The West's irrational fear of Iran is a disaster waiting to happen
The West must come to terms with its irrational fear of Iran, says Seyed Mohammad Marandi. The continuance of the current hostile attitude towards the Islamic Republic can only result in a disaster in which the West comes out worse.
WHILE Western regimes craft a fresh humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, their corporate and state-owned media and corrupted think-tanks embody what Shakespeare's Lorenzo describes as 'this muddy vesture of decay' - and, true to form, frustrate attempts to provide voice to their latest subaltern victims.
Increasingly vitriolic voices, from Paris to Washington, reveal exasperation and express a need to intimidate and justify the eviction of the many increasingly difficult tenants of the Fifth Estate.
Just as advanced capitalism has successfully transformed the first four estates into an almost homogeneous, postmodern utopia for well-heeled Wall Street and Ivory Tower dwellers - amid a deluge of conspiratorial narratives of existential threats - Western regime-affiliated intellectual elites vigorously promote a 'benign' monopoly in this lucrative piece of real estate.
As in Palestine, excavation and construction can only begin with a purge of 'inferior' races, religions and social classes, as well as other 'malign' influences. After all, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminds his European and North American allies, there is no place for the weak, who are destined for slaughter, while the strong survive.
Based on this Eurocentric, clinical diagnosis and ethnocentric worldview, language is reformed and policed so that anti-apartheid now means racism. When it is stated that Palestinian medics, reporters and children have been killed or maimed in 'clashes', it means that Israeli regime soldiers have targeted unarmed civilians.
In this brave new world, Humpty Dumpty linguistics and semantics are key to 'civilised' conceptual understandings. Al-Qaeda are 'freedom fighters' and 'rebels' in Syria, but terrorists in the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
US President Donald Trump is condemned for his slurs against Hispanics and Latinos, but praised for his tangible acts to starve Venezuelans. The US-Saudi-imposed mass starvation and genocide in Yemen was entirely acceptable for Western pundits, while a clear schism exists in relation to the Jamal Khashoggi killing.
Now that Iranian, Palestinian, Venezuelan, Russian and even Western detractors - among others - are being purged from the public sphere and even social media platforms, controlling and manipulating the public discourse may seem much more undemanding in the corridors of power. However, as the power and fortune of the US and its European allies continues to decline, their response to events appears increasingly frantic and crude. They appear to be engaged in imperial overreach.
The rise of the alt-right and fascism, the appalling brutality of France's elitist Macron regime, the incompetence of the British political order, the abduction of Julian Assange, and rising authoritarian political correctness - along with an increased frequency of wars, coups and interventions across the globe - are signs of a rising anxiety in the 'metropolis'.
Massive atrocities in multiple illegal wars, a recourse to crude, old-school imperialism in Venezuela, and increasing repression, discontent and censorship at home have concurrently exposed the underlying nature of dominant Western narratives to a broad, diverse and often subjugated global audience.
Western-funded trolls and bots, along with foreign language media mouthpieces and their comprador intellectuals, no longer have the ability to push the 'free and civilised world' myth with substantial success. Besides the comprador class and Western-based native informants, few gaze at Western manifestations with much awe anymore. Unless, of course, it is 'shock and awe'.
For many, the West is not, in the words of Wordsworth, a 'Utopia-subterranean fields/Or some secreted island Heaven knows where', but rather where they are forced to go when barbarians plunder and wreck their world. Indeed, European and US elite and redneck concerns about migration and refugees would be much better dealt with if their long-cherished tradition of war, strangulation and destruction came to an end.
End it must. Otherwise, they will be destined to reap what they sow. By staying the current course, Europe and North America will likely soon trigger overwhelming and endless waves of human migration. The socio-political implications for Europe and the US will be staggering.
Inflicting human suffering
Yet, the case of the irrational Western hostility towards Iran is unique. For more than four decades, Europe and the United States have used chemical weapons, starvation and violent extremism to punish Iranians and their allies for asserting independence.
American nastiness, in particular, knows no bounds, as US leaders and their affiliates gloat openly when they succeed in inflicting human suffering through sanctions, yet paradoxically and audaciously censure their prey for economic mismanagement. These regimes fail to recognise that it is in part their amoral policies that reinforce resistance among so many Iranians.
Along with a natural cultural, religious and political convergence, it is partially this absence of morality, as well as Eurocentric arrogance, that has drawn Turkey and Iraq, among other states, closer to Iran.
The US attempt to impose its will upon newly elected Iraqi members of parliament through threats and coercion - as well as Trump's failure to summon the Iraqi prime minister during an illegal, uninvited and humiliating secret visit to Iraq - show an open lack of respect for the Iraqi people.
US support for PKK affiliates, Jamal Khashoggi's killing and the failed 2016 coup attempt, along with its repeated threats over Turkish military purchases and open engagement in economic warfare against Istanbul, also inform the Turkish public where their interests really lie.
The failure to bring about economic collapse in Iran, the destruction of state institutions in Syria and submission in Yemen, and the inability to intimidate Iraq and Turkey are all further indications that all is not going according to the pied piper's plan to maintain Western domination.
Nevertheless, it is fatefully important for Western leaders to sober up and recognise that those who live in glass houses are in no position to throw stones. Iran's adversaries have so much more to lose than Iran does, and there are more than enough motivated General Qassem Soleimanis in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to make sure everything is lost.
A clear-headed view of a map, and an appreciation of the formidable capabilities of Iran and its allies, should make it clear that if the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head. Iranians know this all too well.
Seyed Mohammad Marandi is a Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran. This article is reproduced from the Middle East Eye website (www.middleeasteye.net).
*Third World Resurgence No. 337/338, January/February 2019, pp 62-63