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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Bogus Anti-Iran "Assassination Plot"

During the primaries in the 2008 election cycle, I was an admirer and supporter of H. Clinton -- until from out of the blue she showed that she had become a heavy smoker of the anti-Iran drug -- an addiction that is common in the high places of politics and foreign policy but that makes no sense to me.  I know that the officials in those high places can't possibly care that the people of Iran are under the heavy hammer of Islamic theocratic rule.   And after all, the Iranian people don't seem to be screaming too loud about it.   Maybe, after having had a close-hand look at how many Iraqis look back fondly at the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein and compare it favorably to the total ruin inflicted on Iraq by the Bush invasion, the Iranian populace has decided to let well enough alone . . .for now. 

The only explanation for the anti-Iran attitude and its strength must be that in those American high places where H. Clinton lives, there is still great resentment about the hostage crisis of 30 years ago.   Maybe they think that the ayatollahs have never been sufficiently punished for that bit of inhospitality toward the American ambassodorials, and Clinton and the others use their perception of a Iranian push to develop nuclear weapons as an excuse for a constant barrage of threats, sanctions, and other measures just short of outright warfare.  And maybe they also do this on behalf of their two great friends in the Middle East, Saudia Arabia and Israel, both of whom, for very different reasons, would love to see an American military attack on Iran.

But if we believe in a world that is still halfway rational, that is not in the cards, because Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan.   It is a big country.   It has 72 million able, energetic people, as compared to the Saudi figure, which is unagreed upon but ranges between 15 and 28 million, and the Israeli figure of only 8 million.   And that means there is no way that Iran can be suddenly rendered null and void.  You can't just shove that many people out of the way, just like that.

In the light of all that, this Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador that the U.S. spy agencies claim to have detected and foiled seems to have been made to order.   And that's just the trouble with it.   It is too pat, too made to order, and too full of characters straight from the laptops of uninspired tipsy TV crime drama writers.   And that is not to mention the dragging in of another big foreign policy bugaboo, the Mexican druglords and what-not.

In my rejection of this plot, I am not alone.   In Europe there has been widespread pooh-poohing of the credibility of this charge.   And that has also been the verdict of the two authorities that I go to first when it comes to Middle East affairs: Juan Cole's "Informed Comment," and As'ad Abukhalil's "Angry Arab News Service."   Forget anyone at all in mainstream news media when it comes to reliability and reporting things thoroughly.   Almost without exception those sources have long since been badly corrupted by the heavy hand of conservative ownership and the fashionability of conservative ideas.  Cole, on the other hand, and more so than Abu, always has the best take on things, though Abukhalil still has interesting things to say about almost anything, and they both present convincing reasons for thinking that this "plot" is all a big crock -- starting with the fact that it doesn't fit in at all with the modus operandi of the Iranian version of the espionage spooks.  Note especially what Cole has to say about perhaps the main character in the supposed plot, in a post that he titles "Wagging the Dog of Iran's Maxwell Smart."

I am surprised that both Obama and Clinton put perceptions of their credibility and common sense at so much risk by buying so heavily into this thing.  They must be depending on the attention deficits that are so prevalent.



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