Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Deadlining Iran

Let us, for a moment, remove ourselves from the media hype on a looming deadline for Iran's reaction to the UN proposal on its nuclear program. Let's look at the bigger picture here: why is there a UN proposal at all on the issue of any nation's domestic nuclear program? Did the UN make similar proposals for the US? Israel? India? Pakistan? What exactly constitutes a UN effort toward creating any resolution at all?

Is it as a response to a pressing need for international or regional security? Then why isn't there is resolution today on stopping the preventive (yes, folks, this is the new 'academic' term for what was originally called 'pre-emptive') war in Iraq which has caused millions to suffer?

Is it as a response to a pressing need for civilian security? Then why wasn't there a resolution to cease the massive civilian bombing campaign in Lebanon when it started weeks ago? Then why isn't the focus of the Iran resolution on the much more urgent and damaging threat of a wayward nuclear program against the domestic population of Iran a la Chernobyl?

Is a UN resolution created as a response to a state's failure to follow international law? Then why is there no resolution against the United States for, amongst a long list of other egregious violations, their incomprehensibly persistent grand crimes in Guantanamo Bay?

These are questions you've heard before but they are crucial to understanding that targeting Iran's nuclear program is not about security -- whether international or domestic -- of any kind. It is about power politics at its most playground level. Ahmadinejad, who, as we all know is not in any position whatsoever to make decisions -- he is merely a mouthpiece whose microphone is unplugged -- has announced that Iran will reject the August 31 deadline to agree with the UN resolution or otherwise deal with sanctions or US preventive war, whichever comes first.

But don't be fooled, Iran has done well to expose the hypocrisies and sycophants at the UN and that is a clear indication that the Islamic Republic of Iran is neither illogical nor unreasonable. It has not been easy to maintain a despotic government amidst a barely-there approval rating for nearly 30 years -- these mollahs are not as stupid as they look. Over the past 6 months, Iran's rejections of the UN power game have strengthened its alliances, especially across the Muslim world, and succeeded in increasingly exposing the West's own extremely questionable behaviors not only to the world but, even more importantly, to the Western public.

This has all been worth it many times over, and now Iran and the clerics who own and drive it are not going to throw away their 3 decades to a mere UN resolution. They want to stay in power just as much as anyone else. And no outsider, certainly not the UN or the US, is going to be the one to stop them. Iranians themselves revel in this delicious knowledge.

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