As likely done with all countries, enemies are often manufactured to fit a particular agenda without regard to any historical understanding of a problem between two nations. The writer Gore Vidal, with regards to the United States, termed the phrase “The United States of Amnesia.” Like a football player or boxer with too many jabs to the head, long term memory is not one of America’s attributes. Iran is a perfect example. To most Americans, relations went south when the students and others overthrew the American Embassy during President Carter’s watch. This was during the Iranian Revolution, which brought a revolutionary government to power after overthrowing the brutal Shah of Iran.
For 444 days, all Americans were obsessed with this. ABC had been, with the other networks, a standard bearer of government and mainly corporate propaganda. But with the takeover, the late night evening news program Nightline focused almost entirely on the event, making it a leader in such programming. It didn’t matter that the incoming Reagan administration made deals to keep the hostages there in order to win the upcoming election. ABC and the others were entirely focused on an enemy, and not an enemy within. And to this day, there have been no consequences regarding those engaged in what we would see as a violation of the Logan Act.
Even to this day, most Americans have no knowledge or understanding of the US’s role in overthrowing Iran’s democratically elected government of Mossadegh for the benefit of British Petroleum (BP). The events of 1979 were most likely a reaction to what happened only 26 years previously. Again, amnesia. And even if we were to learn of it, the media would call it ‘unfortunate’ but put an anti-communism spin on it.
All this is backdrop for the issue of the US’s assassination of General Soleimani. Until this event, his name was as unfamiliar to most Americans as Mossadegh’s. The spin, the propaganda that comes from the foreign policy establishment, to be repeated verbatim by the news media, is that he was a leader of Iranian terrorist activities and especially an enemy of US soldiers. Of course there’s no mention that those American soldiers happened to be outside of US territories and likely engaged in their own terrorist and illegal activities abroad. Also, not mentioned would be of any evidence that Gen. Soleimani had any role in attacking American soldiers. But he was an easy target as the US public has been conditioned to excuse anything done towards Iran, including its people, as legitimate, even when it violates basic norms and international law. We have heard ‘stories’ that he was on a peace mission of some kind authorized by President Trump. Was this a set up or counter-propaganda? We don’t, and will not likely, know for some time. And then it will be forgotten and at best, a footnote on the excesses of President Trump.
The more recent state sponsored assassinations of the Iranian nuclear scientist Dr. Fakhrizadeh and others by the likely perpetrators Mossad, MEK and with the US’s green light bring our hostility to Iran into greater focus. Whereas before there was real talk that assassinating Soleimani was a war crime, these recent killings make the issue political, not legal or moral, for the US. Did Israel and the US collude in this for their own purposes? Israel sees Iran as its existential enemy and Trump sees it as a way of creating havoc for the incoming Biden administration, and mostly out of pure spite.
Israel does have a lot to fear from Iran and actually from much of the world’s community, including the younger generation of American Jews, who are attempting to de-legitimize the colony state of Israel occupying Palestinian land. Iran has supported groups like Hezbollah and others, who are on the defensive regarding Israeli militarism, yet are painted as the terrorists by the US State Department and Israel. That they are fighting a defensive war against an apartheid state is unimportant. Their internal religious activities and beliefs, governance, etc. is of no concern. That they successfully held off one of the most powerful armies in the world when it invaded Lebanon was a national embarrassment and disgrace, and like the American psyche, personified by Trump, losing is not an option and should be avenged.
The world is openly acknowledging now that Israel is an apartheid regime. Younger American Jews are far less identifying with Zionism than ever before. Yet any attack on Israel, militarily or politically, is deemed anti-Semitic and that strategy is a powerful weapon, but is losing its hold. Still, the label itself is a powerful deterrent to criticize a foreign state.
More and more American Jews are bravely moving away from supporting Israel. But we see our Congress, with a few exceptions, and the media, equating Israel with almost a Utopian vision of true democracy. They engage the entire world with such blinders. Terrorism is what others do, never what they themselves do. What Israel does to its occupied people on a daily basis is terrorism. How it became a state was a result of a long campaign of terrorism, what the Palestinians call the Nakba. The new Israeli ambassador to Great Britain calls the Nakba an “Arab lie” but for which she is actually receiving a lot of heat, a sign that Israeli dominance is on the wane.
The hypocrisy of America support for human rights is palpable. That it’s the only industrial nation where one must be employed to have any kind of health insurance shows its total disregard for human rights here at home. Its fight against terrorism is a sham, fighting ISIS in one place yet arming it elsewhere. The US sees such Muslim extremists, also referred to as Takfiri extremists, as everything from an agent to a foil to even a talisman for promoting American hegemony for Wall Street.
One thing is clear. American dominance in the world has taken a serious hit due to the presidency of Donald Trump. Our image has been dirtied. Our economy is weaker than China’s. Only our military is on steroids, nothing else. Our government, on both the federal and local levels, is responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 during this pandemic. While Biden might take us back to a period of ‘normalcy’, the world has passed onward with new problems, opportunities, and most importantly, new leadership. The US Empire is in its death throes.