Iran’s Islamic Republic Celebrates its 42nd Anniversary

9 Feb

[Prefatory Note: Iran is in the process of celebrating the 42nd Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that led to the downfall of the Shah of Iran’s dynastic rule and its replacement by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has defied the odds by resisting successfully a variety of attempts to restore the old established order either by an Iraqi encouraged war in the 1980s, destabilization efforts all along pushed by the U.S. and Israel, and an undisguised goal of regime change. It should also be remembered that the U.S. helped restore the Shah to his imperial  crown in 1953 by helping to engineer a coup against the democratically elected Mohamad Mosaddeq. Months after the Shah abdicated and revolutionary supporters took over the Iranian government, Iranian students seized control of the American Embassy in Tehran and held the staff, including diplomats, hostage for more than a year. Such an event escalated the confrontation between Iran and the United States, which has risen to war-threatening heights at times, and veered toward normalization at other times. With a new American president in the White House who seems eager to promote a more moderate atmosphere in the Middle East there were widespread hopes for accommodation, but so far there are as many signs of continuity with the Trump years as indications of seeking accommodation based on equality and respect. 

I am aware that it is ‘politically correct’ in the West to comment favorably on this anniversary occasion, but I continue to view Iran as practicing the politics of post-colonial self-determination that has made it a target for hostile forces in the Middle East and elsewhere, and that hopes for a peaceful regional future rest on the further dewesternization of liberal secular criteria of governmental and behavioral legitimacy. I would not minimize Iran’s bad record when it comes to human rights, but its emphasis in the Western media is more a matter of geopolitics than empathy for victims, especially if compared with the silence about much worse infractions by regional allies of the Wesst, and taking account of the tendencies of even the purist of democracies to become paranoid and repressive when threatened by intervention and a counterrevolutionary crusade. Surely, maintaining comprehensive sanctions on Iran by the United States despite humanitarian appeals for their suspension during the COVID pandemic because of the massive harm done to the Iranian people should also be taken into account.]   

Q. 1: The anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran is coming up. Many argue that the Iranian revolution, besides having internal effects, has affected the region and the international community. If you are positive with this viewpoint, what are its major international effects?

It is difficult to draw firm conclusions about cause and effect in international relations as there are many factors interacting at that same time. It seemed clear that the Islamic Revolution posed a challenge to Western vital strategic and economic interests that were tied closely to the Shah’s regime. It should be remembered that Henry Kissinger reminded the world that the Shah was “that rarest of things, an unconditional ally.” More broadly, the Islamic Revolution created the perception that the U.S. had a new adversary in the Middle East additional to, and perhaps more threatening, than the Soviet Union and the ideology of Marxism/Leninism. Its regional policies had previously emphasized, other than the containment of Soviet influence, access to oil at affordable prices and the security of Israel. This belief in Iran as a strategic threat was interpreted in the West as an ideological threat, as well, giving rise to Islamophobia that reached its peak in the United States after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, primary symbols of American economic and military power. 

Imam Khomeini reinforced Western and regional anxieties by his insistence that the transformation of Iran was an ‘Islamic Revolution,’ nor a ‘Iranian Revolution’ or a ‘Sunni Revolution,’ implying strong concerns beyond the borders of Iran. Such a sentiment had an electrifying and mobilizing effect on Islamic thought and action throughout the Arab world, and recreated the idea that territorial states within enclosed borders were a European conception of community imposed on the Middle East after World War I, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Nationalist thinking and organization inauthentically displaced the primary existential community of shared adherence to Islamic beliefs, the umma. Such an interpretation of community undermined the legitimacy of many governments in the Arab/Islamic context that relied on nationalist and secular sources of legitimacy while actually serving the interests of the West. 

The Western views of the Khomeini impact were highlighted by such phrases as regarding Islamic countries as the new ‘arc of crisis,’ or more memorably as ‘the clash of civilizations,’ the sequel to the Cold War, and the basis for a new phase of ideological and geopolitical confrontation. 

