9-10-2018 Door het Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research is op internet een serie artikelen gepubliceerd uit een nog te verschijnen boek van Farhang Jahanpour. Ze gaan over het ontstaan van de huidige situatie in het Midden-Oosten en de rol van het Westen daarbij. Interessant, ook als je het niet met alles wat hij schrijft eens bent.
Een aantal punten uit de door het TFF geschreven inleiding:
• The incredible brutality of Western policies is conveniently hidden, neglected or forgotten
Today, few people seem aware of the millions of fellow citizens in the Middle East who have been killed, psychologically hurt and whose future has been destroyed. Whole countries and economies and cultural sites have been destroyed - and not only once but over and over in one country after the other. The focus, instead, is on what "the dictator" or "the regime" did which is serious crimes, yes, but without exception small compared with the brutality of the Western policies.
• The US and the West have done more to support than to defeat terrorism
In reality, the US and some Western NATO allies - and friends such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States - have done much more to support, finance and arm terrorism than to defeat it. Indeed, ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a consequence of the US-led interventions and occupation policies and mismanagement in Iraq. Iran, Syria and Russia have done more to fight terrorism than the West - while the West, strangely, fight exactly those countries.
• Sanctions is a weapon of mass-destruction, not a soft tool
If applied over a longer time, sanctions lead to poverty and crime, undermine the middle class that can spearhead socio-political change and play into the hands of the hardliners and against the reformers. In short, they are invariably counterproductive from every reasonable, peaceful change perspective.
• It's easy to start wars but very difficult to end them
Nothing new, you may say - but at least the US decision-makers have not learned that lesson yet since Vietnam - and still drag on with Korea 1953. For instance, Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew the Soviet troops from Afghanistan after 7 years; the US is still there since "10/7" - no, a date not brainwashed into people's minds like 9/11 but meaning October 7, 2001 - i.e. now 17 years with no end in sight. In 2018, the Iraq quagmire continues in its 15th year.
The consequences of the CIA coup in Iran in 1953 are still with the Iranians and so is the aggression on Iran by Saddam Hussein who, at the time, had the full support of the US/West. Since the violence broke out in Syria in 2011, nothing good has been achieved - and nothing good will be achieved, except if you see some 15 US base facilities, US special troops and criminal occupation of parts of the sovereign state's territory as something positive - i.e. one huge violation of human rights and international law. The US has stated long ago that it is going to remain in Syria, the war has no end. In summary, in none of all these cases has there been an exit strategy.
• We've been lied to every time in the past
The direct and indirect control exercised by the US and its allies over the minds and knowledge of citizens of the West is getting tighter and tighter. While it was possible in the 1970-1990s to criticize and problematize interventionist warfare in the mainstream discourse - media, research and politics - it is virtually impossible today, the Syria conflict and war being a prime example of the moral and intellectual decay - as we have documented here.
• All the wars have been lost on virtually all dimensions
Remember how it was assumed that the Iraqi people would greet the US troops as liberators? I had not been to Baghdad for more than 24 hours before I understood that that would not be the case. The war for the people's hearts was lost before it commenced. The occupation administration was a disaster - incompetent and corrupt, did not live up to the provisions of international law and laid the ground for Islamic State.
Politically it was a predictable fiasco. Morally, who could possibly defend that around 1 million innocent people were killed by that war and 13 years of cruel sanctions? And in terms of international law, only criminals would argue that this war happened in accordance with the UN Charter and other international law provisions.
And there has been no exit from any of them. The Russians were intelligent enough to pull out of Afghanistan after 7 years. Now it's 17 in Afghanistan and ongoing.
Much the same could be said about the other interventionist wars. With what comes out of the US concerning Syria these days, it seems that there is nobody in charge in Washington who has learned a single lesson.
They still think the US rules the world - and believe it can do so.
De hele serie artikelen:
Part 2 • Fascism and Islamic fundamentalism
Part 3 • Islam and the West
Part 5 • The fragmentation of the Middle East