January 6, 2020
Author: Chilton Williamson
The term “rogue state” is an invention of neoconservatives and neoliberals alike. A more honest and direct one is “criminal state:” for examples, the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran.
The instant incineration of Qassem Soleimani on the direct order of President Trump was exactly what the situation called for. Four decades of revolution, war, murder, and subversion are quite enough. Imperialism, whether of the American or the democratic sort, is not the issue here. International murder and mayhem are.
What is needed in the wake of the attack is the formation of an international military coalition against Teheran similar to the one led by Great Britain in the early 19th century against the imperial violence of Napoleon Bonaparte. (Though apologies are due the late Emperor, a truly remarkable and in many ways admirable man, for the inclusion of his name in the same sentence as the monstrous Soleimani’s.) The coalition should begin with America’s “allies,” such as they are, in western Europe, and be extended, if possible, by invitation to the Russian and Chinese governments. Should they except, well and good. Should they not, which is likely, they would be set on the back foot, to say the least. On the other hand, Putin and Xi have no rational reason to refuse, save for their general and envious rivalry with the United States and the West that traces from the Communist history of both nations.
Contrary to the largely dishonest warning of mostly liberal politicians in the U.S. and Europe, Iran can be dealt with as she deserves with relative impunity. An essay in the Wall Street Journal this morning (“Iran lacks Allies in Confronting the U.S.” by Yaroslav Trofimov) explains why. Neither Moscow nor Beijing has anything to gain from supporting the Iranian government in its violent crusade against the West and its interests, and much to lose. The likelihood that either would resort to arms in defense of Teheran and its criminal adventurism is slight, or nonexistent.
Two hundred and five years after the first one, the time has come for a second Waterloo, this one on the plains of the Middle East. The victory would need another name, of course.