December 12, 2011.
Imperialism is Antithetical to the Sovereign Equality of States
How are Westerners to make sense of human precepts that espouse the goodness of sharing with those less fortunate while western corporations plunder the wealth from the land of those in dire need? How is it that Westerners can make sense of the professed desire for peace and love for fellow humans when western militaries wreak violence on smaller nations and blithely explain away civilian deaths as “collateral damage”?
It makes one wonder: on which side of the looking glass are we?
If one wandered to the other side of the looking glass — where up is down and down is up, where left is right and right is left, where good is bad and bad is good — what would one find? How does imperialism look like on the other side of the mirror?
Just imagine what would have been the reaction of the United States if Iran was running a covert spy operation against it and refused to discuss the matter?1
What would have been the reaction if an Iranian drone had been brought down/crashed in the continental United States? One can easily imagine the outcry and indignation. It would certainly be described as a clear-cut casus belli. What if the Iranian reaction to its “lost” drone were merely to deny the authenticity of the drone?2 Or what if it the reaction were to deny its drone had been brought down by the US?3 ,4
What if the reaction were merely to downplay US acquisition of Iranian technology?3 What if the Iranian reaction to the loss of its surveillance craft5 were unapologetic, as if spying on a sovereign nation was its right?6
What if this were one of many preceding drone tresspasses?7
What would the reaction be if Iran built a case against the US based on dollops of disinformation, manipulating international personnel charged with nonproliferation responsibility, and targeted the US economy by pressing for worldwide sanctions8 for failing to live up to many clauses in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty including the preamble which states,
Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control…9
In the “real world,” the US has continued to maintain and update its nuclear stockpile in clear contravention of the NPT.10
What if the Iranian president and foreign minister all declared that “no options were off the table” in how to deal with the nuclear threat posed by the United States?11
Imagine if Iran had attempted to shut down nuclear facilities in the US and Israel with a computer virus?12 How would the US and Israel have responded?
Imagine if Iranian black operatives were assassinating nuclear scientists in Israel while denying it all back home “with a smile.”13 Imagine if explosions mysteriously erupted from Dimona?14 What would be the reaction in Israel – especially if a former Iranian head of state security hinted his state was behind it all acting as “the hand of Allah”?15
What if part of the justification for destruction of Israeli nuclear facilities was that Israeli-made drones were used by Iran’s nemesis, the US, to overfly its neighbour state, Iraq?16 ,17
If, as a part of modern historical record, Iran had plotted and helped bring about the overthrow of an elected US government and then replaced it with an authoritarian monarch kept in place with a draconian state security, how would Americans view the Iranian state?18
If everything detailed here has happened mirror opposite against Iran, how then is it that a serial aggressor state like the US19 has any moral clout to denounce Iran? How is that Israel, a serial violator of international law, has any moral standing to pronounce on Iran?
Is the United Nations not based on the “sovereign equality of all its Members” as stated in the UN Charter?20 Why then should the reaction among UN members differ in response to similar provocations?
How does one state justify its possession of weapons of mass destruction while denying other states the same right of possession? What happened to Iraq and Libya when they gave up possessing WMD?
What has happened to North Korea which gained possession of nuclear bombs? What conclusions should the Iranian state reach from all of this?
Does each state not have the inalienable right to self-defense equal to that of other states?21
*****Comment: If you spend enough time around Americans you will soon realize that most of their identity and world view is based on a violent white exceptionalism.
This is true for most Americans across the racial divides. White exceptionalism is an imperial mindset and not a skin color.
An example, last night I found myself watching a program about American truck drivers plying their trade in India (somewhere in the Himalayas).
Ummm don't ask why.
It did not take too long for the usual American arrogance that pronounces 'reality' at every second to appear.
One trucker in particular, a good ol' boy from Alabama, took exception to the manner that Indians appear on the streets of their own country.
"These people have no commonsense. Why do they stand around in thousands on street corners as if they have nothing to do," he said as he tried to negotiate Indian traffic patterns.
"Why don't they go home and watch cable TV or play Playstation or something," he blurted out rudely over incessant comments about "these people" this or "these people" that.
Somewhere toward the end of the program the fat ass stood around sanctimoniously delivering an assessment of his sanity versus the insanity of Indians.
'I have been to every state in the US (note the world is the US). All the major roads and the secondary roads too," he pressed with incredulous eyes which offered a western rational gaze for those who need to confirm that whiteness (particularly its American version) can insert its authority at any point in the constructed continuum of the Other.
Alabama red dismissed India. Its people. Its layered history. And he did so based on his experience driving a Tata truck (for a few hours) in Delhi!
The authority of the western white gaze is the critical definition of imperial American exceptionalism.
It is practiced and consumed by those who depend on whiteness to define a reality.
"These people" are a category or consciousness that allows a white fat fool who drives a truck for a living to be a 'rational' signifier of value anywhere in the world.
It is a historical disfigurement and it is violent (always).
Iran, for example, must be bombed to save Iranians from their inherent irrationality and destructiveness. (Think of how Columbus discovered America when there were folks there already - or how Hegel's rationalism is not drawn from other non-western thinkers because they did not understand rationalism until he explained their theory to them)
This (un)thinking is founded on the exceptionalism that whiteness is the superior (even only) rationalism that stretches across time - even before the garden of Eden (god/Jesus is reason therefore god/Jesus must be white).
Any other rationalism is mere mimicry. Whiteness is godly and ordained to prescribe value (if Jesus was brown it is the business of whiteness to make him white since he should have known better).
This is true even where whiteness absorbs eastern values and then reorders its value (think of Yoga and its disassociated practice inside of whiteness - yoga as exercise only).
So Iran must be bombed to death in order to save the west from the destruction they signify - with or without nuclear weapons.
The Iranian mind (the racialized Other) is criminally destructive. Any weapon is nuclear whether it exists or not. (Kill em before they grow)
Liberal pundits in the west will absolve the excesses of whiteness as mistakes but punish severely any such semblance in the Oriental sphere.
Simply put, whiteness is the imperialism that constructs all western 'reality'. And whiteness is not a skin color. It is a disfigured world view backed up by the violent ability to pronounce rationality over all things.
This power to interpret. Is why the west sees its exceptionalism as 'reasonable and real'.
Iran will be dangerous until it is destroyed. Like Libya. Like Vietnam. Like Somalia.
In its place the imagined Iran will be imposed to signify the 'reason' of whiteness and its imperialism.
This to the white American mind is not injustice or unreasonable.
It is 'reality' and it comes with a side of fries and a Big Gulp Coke.
And we are not free.