Iran: One Small Step Toward Peace

Washington’s war against Iran, a war designed to humiliate the regime and force this independent state to bow down to Washington’s highly discriminatory rules (“Iran can’t; Israel can”), has given way, slightly, offering a brief respite during which to consider the possibility of peace – not love or admiration or understanding but possibly at least mutual acceptance of the fact that the other exists. In diplomatic parlance, that is called “recognition.”

Obviously, we aren’t there yet. Officially, Washington still refuses to admit that Iran, as a state governed by the Islamic Republic, exists. Let’s put it like this: if you encounter a stranger in a narrow alley, you have three choices – turn back, smash into the stranger, or recognize the stranger’s existence and try to work out a way for you and the stranger each to continue on your separate ways. And after 30 years of glaring at each other in the alley, Washington remains unwilling to do that. More, Washington continues to punch the stranger in the face (economic warfare continues and there is no public evidence that computer warfare has ended).

And yet, after 30 years of idiocy, significant progress occurred this week, since Obama managed to stand up to Netanyahu, whose career prospects are now notably weakened by the declining prospects for U.S.-Iranian military conflict. While contemplating the historic defeat of Netanyahu and his gang of militarists, one should also recognize the other militarist faction weakened by this week’s compromise: the “neo-con” war generation/IRGC group of super-nationalists who, like Netanyahu, hold violence to be the preferred path to conflict resolution.

So, this week Obama and the cause of peace had a good week, but that is not to say the agreement was either very substantial or very good. The agreement we need, at a minimum, to open the diplomatic door to genuine consideration of whatever policies might be of mutual benefit would include U.S. recognition of Iran and the end to U.S. acts of war against Iran. Then, the two sides can start discussing in a reasonable atmosphere the various issues that divide them, such as Iran’s right to do in the nuclear realm what Israel does, the Israeli nuclear threat to Iranian security, the stabilization of Afghanistan, the flow of illegal narcotics out of Afghanistan, the interference of both the U.S. and Iran in Iraq and Syria, the Israeli effort to eliminate the Palestinian people as an organized social group, Iranian-Pakistani plans for a joint gas pipeline…

There is lots of work to do. Formal diplomatic ties constitute the grown-up method for getting started.

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