The Israeli dimension of the effects of the Islamic Revolution in Iran should not be overlooked. Israel was regarded as an alien force in the region, anti-Islamic, secular, and a lingering remnant of the colonial era. For the West it was an outpost of enlightenment, modernity, and shared goals, and after the fall of the Shah the became the leading strategic ally of the United States, a relationship that continues to haunt the region with intervention and political violence, as well as the denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people in their own homeland.

 Q. 2: Imam Khomeini, as the founder of the Islamic Revolution, unified the Muslim community towards certain causes, while before the Iranian revolution, there was not a dynamic wave of the Muslim community. What reasons caused that situation before the revolution?

Before the Iranian developments in 1978-79, the Middle East in particular was governed by authoritarian regimes that were on one side or the other of the Cold War rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Many regional leaders in the Islamic world were fearful of the Islamic orientation of their own people, portraying Islam as anti-modern and an enemy of progress, and potentially threatening to the economic elites bonded with international capitalism. The Shah’s Iran typified this orientation and exhibited an acute form of civilizational alienation.

Imam Khomeini arrived on the political scene with a different vision of a political community animated by the resurgence of Islam as tradition and the foundation of ethically grounded governance. Because Iran faced counterrevolutionary threats from within and without, the governing challenges in Iran gave priority to protecting the revolution from its enemies, with a harshness often relied upon by the West to contend that the Islamic Revolution was a regressive development, a view encouraged by many of the Iranians who fled the country for various reasons. It is notable that these harsh tactics allowed the Islamic Revolution to survive and evolve, and contrasts with the experience of other efforts to achieve transformation, even reform, in Islamic countries, for instance, Egypt. The achievement of the Islamic Revolution is to persist in such a hostile environment suggests the skills of its leaders and the support of the great majority of its people.  

Q. 3: Experts on the Palestinian issue argue that the Islamic Revolution changed the direction of fights against Israel. What is your opinion about this matter?

In a few words, whereas before the Islamic Revolution support for the Palestinian struggle was pragmatic and opportunistic, while afterwards identification with Palestine became a matter of fundamental principle and a source of authentic identity. The Islamic Republic of Iran, no matter what pressures it was subjected to during the last four decades, has never wavered in support for the rights of the Palestinian people. 

Such speculation is difficult to be sure about as many forces were at work, but certainly the Islamic Revolution was one factor that altered the character of the struggle over the future of Palestine. From an Israeli perspective, Iran posed an increasing threat not only to its internal security and nationalist claims of legitimacy, but also to its regional and expansionist ambitions. At the same time, Iranian hostility to Israel reinforced Western hostility to the Islamic Republic. It also had the effect of leading the Gulf countries, with the exception of Qatar, to believe that their own legitimacy and stability was more threatened by the Islamic Republic than by Israel. These regimes, led by Saudi Arabia, also emphasized sectarian identities, insisting that only Sunni Islam was the true faith and that Shi’ia Islam was a deviation. At the same time, these Arab elites became persuaded that their rivalry throughout the Middle East with Iran was their primary concern, shared with Israel (and the United States), and that tensions and opposition to Israel no longer served governmental interests despite the persisting identification of their citizens with the Palestinian struggle. The climax of this revision of priorities became evident when the anti-Iran diplomacy was recently signaled to the world by the normalization agreements reached with several Arab countries, encouraged by others, and celebrated as a triumph of Trump’s pro-Israel foreign policy.

The Palestinian movement for self-determination was always viewed as problematic, and potentially dangerous, by the top-down governing processes in Iran and throughout the Arab world. Any bottom-up popular democratizing movement, epitomized by the Islamic Revolution in Iran and later by the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, was opposed by these repressive government scared of their own people. The Palestinian movement was deemed threatening in two of its dimensions—as putting forth political demands from below (a polar opposite from dynastic claims to rule from above, and so condition the role of Islam) and as challenging the links to the West to sustain internal security through weaponry and counterinsurgent tactics.

