Popular discourse in the US often speaks of “anti-American dictators” and “aggressive autocrats.” The group of world leaders who currently top the US enemies list is always portrayed as “pushing toward war” with their “hostility.”
While this is the portrait that is presented, the majority of the states in conflict with the US in the current period have assumed this role with extreme reluctance.
The United States with its huge military and its central role in the world economy is a country that no sensible world leader would genuinely want a conflict with. Any rational head of state would want trade, diplomatic relations, and cooperation with the US. The problem is that the US will simply not allow independent-minded states to be at peace with it.
We have recently seen examples of states going to extreme lengths to appease and befriend the United States, and only to be met with more hostility.
World media portrayed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an “extremist.” His words were distorted at great length, and almost everything he did was portrayed as an example of his “anti-Americanism”, “belligerence” and his “desire to destroy Israel.”
The new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has made gigantic efforts to improve relations with the United States. Rouhani’s debut speech at the UN did not speak of the United States with hatred, but instead called for an alliance for a “World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE).” He emphasized that there was no “Iranian threat” and Iran had no desire to develop nuclear weapons. He called for a new period of peace and cooperation.
While the US seemed to always blame Ahmadinejad for their policy towards the Islamic Republic, the accommodating, peace-seeking words of Rouhani did not result in an end to US hostility. The illegal, unilateral sanctions against Iran have not been lifted.
Just months after Rouhani told the General Assembly of his desire for peace and cooperation, the United States even took the unprecedented action of denying Iran the right to choose its UN representative. The US claimed that the new UN Ambassador appointed to represent Iran, Hamid Aboutalebi, had been involved in the 1979 student takeover of the US embassy. With no clear evidence to support this claim, the US barred the Iranian representative from entering the country. This was an extreme diplomatic attack on Iran, violating the obligations of the United States under the United Nation host country treaty.
Though the Islamic Republic opened a hand of friendship to the United States, calling for joint anti-terrorism efforts and new negotiations to secure a lasting peace, the response of the US has been to become even more viscously hostile.
The destruction of Libya
Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya, was also portrayed as an “anti-American dictator”, but the last decade of his life, before he was brutally killed, he engaged in great efforts to satisfy the United States.
In 2004, Libya began extensive cooperation with the United States. The Libyan government carried out mass privatizations and began work with US and British corporations. The Libyan government cooperated with Bush and his “war on terror.”
This did not stop the United States from backing the brutal insurgency as they kidnapped, tortured, and murdered people in the country. As the US backed insurgents were continuously defeated on the battlefield, the US joined with the other NATO countries in bombing Libya in order to secure their victory.
The efforts of Gaddafi to cooperate with the United States and cease hostilities clearly fell on deaf ears. Though Gaddafi was praised by the Bush administration for his cooperation with the war on terror, and for destroying his chemical weapons, the United States still happily facilitated the violent destruction of Libya.
Libya once had the highest life expectancy on the African continent. In a climate where water is scarce, Libya had the most efficient water system, with pipes under the ground. Libya was known for its free education, and its widely accessible medical care. This has all been destroyed. The country is ruin.
The US regime change operation clearly did not take place because Gaddafi was “belligerent” or “Anti-American.” It happened after he spent over half a decade accommodating, negotiating with, and doing all he could to please the leaders of the United States and Britain.
The Syrian Arab Republic, like Libya, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, has no desire for war against the United States. The Syrian Arab Republic cooperated with Bush during his “war on terror.” It also carried out many economic reforms. Much to the delight of Wall Street, the country is far from the economically centralized Arab nationalist state it was a two decades ago.
Yet, these measures are not enough. They have not stopped the United States from backing a brutal, violent insurgency campaign. The United States, along with its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan have armed and trained extremists as they wage war against the Syrian government. They slaughter, torture, and kidnap with the United States and its gulf-state proxies paying the bill.
This campaign was not unleashed on Syria because President Assad was “aggressive” or “hostile.” President Assad was known for his moderation, and prior to the civil war, he often cooperated with the United States.
As over 100,000 are dead, and millions are displaced living in refugee camps, the Syrian government has called for peace talks to end the fighting. The insurgents keep killing. The insurgents also boycotted the recent election, making clear that they were not interested in achieving their aims through peaceful or legal means.
When portraying a regime as “hostile”, the US often accuses it of being a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Recently, it seems the cause of anti-terrorism is being championed, not by the US, but by those in conflict with it.
The Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari has pointed out that forces Obama claims to be fighting in Nigeria, and are now considering fighting in Iraq, are being supported by the US in Syria. Syria has joined Russia and Iran, in calling for a global mobilization against terrorism and violent sectarianism. It is the United States, and its allies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan that are arming and training the sectarian terrorists who currently plague Syria and Iraq. The forces US leaders dubbed “Al-Qaeda” and “Islamic Extremists” in the aftermath of 9/11, and now working with the US.
Likewise, the US-backed regime in Kiev is dependent on Anti-Russian extremists like the infamous “right sector” to carry out its “anti-terrorism” operation in the East. While the US backed government has absorbed ultra-right wing militias based on ethnic hatred into its national guard, Russia continues to loudly call for a cease fire, and the protection of civilians.
The use of terrorists to fulfill its aims is not a new part of US policy. The US has backed violent, para-military forces all throughout Latin America. Currently the US is harboring Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist who bombed a Cuban airliner killing over 70 people. Violent groups in Venezuela that seek to destabilize and overthrow the United Socialist Party are also receiving US support.
In recent years, the US has worked to support the People’s Mujahedeen, a group of anti-Iranian terrorists. The group has a long history of violence and terror, and even killed a US army general. However, now that the primary target of the People’s Mujahedeen is not the United States, but the Islamic Republic of Iran, the US is happy to facilitate their activities. John McCain, Tom Ridge, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have all raised money for the People’s Mujahedeen, and promoted their cause internationally. The group has been removed from the official Justice Department list of “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”
It is currently the regimes that the US opposes like Iran, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba that are pushing for a global effort against terrorism. The United States, with its actions in the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere that is undisputedly the primary “state sponsor of terror.”
In the early 1970s, Chinese leader Mao Zedong assessed the international situation saying “revolution is the main trend in the world today.” At that time there was a global trend of armed struggle against the US and its allies, by anti-imperialist and anti-colonial movements.
The current period is drastically different. In the current period, the colonized and oppressed countries are not engaged in an offensive revolt against US and European domination. It is rather the opposite.
Countries like Iran, Syria, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela are seeking simply to peacefully co-exist. They are striving to have normal diplomatic relations, to trade with the United States, and to exist as an equal and independent part of the global economy.
The policy of the United States has been to force conflict on these states. If there is a government that cannot be totally controlled, no matter how much it appeases and cooperates with the US, it simply is not tolerated. The policy of the US to force these countries into a corner, threaten them until they finally are forced to push back as an act of basic self-preservation. At this moment, the US then declares such states to be “hostile” and “belligerent” as justification for more attacks and provocations against them.
In the modern world of drones, nuclear warheads, and the huge growing apparatus of destruction, peace is a necessity for humanity. The people of the world rightly want peace, but the United States and its allies will simply not allow it.
No matter how much effort is made to appease them, they will simply not be appeased.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.