Thursday, January 24, 2013

Plundering Persia: The Neo-Imperialism of our Age

By Paul Iddon

The ahistorical nonsensical nature of the 'rapprochement' with the "Islamic Republic" proposition.

It's not a push to say that throughout the entire modern industrial-era the people of Persia have had their civil and human rights encroached upon by both foreign and domestic elements and forces. As far back as the mid-19th century we can see the beginning of a trend that sadly continues right up to the present day.

It was back in 1834 that a secular government rose to power in Persia. This government would go on to remain in power until around 1846. Led by Mohammad Shah and grand vizier Mirza Agha it issued a decree on the 20th of April 1840 which declared that all religions in Persia were equal – this did not in turn serve to undermine the reality that Persia was still, and still is, for an intents-and-purposes a Muslim majority country. The ultra hard-liners clerics were furious as this represented the first time that they, the wealthy land-owning and pampered aristocrats, had to relinquish a little bit of power. Power, which until that point in time had been essentially unlimited. During those 12 years of the Mohammad Shah reign many new ideas for society were experimented with. There was an increase in the number of schools. For example, in Urumiye alone 120 English and French language schools were opened.

The Babi movement began during this notable period. It was a secular movement, as opposed to a religious one, with socialist traits. However the new succeeding regime of grand vizier Mirza Agha Khan did not tolerate such reformist tendencies. Neither did the Russians and the British as it happens. The Iranian government accordingly sought support from the clergy who declared via fatwa a death sentence on Babi's and anyone else that held views that were divergent to theirs. This ensured that Persia would be denied its opportunity to develop into an advanced emancipated society. A minority was essentially given a vast amount of power and the colonial powers of the day were essentially permitted to trod upon Persia and keep that highly strategic and valuable country weak and exploitable.

So in essence, about 150 years ago elite elements in Iranian society colluded with foreign forces in order to ensure that the meddling majority of the Iranian people did not have a say in their own internal affairs. In 1953 we saw a lame and sinister repeat of this when Iranians toyed with the idea that the oil in the ground of their country rightfully belonged to them. Both foreign and domestic elements ensured this was not to be the case. Since that time we've had two regimes that have used brute thugs and torturers to maintain their hold on vast amounts of wealth and power. A secular one which undertook a rapid initiative of westernization, with the very salient exception of any form of democracy, and then an obscurantist Islamic one. To our shame (as far as 'we' constitute 'the west') we gave vast support to the former and played a large role in setting the conditions of the ground that enabled the current ruling regime to come to power.

Today we're hearing voices, albeit a limited number of ones, using hollow sound-bytes such as “American interests” when they propagate a kind of rapprochement with the present regime. When speaking in such rosy language we're very seldom reminded that it is only “American interests”, and mainly economic ones at that, which these people have in mind. Nothing about the interests of the Iranian people who have suffered the brunt and wrath of a long line of tyrants. "Coming to terms", as it is phrased, with the latest brutal and oppressive regime in Persia seems like an extraordinarily cruel thing to do to the Iranian people. Especially when one recalls that we have been on quite friendly terms with torturing, wealthy, dictatorial elites that have ruled over Iran in the past.

The fact that we call Iran today an 'Islamic Republic' boggles the mind. It also, more importantly, shows the clear lack of understanding the vast majority of westerners have of the system of “government” in force in Iran today. Anyone who cares in the slightest about Persia should keep a highly suspicious and skeptical eye on those who whitewash and relativize the many crimes the clerical clique ruling it have leveled against its citizenry. They should also recognize the connotations such a coming-to-terms with such a regime would entail. That being the adaptation of what I would dub a 'neo-imperialist' policy.

In other words the policy of 'coming-to-terms' with the “Islamic Republic” is in reality something that, if implemented, will be another blatantly imperial intervention by the western powers. This time done under the guise of conciliation and understanding as the people of Persia are continually trampled upon and beggared and ruined by opulent, elite, dictatorial minorities. Iran's oil, which is what many foreigners still have their greedy eyes on, hasn't been recuperated since this regime came to power -- and succeeded the police state that was put in place following the '53 coup. It is controlled, as with nearly everything else in the country, by the thuggish regime paramilitaries. Dealing with them would be a blatant form of “neo-imperialism” since we have played a decisive role in undoing and directly undermining strong nationalist democratic tendencies in Iran and subsequently leading it to the state it is in now.

Recent reports concerning the fact that Iranians cannot get vital medical supplies whilst the elites can purchase several shiny new Porshe sports cars (more Porshes were sold to the wealthy elite in Iran in 2011 than any other Gulf country) reminds one of the manner in which, during the period of the crippling U.N. sanctions that were levelled against Iraq in 1990's, the serial murdering, rapist and all-round thug Uday Saddam Hussein was able to import countless Rolls Royce's and flashy Ferraris for himself. Such developments serve to increase ones anxiety about the situation in Iran today.