 Q. 4: Was Imam Khomeini, as a spiritual leader, effective in changing the status of the Palestinian issue?

I think Imam Khomeini did give the Palestinian struggle a higher status than it had earlier possessed, particularly within the region, it became a matter of ethics, not just politics. His emphasis on Palestinian self-determination, the illegitimacy of the Zionist Project, was treated as a fundamental commitment of the Islamic Republic from its inception, and Israel was viewed as a distinctly Western challenge to the prevalence of his sense of the Islamic community of peoples. In the course of my meeting with Imam Khomeini he made very clear that in his view of the illegitimacy of a Jewish state based on claims of ethnic superiority coincided with his great respect for Judaism as an authentic religion. He expressed his hope at that time in 1979, that the Jewish minority in Iran would disentangle itself from identification with and support for Israel and the Zionist Project, and if this happened, he declared his view that it would be a tragedy for Iran if Jews did not remain in the country after the revolution. 

This distinction between Israel and Judaism is crucial, and is the opposite of what the Israeli leadership and its more militant followers want the world to believe, which is that Israel, Jewishness, and Zionism are one, and that any criticism of Israel necessarily exhibits a form of anti-Semitism. Recently, the world respected Israeli human rights NGO issued a report that confirmed the view that Israel was an apartheid stated, premised on the efforts to make Israel ‘a Jewish supremacy state.’ As apartheid in any form is an international crime, listed as a Crime Against Humanity, in Article 7(j) of the Rome Statute governing the framework of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the views of Imam Khomeini accord with basic principles of law and justice on this crucial matter of distinguishing between the State of Israel and the Jewish people.  

Q. 5: It is widely believed that Iran’s resistance against international pressures has shifted the international order and has created a new resistance force against world powers. Can we connect this process to the current undermined position of the United States?

I believe it is correct that the failure of the United States to overcome Iranian resistance to its destabilization and counterrevolutionary efforts is viewed as one dimension of American imperial decline. Military intervention and even coercive diplomacy by way of sanctions and threats is far less effective than in the colonial era, and is unable to control the political outcomes of many internal struggles for the control of States. It has contributed to what is generally viewed as a much more multipolar world. New patterns of alignment are emerging globally and regionally. The Biden presidency will try to restore the Cold War Euro-centric pattern of alliances, with China as the new principal rival, with Russia also on the outside looking in. There are many uncertainties in all domains of international life that will reshape world order in coming years. Of especial importance will be the management of climate change, health hazards, and global economic policy. There are several lines of uncertainty, including whether a new form of ideological tension arises and inhibits global cooperative problem-solving. There is a need for stronger institutional mechanisms at all levels of political interaction to safeguard and promote the global public good. The United Nations could be reformed to play a more central role in moderating diversities of interests and values, while protecting the sovereign rights of States and extending a greater effort to impose UN Charter Principles on the five Permanent Members of the Security Council. The UN would benefit for greater funding independence and less tolerance for geopolitical impunity.  

17 Responses to “Iran’s Islamic Republic Celebrates its 42nd Anniversary”

  1. Ray Joseph Cormier February 9, 2021 at 9:56 am #

    There’s no question Israel has co-opted all the Middle East Dictatorships in abandoning the Palestinian cause except for lip service as Israel claims it stands for Peace negotiations while they seize even more Palestinian Land, the very Land that is the purpose of negotiations.
    Iran is the only Nation left in the Middle East calling for Justice for Palestinians.

    Johnathan Cook writes this from Nazareth,

    How Israel’s Netanyahu helped break apart the Joint List
    9 February 2021

    Rifts in the Palestinian coalition party in Israel have helped further the prime minister’s agenda, and may yet foil his corruption trial

    For six years the Joint List had served as a beacon of political hope. Not just for the large Palestinian minority in Israel it represented, but also for a global Palestinian audience disillusioned by years of infighting between Fatah and Hamas that has sidelined the national cause.

    But last week, the Joint List’s coalition of four Palestinian parties split asunder, weeks ahead of an Israeli general election that will focus on the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The List’s component parties, representing a fifth of the Israeli population, had found it impossible to set aside their long-running ideological and tactical differences.

