When Trump decided to pull out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran his objective was to boost his macho image on the world stage. The agreement, flawed as it was, had kept us in diplomacy. Trump’s choice to break away from the pact shut us out of it. I suppose he’s keeping some people happy with his decision but our nation as a whole is the loser.
It is so easy to lose perspective on the subject. Sure, Iran is funding Hamas and Hezbollah and is a foe to allies in the region, but are any of those allies not dictatorial, except for Israel? No. Realpolitik? Okay, but not to boost the flawed ego of a failing president.
It is so convenient to forget how we’ve treated Iran. In 1953 we joined with Britain to overthrow a regime that wanted to nationalize their oil production. We felt we had the right to bully another nation into submission.
We installed the Shah which was no great gift to anyone other than he was willing to do our bidding. Finally, the Iranians had had enough and revolted. But soon after we were backing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in a long bloody war against Iran that cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides. No qualms of conscience. The war was far away from our soil.
As things went, it would not be long before Saddam turned against us, and so back in we went with guns blazing to attempt to mold another regime to our liking. Never mind the lack of evidence for Weapons of Mass Destruction.
After all that blood and treasure spent, can we say we have liberated Iraq? No. They will be very happy to see us leave and one day soon we will have to. Our legacy? Iraq has grown more sympathetic to Iran.
It is not difficult to see how a more thoughtful policy from the start could have delivered very different results and the Middle East would likely be a different story today. Where were the thinkers then? Where are they now?
Make America Great Again? Really. I see no trace of greatness in our record with Iran or Iraq.
But let us not lose hope.
The other day I saw that some people had come up with a line of clothing that said ‘Make America Think Again’. It might be the start of something.