Milaad Rajai asks, if the ‘Axis of Evil’ was the first label for Iran and its allies in the Middle East, will ‘Partners in Tyranny’ become the next?
In a White House Press Conference last week, Jay Carney, Obama’s spokesman, blurted out three words quite similar to George Bush’s now famous ‘axis of evil’ speech. I am reminded that whilst we are trying to bring our communities together at a local level, battle lines are drawn in the sand by those at the very top. The US government accused Assad, Hezbollah and Iran of being “Partners in Tyranny,” namely for their involvement in hindering the US- Israeli- Gulf Arab plan for the Middle East. If the ‘Axis of Evil’ started the first part of the the American plan for the region, does ‘Partners in Tyranny’ mark the next phase of this master plan?
The Seminal Question: Who are the ‘real’ partners in tyranny? The Islamic Republic of Iran has, to date, never attacked another country without first being struck. In the 1980 to 1988 Iran-Iraq war that savaged the future of Iran’s revolution, Saddam’s offensive on Iran saw him capture Persian land, only to be then pushed out by a force that attacked for fear that Saddam, together with his American-Kuwaiti-Saudi blank cheque, would come after Iran again. Saddam fought to consolidate his position as one of America’s henchmen in the Middle East. At this stage, let us consider this triangle: Saddam’s Iraq, Reagan’s America and the blank-cheque given by the Saudi King in order to enact American foreign policy. Do they not also make ‘partners in tyranny?’
Iran had just come out of a revolution that toppled the Shah, America’s puppet in the region, and before they were given a chance to strive for a peace that all of Iran’s communities could invest in, including the ethnically Persian Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Marxist and secularist, Saddam happened. The policy of sanctions and isolation both regionally and internationally imposed against Iran can be said to be a form of ‘tyranny.’ Hezbollah’s involvement as part of Lebanon’s security apparatus has been clearly documented since the Israeli invasion in 2006, and consequently, the policy of the United States, especially with regards to Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, tends to be a blanket rejection of this ‘other’ system, this ‘otherized’ culture and sovereign right to self- determination.
Whilst Obama’s press conferences make outlandish statements as to who sits where within this song of fire and ice, I worry that the world will remain blind to the facts: Hezbollah is firstly part of the Lebanese political system, partaking in a transformation from armed rebellion to political heavyweight, accomplishing popularity in most of the Middle East as well as the wider Islamic world. However, opinion on Hezbollah divides Arabs, in particular Sunni Arabs, as the example of defiance against Israeli aggression wins them plaudits, but as a by-product of Iran, Hezbollah is fighting a war with not only Israel but the same Salafist and Wahabbi extremists who are at war with the Western world at this very moment, leading us to wonder what on earth Europe and the United States are even doing supporting the same extremists that are attacking them at every chance they get. The hatred between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims exacerbates the friction, making them the perfect practitioners to rid America and Israel of any alternative to their regional nuclear power. Henry Kissinger once celebrated the fact that Iranians and Iraqis fought at every chance they got. I guess that the ‘Partners in Tyranny’ are merely imitating history soundbite by soundbite.
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