    The coalition that broke the mould of Palestinian politics has now broken apart itself, and, according to analysts, the toll is likely to be severe.
    Netanyahu’s manipulations

    There are at least superficial parallels between the Joint List’s breakup and the ongoing hostility between Fatah and Hamas. On one side, three largely secular parties – Hadash, Taal and Balad – have remained in the List, while the fourth, the United Arab List (UAL), a conservative Islamic party led by Mansour Abbas, is going it alone.

    Once again, Israeli actors have played a decisive role in manipulating internal Palestinian divisions. Netanyahu has been widely credited with offering incentives to encourage Abbas to quit the Joint List and form a rival political coalition, one bolstered by the support of popular local politicians.

    The rupture in the Joint List, Netanyahu appears to hope, will change the electoral maths in the Israeli parliament and help him foil his corruption trial………………

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2021-02-09/israel-netanyahu-break-joint-list/

    • Ira Youdovin February 9, 2021 at 12:22 pm #

      No, Ray. Iran is not calling for justice for the Palestinians. It seeks to destroy Israel. That’s a far different aspiration.

      Regarding Jonathan Cook’s article: I’m not sure you understand that it’s a strong condemnation of the Palestinians’ inability to organize a cohesive and effective body politic. Some blame Israel for this, but the wound is entirely self-inflicted. Apologetics that resist holding the Palestinians accountable for their own failings are a thus-far insurmountable obstacle to peace. Just ask Salaam Fayyad, former vice president of the Palestinian Authority.

      • roberthstiver February 9, 2021 at 11:40 pm #

        Israel: divide and conquer. It’s really that simple. I agree with Mr. Cormier and the indefatigable Jonathan Cook.

      • Richard Falk February 9, 2021 at 11:49 pm #

        Ira: You seem to forget that Israel was instrumental in the emergence of HAMAS,
        supposedly to fragment the unity achieved by the PLO in the aftermath of the 1967
        War. Also, over the years, it has been an Israeli practice, often operationalized by
        Mossad, to assassinate moderate Palestinian diplomats and others seeking a political
        compromise.

      • Ray Joseph Cormier February 10, 2021 at 6:38 am #

        No Ira, it’s Israel wanting to destroy Iran and that’s obvious to those to see with eyes wide open.

        I’m not sure with your bias, you understand the essence in Jonathan Cook’s report.

        It’s now over 2 Generations since the God of Abraham who Lives Today, moved me to quit my position of ‘National Marketing Representative, Mining Division, Dominion Engineering Works Ltd.’ of Montreal, and enter the US to discover the Spirit of ’76.
        With shoulder length hair, beard, and back pack, hitch hiked through some 45 States.

        That Spirit led me to the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, and opened the door for The Kansas City Times to publish 2 reports on my activities, the 1st report on September 13, 1976, and the follow up on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976 publishing these words among so many others,
        “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

        That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter.

        As a Rabbi, you, more than most, should recognize those words as the 1st 2 parts of the 3 part “Writing on the Wall” from Daniel 5 in the Jewish Tanach.
        While Daniel wrote that during the Captivity of Babylon/Iraq, that END TIMES Prophet is now buried in an Islamic Mosque in Iran.

        That same Historical record is even more exact in the Time Line.
        ¨There are 30 months before the fate of the world will be sealed with EITHER Destruction OR the Universal Brotherhood of Man,¨ he said. ¨The 30 month figure concerned a Treaty between Israel and Egypt.¨

        NOTE: This does not say Armageddon happens in 30 months from the article.

        Not 29 or 31, but exactly 30 months later, in March 1979, history shows a Treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed. The Camp David Accord. History shows talks broke down on the 12th day and no Treaty was to be signed. Begin and Sadat were leaving. It was on the 13th Day, as in the date of the Article and the picture accompanying it, an unexpected window of opportunity appeared and opened the way for the Treaty to be signed.

        This signified the Universal Brotherhood part of the quote.

        The possible Destruction part in the sequence was signified a month earlier with the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

        From what I see to Date, the World. Israel and the US is opting for the Destruction part of the 1976 prophecy.

