The Islamic Republic of Iran is a sovereign state. This statement is a very basic one and at first glance appears unnecessary to point out. Yet the reality of Iran’s sovereignty is routinely forgotten whenever the United States wants to have its way in that part of the world or when Americans of various political stripes ponder their government’s decision making.
That point was brought home to me recently when I was invited to attend a dinner with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner was held in New York during the United Nations’ General Assembly week. My invitation was a testament to the Black Agenda Report’s uncompromising stance against American interventions and violence carried out around the world.
Every year President Ahmadinejad invites a group of Americans for this occasion. Approximately one hundred people attended from a range of activist groups, some of whom were invited to speak at the gathering. Yet in all honesty, the quality of the comments varied considerably. Most speakers were very passionate about social justice issues in the United States and abroad, but unfortunately, none of them made the most essential points about this nation’s relationship with Iran.
The people of Iran have a right to live without interference from and most importantly, without fear of death from the government of the United States. Obviously, all Iranian citizens are not supporters of the current government, but the United States, with its history of making war against Iran and other countries, is in no position to claim that it can assist them in bringing any changes that would benefit their nation. Despite claims of wanting to support democracies, the United States brings everything except that, propping up allies without regard to how they treat their own people. Often, as with Iraq and Libya, our government turns on these same allies at convenient moments and denounces them for the same activities which once made them friends of the U.S.
Confusion on these points prevents those who claim to be on the left from opposing their government’s policies with any coherence. This lack of a coherently expressed opposition to the U.S. and NATO destruction of Libya is a case in point. There is no justification whatever for outside interests to decide who should control Libya. If some Libyans wanted to end the Gaddafi regime, it was up to them to independently determine how to go about doing that. It was wrong legally, ethically, and morally for Barack Obama and NATO heads of state to strangle that nation with sanctions and then give money and weapons to one faction in the fight. It was certainly wrong for these hypocrites to then turn a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing which they instigated with their actions. The so-called rebels exacted terrible retribution against black Libyans and migrants from other African nations and that blood is on Washington’s hands.
Iran is stronger militarily than Iraq or Libya or Somalia. It has greater technological prowess and would hopefully be better prepared to fight back against an attack from the United States. What it does not have is a critical mass of Americans who would consistently and forcefully declare that any attack on Iran would be a crime against humanity.
Barack Obama has already succeeded in going where Republicans feared to tread. Ronald Reagan attempted to kill Gaddafi, too, but ultimately decided against pursuing this course, and didn’t enlist his allies in pushing a broader agenda. Obama knew no such limitations, and acted with steely determination to bring down that government and install a group of puppets. It is a cautionary tale and does not bode well for the Iranian people.
The government and the people of Iran need to know that there will be Americans who will speak out if Obama should turn his attention to that land. It should be clearly stated that Democratic Party wrongdoing is no better than the evil concocted by Republicans. Were such an atrocity to be carried out, Democrats ought to desert their party once and for all, and seek alternatives to the ever worsening corruption inherent in the American political system.
Hopefully, events in the world will prevent another American president from carrying out any violent designs against Iran, but if that is not the case, the left must step up in a serious way. That is what Ahmadinejad should have heard from the group of people he invited to meet with him. The left must stop its feel good vagaries of what constitutes political action and loudly shout “No!” once and for all to endless war and their nation’s imperial designs. Whether they realize it or not, they are the last and best hope for this country.