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THE POMPOUS POMPEO: Trump's Barnyard Approach to Diplomacy

By Kambiz Zarrabi

cartoon by Salman Taheri, Iranian daily Shahrvand

I watched, live, the newly appointed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, deliver a half-hour-long prepared speech that highlighted his so-called "Plan B" approach to Iran at the neocon dominated Heritage Foundation last Monday. Hearing some of the key segments of his speech, it was quite clear that this "delivery man" was reading off a text prepared by a group-think that had to have included Netanyahu and Bolton ( nuclear capability, not now, not ever!)

The speech contained a long laundry list of accusations against Iran, ending in a twelve-point summary of "demands" by the United States, giving Iran the option to either comply or face the severest sanctions ever!

This "humanitarian" gesture has long historical precedence: The Israelites heading for their "Promised Land", were advised by their God, according to the Old Testament narrative, to kill man, woman and child and plunder their belongings, should the inhabitants of the communities they were passing through put up any resistance against the invading tribe! The leaders of the Golden Hordes of the Mongols, heading west to create the world's largest empire, also mercifully sent emissaries to the Persian cities along the way to either surrender without a fight, or face the full wrath of the mighty Khan.

And, yes; those villages were wiped off the face of the earth by the "Chosen People"; and the Persian communities and cities were devastated as though hit by modern day's nukes! But, ever wonder why humans don't simply capitulate and surrender in the face of potential annihilation?! A friend of mine has often questioned why the Palestinians, for example, don't just accept their fate, no matter how dismal, and quit fighting an unwinnable fight; an ironic view expressed by someone who takes pride in his Irish heritage!

So, now the mightiest power on earth has put Iran on notice!

The purpose of the shrewdly worded Pompeo speech was to first and foremost convey the message to the American people that the Trump administration's main concern about Iran was America's national security; and second, that America, out of genuine kindness, sympathized with the wishes of the Iranian people who were fed up with their ruling regime. This artful wording was to convince the public here that Iran does actually pose a threat to America's security (don't ask how that is probable, even possible!), and that sympathizing with the supposedly oppressed Iranian people is a true reflection of American humanitarian spirit.

Doubtless, this "Plan B" will receive bipartisan support in the Congress, with blessings by the media talking heads. The Zionist dominated mainstream US media, whether pro-Trump (Fox) or anti-Trump (all the rest), are fully engaged in diverting public's attention away from truly newsworthy global events by focusing ad-nauseam on the ultimately futile trivial details of the Clueless Clown's byzantine style palace intrigue!

Accusations against Iran's behavior are not new by any means. But now that the Trump administration's foreign policy in the Middle East is proving to be more aggressively pro-Israel, and thus anti-Iran, than during previous administrations, the pot might boil over by some accident, or planned accident, that will cost millions of lives, of course far away from American shores. As far as the general public here is concerned, basketball season has entered the playoffs, and baseball season is heating up: So, f&#@ the rest of the world, and as the umpire commands: Play ball!

Of course, Iran has had its own laundry list of accusations against the United States and its decades-long involvements half-way around the globe in the Middle East, dating as far as the 1950s. These involvements, such as support for dictators and despots and forcing regime change by any means, have continued to this day.

Now, let's look at the twelve-point list of demands put forward by the Secretary of State, and let's see what Iran's response might be (in italics under each point), should they take this list of "demands" seriously, something that is much in doubt!

  • Declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.
  • As a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty (unlike Israel), and complying with the terms of the JCPOA agreement, this issue is covered. Adding the word "perpetuity" would only make sense under the umbrella of total denuclearization of the region, which would include Israel!
  • Stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing, including closing its heavy water reactor.
  • Repeat the previous response.
  • Provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country.
  • Military and defense facilities are not open to inspection, nowhere on earth by nobody; but the IAEA does already have access to any site it deems necessary to inspect.
  • End its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems.
  • Iran does not have any nuclear weapons and is not involved in developing any. Ballistic missiles are Iran's main defensive weapons against potential attacks by the Saudis or Israel, and will not give up its right for self-defense.
  • Release all US citizens as well as citizens of US partners and allies.
  • Those held in Iran are charged with illegal acts or espionage, whether they are Iranian dual citizens, Americans, Israelis, etc.
  • End support to Middle East "terrorist" groups, including HezbollahHamas and Islamic Jihad.
  • The only terrorist groups are ISIS, Al Qa'eda, and their affiliated bands, supported by the Saud clan and by the chief promoter and supporter of international terrorism, Israel.
  • Respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilization and reintegration of Shia militias.
  • The Iraqi government is capable of making such demands, especially under the newly elected regime, without your interference!
  • End its military support for the Houthi rebels and work towards a peaceful, political settlement in Yemen.
  • America must first stop its support for the Saudi's massacre of the Yemeni populations. The Houthis are not a band of "rebels"; they constitute a major segment of Yemeni population resisting against the Saudi's attempts to marginalize them as Shi-ites, much hated by the Saud clan.
  • Withdraw all forces under Iran's command throughout the entirety of Syria.
  • That is for the sovereign government of Syria to decide, and not by Israel or the United States.
  • End support for the Taliban and other "terrorists" in Afghanistan and the region and cease harboring senior al-Qaeda leaders.
  • Sorry; you, like your boss, have no clue what you are talking about! So, let's not open that can of worms.
  • End the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps-linked Quds Force's support for "terrorists" and "militant" partners around the world.
  • Pull your own terrorist groups and their affiliates out of the region, and the Quds force will no longer have any reason to remain actively involved there!
  • End its threatening behavior against its neighbors, many of whom are US allies, including its threats to destroy Israel and its firing of missiles at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and threats to international shipping and destructive cyber-attacks.
  • Sir, threats of retaliation should not be regarded as threats of initiating aggressions, which the Israelis and their partners of convenience, the Saudis, have been making against Iran. And regarding cyber-attacks, remember who started it against Iran: you and your ally, Israel!

    Among those Arab states that you call US allies, could you name one that is a freely elected representative regime, or that has a better human rights and women's rights record than Iran does?

    No question that Iran's civil rights record leaves a lot to be desired, or that there is widespread dissatisfaction among people about economic and social conditions; but whether the elite in Iran and those who have comfortably settled abroad like it or not, great majorities all over the country do support the Islamic regime with relatively high approval rating. Compare that with the dismal approval rating of President Trump among the American people. So, please save your crocodile tears of sympathy for other occasions.

Mr. Pompei's pompous speech has been interpreted by some moderates in Iran as an indication that the United States is trying to open some dialog or negotiation with Iran, similar to Mr. Trump's initial approach toward North Korea, i.e., gorilla style chest-thumping and growling, then pulling back, followed by softening the tone and showing willingness to negotiate. Others, the hardliners in general, are under no illusion about America's sole objective in Iran: regime change.

The kind of regime change America has in mind is not replacement by a freely and democratically elected, representative government - the current government is already that! What the US prefers is something similar to the Egyptian regime; an obedient leadership that understands it has to rely on America's economic, diplomatic and military support for its very survival.

Well, realistically speaking, that ain't going to happen in Iran. But looking at it also realistically, but from a different angle, an independent, defiant (call it "rogue" if you like) regime such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, does offer opportunities for Corporate America, as well as for its chief troublemaker in the region, Israel, to carry out their agendas: American military-industrial complex, therefore American economy as a whole, benefits immensely from instability and threats of war anywhere on the globe; and Israel continues to expand, benefit, and remain immune to global criticism no matter what it does to the Palestinian nation and to the region. My previous article covered this issue in more detail.

So, it is not crazy to think that, not only does the United States not want peace and stability in the Middle East, it may actually prefer to keep the adversarial Iranian regime intact, but safely guarded, just in case.

It is a crazy world we live in. At eighty-two, I am glad I am approaching my own end of the line!


About the author:

Kambiz Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.

... Payvand News - 05/25/18 ... --

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