        There’s not much I can do about that other than being a voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

        https://rayjc.com/2013/09/01/signs-of-the-times/

    • Rabbi Ira Youdovin February 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm #

      Good Grief Ray, won’t you ever tire of blaming Palestinian failings on Israel?! Prof. Falk’s allegations of apartheid to the contrary, voters made the Joint List the third largest party in the Knesset. Respecting the Palestinian community’s growing political strength. Netanyahu (and leaders of other large Israeli parties) are courting their votes, as they would do with any other population of Israeli citizens. That’s the way a democracy works!

      The Joint List (which was always a shaky proposition) broke apart when Mansour Abbas, leader of the Re’em party, responded to Netanyahu’s suggestion that the Joint List would be welcome in a governing coalition he would lead if re-elected. Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid, the second largest Israeli party, repeated the offer. Re’em’s three Joint List partners remain unwilling to join the government, so the Joint List broke up.
      Ironically but significantly, Re’em stems from the same Islamic roots as Hamas. It’s evolution, which you likely regard as a betrayal, responds to opportunities now open to Palestinians participating in the Israeli system instead of seeking to overthrow it.

      With two Palestinian parties competing for votes, neither may attract 3.25% of the total vote, which is the threshold for Knesset representation.
      That would be a sad outcome. But it would be their decision.
      .

      Rabbi Ira Youdovin

  2. roberthstiver February 9, 2021 at 11:41 pm #

    A tour de force. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Professor/Dr. Falk.

    • Ira Youdovin February 10, 2021 at 11:58 am #

      “I’m not sure with your bias, you understand the essence in Jonathan Cook’s report.”

      OK, Ray, I accept your challenge. From your totally unbiased perspective, what is the essence of Jonathan Cook’s report? It certainly isn’t the messianic apocalypticism you wrote. What is it?????

  3. Ira Youdovin February 10, 2021 at 11:38 am #

    Richard,

    Well into my dotage (I’m 61 days from becoming an octogenarian) my memory isn’t what it used to be. But I haven’t forgotten that in the late 1980’s Israel was instrumental in the emergence of Hamas as an alternative to the PLO, which talked peace in English and Jihad in Arabic. Nor have I forgotten that HAMAS instituted programs and projects that made significant contributions to the Palestinians’ quality of life. These enabled HAMAS to score a landslide victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.

    But that was a long time ago. In the interim, HAMAS has been taken over by radical Islamic militants who unabashedly seek to destroy Israel by whatever means available, including terrorism. And they have become pawns in the Iranians’ drive to win regional hegemony, arming them with a stockpile of increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles.

    The sick joke here is that if Iran did succeed in destroying Israel, it would impose strict Shiite discipline on a largely Sunni population. There would not be a free and democratic Palestinian state. Just look at the situation in Gaza, or in southern Lebanon.

    A little fact-checking about Israeli assassinations. Fewer now than before. But the allegation that Mossad targets “moderate Palestinian diplomats” is bogus. (Not trusting my memory, I asked Google for a list of Palestinian diplomats assassinated by Israel. None came up but I invite you to name a few.). The historical record: the largest number of Israeli assassinations came during the First Intifada (2000-2005), which was an armed insurrection featuring suicide bombings in which people on both sides were killed. Since then, the number of assassinations targeted against Palestinians has declined to almost zero. (n .b. Iranian nuclear scientists and terrorists are not Palestinians.)

    Once again, your conjuring up “alternative facts” deflects attention from the real issue, which is the Palestinians’ inability and/or unwillingness to develop a consensus vision of what they seek to achieve, and their propensity for angry, and often violent, internecine conflict. Until this is achieved—something the Palestinians must do for themselves—their situation will not improve and may worsen. By pretending the internal conflict doesn’t exists, or blaming it on Israel, is a disincentive to Palestinians who seek compromise, which is a disservice to the Palestinian People.

