I watched a really interesting programme last night on the old tube. Jon Snow, from Channel 4 News, presented a segment of the show live from Iran. They'll be doing this every night all week, in what is surely the first production of its kind for a Western-type current affairs team.
For a half-hour, I watched and wondered as this award-winning programme juxtaposed a live interview with Dr Ali A. Larijani, Iran's Chief Negotiator for Nuclear Issues at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, with some bellicosely brazen rhetoric brimming from America's UN Ambassador, Mr John R. Bolton, to a hand-picked horde of Israeli sympathisers.
Now, I'm totally Swiss when it comes to matters of the dark arts of international diplomacy, and by that I mean: I'm nobody's "hater". So, it's with the clearest of conscience that I reveal my wonder at who is the real wrong-doer here, and who is taking an understandable view of national security. By the time the piece finished, amid a segued sequence of voluble vox pops from Capitol Hill hawks, one could have justifiably joked to oneself: "These Yanks are nuts!"
There are scores of arguments on both sides, of course...
For, it is undeniable that Iran has benefitted from the quagmire the US has created inside Iraq – but whose fault is that, folks? – while allegations continue to persist of Iranian intervention on behalf of various insurgent factions therein. Yet, Iran has assisted the US-led Coalition in Afghanistan, and this despite there being zero prospect of a US Embassy reopening in Tehran.
If the recent remarks attributed to the Iranian President by sections of the Western media – about "wiping Israel off the map" – are obviously outrageous, you've got to keep in mind the geography of incitement: Israel have some 200 nuclear warheads to fiddle with, and they are constantly threatening the Iranians. (The difference is, of course, that they enjoy immunity because of their bald eagle ally).
Further, while the current administration purports to spread freedom and democracy across this sweet swinging sphere, whose model of democracy is that? Why, lets not forget already that the Palestinians recently elected Hamas by legitimate means... only to have their US-funding freezed. Remember too, that a CIA-financed coup overthrew a democratic Iranian regime in 1953, replacing them with a hand-picked despotic autocracy, and this long-before Reagan's seminal Contra hypocrisy. Of course, it is only natural to endeavour to control the proliferation of nuclear cuckolds... but it's the US, and not Iran, who is bent onto a constant war foothold.
One also has to wonder what role the international community is playing in this brinkmanship, particularly when the Russians are directly involved, and when the Chinese already have 20% of US GDP in their pocket. Contrast that with the UK, France and Germany's stance. So, who's ball-bustin' who?
My own view, is that this is an instrumental struggle, to decide who is dancing to whose tune.
We'll have to wait and see what outcome this week brings, but at least this long-running soap has, among the cast of its many cross-purposed characters, a number of diplomatic doves in Washington, who will resist the hardline hawks for as long as there is 15 Round Bout feathers flying a flag for the Rest of the World Team.
Amid all of the Muslim misrepresentation, the Secular confusion, and the media's 'misconstrusion,' let us not forget that these dudes have a sense of humour too. We'll maybe never get it, mind you, because our perspective is fit to be tied, and paralysed by way of some received dim view.