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Opinions of Peter Belmont
Speaking Truth to Power

Time for the USA to be reality-based rather than faith-based.

by Peter A. Belmont / 2012-01-30
© 2012 Peter Belmont


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For many years. the USA’s reasoning about international affairs (and internal affairs) has to a very high degree been faith-based and ideology-based rather than reality-based.

The Iran crisis (it’s the oil, darlings, not nukes and not Israel) and China’s and India’s entrance into this fray shows that the USA must return to reality-based reasoning.

It won’t be easy. Just look at the mushroom clouds of smoky vapors as the Republican hopefuls try to win the votes of those faith-based and ideologically-based folks out there who are willing to vote for that party solely-of-the-very-rich without other benefit to themselves than ideological or religious reassurance.

For many years, the USA has acted in the world as if it were the perpetual “king of the mountain” with no real-world (“reality”) constraints to suggest any contrary strategy. It acted (and now acts) as if it could do whatever it wants to do, for any reason or for no reason. “Off with their heads,” we said, and we’re now completing 10 years of extraordinarily costly and destructive (and enemy-making) war in Iraq and Afghanistan that could only have been undertaken by people who think themselves kings-of-the-mountain.

Clearly, our reasoning about international affairs (and internal affairs) has to a very high degree been faith-based and ideology-based rather than reality-based.

If I’m right, then the recent irruption of faith-based Islamic warriors and the faith-based perpetual-warriors of Israel are not alone in operating on a non-reality basis. All the so-called followers of Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity) seem these days to be rather divorced from the world of reality, and are sinking in debt and non-productivity, and destructive war, whereas others (who live in India and China for example) live in a reality-based world and are prospering.

The Matter of Oil

Consider the not-so-small matter of oil. Even with global warming rushing at us, all the world goes on using oil. And as oil gets scarcer, the USA acts as if it has the right (or even merely the power) to get more than its share of it. The sanctions on Iran and the much bruited suggestions of near-term war with Iran are symptoms of this insanity. The recently enacted USA sanctions on Iran and on countries and companies which do business with Iran are a symptom of the USA’s idea that it rules the whole world. Ah, what a sweet dream is the imperial dream!

Meanwhile, China and India, wishing and determined to continue to buy and receive Iranian oil, are a bit offended by the USA’s sanctions and determined to ignore them. If the USA wishes to cut itself off from the world, perhaps the world will be happy to cut itself off from the USA! See: Al Jazeera, Jan 11.

China and India may also wish the USA and Israel NOT to attack/invade/destroy Iran. Such an attack would interrupt the smooth and continuous flow of oil just as surely as sanctions.

So, to put the matter bluntly, are the USA’s sanctions and sabre-rattling regarding Iran “good for General Motors”? If not, when can we expect the oligarchs who run this benighted country of ours, and the media they so closely control, going to tell some home truths to the American people (and to their elected leaders and candidates), and turn the good ship USA away from the icebergs of perpetual sanctions, war, and threat of war (the very things the UN Charter says are impermissible) and toward the warm seas of international co-operation and lawfulness?

So, to re-reiterate, thatíd be my guess, that China and India are a bit miffed by the USA’s (and Israel’s) present and proposed shenanigans. And they’re beginning to say so.

So we wait for President Obama, generally a sensible man, to explain to the American electorate that attacking Iran would be tantamount to attacking China and India (and much of the world, as the proposed Iran blockade of EU may help him explain).

If he times it right, he may use it to defeat both Bibi and Romney-et-al.

Meanwhile, if Israel backs down on war with Iran, itíll have no-one else to attack and pulverize (to satisfy its need to shed large amounts of innocent blood periodically) than Gaza. Perhaps a reality-based USA can prevent that, too. And even “end the illegally conducted Israeli occupation’s settlement regime, while we’re at it,” he said wistfully.

By the way, but not entirely off topic, anyone who wants to understand some of the monkey-wrenches in the gears of American political discourse should read this essay: http://lhote.blogspot.com/2012/01/because-policing-discourse-is-punk-rock.html. As this essay concludes,
That it is self-evident that essays like Ackerman’s make it materially harder to secure justice for the Palestinians will make no difference to him. He is proudly basking in the approval of people like Jeff Goldberg and Eli Lake, men who have never met an assault on Muslims and Arabs they didn’t approve of. For a creature of Washington, as Ackerman is, justice and morality are minor concerns compared to the preeminent priority of securing the blessing of Very Serious People everywhere. Doubt me? Wait and watch, as the usual suspects in Washington flock to his aid. Spencer Ackerman cares more about their approval than he does about the security of the Palestinian people. And now you know his character.


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