"We are being brainwashed into confrontation with Iran"
Categories: Latest News
Monday March 05 2012
With ongoing discussion in international political fora concerning Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme, economic sanctions and the possible threat of Israel launching unilateral military action against Iran, there were some interesting comment pieces published last week critically appraising the threat of another war in the Middle East and its ramifications.
Simon Jenkins in the Guardian today last week wrote that with all the sabre-rattling going on “we are being brainwashed into confrontation with Iran”. Jenkins reflects on the publication of a book by Andrew Alexander titled ‘America and the Imperialism of Ignorance’, and concurs with the author’s conclusion, no less manifest than in the way the world is “fighting Islamism” that “most recent foreign policy has been based on systematic ignorance.”
From the Guardian:
“Were we wrong? I have lived through two global conflicts: the west against Russian communism and now the west against political Islam. The latter was caused by western leaders exaggerating a threat from a tiny group of terrorists to win popularity in war.
“Although it is easy, in any arms race, to declare a plague on both houses, Alexander is in no doubt – the fault lay primarily in Washington. A succession of bombastic American leaders, chary even of travelling abroad, denied what their own intelligence was telling them, that Russia posed no threat to the west. This is backed by recent research into Russian archives.
“The US duly kept on being a wartime military establishment of great political power, sustained in public by a hysterical McCarthyism and evoking an equally paranoid response from the Soviet Union. This in turn bolstered America’s psychological need for a titanic foe to bind the western alliance together. If no foe existed, then one had to be created.
“The cold war was not a war of good against evil. It was ignorance so pernicious as to question “the integrity and basic intelligence” of those democratic institutions persuaded that they were under existential threat.
“Then came 9/11 and a “clash of civilisations”. Bush and Blair won elections. Bankers lent money to generals, and the military-industrial complex refloated on an ocean of myth and mendacity.
“The brainwashing was ubiquitous. No book, no argument, no evidence could dissuade any British cabinet from the belief that only a giant defensive armoury stood between it and a communist takeover, and now stands against an Islamist Armageddon. I believe Alexander is right to seek explanation not in the realpolitik of international relations, but in the motives of democratic leaders.”