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05 January, 2018

Who would seriously believe that Donald Trump or any US administration really care about the Iranian people?

Lots of Western commentators who are posturing about being concerned about human rights in Iran are people in think tanks funded by other dictatorships and repressive tyrants in the same region.


Speaking to DemocracyNow, Glenn Greenwald exposes the enormous hypocrisy of the US and its Western allies by pretending that they care about the human rights in Iran. He explains clearly why someone should be extremely naive to believe such a thing.

Greenwald reveals that the State Department itself, through a leaked memo, admits that human rights is not actually something the US government believes in. It is just a pretext that is used for undermining foreign governments that don’t serve US interests.

Also, he points out that lots of Western commentators who are posturing about being concerned about human rights in Iran are people in think tanks funded by other dictatorships and repressive tyrants in the same region. Specifically, the Brookings Institution is funded with tens of millions of dollars by the government of Qatar, and, one of the biggest funders of the Center for American Progress, is the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Greenwald finally explains why it matters someone to concern about the real motives of the US and allies to intervene in other countries. We can see what happened in Libya for example. On the pretext of liberating Libyans from an authoritarian regime, the US delivered a country in absolute chaos.

Key points:

We have to comment on the posture of the United States government and Western governments in terms of foreign policy and how they’re responding to the events in Tehran.

It’s worth remembering that for a long time it has been the top item on the foreign policy agenda of lots of factions to have regime change in Iran. Going back to 2005, 2006, the neocon slogan, after they toppled Saddam Hussein, was “real men go to Tehran.” They were really most eager to facilitate regime change in Iran. And so, there’s a lot of interest in terms of agitating for instability in Iran from people who are pretending to care about the Iranian people, but who actually couldn’t care less about the Iranian people.

Donald Trump tweeted his grave concern for the welfare of Iranians. This is the same president who, not more than three months ago, announced a ban on Iranians from coming to the United States. He is somebody who has aligned with the world’s worst, most savage dictators, including in Saudi Arabia and other places around the world. Lots of Western commentators who are posturing about being concerned about human rights in Iran are people in think tanks funded by other dictatorships and repressive tyrants in the same region.

We ought to be extremely skeptical when it comes to people like Donald Trump or people in Washington think tanks pretending that they’re wanting to intervene in Iran out of concern for human rights or for the welfare of the Iranian people. When it comes to foreign policy, the best thing we can hope for, is that the United States stays out of what is a matter of political dispute inside Iran.

The centerpiece of US foreign policy, really in the wake of World War II through the Cold War, and then even with the fall of the Soviet Union, has been to align with and to embrace and to support dictators, tyrants and repressive regimes, as long as they serve the interests of the United States. So, anybody in their right mind who ever takes seriously pronouncements from official Washington that they’re motivated by anger over repression or a defense of the political rights of people in other countries is incredibly naive at best, to put that generously.

There was an amazing leak that Politico published, which was a State Department memo written to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that explicitly said what has been long obvious, but usually isn’t put into words so clear, that human rights is not actually something the U.S. government believes in. It is a cudgel that it uses to undermine and bash countries that don’t serve its interests. They use denunciations of human rights abuses to undermine and weaken governments that are contrary to their agenda, like in Iran, while at the same time, this memo said they overlook and even sanction repressive behavior on the part of their allies.

And it goes beyond the Trump administration. If you look at how official Washington works in terms of, say, the leading think tanks in Washington, the Brookings Institution, for example, which has become incredibly popular among liberals in the Trump era, is funded with tens of millions of dollars by the government of Qatar, one of the most repressive regimes on the planet. The Center for American Progress, which is probably the leading Democratic Party think tank in the United States, is funded in—one of their biggest funders is the government of the United Arab Emirates.

So, when you hear people like that or people in the Trump administration, who have aligned themselves with the world’s most savage dictators for decades, who are funded by tyrants, pretend that what they’re motivated by is a desire to liberate people from oppression, you should instantly know that there are other agendas going on.

And the reason that matters so much it’s not just we’re exposing hypocrisy or deceit. It’s because what someone’s motives are, when they intervene in the affairs of other countries, determines the outcome. Look what happened in Libya, where people like Anne-Marie Slaughter and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry pretended to be motivated by the interest of the Libyan people. Once Gaddafi was killed and was removed from office, which was what the real goal was, everybody forgot about Libya, allowed Libya to fall into utter chaos, militia rule. The slave trade has returned there. ISIS is reigning. Because when you don’t actually care about the interests of the people of the country you’re intervening in, you’re only pretending to as the pretext for it, it really alters the outcome in ways that are never desirable.

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