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“Trump’s Last Three Months in Office? Chaos, The Wounded Beast Syndrome and Trump’s M.E. policy” Tuesday, August 25, 2020 @ 6pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues. Part Three (edited)

September 7, 2020

The December 31, 2019 storming of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Imagine… they don’t bring us roses any more!

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In the past there was the Soviet Union, Communism more easily made into the boogey man. Even during those times it was necessary to dramatically exaggerate “the threat.” So for example at the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War when the myth of the Soviet threat was elaborated … the Soviet Union was destroyed to such a degree in World War II it couldn’t threaten anybody. It’s foreign policy through much of the years that followed was more defensive than anything else through most of the Cold War.

But then Communism has the nerve to collapse.

This creates a crisis for the United States! It creates a crisis for the military industries – why make all these weapons if there is the threat is minimal? – and for the military industrial complex.

Whose the enemy now?

The United States had to engineer a whole new approach to “the enemy.” Now – like knights of old – military intervention is based on “humanitarian intervention.” The powers that be have found a way to “prettify” and justify what is essentially imperialist war for arguing that the military is taking such action “for the good of the people.”

Rob Prince

First Pompeo and the United States present this bill against Iran. The United States and the Dominican Republic are the only two countries that supported it (“snapback” sanctions against Iran). China and Russia voted against and the others, including America’s European allies, obstained.

Then Pompeo goes back to the [United Nations] Security Council for another “snapback” stunt and again he – and the United States – are rejected by the entire world. This is called American exceptionalism. This is American exceptionalism that sees itself to be right all the time and the rest of the world to be wrong.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: It’s a circus! Trump thinks he can have his cake and eat it too. He has the audacity to go to the United Nations to ask a world body to agree with the United States when there is no ground to do so.

They (the Trump Administration) are living in a cocoon.

 

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KGNU Hemispheres – August 25, 2020 – Transcript…Part Two. (continued from Part One, Two)

Tonight on Hemispheres the Middle East Dialogues with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: It’s a show (the so-called spat between the U.A.E. and Israel over whether the U.S. would see F-35s to the U.A.E).

Let me give my take of this situation

Getting back to Al Maliki (the former Iraqi Prime Minister), he related how when he went to Washington he presented this dilemma – not being able to use the weaponry it bought from the United States – and presented to the president at the time, that Iraq wanted Apache helicopters or F-16s, he was told to go to the Congressional Defense Committee. He said, “when I went there I was told that `No, we will not sell you the full package of these weapons because you might use them against Israel.’”

So this idea that the Israelis are strongly opposed to the U.S. selling F-35s to the United Arab Emirates – it’s a show. So purchasing F-35s and being able to operate them is not the same thing. This charade over the Israeli objection is to present this as if it’s a true deal. That is the reality of the situation.

That’s the first point.

I also want to correct something that Rob just mentioned with regard to Black September (September, 1970) and the crushing of the Palestinians in Jordan at that time.

Again it was a myth that was presented that the Israelis worked with Hussein to neutralize the Palestinians in Jordan. In an interview with former Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq – at the time he was the Pakistani chief of staff – he spoke about how he had gone to Jordan with a battalion of Pakistani troops, to go to Jordan to help crush the Palestinian uprising there.

It wasn’t the Israelis although they were given credit for it so that the improvement of relations with Arab countries, the opening of Israeli embassies could be justified.

Rob Prince: Point well taken.

Since it’s not a deal and since it’s pretty much all public relations, it’s interesting how the media here in the United States has picked up on the issue as of it is something special, a breakthrough. Once again we see the way that the media in this country – the mainstream media in any case – just parrots whatever the Administration at the time needs when it comes to foreign policy issues.

The main point was to attempt to give Trump something so that he could go into the final months of the presidential contest to suggest he was a peacemaker in the Middle East, and otherwise cover a dismal record.(1) And that is essentially what Pompeo is doing now during his trip to different Middle Eastern countries.

I wanted to return to a couple of the points you made Ibrahim.

