Peaceful, Innocent Giant Empires, and Aggressive, Evil Dwarf Nations
It’s not easy to be a huge peaceful empire, armed to the teeth with state-of-the-art weaponry, having an enormous army, and having at your disposal economic resources that no one else has. Not easy at all. You are always surrounded by pesky little warlike nations who are conspiring to destroy you, if you are not vigilant. Or even better, if you don’t attack them preemptively. Just in case.
Like Poland, for example, in 1939. A nation of half the population of Germany, one-tenth of Germany’s economic potential, and one-tenth of Germany’s military capabilities, threatened the very survival of the Third Reich. Two weeks after September 1, 1939, when the German armies were deep into Polish territory, pushing the Polish Army back and exterminating the Polish population, the German propaganda was still telling the world of the Polish aggression, and how the glorious German soldiers were pushing back the Polish invaders.
Or Finland, again in 1939. It was a nation of only 2% of the population of the Soviet Union, and of no natural or economic resources whatsoever; the Soviet military at the time was 6 million active duty members, while Finland had a total population of 4 million. According to the Soviet propaganda, Finland was the aggressor, and it was a tool in the hands of the world imperialism to destroy the Soviet Union.
Or take Serbia in 1914. Or Tibet in 1950. Or the Baltic Republics in 1940. Or Belgium and Holland and Greece and Yugoslavia in 1940. Or Georgia in 2008. Or Kuwait in 1990. Dangerous dwarf nations who are an imminent threat to their bigger neighbors, and therefore must be bullied and attacked preemptively.
Or take Iran in 2012. A declining population, a crumbling economy, a military which is good for nothing (back in the 80s, during the Iran-Iraq war, Iran was badly outnumbered on the battlefield, while having much larger population than Iraq), a navy and air force which rely on technologies of 30 years back. . . . Recently the Iranian navy tried their longest range missile – 136 miles; while Tehran claimed it was a success, military experts in the US found the claim to be wrong and the photos to have been photoshoped for propaganda purposes. Large segments of the territory of the country has no electricity. Iran can’t even produce it own food or gasoline, and has to import those, paying for it with crude oil.
But if you listen to the bipartisan propaganda in the US, Iran is the aggressor. Why? Because they are developing nuclear weapons.
Intelligence experts in the US have shown that that is not true. Energy experts have demonstrated that developing nuclear power is as far from developing nuclear weapons as producing toluene (paint thinner) is from producing trinitrotoluene (TNT). Two former heads of Mossad said that Iran is not producing nuclear weapons. The current head of Mossad said the same. The UN inspectors in Iran said there are no signs of production of nuclear weapons. Ehud Barak, the Defense Minister of Israel said before the Israeli military radio that Iran has no nuclear weapons and is not planning to produce them. He recently repeated this statement before CNN. One would think that the opinions of all the best experts in the field would make the politicians in the US listen and refrain from unnecessary banging of the war drums, and probably reach out and try to talk to Iran’s leaders in an effort to secure peace.
Nope. In a unique bipartisan coalition, the House approved the measure of sanctions against Iran, claiming that it is necessary to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Not a single one of those voting for the measure stopped to consider the fact that stopping Iran from selling oil – even if it could work – is not the same as stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. One is selling, the other is buying. And Iran has a border to the north to Russia. And through that border anything can go, and we have no way of telling the Russians what to do. We are telling our closest allies – like South Korea, for example – that they can’t get cheap oil. And we are telling the Chinese – who control our Federal debt – that they can’t get cheap oil. But we can’t tell the Russians what they are going to export through their south border. Or import through it, for that matter. Russia is an exporter of oil too. If Iran exports oil to Russia, who can say how much of Russia’s own exports is simply Iranian transit?
It was a year ago when researchers from US and Russia at Harvard demonstrated that the threat of nuclear terror comes from small groups who can smuggle any kind of weapon anywhere, sanctions or not. Zolotarev, a retired Russian army general, was blunt about the real threat: “If you look at the U.S. and Russia together, we own about 90 percent of the problem…” Yes. It is not Iran who is the problem; it is Russia and the US who have so many of those nuclear heads that it is virtually impossible to predict where and when a small group of terrorists would be able to steal or buy a nuclear weapon and smuggle it to any place in the world. That is the real threat, not Iran.
But dealing with that problem takes decentralized approach, and private intelligence firms are best able to penetrate such organizations and thwart their plans. There is no glory for a Congressman to admit that some private firm did an outstanding job in preventing nuclear terrorism. But it is very spectacular to declare that “we voted for sanctions on Iran,” even though in reality these sanctions will only lead to higher gas prices, more poverty in Iran, increased hostility against the US around the world, and worse relations with our allies and friends.
But the war drum banging must continue. Not because Iran is a threat but because it is necessary to keep the population in the US scared, and therefore more willing to accept any violations of its liberties. After all, we got the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the TSA, drone surveillance, and a number of other nice things, all because of those vaguely defined enemies who want to take our liberties. And the Republicans are those most enthusiastic about taking away our liberties, while speaking about the Constitution and accusing Obama in violating the Constitution. With Republicans like that, who needs Obama? Even if we didn’t have Obama, our liberties would have been taken away, by those same Republicans, all in the name of “security,” because Iran wants to take our liberties.
Returning to the issue of big empires and dwarf nations, every time you see an empire pointing to a smaller nation as a “danger” and an “aggressor,” and therefore worthy of invasion, look for the domestic reasons for it. The real danger is not the dwarf nation, but those liberty-loving people in the empire itself who must be silenced in the name of the “common good.” Hitler’s attacks against Poland and France and Russia were designed to perpetuate the Nazi rule over Germany. The Soviet Union’s invasions of Finland and later of Afghanistan were meant to deal with the unrest at home.
And the war drum banging against Iran has a reason. And it is not Iran. It is you, the American citizen who want to keep your liberty, your guns, and your property.