your interlocutor, not persuade him. I don’t understand the point of ranting comments. They generally only serve to undermine the shouter’s credibility.

  19. gerald spezio said on September 27th, 2007 at 6:27am #

    If you can’t address the substance, go for the style. It’s a yuppie game.

    Frame the debate. Was the Lockerbie bomber a Sunni or a Shia?

    Ahmadinejad fugged dog on this spot. When was that?

    Make suggestions. The schmuckery is stupid. Like the Palestinians.

    The Iranians must be blown to smithereens. Focus. Islamofascism.

    Remember who you are working for. Remember your training.

    We have the Palestinians in Concentration Camps. Iraq is destroyed. The Mossad will smite our enemies. Zionism forever.

    We have Joe Lieberman and almost the entire Senate. We have our big money on Hilarious.

    God likes us best.

  20. NOT An Israeli Boot-Licker said on September 27th, 2007 at 9:30am #

    I quote the author. Disinformation and sheer frauds are in bold type:

    “After all, why attack Iran now when we didn’t in response to more obvious offenses, such as the hostage crisis, the Marine Barracks bombing or Hezbollah’s campaign against Israel in Lebanon?”

    1) To this day, it is unknown for sure who bombed the barracks in ’83, but we sure know who benefitted from the aftermath, PR-wise: Israel, as usual.

    Neither Hezbollah nor Iran have claimed responsibility for the barracks bombing; other militants, however, have. But those other militants were ignored in order to go after a Shiite cleric who was said to be closely tied with a bigger fish and enemy of Israel and US neocons: Iran (according to anti-Iranian, pro-Israeli “intelligence organizations,” of course). The Reagan White House needed a scapegoat in order to save face, so the U.S. military and the CIA bombed Lebanese civilians in the cleric’s general vacinity and in other Shiite neighborhoods “thought to be hideouts” for Iranian-trained militants. Of course they missed the sheikh, but didn’t miss scores of Lebanese civilians. Here’s just one account, straight from the CIA’s “family jewels” documents recently released to the public.

    2) Hezbollah’s campaign against Israel? WTH are you snorting, Avigdor?

    It wasn’t Hezbollah who flew F-16s and drones into a neighbor’s airspace, carpet-bombing hospitals, roads, airports, power stations, mosques, churches, schools, and the like; it was Israhell. Get some facts from somewhere other than the Hasbara Handbook — perhaps a scholarly source, like this one: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

    How can you sit there and tell us that the United States did not retaliate blindly and directly for the ’83 bombing, and blindly and indirectly for the Hezbollah acts of resistance (supplying weapons to Israel, giving public support, and refusing to call for a cease-fire)?

    I thought DV published only authors whose material was credibly sourced in facts. WTF?

  21. Shabnam said on September 27th, 2007 at 11:26am #

    … and guess what Gerald..
    The Zionist plan, diving Iraq, has just passed by the senate with the leadership of servant of the Zionist interest, Joseph Biden, with 75 – 23 of which 26 are from republicans and the majority are from Democrats including the AIPAC GIRL, Hilary Clinton. I want to know WHO IS JOSEPH BIDEN dares to send his troops and kills millions of people and then to divide the country into pieces so they can create more puppets such as Dubai and tribe of Kurdistan. This is the beginning of the down of the empire into garbage bin. This plan was publicized by an Iraqi servant of the Zionist in name of Kenan Makiya whose family benefited from Saddam and now is making fortune by serving Cheney and his associates and the Zionists. People of Iraq call Makiya and his close friend Ahmed Chalabi , thief and criminal. This is the beginning of more blood shed and until the Americans do not get lost out of the MIDDLE EAST they will face nothing but shame.

    http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.phpstory=20061005214848329

  22. Joe said on September 27th, 2007 at 12:12pm #

    This article is crap…who has caused the most turmoil on the planet in last 50 years, Russ Wellen….the Inuits?

    Christ, if it wasn’t for these human atrocities, some people would have nothing to write about and nothing to say….and NO…I will not qualify my statements.

  23. opeluboy said on September 27th, 2007 at 4:57pm #

    Sorry, I kinda like Hezbolla. Wish there were more of them better armed.

  24. Russ Wellen said on September 28th, 2007 at 6:23am #

    The Israeli Boot-Licker wishes to thank all of you for commenting on his article. Actually many of your remarks were helpful, as well as educational.

  25. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 7:05am #

    Lawyer Joe Biden helps brother lawyers Joe Lieberman and John Kyl deliver for Israel’s “creative destruction” of the Muslim trash for the Chosen People.

    Can we buy the goyim Senate?
    You bet we can.
    How much will it cost?
    Fuck the cost. Buy it. This is Supernation – everything is for sale.
    We are lawyers who deliver for our client. For a price.

  26. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 8:10am #

    Wellen, every time you get down to lick, I will kick you in the teeth.