You mentioned earlier that the Iran of 1979 is not the Iran of today. It has developed something of a manufacturing base; it’s been forced into this position by the sanctions. Iran is a much stronger country today than it was – despite everything it has gone through – than it was 41 years ago when the Islamic Revolution took place.

Related to that, when you spoke of the United States being stuck in the past, in Cold War thinking, what we are explaining is that the United States is accustomed to going into a country and in one way or another overthrowing governments it sees as in some ways adversarial – whether it was how they did so in Iraq, Libya. What they are finding (about Iran) is that they cannot do that anymore; this in spite of all the sanctions against Iran, the intimidation, the dirty tricks taking place all the time, the sabotage. It’s not working.

The Administration has run into a wall – and you’re right, they don’t have a “Plan B”.

We were discussing this yesterday. One of the things about the signing of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, at least up to a certain point, Obama understood that visavis Iran the United States was living in a new era. We had to negotiate with the Iranians.

To his credit, he did that.

When we argue that Iran is a different country today. The United States cannot go in – as they did with the British in 1953 and simply overthrow an “unfriendly” nationalist government. With Iran, this cannot be done anymore.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Obama spelled it out. He said that had we (the USA) not reached some kind of a deal with Iran, the other option would have been war which would have been extremely costly and extremely dangerous.

Rob Prince: The other point I want to make is about “American exceptionalism.”

I want to share a story with you that is relevant.

A number of years ago, I have a talk at one of Denver’s Unitarian-Universalist churches. There were a number of Jewish people in the audience that day. They were concerned, … what is Rob Prince going to say this time critical of Israel, whatever? Still, all in all we had a very good, civil discussion.

Afterwards, these two elderly men in the audience, who identified themselves as Jewish, came up to me and thanked me for my presentation. That was nice, a bit surprising and appreciated. One of them commented that there was a problem with my presentation in your critique of how Israel treats the Palestinians. What was that?, I asked.

He commented that Jewish people wouldn’t do “stuff like that!” (ethnic cleansing, making Gaza into an open air concentration camp, etc).

That is Israeli exceptionalism because Israelis do do what I detailed in my talk (about the injustice of the Occupation). But no, no, ‘Jews are nice people; we don’t commit war crimes.”

That is the same logic of many Americans when it comes to the crimes – and that is what they are – of U.S. foreign policy. What can they say after they’ve seen the video from Abu Ghraib? What can they say about Vietnam? But they shake their heads and say, “Oh no, Americans are `nice people’: we don’t do that.”

Except we – or more accurately – “they” do exactly that.

There is a disconnect for many Americans between the reality of American foreign policy which is really pretty rough stuff whether in the Middle East, Latin America or Africa or wherever and what people believe the be the main themes of U.S. foreign policy. How to break through to that has been difficult because, quite frankly, what American exceptionalism has always been – it’s simply sugar-coating U.S. foreign policy. But it seems to work.

What is different today is that it doesn’t work the way it used to. The U.S. can no longer overthrow countries, at least some countries, with impunity. You’re right Ibrahim we could go back two hundred years or more and see the same trends – manifest destiny, however you want to call it – in terms of westward expansion and the genocide against Native American peoples, World War One where we’d “end all wars” – didn’t exactly work.

OK

But the notion that American foreign policy is “noble” endures in spite of the reality which is quite otherwise.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Rob can I just interject…

Trump’s latest debacle at the United Nations….

First Pompeo and the United States present this bill against Iran. The United States and the Dominican Republic are the only two countries that supported it (“snapback” sanctions against Iran). China and Russia voted against and the others, including America’s European allies, obstained.

Then Pompeo goes back to the [United Nations] Security Council for another “snapback” stunt and again he – and the United States – are rejected by the entire world. This is called American exceptionalism. This is American exceptionalism that sees itself to be right all the time and the rest of the world to be wrong.

