Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

10.22 These are the shocking numbers behind America's opioid epidemic

10.21 Teen Climate Activist to Crowd of Thousands: 'We Can't Save the World by Playing by the Rules Because the Rules Have to Change'

10.20 Robotic indoor farms can grow food anywhere, anytime [we'll need this when our children and grandchildren have to live underground ...]

10.20 UK is endangering people's health by denying their right to clean air, says UN

10.20 Scottish Power to invest in solar energy for the first time

10.20 Politicians say nothing, but US farmers are increasingly terrified by it – climate change

10.20 'Making Sacrifices for All of Us,' Indigenous Water Protectors Arrested at Pipeline Company's Shareholder Meeting

10.19 EPA to unveil plans to weaken rule limiting toxic mercury pollution [Trump's rats fight back! What does the "P" in EPA stand for now?]

10.18 As the fracking protesters show, a people’s rebellion is the only way to fight climate breakdown

10.17 Could carbon-capture technology be a silver bullet to stop climate change?

10.17 So many animals will go extinct in the next 50 years that it will take Earth at least 3 million years to recover, a study has found

10.16 Can We Go Electric Before It’s Too Late?

10.16 'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city [with electric or hydrogen buses the cities can be much less polluted and cleaner with far fewer cars]

10.16 Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

10.16 Scottish Power shifts to 100% wind generation after £700m Drax sale

10.16 Australia should be 'exporting sunshine, not coal', economist Jeffrey Sachs tells Q&A

News Media Matters

10.21 In Bolsonaro's New Brazil, Far-Right Evangelical Billionaire's Media Empire Is Being Exploited to Investigate Journalists

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

10.22 How a Gang of Hedge Funders Strip-Mined Kentucky’s Public Pensions

10.22 ‘The next Joe Arpaio’: the Maryland sheriff praised by Fox and Trump [How to profit from desperate, suffering people? Sheriff Chuck Jenkins makes the county money—and increases the national deficit and debt—by jailing more immigrants longer.]

10.22 The women’s wave is coming. Republicans should be worried

10.21 Here Are Three Easy Fixes to Social Security and Medicare that Republicans Don’t Want You to Know About

10.21 Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law [Cool!]

10.21 Tribalism Is Not the Problem

10.20 Mapping Student Debt [interactive map may inspire you to call Betsy DeVos!]

10.20 GOP candidate improperly purged 340,000 from Georgia voter rolls, investigation claims [Republicans are flagrantly cheating again...]

Justice Matters

10.18 Is Fraud Part of the Trump Organization’s Business Model? [Obviously!]

High Crimes?

10.18 Nicaragua used 'weapons of war' to kill protesters, says Amnesty International [why refugee immigrants rightly see jail in the US as an improvement]

10.18 How We Can End the Saudis’ War in Yemen [THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

10.17 Britain fell for a neoliberal con trick – even the IMF says so

International & Futurism

10.22 Global 'War on Drugs' Terrible at Eradicating Drugs, But Great at Upending Societies: Report

10.21 Almost 700,000 march to demand ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit deal

10.21 India: why collecting water turns millions of women into second-class citizens [And what did you do today?]

10.21 Saudi insiders would love to depose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose role in the Khashoggi scandal has made him toxic, but they can't see a way to do it

10.21 “We Were Terrorizing Some of the Most Exploited People on Earth”

10.21 10 Sunday Reads

10.21 Trump says US will withdraw from nuclear arms treaty with Russia

10.20 This 3D-printed house made of earth and rice husks costs less than an iPhone [video]

10.20 Khashoggi case sends fresh chill through Saudi elite [like the disgust and fear many in America feel]

10.20 John Bolton pushing Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  No Country for Old Men: The Reality of Iran in the Shadow of War
Newspaper logo

BUSH'S TYRANNICAL WAR ON TERROR:

No Country for Old Men: The Reality of Iran in the Shadow of War

by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 18 March 2008

What will become of us without barbarians?
Those people were some sort of a solution.
– C.P. Cavafy, "Waiting for the Barbarians," trans. by Evangelos Sachperoglou

Hijabi
When it comes, it will come quickly. No big build-up, no new "roll-out of the product." The groundwork has already been laid, the specious casus beli already embraced, enthusiastically, by Congress. Proposed legislation to "compel" Bush to seek Congressional approval for an attack will be ignored, just as Bush blatantly ignores any Congressional stricture he dislikes. If he decides to launch an attack on Iran, no institutional or legal fetter will stop him. That's the stark truth of the matter.

The attack will probably be a limited one at first, with the immediate "reasons" being offered up afterwards or in media res. After all, who is going to seriously question the Commander-in-Chief when our brave boys are in the air over enemy territory in Iran?

They had parliamentary elections in Iran last week. It was not good news for the cause of peace. Why? Because reform candidates did unexpectedly well, while hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saw a deep split in the conservative majority, with many in his own faction rejecting his Bush-like belligerence and incompetence. This might sound like glad tidings at first glance – but it actually makes an attack more likely. It undermines the carefully crafted cartoon image of Iran as a monolithic, maniacal horde of barbarians intent on senseless destruction. If a truer picture of Iranian society is allowed to take hold, it would pose a serious threat to the agenda of the Crawford Caligula and his militarist handlers.

