Madmen at the helm
There is an unmistakable eagerness for war. As if there werenʹt enough of it already, it seems that the United States can hardly wait to spark another, larger war in the Middle East.
Donald Trump has declared his countryʹs withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact and the reintroduction of more stringent economic sanctions against his arch enemy. When he had finished his declaration, you could see him being met at the briefing room door by his new security adviser John Bolton.
Bolton, who is now one of the most powerful men in the U.S. administration, appeared at a meeting of the Iranian exile "Peopleʹs Mujahedin" in July 2017. There, he proclaimed the goal of his Iran policy – regime change – to an enthusiastic audience of several thousand. Boltonʹs words were: "The only solution is to change the regime itself. And thatʹs why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran."
As if the diplomat, who has now moved up to become the presidentʹs National Security Adviser, was embracing Shia numerical mysticism, he said that the Islamic Republic should not live to see its 40th birthday in February 2019. The number 40 has a particular significance in Shia Islam.
A disastrous policy of illusions
To put it bluntly, this is madness. The USA is being ruled by moral degenerates. The very worst of American society has been washed upwards through its institutions. And it is showing its ugly face in the U.S. policy on Iran. Bolton, along with the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis, is pulling the strings of Americaʹs policy on Iran. Trump is just their loudspeaker broadcasting it to the world.
As always, the policies of madmen are based on illusions. The government in Washington believes that new sanctions will intensify the economic and currency crisis in Iran to such a degree that the people will rise up, topple the regime and celebrate the Americans as their saviours.
The United Statesʹ threat, hanging over all of this: if necessary, we will help things along with military intervention. Trumpʹs former security adviser Michael Flynn, a retired general, made no secret of this political logic in his book "Field of Fight".
In 2009, he said, the Obama government neglected to provide military and secret-service support to the wave of protests that were taking place in Iran at that time. If the United States had only mounted a sufficiently robust intervention in the demonstratorsʹ favour then, according to Flynn, "the Mullahs" would not still be governing in Tehran today.
The element of illusion here is evident just from the fact that the Iranian nation does not consist of a few thousand hallucinating "cheering Persians" gathered in Paris, but of nearly 80 million people. A not inconsiderable minority are loyal to the regime. And while the majority may have no love for the "Islamic Republic", they arenʹt hoping for America to get rid of the regime with economic sanctions and war, either.
The overwhelming majority of Iranians are convinced that this would result in chaos. The Iranian population doesnʹt need government propaganda to know that chaos is already reigning in neighbouring countries where the U.S. has "intervened": Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
The moral high ground
When faced with the political class now governing in Washington, it is not difficult for "the Mullah" Hassan Rouhani to show his intellectual and moral superiority. In his response to Trumpʹs announcement, the Iranian president reinforced the message that his country would stick to the nuclear agreement and was committed to multilateralism and continued co-operation with the remaining signatories to the deal. The U.S. government, Rouhani said, clearly hadnʹt done its history homework. This showed that the Iranians rejected an American policy of "coup dʹetat and war" against their country.