A couple of weeks ago President Obama took the opportunity to outline his new foreign policy doctrine in of all places, his commencement speech at West Point. For those of you unfamiliar with American military tradition, West Point is the Sharif University of Military studies. (Actually now that I think about it, most of the “studies” at Sharif are for the military too.) Obviously, you can most certainly study Farsi at West Point. Along with Arabic, Russian, and Chinese. Obviously.
In his speech to possibly the most confused graduating class of militarists in the history of the US, Obama suggested that anyone who thinks that the US is in decline, or has lost its global leadership, is "misreading history or participating in partisan politics."
I would respectfully offer that there is a third option. The perspective of America and the larger question of what America stands for these days, as seen from the eyes of an increasingly confused third world, sitting and waiting for their turn at the roulette wheel, for a taste of what seems to be a wonderful American elixir. Reserved only for a select few.
Obama also suggested that somehow Social Media and the Internet was making it “...impossible for the voices of people in the world to be ignored..."
I would again, offer another option, in the form of a question. How can the voices of the people in the world be heard if their brutally oppressive governments are the same people who own and run the cell and data networks that deliver this same social media that you seem to think equates with freedom of speech?
Yes, the Internet most certainly offers the ability to broadcast one's opinions throughout an ever-expanding ether space. Maybe even God Tweets now. But it also allows the authorities to virtually and instantly geo-locate your naive butt, as well as find out the point of origin and the point of termination of every single text message or website, at such an unprecedentedly predictive rate, to the point that we are very nearly at the precipice of being able to detect "Thought Crime".
Yet another accomplishment of the Islamic Republic, and one more reason why Iran is winning this one too. Thanks to the mighty Islamic-Iranian judicial system, this is already a reality in the ever-perfect Islamic-Iranian court. Today a judge in Iran can "Think", that you thought, evil thoughts about the Supreme Leader, and put you in jail. Or hang you. Depending on of course the severity of what the judge thinks you thought. Thanks Twitter!
Because this post was just recorded and traced by not just the NSA, but the Iranian government as well, very possibly and probably, Iran got it along with my home address and porn download history, faster than the US did!
Every single major newspaper in the US bestowed and endowed with the cool clear drink of spring water that legally enforced freedom of speech offers, seemed to think Obama's "new" foreign policy as outlined at West Point was "empty", and "vacuous", and "misguided". Of course these comments came from the same journalistic institutions that seem to squander their gift, on the apparently obsessively fascinating topic, what racist rant the owner of the LA Clippers said this week, and will he sell, or won't he?
The other area that Obama outlined in his desperate attempt to ward off any hint of the fast approaching curse of the "Lame Duck", was the area of utilizing the “trusting friendships” the US has with other nations, and to use those friendships and “the spirit of cooperation” they represent, to stem the rising tide of terrorism and extremism in the world.
Once again, I am faced with offering advice in the form of a question. Mr Obama, where do you think Iran got the technology to setup and install 17,000 centrifuges, spinning like 17,000 mad dervishes, to help save the far less than 17,000 Iranian children who have cancer? I'll give you one answer. SIEMENS. OK, SIEMENS by way of Pakestan. The two best friends the US has, in the not so harmonious (or even Melodica) world.
I would offer that in fact it has been the so called friends of the US who have done more damage to not just US credibility, but to the US itself. Certainly China has, Russia is doing it right now, the aforementioned Germany, definitely add France, Italy, and even South Korea and Japan have each taken a turn at sticking the knife into Uncle Sam’s bloodied back. If you want to assign blame or responsibility for 9/11, assign it to those least-loyal Saudi citizens, who took all those pilot classes minus the landing exam, and bought all those one-way tickets, that no one at the NSA seemed to notice.
Obama further analogized "...Just because we have the best hammer, does not mean that every problem is a nail…" Which I would see that hammer, and raise it with, "All of the nails are rusty, sir. It would be far better to pull them out completely, rather than just nail them down one more time, only to have them poke up again, over time."
