Just so we’re all clear.

Each star marks a US military base, but just so we’re all clear: Iran is threatening us; we’re not threatening them.”

I’m guessing the white star in the deep blue Arabian Sea represents the massive U.S. Fifth Fleet.  Comprised of about 30 warships (including two aircraft carriers), the fleet patrols the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the east coast of Africa.  Gosh, those Iranians sure are crazeeee for wanting a nuclear weapon!  What could possibly be more insane?  No wonder the U.S. media is constantly telling us what Scary Monsters these people are.

Via Glenn:

The U.S. has long had Iran virtually encircled as a result of the American occupation of Afghanistan on Iran’s Eastern border, its invasion of Iraq on its Western border, its NATO ally Turkey hovering on Iran’s Northwestern border, some degree of military relationship with Turkmenistan on Iran’s Northeastern border, and multiple U.S. client states sitting right across the Persian Gulf … Additionally, some combination of the U.S. and Israel has bombarded Iran with multiple acts of war over the last year, including explosions on Iranian soil, the murder of numerous Iranian nuclear scientists (in which even one of their wives was shot), and sophisticated cyberattacks.  Meanwhile, top American political officials from both parties are actively demanding that an Iranian revolutionary cult be removed from the list of Terrorist organizations (just coincidentally, they’re all on the cult’s payroll). In the past decade, the U.S. and/or Israel have invaded, air attacked, and/or occupied Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (to say nothing of the creation of a worldwide torture regime, a system of “black site” prisons around the world to which people were disappeared, and a due-process-free detention camp in the middle of the Caribbean Ocean where many people remain encaged for almost a full decade without charges). During this same time period, Iran has not invaded, occupied or air attacked anyone. Iran, to be sure, is domestically oppressive, but no more so — and in many cases less — than the multiple regimes funded, armed and otherwise propped up by the U.S. during this period. Those are all just facts.

But — despite all of these facts — all Serious people in the U.S. know that Iran is the Aggressor, the Modern Nazis, a True Menace, while the U.S. and Israel are its innocent peace-loving victims.

Looking at the map just now, it hit me like a bolt of lightening:  I have completely misunderstood the entire situation in the Middle East.  Isn’t it rather obvious that U.S. officials are actually artists, and that U.S. foreign policy is art?  I mean, look at the map:  there’s a whole big blue swath right in the middle of the region — let’s call it “Iran” — and it doesn’t even have a single star on it!  More stars are needed in the blue area in order to complete the work.  It’s an aesthetic thing.  All you non-artists just wouldn’t understand.

Here are just some of the Scary Monsters whose lives the U.S. may have to destroy with our Freedom Bombs so we can put some more stars on the pretty, pretty map.

Iranian children play in a fountain during high temperatures. (Image: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Hawt Iranian protester.

Iranian kids, who have universal dental coverage. Awesome.

Young Iranian couples on the island of Kish.

"Afghan refugee children in Iran, which has done an immense amount for refugees but now needs more help." (Image: © UNHCR/J.Pagonis)

Kids at an event hosted by an Iranian sports equipment company.

Protester.

[h/t ng]

6 thoughts on “Just so we’re all clear.

  1. I’m not a fan of Iran — or anyone — having nuclear weapons, but given the continuous threats we’ve tossed their way, I can certainly understand why they might feel they are in need of them.

  2. A graphic depiction of our tax dollars at work – so to speak. The US Department of Defense website refers to “Stabilization” missions. Wondering what this means, led me on a Google search to find this research paper published last year by the Combat Studies Institute at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/download/csipubs/millett.pdf
    The author, Dr. Richard L. Millet traces the history of American “stabilization” efforts over the past century. He traces efforts more or less beginning with this fascinating quote from Teddy Roosevelt’s 1905 State of the Union address: “It is always possible that wrong actions toward this Nation or toward citizens of this nation, in some State unable to keep order among its own people, unable to secure justice for outsiders, and unwilling to do justice to those outsiders who treat it well, may result in our having to take action to protect our rights; but such action will not be taken with a view to territorial aggression, and it will be taken if at all only with extreme reluctance and when it has become evident that every other resource has been exhausted.”
    The ring of military bases around Iran is part of a much broader US-led “stabilization” program aimed at that region of the World. I blame Teddy Roosevelt for getting this started.
    Although Dr. Millet’s paper focuses on historical cases studies, he ends with a few cautionary lessons learned that are relevant to current US stabilization efforts in the middle east and elsewhere. Too much to quote here in their entirety, but this one seems especially relevant:
    “Efforts to change a society largely through changing its security forces never produce the desired effect and inevitably bring un- desired effects. The most extreme case of this is when security forces are modernized, but the overall administration of justice is not. When police and judicial organs are in conflict, or when the courts simply don’t function effectively two things invariably happen. The police increasingly take justice into their own hands, including eliminating prisoners, and corruption spreads hand-in- hand with rising police frustrations.”
    While Dr. Millet was talking about past experiences in places like Panama and Haiti, it strikes me that the same could be said about the US today. As our police forces have been modernized, has our system for the administration of justice kept pace, or is “stabilization” taking hold at home too?

  3. @Flyboy (quoting Teddy Roosevelt):

    such action will not be taken with a view to territorial aggression, and it will be taken if at all only with extreme reluctance and when it has become evident that every other resource has been exhausted.

    So much for that.

    I blame Teddy Roosevelt for getting this started.

    I blame The Patriarchy. :p

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