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Iran has been target of US imperialism since 1979: Scholar

Dennis Etler

Iran has been a target of US imperialism since its inception in 1979 as a result of the Islamic Revolution, says Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

In an interview with Press TV on Friday, Etler said, “For all intents and purposes, the US under Trump is waging a multi-front war against all those who refuse to buckle under to his dictates and bow to his demands. This war is being waged economically and diplomatically, if not yet militarily, although military intervention is constantly threatened and preparation for the use of military force are being made.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a target of US imperialism since its inception in 1979 as a result of the Iranian Revolution. In Latin America the US has waged economic and diplomatic war against the socialist governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, and has relentlessly applied sanctions against Cuba. In Europe the US has attempted to economically and diplomatically isolate Russia, while in Asia the People’s Republic of China has been in the US cross-hairs since its founding in 1949. Of course, the US has been attacking the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ever since they were forced to accept a truce in the Korean War in 1953,” added Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California.

“Under previous US administrations tensions with the countries mentioned above ebbed and flowed, but under Trump they have escalated to the point where military confrontations are now more likely than ever. Although Trump declared that he wanted to avoid foreign wars and interventions he has in quick succession brought the world to the brink of war on the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf and in Venezuela. Even though he has talked about bringing US troops home from overseas, there are still boots on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Trump’s rhetoric and actions do not square,” he stated.

Trump is reportedly angry with his National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who are pushing the United States into a military confrontation with Iran.

According to several US officials, Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions with Iran and wants to speak directly with the Islamic Republic’s leaders, but certain hawks in his administration, particularly Bolton and Pompeo, are preparing for war, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Last week, Trump grew angry and about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, according to a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding Bolton and Pompeo.

‘Trump's ploy to intimidate adversaries’

Professor Etler said that Trump reportedly “is trying to rein in his more hawkish advisers such as National Security Adviser Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo. His fire and brimstone rhetoric is dismissed as a ploy to intimidate his adversaries and get them to the negotiating table where the US can extract concessions based on threats and intimidation.”

“Nonetheless, Trump’s belligerent rhetoric and the war preparations that accompany it are a clear and present danger to the maintenance of world peace. The countries targeted by the US have no recourse but respond in kind and prepare for the worst. Trump’s brinkmanship thus makes it all the more likely that a tipping point will be reached in any of the areas mentioned above, leading to actual military operations,” he added.    

“The current US foreign policy will not lead to peace or the resolution of conflicts. It will only exacerbate tensions which can quickly escalate beyond anyone’s control. Diplomacy has worked in the past and needs to become the norm not the exception, and it must be done in the spirit of mutual respect and concern for the interests of all parties involved.  Unilateralism will not lead to peace but only to the likelihood of conflict,” the analyst said.  

‘Trump’s modus operandi unlikely to change’

“The US has to decide, not only the Trump administration, but in general, does it want to lessen international tensions or heighten them. Does it want to continue to support regional forces such as Israel and Saudi Arabia which seek their own aggrandizement at the expense of their neighbors or does it wish to rein them in and seek a peaceful resolution to longstanding conflicts,” he said.

“There is little chance that Trump’s modus operandi will change during his first term and even less so if he is re-elected. His, Democratic successor, if there is one, may be marginally better, but the world will only have a chance for peace if the US finally accepts the fact that it no longer rules the roost, that it finally accepts the fact that it is not exceptional nor indispensable, that it is in fact just another nation like any other, each unique, worthy of respect and responsible for their own national self-determination. The US, and the West in general, can no longer be the sole and final arbiter of what is just and right in the world,” he concluded.

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