Rouhani Surfs The New
WAVE as in World Against
By Pepe Escobar
- He came.
He listened. And he surfed.
"I listened carefully to the statement made by President Obama
today at the General Assembly... [I'm] hoping that they will
refrain from following the short-sighted interests of
warmongering pressure groups and we can arrive at a framework to
managing our differences."
Then he outlined what has always been the official Iranian
position: "Talks can happen; equal footing and mutual respect
should govern the talks."
Then he addressed the
expectation (actually, the world's): "Of course, we expect to
hear a consistent voice from Washington. The dominant voice in
recent years has been for a military option."
But now he had another idea. So he sets the stage for the punch
line: It's WAVE time. WAVE as in World Against Violence and
Extremism. Not in Farsi, lost in translation; in English.
"I propose as a starting step... I invite all states... to
undertake a new effort to guide the world in this direction ...
we should start thinking about a coalition for peace all across
the globe instead of the ineffective coalitions for war."
So the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani,
has just invited the whole planet to join the WAVE. How come no
"coalition of the willing" leader ever thought about that?
Talk about a rockin' entrance on the world stage (Here's
the full Rouhani speech, in English, which deserves careful
reading). Rouhani was measured and composed - but forceful
enough to debunk the "imaginary Iranian threat propaganda",
stress the horrible effects of sanctions, and still remain
hopeful that the 34-year Wall of Mistrust between Washington and
Tehran can be torn down.
Obama, to his credit, had tried hard not to be upstaged. It took
no less than 60 years for an American president to finally admit
Washington had a hand in overthrowing the democratically elected
Mossadegh government in 1953 (although the ghost-written
formulation in his speech was extremely sloppy).
Obama officially recognized the Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Khamenei's fatwa against nuclear weapons (imagine the
George W Bush administration doing it). And he said on the
record that Washington is not seeking regime change in Tehran -
thus speeding up former vice president Dick Cheney's next heart
attack. Obama even mentioned the key words "mutual respect".
As for the cinematic coup de grace - the "casual" meeting or
handshake in the corridors of the UN - it could never have
happened so soon. Both Rouhani and Obama are under enormous
pressure from hawks on both sides, and so far there's nothing
substantial on the table.
Yet even while trying to send all the right signals to Tehran,
Obama simply could not resist the urge: "I believe America is
exceptional, in part because we have shown a willingness,
through the sacrifice of blood and treasure, to stand up not
only for our own narrow self-interest, but for the interests of
The corollary: he kept plugging for a UN Security Council
resolution authorizing the bombing of Damascus if anything goes
wrong with the Syrian chemical weapons disarmament. And this for
the "interests of all" - as in Israel and the House of Saud.
The overwhelming majority of the real world, though, is busy
reminding the US president that America is not exceptional at
all, from Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in the case
of secrets whistle-blower Edward Snowden and the Syria tragedy
to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who in a
stinging speech qualified NSA spying as an "affront". It's
not by accident that all the original four BRICS, Brazil,
Russia, India and China, have been spied to kingdom come.
Will WAVE drown the hawks?
After the UN catharsis, the stage is now set for the real heavy
work to start this Thursday, when US Secretary of State John
"Assad is like Hitler" Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister
Javad Zarif in the cadre of the multilateral P-5+1 (the five
permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
The key points of the road map ahead are clear. Total
clarification of details regarding Iran's rightful peaceful
nuclear program should proceed with dismantling of sanctions.
Washington's nasty financial blockade of Iran's oil sales is not
working; no one, from China to India and beyond, will stop
buying Iranian energy because the US says so. And Iran should
also be reinstated in the global bank exchange mechanism.
Here, Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian
American Council, makes an extremely important point. Timing -
by a series of circumstances - may be perfect, but the window of
opportunity is not going to last very long.
It all comes back to the same drama; will Obama and his team
have enough balls to stare down the Israel lobby, the House of
Saud, the neo-cons and assorted armchair warmongers across the
Beltway? If not, the War Party victory will mirror the anti-Rouhani
hardline victory in Tehran - with devastating consequences.
So yes, the stakes could not have been higher. What the world
needs now, is WAVE after WAVE after WAVE.
Pepe Escobar is the author of
Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid
War (Nimble Books, 2007),
Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge
(Nimble Books, 2007), and
Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright 2013 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.
This article was originally published at
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