Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

From Vietnam to Iran

‘The less things change...’

As WikiLeaks’ cable releases have shown, not much has changed in Washington since the public advent of the Pentagon Papers. Against Tehran today as against Hanoi four decades ago, the U.S. is pursuing a “dual track” policy, attempting to offer negotiations with one hand as it applies “pressure” with the other, assuming that to do so will most efficiently ensure concessions by the opposing party.

Carrot and 'big stick'.

Ya gotta show ’em who’s the boss.
[ Image Source ]

All this demonstrates is that the U.S. leadership has not learned from history. In the 1970s, North Vietnam refused to bow to such a policy, and by all indications Iran will not kowtow now. The real result of such a policy — particularly given global weariness with U.S. and Israeli saber-rattling and fabricated reports of Iranian intransigence — is likely to be a reduced degree of cooperation between Iran and Western negotiators.

Meanwhile, the attempt by the U.S. to interpret the cables as suggesting that Iran is a pariah state in the Middle East — based on Saudi government advocation of military action against it — is disingenuous and doomed. Too many of us have already read both the cables and the context: that it is only the U.S.’ puppet autocracies that abhor Iran, while polls show that a majority of ordinary Arabs actually admire Iran for standing up to the U.S.’ power. “This trick,” as Albert Einstein once said, “won’t work.”

The more the U.S. hegemony tries and fails to quash opposition to it around the world, the more it reveals itself as a falling empire, lashing out with a desperation in direct proportion to its growing weakness.

Originally published as a review of an atimes.com article on the U.S.’ attempts to impose its will on Iran.
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