If you listen to the so-called mainstream media Iran is the biggest threat to world peace since Adolph Hitler. Every night, journalists, analysts, and government officials bombard the airwaves with inflammatory rhetoric about how Iran is hell-bent on incinerating Israel and the United States. Naturally, the whole charade is packaged to instill fear in the average American that if Iran builds nuclear weapons it would be the end of Western Civilization as we know it. The daily barrage is reminiscent of the American media’s successful campaign in 2003 to beat the drums for war with Iraq by convincing Americans that Saddam Hussein was allied with Al Qaeda and possessed weapons of mass destruction. We know now that the allegations against Saddam were false and represented either incompetent journalism at best or fraudulence at worse.
In either case the same crusade is being played out today against Iran. What the discerning observer must ask is: who is really a threat to whom in this circumstance? A close look at the evidence should leave little doubt in anyone’s mind.
When it comes to military might the United States’ far exceeds the Iran’s capabilities. The comparison is so ridiculous that I won’t insult my readers’ intelligence by spewing already known facts. However, it is important to note that about 45-50 percent of Iran’s meager air force is grounded because of a lack of spare parts (owing mostly to the outdated aircraft in its fleet). The last time it saw action was in 1988 at the tail end of the Iran-Iraq War. It also lacks modern radar, communication, and electronic warfare equipment.
Iran’s navy fares no better. It boasts a few small frigates and three Russian shallow water Kilo-class submarines. This is undoubtedly not the kind of fleet that could ever pose a threat to any country. For the American media to talk up that Iran’s military poses a huge threat to the United States is ridiculous.
On the other hand, the best trained and equipped military in the world has Iran almost completely surrounded. The United States has military personnel and hardware on 44 bases around Iran. She maintains an invasion force in neighboring Afghanistan and has conducted air campaigns over other regional countries including Pakistan and Yemen.
In fact, the U.S. has even just recently violated Iranian airspace with at least one spy drone that the Iranians shot down. Additionally, the car bomb blast that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist inside Iran in January has U.S. and/or Israeli intelligence finger prints all over it.
But this should come as no surprise as the U.S. has a history of meddling in the internal affairs of Iran. In 1953, the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Mosaddegh’s crime was nationalizing Iran’s oil industry. Besides overthrowing the popular Mosaddegh, the U.S. also installed and then supported until 1979 the brutal regime of Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi (The Shah). This sordid history of American intervention in Iran essentially paved the way for the ascendance of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the current frigid relationship that exists between the two countries.
Lastly, the extreme sanctions being placed on Iran by the United States is the same tactic applied by Franklin Roosevelt on pre-war Japan. In July of 1941, FDR froze all Japanese assets in the U.S., terminated all trade agreements between the two countries, and set up an oil embargo which proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The result was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II. Today, the Obama Administration is attempting to starve Iran into submission with trade sanctions and an embargo on Iranian oil. The U.S. ability to impose these sanctions through her European allies is yet another way the U.S. is a much larger threat to Iran than Iran is to the U.S.
At the end of the day, when you cut through all the hype of the media and our leaders calling for tough action against Iran, what is needed is a little perspective. It is the United States that has the mightier military by far. It is the United States that has Iran almost completely surrounded by a military force that She has recently used on several of Iran’s neighbors and Iran as well. It is the United States that in the past has been involved in a violent overthrow of Iran’s government and the propping up of a brutal despot. And it is the United States that has imposed crippling sanctions on Iran in order to get its way. But we are to believe that Iran is a threat to the United States? It’s no wonder Iran may be seeking nuclear weapons. How else could She defend herself?
Article first published as Just Who is a Threat to Whom? on Blogcritics.