Jim Nelson: So weird, the U.S. withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) but still thinks it has a determining voice as part of the team.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: It’s a circus! Trump thinks he can have his cake and eat it too. He has the audacity to go to the United Nations to ask a world body to agree with the United States when there is no ground to do so.

They (the Trump Administration) are living in a cocoon.

Rob Prince: True, but there’s something different about how American exceptionalism works today from how it worked in the past.

In the past there was the Soviet Union, Communism more easily made into the boogey man. Even during those times it was necessary to dramatically exaggerate “the threat.” So for example at the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War when the myth of the Soviet threat was elaborated … the Soviet Union was destroyed to such a degree in World War II it couldn’t threaten anybody. It’s foreign policy through much of the years that followed was more defensive than anything else through most of the Cold War.

But then Communism has the nerve to collapse. This creates a crisis for the United States! It creates a crisis for the military industries – why make all these weapons if there is the threat is minimal? – and for the military industrial complex.

Whose the enemy now?

The United States had to engineer a whole new approach to “the enemy.” Now – like knights of old – military intervention is based on “humanitarian intervention.” The powers that be have found a way to “prettify” and justify what is essentially imperialist war for arguing that the military is taking such action “for the good of the people.”

How can they say that? Get away with such shallow logic?

Well they say, “we’re Americans” – whatever we do in the world is for good; our way is “the best.”

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Rob, the American representative at the United Nations today, Ambassador Kelly Craft, – or yesterday – when she was talking about instituting “snapback” sanctions (against Iran) – she had the audacity to comment that “we love the Iranian people. The Iranian people should understand that we love them dearly” – yet Washington is asking the U.N. Security Council to impose more and more sanctions against them! Particularly now – when during the COVID-19 pandemic the Iranian health industry has been decimated because of the imposition of economic sanctions for serious medical aid to come to Iran.

They (the Trump Administration) live in a different world.

Rob Prince: When we look at all this, what we are seeing is American foreign policy in chaos – ideological chaos, practical chaos in terms of the region. It has lost what it had for so long: respect in the world.

What we see emerging in this new situation – since it can no longer dictate in the way it could even ten years ago – now it relies more heavily on its regional allies. It has had to give these regional allies more latitude to pursue their own regional goals – whether it’s the Israelis, the Turks, the Saudis, the Egyptians. We’re seeing that that doesn’t work either and one of the places where the bitter fruit of such policies is coming to a head, where we’re seeing the degree to which such policies are not working, is Libya.

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1. His record suggests the opposite:
– His withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – has resulted in an intensification of tensions throughout the region. Attempts to build an anti-Iranian coalition have floundered.
– Tromp Administration failure to get resolution through the UN to continue sanctions on weapons’ sales to Iran.
-Trump has hinted that the U.S. Iran policy might improve if he is re-elected….
– The assassination of Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandis led to a missile attack against two U.S. military installations and a regional wide campaign to close U.S. military bases throughout the region.
– American policy in Syria has gone nowhere as the Assad government strengthens its position and liberates more of its national territory. Number of U.S. troops in Syria remains high, support for al Nusra and other mercenary groups continues.

One Comment leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    September 7, 2020 5:06 pm

    The future is bound to be interesting. The Yankee Fascists beat up the German Fascists and the Japanese Fascists and continued the tradition by Empowering their child Israel to maintain a fortress in the Middle East. The French even gave them their version of little boy to make them safe. Meanwhile, the United States, the ruler of the world, spent the last 80 years murdering presidents of countries that refused to kiss the neo-liberal democratic and republican butts. The people in the United States, who support the psychopathic state of Israel, have lived a charmed life stealing the assets of the rest of the world so they could eat bananas, drive big cars and live a privileged live inside their own movie. Those times are ending. The middle class in the United States is in for a rude surprise and they don’t even know it is coming. The clueless residents of Tel-Aviv are in for the same reckoning. They will all learn what it is like to live in Iraq, Libia, or Gaza, once the ruling class has turned their sights on them. Meanwhile, the rulers on the hill will continue to sip their holy water until the Guillotines are resurrected on Capitol Hill.

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