What happened in Geneva last month between Iran and the UN Security Council P-5 plus Germany was more than just a deal on the right to peaceful nuclear technology; it was, for the NATO P-3 (U.S., U.K., France) certainly, a pivotal return to diplomacy in world affairs after decades of knee-jerk first use of arms as weapon of choice in “resolving” conflicts.
Following in the wake of the Russia-brokered agreement on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, the Iran deal confirms that the U.S. administration has finally and effectively decided (for how long?) to break with the war-mongering strategy of its predecessors, including one-term “peace” president Jimmy Carter — under whose watch began the Iranian Revolution and the Jihadi war that continues in Afghanistan.
Defending the Iran deal the following Monday in San Francisco, U.S. President Barack Obama said: “We’re testing diplomacy; we’re not resorting immediately to military conflict.” Earlier that day, Obama stressed: “Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing for our security.”
Will Obama die to earn his Nobel Prize?
So Barack Obama may yet earn the Nobel Peace Prize he won prematurely in 2009. Or he may die trying. Daily Kos, the progressive U.S. webzine, reports the “Christian American Patriots Militia” posted a kind of “fatwa” on Facebook, that said: “We now have the authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him.”
Death threats against Obama are nothing new, and they have become a full-time concern for the Secret Service. But a powerful axis of enemies is now arrayed against him, and it includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. pro-Zionist lobby AIPAC, the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, and crackpot groups from the U.S. Christian right and Saudi-Qatari-backed Jihadi terrorists.
Taking a page from the Books of Coups that the U.S. has fostered over the years throughout the global South, most recently in Egypt, two retired U.S. generals, Paul Vallely and Charles Jones, are calling for the forced resignation and court martial of President Obama “for treason against our nation and its defense.” They have set up “America’s Provisional Leadership Council” to organize “nationwide rallies” and push for “a peaceful civil uprising”!
Within two months, from September to November, Israel and Saudi Arabia have seen their heavy investment in wars on Syria and Iran go to waste. Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu called the Iran-U.S. deal “a historic mistake” and likened it to Chamberlain’s 1938 Munich Pact with Hitler. Ryad lashed out by helping Egypt negotiate an arms deal with Russia — and by unleashing new jihadi/salafi terrorist commandos from Asia to Africa.
A fragile ‘interim agreement,’ with enemies galore
The Iran nuclear deal is an “interim agreement” that needs to be clarified and formalized over six months before it’s made definite and official — and before it leads to lifting of all sanctions on Iran and restoration of full diplomatic and business relations. And six months is a long time for its enemies to sabotage the deal through any number of “false-flag” operations, calibrated provocations and targeted disinformation.
Israel finds itself curbed in its rush to diversionary tactics, and may be forced to address not only the occupation of Palestine, but also its very own real nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals. As for Saudi Arabia, it seems vulnerable on its financial links to the 9/11 terrorists, according to former senators Bob Graham and Bob Kerrey, commenting on the never-published 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Judging from mainstream and social media comments, the deal is well received by youth in Europe and North America — and in Iran too. But State, military and intelligence power remains in the hands of Cold Warriors. House Republicans are already at work drafting increased sanctions on Iran!
Obama’s choice of diplomacy over war has swept the West as a breath of fresh air — especially at a time when Western economies are in the doldrums, unemployment breaking all records and wealth inequality widening beyond control.
The P-3, the UN Charter and the ‘war option’
Until the Syria-Iran files came along, Western diplomacy, especially on the part of the U.S., had been deployed to prove that diplomacy was useless, even dangerous, and to justify the recourse to arms. The U.S. also invested a lot of diplomatic resources in dealing with periodic “grid-lock” between the White House and Congress!
The P-3 framed the UN Charter with much emphasis on the sovereignty of nations and on the peaceful resolution of conflicts, but, from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq, Libya and Mali, the NATO triad, together or separately, have always chosen war to impose their will on sovereign nations.
Remember how Bush Sr. shot down every attempt at a negotiated settlement of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990? He wanted war, for a “New World Order”!
The only external case where the West promotes diplomacy “seriously” has to do with Israel-Palestine, and it’s a game with the Palestinians’ hands tied behind their backs, while Israel relentlessly chokes them and robs more and more of their land and water resources!
Bush Sr.’s uncompromising “full spectrum,” total, unilateral, asymmetrical war of annihilation against Iraq in 1990-1991 was a clear and menacing signal to the global South and to friends and foes alike that this “New World Order” would have only one boss, the U.S., and the U.S.-Soviet Global Duopoly of the Cold War years was over and gone.
A new ‘New World Order’ based on the rule of law
A “New World Order” is indeed emerging, but it not of the kind fantasized by the Bushes: it is led by Russia and China — whose double veto in the UN Security Council blocked in its tracks NATO’s bid of repeating a Libya II in Syria. Moscow and Beijing called for an end to unilateral military adventures and a return to the rule of law in world affairs, on the basis of the UN Charter.
Western opinion was obviously in agreement, since the U.K. Parliament defeated David Cameron on Syria and Barack Obama was thwarted on the same issue by the U.S. Congress. Russia then stepped in and helped the P-3 save face by brokering the chemical weapons deal with Syria.
Western mainstream media still talks of the “P-5 plus 1” negotiations with Iran, but Iran TV and other global South media choose to say “3 plus 3” — U.S., U.K., France on one side, and Russia, China and Germany on the other. Germany wants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and, as a non-permanent member in 2011-2012, it abstained on the NATO-sponsored vote to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.
As for Russia and China, they speak for the global South, the BRICS group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the NAM, the Non-Aligned Movement — with which they co-ordinate closely.
Russian pressure on Ukraine against signing a membership treaty with the European Union, and China’s proclamation of sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands of the East China Sea have come as timely reminders that the Iran deal does not mean East-West, North-South relations have suddenly turned all lovey-dovey!
The old self-delusion, and Obama’s uphill fight
Self-delusion still abounds in Western quarters, where many “TV experts” gloat over how “sanctions brought Iran to its knees.” Weeks before the Iran negotiations, a couple of young “analysts” from Canadian Foreign Affairs launched a book in Montreal titled La solitude stratégique de l’Iran — I suggested they write instead on “La solitude stratégique croissante de l’Occident” !
The Iran nuclear deal shows recognition of this fact by the U.S., leader of the NATO/OECD empire — even though France tried to torpedo the deal and Stephen Harper’s Canada, ever more Zionist than Netanyahu, continues to cast doubts on it.
How solid the deal with Iran is remains to be seen. The Daily Take aptly reminds us on Truthout.org that Ronald Reagan and right-wing Republicans conspired with Iranian extremist elements to sabotage a deal worked out between Jimmy Carter and Abolhassan Bani-Sadr to free the U.S. hostages in Iran before the November 1980 U.S. presidential elections. This anti-Carter plot led to the infamous Iran-Contra scandal as it came to light in 1986: the Reagan administration sold arms to Iran, in violation of a U.S. arms embargo, and used the money to secretly finance Contra militias fighting the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua — while Congress had placed strict limits on Contra funding by the U.S.!
Obama got his second term already, but if he does not end up like Carter, he may yet go down as JFK.
A verison of this article was first published in Le Mauricien.
Image: Saint Iscariot/flickr