After all, they fought long and hard to get rid of the moderate government of former president Mohammed Khatami – spurning Tehran's extraordinary offer in 2003 of complete cooperation on nuclear safeguards, helping establish security in Iraq, ending armed support for Palestinian militias, cooperating against terrorism, and recognizing Israel. Instead, the Bushists hoped for a more demonizable figure whom they could use to "justify" their goal of establishing a pliable client state in the oil-rich, strategically located land. And just as with their openly stated wish in 2000 for a "new Pearl Harbor" that would "catalyze" the American public into supporting their radical imperialist program, they got lucky again with the election of Ahmadinejad – a sinister clown made to order for scaremongering propaganda, even though his actual powers are quite limited. Any development that complicates the cartoon, such as the recent elections, is bad for business.

Make no mistake, the Bush faction's predatory designs on Iran are business – big business. The entire "War on Terror" is an engine for crony profiteering on a monstrous scale – and the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands the world has ever seen.
And make no mistake, the Bush faction's predatory designs on Iran are business – big business. The entire "War on Terror" is an engine for crony profiteering on a monstrous scale – and the greatest transfer of public wealth into private hands the world has ever seen. Those who believe that the Bushists would hold back from striking Iran because it is too "risky" don't understand the stakes these warmongers are playing for. As they will never suffer personally or financially from even the worst outcome of their policies, the game is well worth the candle for them. Others will do the dying. Others will face the ruin. Others will weep with pain and grief.

But who will be killed in the attack on Iran, and the subsequent, inevitable escalation? For most Americans, the image of Iran is still the one that was seared onto their television screens in 1979 and 1980: the angry, violent hostage-takers, fundamentalist zombies blindly obedient to the will of an evil, black-robed tyrant. Less visual, but still potent, are the later press descriptions of Iranian hordes swarming in suicidal waves across the battlefields with Iraq. Such images and impressions – endlessly recapitulated in the media and in the political rhetoric of both parties – constitute the picture of the Iranian "enemy" that many Americans hold in their minds today.

It is these mad, maniacal, frothing zealots who will die in any attack, most people think – when they consider the matter at all. One might oppose a strike on practical grounds, of course, as Admiral William Fallon, recently removed as head of U.S. Central Command, allegedly did; but not from any concern over the fate of those "ants," as Fallon described the Iranians, in a perfect encapsulation of the general consensus.

Even at the time of their creation, these images were gross exaggerations of Iranian society; today they are wildly absurd, even hallucinatory in their lack of connection to reality. Consider just one fact: almost 70 percent of Iran's population is under 30. Most Iranians were not even born at the time of the 1979 revolution. The overwhelming majority of Iranians are too young to have played the slightest part in the war with Iraq. Most Iranians are also too young to play any substantial role in governing the country now. It has one of the youngest populations in the world. And beneath the rigid outward shell of its repressive system, this nation of youth is seething with change, growing toward new freedoms, making its own way toward a future that – if allowed to develop – will doubtless be much different than any scenario imagined by the militarists in Washington or the old men in Qom.

This week in the Observer, Peter Beaumont provided an insightful portrait of young Iran, particularly the women – who now outnumber the men in the nation's universities: a circumstance unimaginable in Iraq or Afghanistan, the lands "liberated" by the Terror War. An excerpt:

The rules of the coffee houses - in comparison with the street - reflect the fundamental division in Iran. It is not the divide between the 'Reforms' and the 'Principalists' of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who competed for Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday. For many of the young... those elections represented an increasingly irrelevant distinction in a clerical system they feel is stacked in favour of itself. Instead, the division is between what Iranians do and say in private, or in places where they feel comfortable, and how they are forced to behave in public.  

The inevitable tension between the two is defining the boundaries of the country's culture wars. For it is here, rather than in the polling booths, that Iran's most crucial competition is taking place - over the limits of what is acceptable self-expression. It is the struggle to push the boundaries of freedom in Iran.

In Tehran, it is visible in the girls who wear their scarves pushed far back on their heads, hair springing free, faces heavily made up or tight jackets worn over their knee-length mantles in a challenge to the system. Even those attempting to push the boundaries insist that, despite the image of Iran in the West as virtually a totalitarian regime, Iranians enjoy more freedoms than they are credited with. Two of those are Sohrab Mahdavi, editor of the online Tehranavenue.com, and his friend Ramin Sadighi, a musician and director of a record label, who are involved in a project to bring more music into public places.

'The crucial thing to understand about Iran,' said Mahdavi, 'is that we do have freedoms. The important issue is the separation between public and private space in Iranian life. Since the revolution, public space has been tightly controlled [by the clerical authorities], so people have created their own "public spaces" in private. A consequence is that what is acceptable in private is now constantly in the process of trying to nibble away at the controlled public arena.'

'And you have to bear in mind,' said Sadighi, 'how youthful the population is here. They are the fruits of the system in many respects. But they are going in an opposite direction to it. There is no social movement that is represented by them - and I think that is probably a good thing for the future of Iran - but what is happening is that people have joined together to form small colonies of interest.'

It is a business that is explained by a young Iranian teacher. 'In the private space, you don't have to hide yourself. There are no restrictions. No boundaries. On what I read. What I believe. What I want to know.'

These are the people who will die – innocent, young, hopeful, human – in any attempt to extend the militarists' empire of corruption and domination ever deeper into the oil lands.
These "islands of freedom" – as yet unconnected into a larger movement, still under threat – will be destroyed by an American attack and the subsequent, inevitable strengthening of the hardliners – or, in the extreme case, the subsequent collapse of Iranian society into the kind of murderous chaos Bush and his Establishment enablers have inflicted on Iraq.

These are the people who will die – innocent, young, hopeful, human – in any attempt to extend the militarists' empire of corruption and domination ever deeper into the oil lands.


photo of Chris FloydChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on March 19, 2008.

 

Public Service Ads: