Thursday, February 19, 2009

Multipolar Iran vs. Unipolar US
Reading Khamenei in Iran by Roger Cohen
New York Times copyright
Comment # 48.
February 19, 2009 10:34 am

The Zionists on the staff of The New York Times (of which Cohen is one) are at it again! Seriously, why don't you at the NYT (even if only occasionally) 'deploy' a Global South or Scandinavian journalist to cover the so-called Middle East (Middle of what? East of where?). That area is both West Asia and North East Africa. You cannot truncate either of these huge continents by taking a chunk out of each of them and call that area the Middle East, a Brit colonial-imperial fiction, continued by the US, the prevailing neo-imperial power. Though Cohen does not specifically use the term "Middle East" it is the suspect terrain of his analyses.

Does IRAN's Right to Exist (yes I mean Iran, I am not talking about Israel) depend on Iran's relationship to Israel and the US? Iran has never threatened the US, whereas the US has deposed its popularly elected leaders (Mossadegh), propped up straw monarchs (Reza Shah Pehlavi), stoked the Iran-Iraq war, and sanctioned Iran for attempting to become a nuclear power (which Israel already is, and the US is the only user of nuclear weapons).

Finally, let me inform Cohen Iran is well on the way to strategic multipolarity like many sovereign nation-states struggling out of the colonial era, with dialogue and economic arrangements with South America, Africa and South Asia. Therefore, "only engagement with the West" as Cohen mistakenly asserts is not Iran's only or preferred option.

Iran is undoubtedly a deeply flawed sovereign nation-state with an abysmal human rights record. This human rights record is correctly a terrain for engagement by the US and all UN member states, with Iran, no less than with Saudi Arabia, whose human rights record the US conveniently winks at, while guzzling Saudi oil.
Let it also be noted that Iran is an emerging regional power despite severe geo-political provocation from the US and its satellite, Israel.
My sense is Iran will prevail, despite Cohen's "pious" prescriptions to deal with Iran's alleged "independence obsession."

My comments do not in any way mean I do not read Cohen and others on the op-ed staff of the NYT with the greatest critical interest. I thank the NYT for that opportunity, because it is most instructive.
Such discussion is the stuff of US democracy on its way to developing an ethical spine.
Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice