John Chuckman



We have today yet more revelations in leaked documents written as advisory notes to the British government by Sir Kim Darroch, its recent former Ambassador to the United States.

Darroch called Trump’s tearing-up of the Iran nuclear agreement an act of “diplomatic vandalism.” Now, that is a characterization completely on the mark. It is difficult to see what anyone would even find objectionable in it, beyond the fact of its being leaked by someone unknown.

After all, every government in Western Europe and other major states like Russia and China and major world organizations publicly expressed their opposition to Trump’s rash action. All agreed that Iran had kept to its commitments and that the agreement had worked well for about four years.

Darroch went on to explain that tearing up the agreement was done to spite his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Yes, there is no question Trump has been out to destroy or undo everything that he can that was ever done by Barack Obama. He literally hates the man. We’ve seen that in a number of matters, including Obamacare.

But there is another reason for Trump’s dangerous blundering in Iran, a far more powerful one, one completely ignored by Darroch. I’ll come back to it after a few more words about Trump’s loathing for Obama.

I do believe Trump’s hatred for Obama is deeply tinged with racism. I can see no other explanation for it. There simply are no genuine liberal qualities in Obama for anyone on the political right to dislike, but there is the glaring fact of his being the first black president.

No one, examining the record of Obama’s eight years as president, can sensibly accuse him of being a liberal. In anything, except in the occasional vacuous and soon forgotten political speech. I know the Alt-right press regards Obama as a liberal, one of the most hated ever, but it’s a silly accusation from some extreme people. And that crowd, if you read through their stuff on the Internet, oozes with racism.

Obama led eight years of ugly American colonial wars, from invading Libya to getting the endless horrors of Syria going. From secretly supporting a coup to overthrow Egypt’s first-ever democratic government, one to which Israel had taken serious objection, to staging a coup against an elected government in Ukraine and pitching that country into turmoil, including civil war, all for the sake of intimidating Russia. From increasing ugly pressures on Venezuela to starting the tanks rolling up against Russia’s borders, there is no liberalism to be found in Obama’s activities abroad.

At home, we find the same thing. How can a man be regarded as liberal who passed no significant social legislation? And he did absolutely nothing to help his own people, the people to whom he appealed in the rhythms of a black preacher reciting the slogan, “Yes, we can!” He did nothing for the squalid, broken-down realities of vast stretches of urban America. His Obamacare legislation was a nasty, confusing, corporate-serving piece of work that a liberal can find just as hateful as a right-winger.

Further, Obama also did almost nothing to reform a financial system badly in need of reform, a system that had created a disastrous world-affecting financial crash. He signed off on all major military and security legislation. He actually started the shameful American system of extrajudicial killing abroad by hi-tech drone. And it was under Obama that the secretive NSA began expanding into an information-sucking monstrosity with its new constellation of secret buildings packed with super-computers and spying on literally everyone and everything.

Trump’s activities in Iran are about Israel’s interests, as they are communicated and pressed through the many channels of the American Israel lobby. Trump felt afraid and vulnerable about the future of his office at one period, and he turned to some extremely wealthy American oligarchs for support and money. These were men whose most burning concern is Israel, and several of them are on intimate terms with Netanyahu.

I am sure Trump got the support he sought, but all such support comes at a price. Trump’s price is readily seen in a whole series of acts, from putting the American Embassy into Jerusalem to recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights. From appointing a series of extremely ideologically committed men, genuinely fanatical men, like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to important posts to slashing support for a number of organizations whose work in any way supported the Palestinians.

It’s been a dramatic wave of events over a short period, and they reflect no authentic interests of the United States, and they certainly have nothing to do with Obama. They all increase tensions and hostilities and commit the United States to ignoring the rule of law. Matters in Iran are part and parcel of that activity.

Netanyahu has made years of insane claims about Iran and the security of Israel, all of them groundless, none of them supported by any evidence, and, indeed, in a number of cases, being directly contradicted by solid evidence. But he just continues his harangues and crusade against a country that has started absolutely no conflicts in its modern era, a fact, as it happens, totally the opposite of Israel’s own record of close-to continuous war.

Netanyahu has long wanted Iran to be hurt or reduced for the temerity of having some influence in the Middle East. Israel wants all of that influence with no one around to in any way oppose or question it. Netanyahu was intensely busy in just the same way during Obama’s time, but Obama ignored him, which is the only way he ever achieved the nuclear agreement.

Netanyahu also, like Trump, has a deep dislike for Obama. He showed this openly a number of times, coming close to expressions of public contempt. I assume his hatred is based on Obama’s ignoring him over Iran largely, although racism, too, could well play a role. Netanyahu’s Israel has been extremely hostile to black Jews from Africa and to black refugee claims. Netanyahu actually had a scheme to bribe some distant African states to take refugees off Israel’s hands.

At any rate, the shared distaste for Obama only makes the same years-old job of selling the threat Iran is supposed to represent, and there’s no need to sell it to those American oligarchs to whom Trump desperately turned for political help. They are onboard with about every outrageous claim Netanyahu ever made.

We should note that that nuclear agreement was signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and the United States – plus Germany and the European Union. They all still strongly support it, except, of course, for Donald Trump’s United States. Everyone, except Netanyahu’s Israel and Trump’s United States, agrees that it is a solid agreement and that Iran has conscientiously followed its obligations. All international technical experts and inspectors support that view too.

But along comes Trump suddenly to toss the agreement to the wind, ignoring everyone else. The only people with input and support for his rash behavior are Netanyahu and Trump’s American oligarch political supporters, close friends of Netanyahu.

Essentially, what we have is a man, Trump, who, in the interest of his campaign war chest for the 2020 election or against any attempt at his impeachment before that, is putting the entire world at risk of a serious war. He is threatening and economically crushing a law-abiding nation of more than eighty million souls for no other reason. Millions of ordinary Iranians are hurt by his severe and unwarranted sanctions. As is always the case with sanctions, they hurt mainly ordinary people. They are a blunt instrument, much like massive bombing.

Posted July 14, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,