[Marxism] Being Ayatollah Khamenei
marvgand at gmail.com
Mon Mar 19 17:22:06 MDT 2012
HERE in Iran I have been finding it hard to make sense of all the strident utterances about the Islamic Republic emanating from America’s capital this week. Being Supreme Leader, I need to understand what my enemy is thinking. Being an ayatollah, I can modestly say that I am something of an expert in textual exegesis. Nonetheless, I confess that I’m puzzled.
The first thing we need to know is whether America or Israel intends to attack our nuclear facilities, and if so when. So I decided to read first what Barack Obama told Israel’s visiting prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the 13,000 delegates to the annual policy conference of the mighty American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as the Zionist lobby is known.
From the beginning of his presidency, Mr Obama has pronounced himself determined to prevent our revolution from acquiring nuclear weapons. This week he seemed to sharpen things up. He told AIPAC that prevention meant prevention. Contrary to some reports, he did not intend merely to “contain” a nuclear-armed Iran but to make sure that we never got a bomb in the first place. Moreover, stopping it was in America’s national interest, not just in Israel’s, and to this end all options, including military ones, were on the table.
So far, so clear: Mr Obama may attack if we proceed towards nuclear weapons. He seems utterly unimpressed by my assurances that we do not want one. On the other hand, he is not thirsting for a fight. His main point this week seemed to be that the sanctions he imagines to be “crippling” should be given time to work and that this was therefore not the moment for “bluster”. Too much “loose talk” of war had already helped Iran, by driving up the price of oil. He said it would be better right now to heed Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to speak softly and carry a big stick.
From here in Tehran it looked as if the intended recipient of Mr Obama’s strictures was the leader of the Zionist entity, which the American hegemon does so much to prop up. It was therefore a little startling to see Mr Netanyahu, speaking to AIPAC a day later and only hours after visiting the White House, pay almost no heed to what his American patron said.
Far from speaking softly, this Zionist upstart presumed to mimic the roar of Winston Churchill, the unlamented British imperialist. Israel, he said, could not give diplomacy and sanctions much longer to work. As prime minister, he would never let the Jewish people live “in the shadow of annihilation”. Those who argued against stopping Iran from getting a bomb were like those who in 1944 refused the Jewish plea to bomb the alleged death factory in Auschwitz. “We deeply appreciate the great alliance between our two countries,” he said, “but when it comes to Israel’s survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate.”
Though ayatollahs are well versed in subtle distinctions, I am not quite sure how to interpret this apparent rift between the Greater and Lesser Satans. Mr Netanyahu sounds seriously reckless. It is even possible—and this is a worry—that he is not altogether rational. Will little Israel, with its 8m people, really dare to go to war alone against our 80m? Perhaps this is just a bluff, to goad Mr Obama into further sanctions, or make him take the military action he plainly wants to avoid. On the other hand, what if Israel does launch an impetuous attack, in defiance of Mr Obama’s plea for time? Would the American president still feel obliged to defend Israel from the consequences of its own folly?
Maybe not. I am looking now at a transcript of a press conference in the White House on March 6th, the day after Mr Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC. Mr Obama says here that Israel is a sovereign nation that has to make its own decisions about its national security. But then he adds this:
One of the functions of friends is to make sure that we provide honest and unvarnished advice in terms of what is the best approach to achieve a common goal—particularly one in which we have a stake. This is not just an issue of Israeli interest; this is an issue of US interests. It’s also not just an issue of consequences for Israel if action is taken prematurely. There are consequences to the United States as well.
That can surely mean only one thing. Mr Obama will be incandescent if Israel provokes a war which he has said is not yet necessary, and on the eve of an election. And now that I have agreed to let my nuclear experts start talks again with the Europeans, Americans, Russians and Chinese, the Zionists will find an attack even harder to justify. True, the sanctions are hurting, but while these talks continue (we know how to spin them out), and for as long as Mr Obama continues to call the war talk “bluster”, it is tempting to conclude that our programme is safe from bombing.
The Republican angle
That said, I did not become Supreme Leader by being naive about America. It is a flighty country, whose policies chop and change as presidents come and go. As Supreme Leader, I’ve already seen out two Bushes and one Clinton. Next year a Republican may be president, and they too have been rude about Iran this week. One, Newt Gingrich, thinks that he can magically cut the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon. The man is an eejit, as we say in Farsi.
Mitt Romney seems a bit more serious. My aides have translated his article this week in the Washington Post and the message he sent to AIPAC. On the face of it, he sounds like a warmonger. He says that Mr Obama has “dawdled” on sanctions, and that if he were president he would send more warships and carriers to our coast. But I’m not convinced. Our intelligence people point out that this Romney is just a businessman from an unloved minority sect. Our own bazaaris tend not to like war. He is probably just pandering to the Zionists, as they all do. Still, it is hard to be sure.
I would feel a lot safer if we already had that bomb.
"The view from Tehran
What might Ayatollah Ali Khamenei be making of America’s noisy Iran talk this week?"
Mar 10th 2012
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