  27. NOT An Israeli Boot-Licker said on September 28th, 2007 at 12:21pm #

    Russ,

    If I offended you, I apologize. I find it hard to control the polemical level of my rants on certain matters. But there are a few things I felt you either left out or mislead the reader with. All writers do it — some more egregiously than others. You’re not the worst, and I’m certainly not guilt-free. I admire the grace with which you’ve responded to your tough critics. If it was me, I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself.

    Anyway, I hope my post was more insightful than personally hurtful. Just don’t be afraid to give “our” chosen enemies (Hezbollah, Iran, et al.) the benefit of the doubt in spite of the ZioNeoFascistic backlash sure to ensue in some venues. It wouldn’t meant that you’re sympathetic to their causes, or that you’re abetting them; it would just show that you’re not a hack for the traitorous US foreign policy hijackers in Tel Aviv and D.C. (Sometimes there’s a cost for being objective and scholarly. But who cares, as long as you’re basing your content in historical facts, right? That’s how I see it.)

  28. Russ Wellen said on September 28th, 2007 at 12:38pm #

    Thanks, Not a. . ., your comments remind me to be ever-vigilant against accepting conventional wisdom.

  29. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 1:01pm #

    “…new evidence suggests that not Libya, but Iran… ”

    Still no new evidence.

    This is about murder.

  30. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 1:08pm #

    Gentlepersons, here is a writer. Layla Anwar, an Arab lady, doesn’t claim any new evidence. She doesn’t have to.

    Is there anything in Iraq that the Americans have not destroyed ?
    Anything at all ?
    And you dare wonder why I detest you so much…And you have the audacity to come to my blog to question me about my origins, my location, my ideas, my roots, my sense of belonging…
    What kind of a race are you ? What kind of a people are you ?
    Yes, I said people not government. I am not politically correct. Your government is part of you and you are part of it. Like it or not.
    And don’t come and tell me in your sheepish ways that I know all too well : ” Oh, but I did not vote for this one. ”
    I don’t give a fuck whom you voted for or did not vote for. It is not my problem.
    My problem is you. Your culture, your behavior, your mentality, your character, your haughtiness, your arrogance, your false pride, your denial, your collective stupidity and ignorance, your way of life which I find boring, empty and distasteful, your accent which is an affront to my ears…and to my senses.
    I do not like you. Full stop.

    I know, I know, some of you are good people…
    I know, I know, America is not a homogenous group… I know all that shit.
    It does not make one iota of difference in my life and that of other Iraqis.
    I no longer give a damn about your nuances, your political leanings, how good or how bad you are…It is meaningless to me and to countless others.
    Our lives have been ruined, totally ruined…We do not give a fuck about your nuances.
    And all I know if that you have destroyed my country. Beyond repair.

  31. gerald spezio said on September 28th, 2007 at 2:38pm #

    Wellen, when you dig foul hole as deep as your first paragraph above, all the damage control in your peeyar bag of tricks can’t fill it in.

    Blame it on bad training for framing murder with double messages.

    You have been outed and you know it.

    Get back in bed with Daniel Pipes.

  32. gerald spezio said on September 29th, 2007 at 6:22am #

    Wellen’s poorly engineered-double -talking -innuendo-ridden propaganda should inform the brains at DV that they have been had.

    Even the “crisis management” is childishly filled with the same standard strategy.
    Wellen’s bungling yuppie sales pitch makes Goebbels look sophisticated.

    Wellen has been hacking and spewing his Israeli knuckle- balls for
    years, and getting away with it.
    Check out his double message “pieces” on his phony websites.

    “Because of the oil,” says Greenspan “exposing” the oil culprits who put slick peeyar into the Goy minds.

    “Because of the oil,” says Dr. Strangelove Kissinger “exposing” the oil culprits …
    What a pitch!

    Bloodthirsty Israel Firsters, proud of their dual citizenship, are now openly DEMANDING that the U.S. killing colossus rain murder on the Iranian people.
    Only Israeli/Americans can have “dual citizenship” in both Israel and the U.S. It is a very special U. S. LAW for very special people.

    At the end of his bloodthirsty “piece” preaching to Bush for murder and destruction in Iran, Norman Podhorentz lovingly says;
    “As an American and a Jew, I pray that he does.”

    It”s mandatory to murder Muslims, even though it “smacks” of anti-Muslimism.
    Pro-murder is a tough frame to push, but we are trying.

    Just don’t you dare call me a murdering Jew – that’s anti-semitism, and I’ll see you in court.
    Hello; Alan, Alan Dershowitz.
    I’ve been horribly injured by anti-semitism. I demand justice.

  33. Mike McNiven said on October 4th, 2007 at 12:56am #

    On “PanAm flight 103″ and the Islamist “republic” by William Blum:
    http://members.aol.com/bblum6/panam.htm