No One Wants War with Iran, Except…

As we stand today, as a nation potentially on the brink of all out war with yet another nation in which we don’t have a right to be present, and with which no historically and politically educated person would believe we have a legitimate grievance sufficient to go to war, the rightwing warmongers are giving it their predictable all, insisting that whatever military action our government makes, however unethical, criminal, or plain stupid, is not only justified, but right and necessary, meanwhile branding any dissenters to that view as traitorous. It hardly bears noting that Fox News is but a propaganda outlet of America’s far right and is solicitous to the point of pathetically fawning when it comes to the Orange Turd and his regime. It’s not surprising that they think it’s nothing but marvelously nifty whenever he breaks domestic and international law. Yet it’s no less absurd for that, the way they frame his ordered assassination of Qassem Soleimani and the opposition to it.

I don’t like, nor could I give a shit about, Qassem Soleimani. I doubt I could have recalled his name at any time prior to his having been blown up. That’s not the fucking point. I doubt any of the journalists, activists, or politicians criticizing the Turd’s actions do so out of fondness for Soleimani. The point is that the action itself was illegal, stupid, pointless, dangerous, and drenched with hypocrisy. Soleimani may have been a bad guy, maybe one of the worst, but annihilating government officials with drone missiles in a third sovereign nation is some batshit despotic supervillain shit.

If we want to keep pretending we’re the good guys, we ought to make some half-assed effort to act like it.

I’m not a pacifist, not genuinely. I believe there are justifications for violence, even war.

None exists here.

As pertains to this event, Iran has been astoundingly reasonable and well moderated in their response. In retaliation to the assassination of Soleimani and his companions at a public airport, they launched missiles at a military base, causing zero reported casualties, and their supporters hacked a little known and poorly secured government library website that someone like Trump undoubtedly doesn’t give a shit about. Imagine the US response if this situation were reversed. If Iran assassinated someone like Mike Pence or Mike Pompeo or Mark Esper, can you imagine our retaliation being so comparatively mild?

Politicians and pundits can rail on and on about how horrible Iran is, attaching to it the tag of the world’s number one state sponsor of terror without apparent irony or self awareness, or just flagrant dishonesty and hypocrisy. It’s an aspersion lobbed from the perspective of our own sponsorship of dictatorships, militias, and military regimes around the world as being benign, and a justification of our own bombing of civilians and leveling of community infrastructure in other countries as being done with good intent. Our officials so readily provide the justification of “acting in America’s interests” and “protecting our interests” that such phrases, in their ubiquity and blandness, are confused or lose meaning in public ears.

In fact, when US government and military officials cite “America’s interests,” they are in a sense being more honest in their vagueness. Rather than flat out lying to us with pretenses of championing some mythical idea of democracy and freedom or protecting the people of our nation, the loose abstraction of “our interests” hints at their true motives. Because, it leaves it to us to examine who they mean by “America” and “our,” and the nature of “our” interests, what it is that “we” have to gain. We are not the “we” they speak of. When they refer to “America,” they do not mean us. They are referring not to the citizenry, to the commoners, to you and me, but to the wealthy elite, the corporate oligarchs, the fossil fuel companies, weapons contractors, major industries that benefit from war and whose financial empires are dependent on upholding the military industrial complex.

It is incumbent upon us as citizens to investigate the interests of the people encouraging conflict and promoting the case for war, with Iran or anyone, because mainstream news outlets and the pundits and commentators they employ often wilfully neglect to disclose their conflicts of interest when offering their “expert opinions” on news programs, regarding the dangerous threat of Iran, or whoever. The people most fervently beating the war drums have vested financial interests in war.

We do not.

The people of the US, like the people of Iran, like the people comprising the common citizenry of any country, do not have an interest in war. We, the common people of every nation, have nothing to gain, only varying degrees of loss. It is not traitorous or unpatriotic for us to reject the misleading argument of “defending our interests.” You and I have no interests in Iran, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Syria, or any other place the US military industrial complex has set up shop. Rejecting pointless, bloody, costly wars is in all of our interests