Many Americans wishing to give some historical precedent and credence to their foreign policy outlooks may quote Thomas Jefferson's proposition that the United States should have commerce with all and alliances with none. Iran today should be an exception to such policy given the active role the U.S had in forging alliances with dictatorial elements within Iran, thus meddling in its internal affairs and, as I've stressed time and again, inadvertently bringing it to where it is now. And if one is concerned about entangling alliances one should be at least a tad distressed at how the Obama Administration offered scant criticism, let alone condemnation, of the repressive actions Saudi Arabia and the Bahraini royal family took against the Shiites on that island kingdom for the 'crime' of conducting peaceful and civil demonstrations that called for much needed reform. Do we really want to conciliate and invest in the Iranian regime to the possible extent that we might have to second-guess officially criticizing its heinous human rights violations because of the negative economic affects such criticisms may have on our highly industrialized largely oil-dependent economies?

What would be more appropriate here would be Jefferson's proposition that the United States should bring into being an 'empire of liberty'. Hence the conversion of 'dangerous enemies into valuable friends'. Fittingly short-sighted interventions into Iranian affairs in the past has in turn served to alienate 'valuable friends' and has empowered 'dangerous enemies'. Interests or no interests if we are to give any kind of reparations to the people of Iran for the blatant subversive actions 'we' imperial powers have levelled against them for nearly 200 years it would do us good to support the Iranian people in their fight for emancipation and the most basic semblances of civil and human rights. If that isn't in our economic “interests” it is certainly one of our many moral obligations.

"Coming to terms" with the 'kleptocrats' that have trodden on the Iranian nation and oppresses its inhabitants seems somewhat of a regressive approach to take. As is pretending Iran is a republic in any sense of the word, which in turn is the equivalent of vigorously rubbing salt into that nations open wounds.


Anonymous said...

It's OK Mark we know the truth about the present occupying regime.This mafia theocracy has stolen billions of dollars right under the noses of the Iranian people.
Only very recently thirty three billion dollars has gone unaccounted for from the NIOC. As known so far in the course of Ahmadinejad's presidency $600 Billion dollars has gone unaccounted for.And $1.2 Trillion has disappeared into thin air since Rafsanjani's presidency.
So to sum it up this regime has done more damage to Iran than the Greeks,Arabs, Mongols,Turks,Russians and British combined.
Why? Do you ask. Well they all had one thing in common,they were outsiders,not like these vermin who are working from the inside and once were trusted as pious.Using religion as a battering ram to keep the people in control and at the same time rob them blind and deny them basic human rights and justice.

Surenas said...

Great response to the nonsense Pyruz is spreading on this blog. Coming to terms with a regime that is spiritually being led by mullahs is an utopia. It only resembles western naivety in dealing with Iran. Its a characteristic of the western intelligentsia, which throughout the history never really knew how to deal with Iran and its people.

Mark Pyruz said...

Paul, I've a request. Please take the time to read "Going to Tehran" by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett. These are former U.S. government officials, with past security clearances. They worked in the Bush administration, their boss was none other than Condoleeza Rice. Another member of the government they had personal contact with was Colin Powell. Hillary, in particular, has quite probably the most experience in the USG dealing with official IRI representatives.

These people are experienced authorities on the matter.

If you're serious with your Iran studies, this is a must read.

But of course, if Iran studies merely represent a political fashion or fad to you, go ahead and skip it.

Peace wit Iran is in both the interests of the U.S. and EU. Expatriates harboring a grudge are loathe to see the logic of it but it's also in the interests of ordinary Iranians living in Iran, as well.

But if you're up for contributing to the demonization of Iran, as it's being spoon fed to you by your mainstream medias, and you're up for another war in the Middle East that's not in America's or the EU's interest, keep it up young man. All I can tell you is what worked for China and America starting in 1972 can work for America and the Islamic Republic, as well. But we're going to have to overcome a whole bunch of ignorance getting there, the likes of which we read regularly from you.

Anonymous said...

Its more than plundering the national wealth of Iran.The barbaric Mullahs were brought in to destroy the attractiveness of the iranian culture; the first thing they did, was to ban the Music- that is the in-Formation of the Iranian Soul. I am happy that the Iranian culture has found an asylum in Tajikistan for now; the parasitic Mullahs wont be able to destroy that; that keeps me happy ...

Anonymous said...

Long live the Islamic Republic of Iran - the only hope of an independent Iran.

Anonymous said...

ha ha, good try, there is no such thing as 'independence' in the real world; and you can not defeat the reality with your words; you can stop to eat (or breathe) of you think that you are independent from outside world - good luck ....

Anonymous said...

You can't compare Chinese communist party with a bunch of religious maniacs whose sole aim is the coming of the hidden imam.
Ignorance is a person who insists in supporting one of the most oppressive and barbaric regimes in modern history whose agenda is the destruction of the soul of Iran with its 3000 plus year history.
So are you one of those ignorant shameless contemptible hypocrites Mark Pyruz who lives in the comfort of the West and believes in amputations,public hangings,the extraction of eyes from sockets,torture chambers,mass executions and mass graves?
We are already there by looking back at the trail of destruction the pretentious mullah regime has left of Iran. And looking at people like you with derision who still insist that you can reason with a bunch of inhuman savages.

