What is the difference between Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran? The answer, future historians may relate, is none. At the dawn of the 21st century, all three states were ruled by nasty undemocratic regimes to which America and its allies took exception. Antagonism began with hectoring ostracism. This led to economic sanctions, diplomatic isolation and bloodcurdling threats of "other measures". Finally a pretext was drummed up for military intervention, for bombing, invasion, occupation and appalling destruction.
Will Iran really be on this list? At present the west, covered in blood and expense, is trying to leave Iraq and Afghanistan, yet at the same time it stumbles into an identical trap in Iran.
The casus belli is the same. There is a declared ongoing threat and this is inextricably linked to a "humanitarian" need for regime change. In Afghanistan the trigger was the harbouring of Osama bin Laden. In Iraq it was a tenuous claim that Saddam possessed a nuclear capability and was preparing to use missiles against western targets.
In Iran similar claims are being made about nuclear enrichment. There is the same stumbling UN involvement, the same histrionic spin and the same regime abuse. There are the same threats to increase economic sanctions and the same sabre-rattling about "no option being off the table". Childish tit-for-tat diplomacy sees yachtsmen arrested and cultural exchanges impeded. The rhetorical slither to confrontation is seen on every sideRead More
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