The imperialist’s playbook

All football fans know that every team has its own playbook. Every player on the team gets a copy of the playbook and learns what his role and responsibility is on every play his team runs. Key elements to a team’s playbook is the use of deception and misdirection. This allows the team to attempt to defeat the other team with a well organized, disciplined game plan.

What most of us, by us I am referring to US citizens, do not recognize is the playbook frequently implemented by the US government and military. A playbook that also successfully uses deception and misdirection to achieve its goals.

Step one in the playbook is to identify the country or government that will be targeted. That would ordinarily be a country or government that refuses to serve the interests of the US government and financial investors.

The next step is to demonize that country’s government, label them as sympathetic and supportive of international terrorism or as oppressive and cruel towards their own citizenship, violating their civil and human rights, and finally, identifying them as a threat to US national security. The US may use any one or all of the above strategies.

Once the public relations effort has successfully realized its goal of getting the public’s attention and generating their fear and anger, the US will “justifiably” impose economic sanctions on that country using the old reliable rationale of “humanitarian intervention.”

It should be noted that many people, including liberals, favor economic sanctions rather than military action. However, these sanctions are acts of war and usually cripple the targeted country’s economy causing much suffering among its populace. People die as evidenced by the UN (US) sanctions on Iraq from 1990 to 2003 when thousands (a 1999 UNICEF report found up to 500,000) children died from disease, malnutrition, and starvation. Some claim that those figures are inflated. But, what’s the difference if it’s 500,000 or 100,000 children . . . people died as a result of the US imposed sanctions.

Let us return to the US playbook. After sanctions assume the expected effect, many of the people in the targeted country, suffering economically, are receptive to actions against their government and are encouraged, I would venture to say the US (CIA) is active here, to take to the streets in an organized rebellious fashion.

It is then that the US assumes a moralistic stance expressing its concern that the rights of the people, who have taken to the streets to express their discontent with their government, must be protected. Inherent in the US message is the threat that the US will take further action if those rights are compromised or denied. Of course, it will be cloaked and invoked as a “humanitarian intervention” to protect the people.

The US moralistic stance regarding the current unrest in Iran is ludicrous. Trump talks about the rights of the Iranian people while his administration is actively trying to criminalize any action in the US that confronts Israel and its program of genocide or any action that the people take in support of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) against Israel.

The Iranian uprising that began December 28 in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, was initially reported as an isolated protest over food prices and unemployment. By Sunday, December 31, the entire country was heaving in convulsions. Tens of thousands of people had poured into the streets of at least two dozen Iranian cities and towns. Was there CIA involvement here?

The Israeli and US governments must be jumping for joy. This is exactly the response to the economic hardships that was expected and hoped for. Both countries would like nothing better than to neutralize Iran and allow Israel to dominate the region.

It should be noted that Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, is considered a moderate and, unlike Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, former Iranian president, offered, when he took office, an olive branch to the US that has been ignored.

On January 1, it was reported that, in what was initially calls for economic reforms and a stamp down on corruption, protesters have descended to violence, sacking government buildings and attacking police stations and military outposts.

War hawks in the US and Israel have begun encouraging regime change in Iran in scenes that are reminiscent of Syria in 2011 when peaceful protests were hijacked by an armed uprising pushing for regime change.

Venezuela also experienced this method of subversion in 2017, after the US imposed sanctions, but successfully resisted the foreign interference and support for right-wing violent and reactionary mobs.

The strategic use of sanctions to achieve regime change has been a major part of US history. Currently, the US has imposed sanctions on Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Burma, as well as Iran.

In 1953, the US, a country that has continuously claimed its desire to spread democracy around the world, was behind the notorious coup against Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.

The above was substantiated by the CIA in 2013 and is indicative of the historical involvement of the US in Iran’s politics and its desire to install a friendly government in Iran. By friendly, I mean one that will not hesitate to genuflect to US demands.

Mosaddeq’s overthrow consolidated the Shah’s rule for the next 26 years until the 1979 Islamic revolution. It was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the West’s oil interests in the country.

It’s not a good idea to get on the bad side of the United States. As the wealthiest country in the world, the U.S. also lays claim to the world’s most powerful military. But military might is nothing compared to the repercussions that economic sanctions from the U.S. can bring about.

Regardless how one feels about Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Kim Jung-un, the leaders and former leaders of other countries, we, the US, must stay the fuck out of their internal political business.

Only the US has the chutzpah to complain about Russia interfering with the 2016 US election while planning the overthrow of any government “we” don’t like.

Why does the US feel it can get away with this contradiction? Because it can . . . who is going to challenge this monster? Certainly not the UN.

Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.

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