liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

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Last night I went to hear David Barsamian speak at NAU. Barsamian is the founder and director of Alternative Radio. His talk was a little scattered, but full of insights about Iran. Such as this: they are a terrible dreadful mortal threat to the US, right? That's what our propagandists are gearing up to convince us. But Barsamian pointed out that we are a much graver threat to them. We have them surrounded. We have aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf to the south, and our military is swarming over Iraq to the west and Afganistan to the east. Iran has the finest oil left on the planet, and we intend to get it by hook or by crook.

Tonight I read on the BBC about the 15 UK soldier who were captured when their boat went into Iran's territory. Tony Blair insists that they were in Iraqi waters, and that the captives be released unconditionally. Iran wants Blair to admit that they were wrong, and admit that their boat was in Iran's turf. Blair is taking a page out of Shrub's book, and trying to bully his way out instead of admitting a mistake.

I think that the people and the government of Iran would be perfectly reasonable if we (the US and the UK) were only reasonable with them. Not that we imperialist pigs have a snowball's chance in hell of being reasonable... There are people everywhere who hate America--with good reason. We are the greedy bastards who run roughshod over nations to get what we want. We've been doing it since the end of World War II, and we're not planning to stop. If we were to act with compassion and fairness as a nation, we'd get a much better reception.

Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is painted in our media as another dark bearded madman, no different than Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. He is supposed to be evil incarnate, someone so crazy that there is no point trying to even talk to him. In reality he is the son of a blacksmith, a populist who avoids conspicuous consumption and was elected on a platform of universal healthcare and education. He has been cornered into hardline foreign policy stances against "the Great Satan" because WE are not reasonable. Ahmadinejad is principled and will not bow down to bullies, he will not capitulate to the US even though we could smash him like a grape. I admire his spirit. He reminds me of Hugo Chavez.

I am curious to know what the story is behind his comment that the Holocaust was a myth. I don't think that is true. But his statement that Israel should be wiped off the map is worthy of debate in my eyes. Removing a nation from the map is not the same thing as killing all its people. The lines between nations change all the time, and Israel is a nation created by the west in a place where maybe we shouldn't meddle so much.

Here's an example of how unreasonable we are. There's this treaty called the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, and we're accusing Iran of violating it. The NPT says that nuclear nations shall decrease their arsenals, and also that nations may develop nuclear power, just not weapons. Iran has been willing to allow the UN in to establish that their projects are for the purpose of power generation. But the US keeps shouting that Iran is building bombs, even though there is no evidence of it. It's a repeat of that last rant about Saddam having WMD. Our propaganda machine, our corporate media is full of shit. And to compound my embarassment, the US is in direct violation of the NPT. We are increasing our arsenal, when we are supposed to be getting rid of it. We should be building nuclear power plants, to reduce our dependence on other power sources. Iran is smart to pursue nuclear power as insurance that their country will remain strong after the oil is gone.

Barsamian painted a picture of Iran using statistics and anecdotes. He said that the 65% of the college students in the nation are women, but that there are no women in positions of power in the government. He said that two thirds of the population are under thirty years of age. How did that happen? He made it sound like Iran has been the envy of the mideast for its excellent healthcare and education, and that now people there are technologically savvy and modern.

Barsamian also shone his light on the Fundamentalist Christians in the US. Our governmental policy is heading us down the path toward fulfilling a biblical prophecy. There are many who honestly believe that we should invade Iran in order to bring on the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. Too many. I don't know where those people are, because they don't talk to me. But there are enough of them out there to elect Shrub for a second term. They have all read John Hagee's books... and maybe we should, in order to understand them. Many of his books are bestsellers, yet I do not know a single person who has read them. Have you? I have heard about Hagee and the Fundamentalist Christians from Bill Moyers. Even though they are invisible to me, it is plain that this religious group has gained great power in the US government.
Tags: middle east, nukes

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