  4. Beau Oolayforos February 10, 2021 at 8:04 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    I don’t doubt for a moment your statements about the uncertainty of near-future geopolitical alignments. But still, whenever I read about Iran’s relations with Russia and China, the military exercises and arms deals, it reminds me of old Triple Alliance/Entente rivalries. I fear we will suffer the consequences of so many decades of regime change (’53), punitive sanctions, and coercive diplomacy; all of which cannot help but drive the Iranians into the arms of other Western rivals.

    It’s disappointing to read, if true, that Team Biden intends to keep sanctions in place, even as they try to re-enter the nuclear deal. That would seem extremely stupid. And I was about to apologize for blaming Mossad in the nuclear scientist’s assassination, where now it seems to have been an internal matter. “About to..”, until you informed me about the murders of “moderate Palestinian diplomats and others seeking compromise”. Once again, we innocents thank you for opening our eyes.

  5. Rabbii Ira Youdovin February 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm #

    Richard,

    With all due respect, your depiction of Iran being the innocent victim of Israeli desire to force regime change is a breathtaking distortion of reality. Iranian rulers since Khomeni have publicly and unambiguously stated their intention to destroy Israel. They have also demonstrated their anti-Semitism by blatant Holocaust denial.

    Although Israel assuredly would like to see free elections in Iran that would yield a government more representative of Iran’s techno-savvy younger generation’s desire for a system unfettered by ties to religious dogma, its actions there are focused solely on disrupting Iran’s quest of a nuclear arsenal and its hegemonic militarism manifest in Syria and arming Hezbollah and Hamas with weapons to facilitate terrorism against Israel.

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Ray Joseph Cormier February 23, 2021 at 7:00 am #

      Ira, there are free elections in Iran, with minority Jews guaranteed a seat in Iran’s Majlis. Iran’s elections are more free than in Egypt, or any other ME Dictatorship aligned with Israel.

      With the US and Iran only in a PAUSE, at the brink of Armageddon/WWIII, why doesn’t the MSM talk up this RECENT US History, as a significant influencing factor of the whole unfolding unfortunate Reality in the Middle East, and force US Politicians and the Public to address the FACTS?

      Not likely when Israeli interests provide all expense paid trips to Republican and Democratic Members of Congress to hear only the Israeli side of the conflict.
      Americans should wonder why there is always almost unanimous, enthusiastic bi-partisanship on any issue concerning Israel, but that same bi-partisanship doesn’t exist for the many serious issues facing Americans.

      Netanyahu to US Congress, September 12, 2002 ” If YOU take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I GUARANTEE YOU that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region, The reverberations of what will happen with the collapse of Saddam’s regime, could very well cause an implosion in a neighbour regime like Iran”
      https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4529120/user-clip-netanyahus-expert-testimony-iraq-2002

      Americans and Iraqis lost many lives and treasure with the destruction of Netanyahu’s WAR against Saddam, and cannot make a claim on his GUARANTEE. Proved dead wrong the dead number over a MILLION PEOPLE, the consequences still unfolding in the World.

      Iran didn’t implode. It increased influence in it’s own part of the World with the illegal 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
      The God of Israel didn’t listen to Netanyahu but Americans do.

      Netanyahu spoke to a Joint Session of the US Congress in 2015, getting standing ovations by delirious, non-partisan, Republicans and Democrats, calling for the US to reject the Iran Nuclear deal.
      Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal on May 8, 2018.

      What will be the consequences for the US Economic War the US is waging against Iran for Netanyahu, designed to destroy the Iranian Economy supporting it’s 83 MILLION people before having to resort to bombs?
      Designating Iran’s Military as a terrorist Organization at Netanyahu’s request, escalated the US Economic War against Iran to the Act of Military Hostility with the murder of such a Senior Iranian government Official as Generai Soleimani.

      US Propaganda will not report General Soleimani did more to fight ISIS with boots on the ground, than the US did bombing from the air, having as much blood on it’s hands as they attribute to General Soleimani.
      It may not be American blood, but it’s Human blood just the same and Almighty God, the Judge of Nations you speak for as a Rabbi sees that!

      Netanyahu was the only head of government to attend the February 2019, US organized, anti-Iran Foreign Ministers meeting in Warsaw, leading the charge for War with Iran.

