The United States would like to pursue military action but its hands are increasingly tied on the strictly military front, according to American writer and geopolitical analyst Daniel Patrick Welch.
Increasing Russia/China military cooperation has the US feeling the pushback on its hegemon status. Iran, the traditional beneficiary of US vitriol, is the target of renewed hostility from the Empire.
Welch weighs in on the state of things. First, the commentator says, some context is essential. Adding to the decade-long economic war waged by the US against Iran, the “Great Satan” is taking advantage of the resultant protests to double down on the JCPOA nuclear agreement, even though it was the US who withdrew from it.
In an interview with Foreign Policy’s podcast Playlist broadcasted on Wednesday, US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said President Joe Biden is prepared for a military option if nuclear talks between Washington and Tehran and others fail to reach an agreement.
Malley said that Washington was exerting unprecedented pressure on Iran to accept the terms of the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Thursday called on the US to halt nuclear talks with Iran.
“What’s happening now deserves our full-throated support,” Clinton told CNN. “And I think every time anyone speaks on behalf of the United States government, they need to be saying that they stand with the people of Iran, particularly with the women and girls.”
Clinton was referring to foreign-backed riots that have hit some Iranian provinces since 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died at the hospital on September 16, three days after she collapsed at a police station. An investigation has attributed Amini’s death to her medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.
The riots have claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces, while also allowing terrorist attacks across the country. In the last two months, the terrorists have set fire to public property and tortured several Basij members and security forces to death.
Asked if Biden and Clinton’s bellicose rhetoric on Iran signals that they have set up Iran for military action, Welch offers: “The short answer is: They'd like to, but I don't think they can.”
“It would be unilateral, obviously, with the same menagerie of losers they seem to get to go along with anything at the UN. But no UNSC resolution for sure, no official intervention. It’s really an attempt to look busy and still relevant as the whole thing is unraveling,” says Welch.
As far as former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is concerned? “Clinton’s take is consistent with her eye-rollingly hypocritical and typecast role of Global Women’s Champion, even as her policies have murdered more women and children than almost any other actor on the world stage.” Welch adds that this is “About as believable as the British claiming they occupied and bloodlet India for a few centuries in the name of “saving women from sati. Just chilling in its arrogance and tone-deafness.”
“Look,” he continues. “They are humiliated and embarrassed at the impotence they are showing in virtually every theater, and are firing on all (empty) cylinders. They impose these ridiculous (and meaningless) ‘personal’ sanctions on obscure DPRK officials; try to tell the Solomon Islands what to do with respect to China; get their vassals to courageously decry Russia's ‘predatory’ influence in Africa--an in the person of the head of the former French Empire, no less! The list of stupid is beyond belief.”
Why is this becoming an issue again at this particular moment? Welch thinks a very big reason is the US debacle in Ukraine, which he says is going very badly for NATO and the West despite the media’s success in portraying it otherwise, at least to western viewers. “Meanwhile, their insane gambit to provoke and bleed Russia through the Ukraine proxy war has only made themselves and NATO look positively rabid, dragging along only their already bought-and-paid-for-allies. Even worse,” Welch adds, “it has had the undeniably opposite of the intended effect: Russia has strengthened its independence and self-reliance. And the alliance with China has broadened and deepened to an extent unimaginable even a few years ago.” The geopolitical observer thinks it is difficult to overstate the bind the US has put itself in: “It really is nothing short of a death knell for US hegemony.”
Of course, he also cautions against hubris and false hope. “Don’t get me wrong,” he warns. “They—by whom I mean the Owners of Everything who make all the important decisions, about whom George Carlin famously quipped ‘It’s a Big Club, and you ain’t in it.’ They still wield enormous power. And they are still very dangerous.” How so? Welch elaborates: “Not only do they control enough destructive power to murder us all, but they still have the power to control almost all of what we read, see and hear. This is why their only undisputed victories are in the way of optics—or optical illusions, I’d call them.”
Welch is convinced that this obsession with ‘optics,’ or the management of public perception at which the US and its allies excel, is actually an attempt to hide the significant weaknesses underneath, resulting in what are often pyrrhic or illusory victories. “Consider this,” he explains. “Their most impressive result in their strong-arming countries at the UN? Last year, the perennial UN resolution to denounce the glorification of Nazi ideology, symbols etc gained the typical two votes in the UNGA—the US itself and Ukraine (no surprise there). This year, the not-so-anti-nazi camp had swelled by 50 countries, as the US was eager to downplay its very decidedly neo-nazi partners in Ukraine. If this is what these cretins define as a win, then maybe there is a sliver of hope, at least in the sense that they are increasingly being exposed as lunatics.”
Welch believes that Mao’s pronouncement about US imperialism being a paper tiger is coming to fruition in the current series of crises. “Also important to remember is that they only have a lock on opinion within the bubble: somewhere between 70% and 90% is completely clear-eyed as to what is going on in Ukraine, or Iran, or Africa—which is why we see Russian flags popping up in protests from Ouagadougou to Bamako to Port-au-Prince.” These instances are more symbolic than anything else, he points out. But they do underline an anger in all these areas where the US has long worn out its welcome. “However confused western audiences may be, others are not in the least swayed by the western Ministries of Truth as to who are their enemies and who are their friends. And this, perhaps, offers the most hope of all,” Welch concludes.
Welch is a writer of political commentary and analysis. Also a singer and songwriter, he lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife. Together they run The Greenhouse School. He has traveled widely, speaks five languages and studied Russian History and Literature at Harvard University.