Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The truth that must never be spoken about Iran

In a particularly long article about the seeming inevitability of war between the US and Iran, the Guardian rehearses all the standard talking points. We have Iran's belligerence, unwillingness to capitulate to US demands, the political pressure on Obama from the Israeli lobby... the standard boilerplate that sets the stage for eventual attack:
US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely | World news | The Guardian: "Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so.

The president has made clear in public, and in private to Israel, that he is determined to give sufficient time for recent measures, such as the financial blockade and the looming European oil embargo, to bite deeper into Iran's already battered economy before retreating from its principal strategy to pressure Tehran.

But there is a strong current of opinion within the administration – including in the Pentagon and the state department – that believes sanctions are doomed to fail, and that their principal use now is in delaying Israeli military action, as well as reassuring Europe that an attack will only come after other means have been tested."
What is never mentioned -- and can never be mentioned -- is the actual motivation for hostilities between the West and Iran, the one that's always been there since the Iranians got uppity and asserted themselves in the early 1950s:

They've got oil, and we think we should own it.

The Israelis, of course, have slightly different motivations for wanting to attack, mostly territorial ambitions coupled with the psychological need to dominate and bully its neighbors. Iran is seen as the last remaining threat to regional hegemony by the Zionists.

The US, however, while mollycoddling the vicious Likud regime of Netanyahu, has other, more fundamentally threatening issues in its sights: the exorbitant privilege of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

After deposing Gaddafi in Libya, there's only one remaining oil-producing powerhouse in the world that doesn't bow before the international banking syndicate's dominion, and acknowledge the world financial order based on the petrodollar. While many nations are ready to dump their US treasuries and buy and sell oil using alternate currencies, few are willing to take the US on directly -- with good reason.

The US plays for keeps, as it has demonstrated countless times over the last 60 years. Iran is already responding to the economic sanctions imposed by Washington by selling its oil to India and China while bypassing the dollar. This, and this alone, is the one red line that no one can ever cross without feeling the full wrath of the ruling oligarchy.

As Saddam before them found, when he decreed that Iraq's oil would be denominated in Euros rather than dollars, Iran will likely soon feel the effects of shock and awe from a dollar regime that's both threatened and increasingly desperate to maintain its withering choke hold over the world economy -- pumping out more and more worthless paper to pay for its multiplying debts.

As this analysis is far from novel, it makes one highly suspicious of the motives of corporate news outlets like the Guardian, which seem so well-connected and well-informed, but also seem to tread lightly where they apparently are told not to go.

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