A short February 4th, 2008 editorial in the New York Times (NYT) insert of the German "Süddeutsche" newspaper, entitled "How to Deal With Iran," criticizes the U.S. administration for not being resolute in its approach to Iran, i.e. not making a "grand gesture" to Iran, a code phrase for coercing Iran into a compromise, the details of which casually undisclosed. Furthermore, the editorial criticizes the other powers, Europe, Russia, China and the Arab states, for not enforcing sanctions against Iran, even though they have no legal basis. Finally, the editorial concludes with the following remedy "... send a strong message to the Iranian 'people' about the folly of their leaders."
In spite of the flagrantly arrogant tone of the editorial, one must be mindful of its message, albeit not the one explicitly stated. Judging by its tone, the editorial is directed primarily at the elite policy makers close to the Iranian issue, who presumably read the NYT. Furthermore, since the editorial is not credited to a specific author, it does not reflect any particular author's view, rather the NYT's doctrinal views.
Since the NYT is arguably aligned with the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy, the article reflects these interests.
Most importantly, it reveals that U.S. foreign policy is directed at the Iranian people and not just its leadership, as media propaganda and U.S. administration officials (including George Bush) to date consistently claim. Iranians in general seem to have agreed with their leadership on the legitimacy of the Iranian atomic program. Furthermore, given the unfolding catastrophes resulting from U.S. interventions in neighboring countries, Iranians are not keen to assist a U.S. military intervention in their own country. Nor are they responding in an effective manner, from the vantage point of U.S. policy makers, to U.S. demands for a regime change. Necessarily, the NYT propaganda is shifting gears from promoting a war against the Iranian leadership to advocating a war against the Iranian people.
While the U.S. propaganda has shifted gears, actual U.S. foreign policy has always been a policy of plain old imperial conquest, in this case, about subjugating the Iranian people, no matter how it is masked as being against the Iranian regime. This "dual" approach in foreign policy is clearly by design and is an attempt, so far unsuccessful, to co-opt Iranians against their own national interests. As admitted by the former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, it worked in 1953, in the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mossadegh.
It would be a mistake though to think that this particular episode of U.S. foreign policy is limited to Iran and to the current historical era. Every U.S. intervention in history caused civilian causalities by design and was directed against the respective people: beginning with the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans (estimated 20,000,000+ killed), commencing with the kidnapping of African Americans (80,000,000+?) from their continent, their enslavement and dispossession in an Apartheid state, the Mexican War of 1845 (as a result of which Mexico lost 40% of its territory), the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine (a flagrant manifesto dated 1823) in order to subjugate Central and South America for the next 200 years, the sinking of the USS Maine to justify the war with Spain, the war on the Korean peninsula, the murder of 800,000+ individuals after the U.S.- orchestrated coup against the democratically elected government of Sukharno, the national hero of Indonesia, the Indochina wars, and all of the since World War One ongoing wars and interventions in the Middle East, to name just a few well known cases.
Due to the distances involved in history and huge advances in technology, it is very difficult to compare the U.S. Empire to any previous empire. Nonetheless one can draw parallels between the effects of U.S. foreign policy and the conquest of previous empires, e.g. the empire of the Mongols or the Nazi Regime.
A few days after the fall of Baghdad, American soldiers were seen plundering priceless treasures in Baghdad's museums, among many of these, "the mask of Ur," which presumably will never be returned to their rightful owners, the people of Iraq, the descendants of the Mesopotamians. Events in U.S. history have consistently taught us that these acts are a design of their instigators, in this case a coalition of Western elites. It is also an attempt to erase the collective memories of the subjected peoples, thereby more easily coercing them into subjugation.
Western media skillfully mask all such pillages and all the killings of wholly uninvolved people, portraying them as "collateral damages."
Because there is such a stark contrast between the brutality of U.S. foreign policy and the spinned, clean-cut and complex media portrayal, it is very hard for most, not directly involved, observers to make the connection between these two systems. Occasionally, I see old footage of Nazi propaganda news reels and I must confess that from today's vantage point and compared with today's standards, they seem quite crude! I wonder if 50 years from now our descendants will not think the same of today's modes of justifying wars of aggression.
In light of the shift in the NYT propaganda and the re-doubling of efforts of the U.S. and their allies to impose sanctions on Iranians for their defiance, Iranians, concerned citizens and activists world-wide ought to stand united in informing the world public opinion about the real motives of the U.S. and no longer give in to its historic demand.
... Payvand News - 02/17/08 ... --