The United States can’t keep its nose out of Middle Eastern affairs. For most, America’s never-ending yet selective preaching – often casting moral aspersions on a region of which it has little apparent understanding – only tends to lead to one thing: more conflict. While Iran is America and Israel’s greatest threat and most formidable opponent in the region, taking a strong stance in favor of Iranian protestors seems unnecessarily adversarial.
Donald Trump was elected on the promise that he would put Americans first. The administration’s latest condemnation of the Iranian government amid protests seems more like an agenda that puts Iranians first. After all, antagonizing a militarily advanced, potentially nuclear sworn enemy of the United States over what have been defined as ‘economic protests’ is precisely the move that could stir unnecessary conflict. And conflict, meaning war, is the furthest thing from putting American men and women first, especially if it can be avoided.
To be clear, the defense of Israel and our other Middle Eastern allies is something I and most fairly conservative people wholeheartedly support. The containment of Iran is a goal that we must pursue in order to maintain the steady imbalance of power in the region that is necessary to prevent one dominant, anti-American Middle Eastern power. These are not the circumstances which we are talking about with the most recent criticism of the Iranian government.
With respect to immigration, Trump seems to have figured out a crucial reality that should mold our approach to judging, and especially acting upon, standards of behavior and ruling in the Middle East. Their culture is simply different. Many would call it regressive, and in many ways this is true. One respect with which Middle Eastern rulers have always differed greatly from Western countries is in the suppression of anti-government protests of any form. Why does the president acknowledge these cultural disparities in pining for stronger anti-immigration policy from Middle Eastern countries, but feign shock and awe when the Iranian government exercises their well-known cultural mores of governance within their own borders?
To most, the answer seems quite obvious: Trump is the antithesis of what Barack Obama was. He is perhaps more pro-Israeli than anybody in his base would have ever imagined. Supporting Israel was always going to be a given, but certain acts, including moving the U.S. embassy and now seemingly going out of his way to spar verbally with Iran, reflecting Israel’s own increasing tension and battle for Middle Eastern influence, is a level of ‘support’ that one could argue goes too far. I only say this because the potential of putting American troops at risk of being thrown into yet another interminable desert conflict, particularly with a power as mighty as Iran, would be the certain death knell for countless American troops and, less consequentially, Trump’s potential two-term presidency as well.
Iran is not a democracy. It almost certainly never will be. They’re a strong-armed theocracy of the most extreme sort. Russia looks like Kansas in terms of shared cultural and moral values by comparison. The arrest of protestors is something that goes on in states like Russia, but we are going to issue a proclamation of condemnation when it happens in Iran? This is not genuine outrage, this is a chess move in the larger anti-Iranian agenda. Can we at least, please, call things as they are?
Even the official comments issued by the U.S. State Department ring of a greater agenda: get the current Iranian regime out of power. The arrest of protestors is merely being used as a catalyst to propel this agenda. At least, this is how it appears based on the selective outrage at this particular Middle Eastern nation, one of many where similar and even worse human rights atrocities occur with regularity.
‘The State Department is monitoring the protests, and urged "all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
"Iran's leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos," she said.
"As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are Iran's own people."’ (Newsmax)
Those Iranian people that the Trump administration suddenly feels deep compassion for were barred from emigrating to the United States by Trump himself, following the Obama-era list.
Yes, the Iranian government is a religious dictatorship who rules by the tenets of extremist Islam. The State Department’s comments, on their face, are not untrue. They’re just hypocritical, and even opportunist depending on the context within which you frame them. Consider that we’ve maintained a loose alliance with Saudi Arabia for seventy years, overlooking the many oppressive aspects of their own government and society for the sake of our own convenience.
Of course, this choice of Iran as the public target for Middle Eastern governments’ violation of ‘basic rights’ and engagement in ‘corruption’ has nothing to do with the fact that they are currently the most influential power in the region, right? Or that they happen to fall on the wrong side of the American-Israeli-Saudi alliance?
Again, just call it what it is. If it’s a war with Iran that the current administration wants, say so. Give America time to prepare their psyches. Hopefully, all they want is a war of words meant to intimidate and publicly shame. Regardless, don’t hide behind the ‘poor Iranian people’ card as every previous Middle East-invading American administration has. It’s disingenuous, dishonest, and informed American people aren’t going to buy it.