Anonymous said...

Independence on a higher level, such as political directives no longer coming from Washington. The Islamic Republic - whether good or bad - is at least not the stooge of foreign powers.

Anonymous said...

The meaning of Islamic Republic is a oxymoron.

Islamic:Submission to god by the use of force if necessary.The enforcement is maintained by the unelected and fascistic mullah theocracy.

Republic:A secular state in which supreme power is held by the people or its elected representatives not a Supreme Leader and his unelected cronies.

Theocracy:Form of government by God or god directly or through a priestly order.Supreme Leader and clergy in Iran's case.

So my answer to that cretinous anon 6:52 am with his very odious slogan is, Islamic Theocracy of Iran or better still Islamic Theocracy of Occupied Iran.
The only hope of an independent Iran is to repulse this repulsive theocracy back into the deep dark well were it originated from and seal it for ever.

tubtuilayka said...

So, you do not want peace with Iran and you claim to love Iran and the Iranians? You must be joking. I thought, at least you should plead with your masters to lift sanctions that deny ordinary Iranians the medicine, if you really love the people. People will always have different opinions about the regimes, but not the people. Is current Iran worse than Israel, Saudi Arabia and...even USA for all the killings and the destruction they wreck? Your extreme evil opinion dishabilles you as somebody who really wishes well for the Iranians. I tell you what, the IRI has never been given a chance by your masters since its inception. Probably things would have been much better and probably the Mullahs, you snigger at, would have been more accommodating. You can achieve much with friendship that with useless and spiteful enmity.

Anonymous said...

tubtuilayka: Yes the current Iran is much much worse than Israel and USA. Because the Islamic terrorist theocracy is at war with the Iranian people.But you being a spiteful zealot and apologist of your thuggish overlords fail to see through your self imposed bigotry.

And tell me. What nonsense are you spouting about my "extreme evil opinion" which is nothing but the truth as regards the oppressive theocracy of Islamist occupying gangsters?
Go and buy a dictionary and look up the meaning of those words,Islamic, Republic and Theocracy.And if it is any different from what I described,then more the fool you.

As for your nonsense about the regime spun propaganda regarding the importation of medicine into the country.The West has not imposed any embargo on those items.Instead the occupying mafia regime has chosen to use the sanctions as a political tool to cover its failings. So go and twitter that nonsense on another tree.

If you are truly concerned for the Iranian people,which I very much doubt,you would ask your paymasters(if you dare) to stop their daily attacks,imprisonment torture and executions of political activists.The subjugation of women into third class citizens and the complete oppressive nature of this inhuman terrorizing barbarian rapist regime.

Obviously you don't wish well for the Iranian people because you wish the survival of your paymasters so that you can continue your lifestyle and attacking Iranians who want freedom for their people from the monstrous clasp of the Islamic rapist regime in Islamist occupied Iran.
So the joke is on you and your Islamic fascist paymasters.

Anonymous said...

the leveritts are widely considered to be two cups of weak TWA Tea.

Anonymous said...

What Iran needs now is a nationalist coup d'etat, Iran needs a new Reza Khan. I am sure there is a young and charismatic army (or even IRGC) officer who is sick of the current situation and wants to see change.

The Islamic republic has had more than three decades and in these three decades they have ruined the country completely.

Paul Iddon said...

Well Pyruz old man, once again you've shown your incapability to cite a single contention or passage from the post your comment is supposed to be a response to. It's what one readily expects from the likes of you. As for ignorance, it's only been 19 months now, care to adduce your statements that 90% of the Iranian people support the regime?

I not only read, I reviewed 'Going to Tehran' ten times more comprehensively and in ten times more detail than your fawning little "review" (it was almost as good as the "review" you previously quoted from the dust jacket).

The Leverett's have quite clearly dedicated their works and efforts to completely exculpating the regime. I personally sincerely doubt they care in the slightest about Iran -- aside from its juicy resources and the business the reopening of relations will likely have on them personally -- let alone the Iranian people. I highly doubt you do neither given your commentary record.

The contempt you and them show for Iranians striving for the most basic of civil and human rights speaks for itself. What gall you have as an American to accuse me of demonizing Iranians when you have devoted countless hours of your time to serving as a knee-jerk apologist for the oppressive regime in Persia. Complete and utter shame on you Pyruz.

You still owe me an apology for baselessly calling me 'anti-Iran' by the way.

Anonymous said...

Not possible under this regime due to political commissioners of the IRGC overlooking every movement of the army.Don't forget last year it was decided to brake up regular army divisions into smaller units under the pretext of making it more difficult for attack by foreign enemies.But the truth of the matter is the regime is concerned about a possible coup d'etat.
The only way the regular military will come out is when they see huge opposition on the streets towards the regime and therefore might possibly join the oppressed masses.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this great invention:

But at least we are independent now!

Anonymous said...

Cheers mate! That made my day after having some sausages.
On a more serious note,this is the true meaning of Islamic rule.