      Wasn’t Iraq enough? Will Americans be stupid enough to follow Netanyahu a 2nd Time, leading the US and this World to THE END spelled out in the 2001 US WAR PLANS brought out within 2 weeks of 9/11 to change the Middle East to conform to Israeli interests.

      You will recall Ira, you responded to my last comment as “messianic apocalypticism” referring to that END with Iran as recorded by The Kansas City Times September 13, 1976, 29 months before the Iranians deposed the proxy US Dictator, the Shah, a month before the signing of the Camp David Accord.

    • Ray Joseph Cormier February 23, 2021 at 8:45 pm #

      Ira, as for your belief Israel wants free elections in Iran, it doesn’t want free elections closer to home, in the occupied territories.
      You may have forgot the last election in 2006 all external monitors certified were Democratic, free and fair.
      The Palestinians, tired of PLO corruption, decided Hamas couldn’t be any worse, decided to give them a chance, and elected them to a majority in the Palestinian Legislature.Israel and the US couldn’t tolerate a 2nd Democracy in the Middle East, and urged Abbas to dissolve the Legislature, and effectively ruled as Israel’s proxy Police Force to keep Palestinians quiet, banishing Hamas to Gaza.

      This is Israel’s latest effort to control and prevent any Democratic election in the occupied territories.

      The West Bank has been witnessing over the past few weeks intensive arrest campaigns by the Israeli army against dozens of Hamas cadres and leaders, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), political leaders, as well as students and union activists.

      Most recently, Khaled al-Hajj and Adnan Asfour, both Hamas leaders in the West Bank, and Hamas member in the PLC Yasser Mansour were arrested Feb. 16.

      The Israeli army has in the past carried out periodic arrests of members of Palestinian factions in the West Bank, especially Hamas, to thwart their plans to carry out armed operations. However, ever since Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Jan. 15 the general election dates, Israel has been increasingly arresting and summoning Hamas cadres as part of an intimidation campaign to prevent them from running in the elections.

      In January alone, the number of detainees amounted to 461.

      The Israeli arrest campaign against Hamas in the West Bank aims to derail the movement’s plan to run in the upcoming legislative elections, by keeping Hamas leaders and cadres behind bars until after the elections are held in May. Meanwhile, Israel is also threatening other potential Hamas candidates with arrest if they end up deciding to run on the movement’s list………….

      https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2021/02/israel-arrest-threats-hamas-west-bank-palestinian-elections.html

      • Richard Falk February 24, 2021 at 4:29 am #

        HELPFUL AND PERSUASIVE. THANKS RAY.

  6. Ray Joseph Cormier March 2, 2021 at 6:59 am #

    Richard, I just heard your voice for the 1st Time listening to the HAARETZ podcast ‘Zionism’s Tragic Mistake, According to One of Israel’s Harshest Critics’
    Prof. Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and a former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Occupied Palestine, talks to Haaretz Weekly about the ICC, Zionism and his new political memoir

    I am so impressed with the strength of your voice at your age, and your well ordered coherence.

    God willing, I can only hope to be in control of my faculties as you display when I reach your age in 13 years.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/podcasts/PODCAST-listen-zionism-s-tragic-mistake-according-to-one-of-israel-s-harshest-critics-1.9576491

    • Richard Falk March 2, 2021 at 7:19 am #

      Thanks, Ray, for the encouragement. I have been fortunate so far! Hoping
      you will be likewise blessed!

  7. Ray Joseph Cormier March 2, 2021 at 1:46 pm #

    Still on the subject of Iran, the Pentagon just released this video of the Iranian missile attack against the US base in Iraq in retaliation for the murder of such a high ranking Official of the Iranian government in the person of General Soleimani last January 3, setting the Tone and Tenor of all that came after in 2020.

    This is proof if the US and Israel push Iran to the limit, they have the capability to strike every US base in the Middle East with pin point accuracy, including Israel.

    Then we can say goodbye to all that we consider Civilization in a post Apocalyptic World.

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