In Persian we have a saying, "You don't toss the wounded snake, to the far end of the garden, and think it will crawl away and die off…"
Spending trillions on drones and special forces, and other mysterious things that go "Boo!" in the dark, is a pointless and far too expensive strategy. A sound, effective, and fair foreign policy is simply cheaper.
Religious Extremism almost always leads to the priest who set them off in the first place. Even Jesus. Like Pilate, find the priest, and you usually find the reason behind the extremism. Fighting extremism even with sophisticated weaponry, only fuels more extremism, which gets it's power from only two sources. Your anger, and the misinterpretation of what we will euphemistically call "Satan impersonating God".
The good news is that it is far cheaper to buy an Ayatollah or a Mufti to counter-argue the authenticity of religious prophecy of extremism, than it is to build a better drone, or train a SEAL to hold his breath underwater for one minute longer than the academy record. Certainly you do not need to waste your wealth (or breath) on telecommunications spying software. The last Terrorist to actually use a cellphone got his, only after seeing Don Johnson use one for the first time on Miami Vice.
If you insist on spending China's money on anything at all, I would recommend Civics classes for everyone. Clearly Iraq, Afghanistan, Thailand, Syria, Iran, Israel, Gaza, West Bank, Greater Arabia in general, need to learn that citizen participation in government, requires a smidgen of civil etiquette, or at the very minimum that everyone leave their guns and tyranny at the door to the "Town Hall Meeting". By the way, I have checked, and NOT ONE OF THESE COUNTRIES HAS EVER BEEN TAUGHT ANY OF THIS STUFF.
The great irony of the failure of the US to establish any sort of leadership in fostering freedom in the post invasion-happy world it has created, is that apparently America forgot that the rest of the world doesn't know anything about civics.
And most certainly, we Iranians don't. Or history. Especially our own. Or even the American Civil Rights movement of the sixties. If we did, we might have known how to protest properly, and had the sense to call for a million Iranian sit-in in 2009, instead of the 2009 run-away, and prance around like those kid at Coachella, looking for phone-cameras to become the next Ahmad Batebi cover-photo, with green facepaint.
How ANY American left or right, liberal or conservative, racist or southern hipster, could think that all you need to do is invade a country, drop off some empty ballot boxes, pick the guy in the suit, who looks “sort of” clean, and like he wants to lead, and that’s all Democracy needs to flourish. Well just look at Pakestan, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and ABOVE ALL look at Iran, to see the sheer corruption that an unattended ballot box offers these rats, who make weasels look like angels. And not the cute otter-like ones. These sickos aren’t num-num-numming on Abalone.
The sheer stupidity of an American foreign policy that utterly destroys a place, then rebuilds it only to hand it over to be destroyed by literally retarded children, can best be observed in Iraq today. No, like right now! Fallujah fell to the ISIS Sunni fighters last week. Mosul this week. Tikrit as we speak. Maybe you should have vetted Nouri-Al Maleki before handing him an Iraq loaded with more yum-yum than a High Tech Godzilla (burrito). While you were at it, maybe you should have noticed that the same Maleki you championed as your darling, lived in Tehran at the pleasure of the Ayatollah, during the 8 years that he cursed America every single day, for siding with and funding and supplying and coddling the US invented Saddam, with chemical weapons that not surprisingly, were not found.
Colin Powell was at once both right and wrong in his presentation to the UN. Yes, according to the PowerPoint, they were most certainly there. But, No they were also not there. Because if they were there, someone was bound to see the “Made in USA” labels on them.
The US needs to give up on the ancient and outdated technique of warring and conspiracy, and coddling the “better the devils we know”, as the only way to “help people gain their freedom”. Instead of defense language classes at Defense Language Institutes, the US ought to train people in foreign countries how to argue without violence, hold meetings without blowing them up, stick to agendas without detonation, and create task lists to be completed by citizen task forces, not special forces, in time for the next meeting. Next week. No really. We will really really really have another meeting next week!
No Enshallah necessary.