By Martin Love

Protesters in Iran may be bolstering U.S. imperialism

January 13, 2020 - 11:24

NORTH CAROLINA - From afar it can be upsetting to hear about protests at some universities in Iran, allegedly spawned by anger over the unintentional downing of the commercial aircraft near Tehran. One can understand the anger over the horrible accident of mistaken identity, but let’s get real about this tragic event.

The most important to say is that if anyone blames the U.S. for the accident, they most definitely are not alone. In fact, even a candidate for the White House in November, Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. House representative from Hawaii and a veteran who has consistently opposed U.S. “wars of choice”, has stated that ultimate blame must be placed on the U.S. She is not alone in Congress, as if to say, if Qassem Soleimani and others had not been assassinated, the aircraft would never have been hit by a rocket because a rocket would never have been fired. Which is true. 

Iran’s military would not have been in such a heightened state of alert over possible attacks by U.S. cruise missiles or whatever. That Iran was in such a hair-trigger state of alert says something quite positive about Iran’s defenses, except that someone apparently made a grievous error and mistook the airliner for a foreign intrusion near Tehran. In wars or near wars, mistakes are legion. It’s just terribly unfortunate THIS mistake occurred, especially after Iran had so carefully calibrated its superb initial response to the U.S. murders in Iraq. It is even possible the radar “signature” of the Ukrainian airliner might have been altered to appear as something different: the Israelis or the U.S. have the technology to do this, it has been suggested.

Protests, simply that they happen, are a healthy sign that a society that has not become so repressive and totalitarian that citizens are cowed by state power and don’t express themselves. Anyone who was around and young during the Vietnam War, and also possibly subject to the military draft, engaged in massive protests and demonstrations against that war, and this was all to the good for they were a major factor in ending that monstrous bout of imperialism. Certainly, protesters in Iran have a right to be upset, but at the same time, Iranian leaders, after dithering for a couple of days while initial investigations were underway, did own up to the mistake and expressed great sorrow and remorse. Also, there are probably a group of hardcore dissidents in Iran that are encouraged by foreigners to stir up trouble whenever possible. 

The U.S., by comparison, has never formally apologized for any of its horrendous foreign policies in the Mideast over many decades that took the lives of millions of innocent people.  It never apologized for shooting down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf, and former President George H.W. Bush said the U.S. would never apologize. (Iran actually is more accountable than Boeing has been, which built a defective 737 model and covered it up until well after two planes crashed, murdering several hundred passengers, and then recently allowed the fired CEO to walk away with millions of dollars in severance pay.)

But for now, at least Trump’s popularity seem to be fraying. His only hope for reelection may be bringing the troops home from the Mideast. And what is most insufferable are his Tweets claiming that he has stood with Iranians since his Presidency began and that he is following protests in Iran closely, allegedly inspired by the courage of Iranians. A bigger lie is hard to imagine. Troop has not even stood for Americans in his stance on behalf of Netanyahu.

The primary point is this. It would be completely misguided for Iranians to think Trump cares about Iranians or Iran. One clear indication of this is just whom his administration has been backing for a desired regime change, such as the cultish MEK, which until a few years ago even the U.S. designated a terrorist organization. IF protesters in Iran imagine that by slamming the current government they may somehow usher in the fall of the Islamic Republic and a better government, they are sadly mistaken. The U.S. will exploit any changes in Iran for itself, not for anyone else, as long as the U.S. is trying to wreck the Islamic Republic.

Never before has imperialism by the U.S. been more naked, aggressive, crude, transparent and self-serving. This is obvious regarding Iraq right now:

Trump, hearing the demands of Iraqis that U.S. troops leave, has not only refused to leave but has threatened the confiscation of more than a billion dollars in oil revenue currently located at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. This is nothing but blatant extortion, and European silence so far about the various U.S. threats suggest possible complicity or at least fear.

The U.S. has again become an illegal occupation force inside Iraq, as it has been in Syria, and will aim to do the same by force or by proxy to Iran if Iranians fail to remain united against U.S. threats come what may. So one must say to Iranians who protest too much: cast blame where it is warranted, not on your government which is trying the supremely difficult task of keeping Iran independent of U.S. control. The U.S. under Trump wants nothing more than continuance of militant “empire”, control of oil resources and subjugation for foreign lands. There will be a time for disgruntled Iranians to address their concerns aloud, but only after external threats have been fully vanquished and the economy is once again thriving because sanctions are no more and the U.S. has lost what little support it still has in the Middle East.

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