The United States government has been hyping a supposed link between Iran and al Qaeda operatives, positing in particular that a “safe haven” in Iran exists as “six terrorist operatives form a network that funnels money and personnel from the Gulf to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan via Iran.” Leaving aside the limited evidence ever given for such accusations, has America any right to condemn others for engaging in exactly the behavior it engages in every day?
Coincidentally, Iran condemns the U.S. for supporting anti-Iranian terrorism all the time. Do the accusations have merit? Take, for example, recent moves by U.S. officials to remove Mujahedin-e Khalq from its terrorism registry, which would qualify it to receive U.S. funding, despite what Iran calls “a compelling record of terrorist activities.” Also note that U.S. officials during the Bush administration “suggested re-arming MEK and using it to destabilize Iran.” Is this not actively supporting and attempting to provide safe haven for terrorism? Or take instead the “cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars that have apparently been under way in Iran.” Do these qualify as acts of terrorism? No, because they are committed by America.
Let’s broaden the analysis. At this very moment the U.S. is actively supporting and fighting a war in Libya on behalf of a rebel group who has been committing acts of terrorism and reportedly has ties to al Qaeda. In Somalia, U.S. money and weapons are indirectly funding the U.S. designated terrorist group al Shabaab. In Afghanistan, U.S. money and weapons have also been funding insurgent groups deemed terrorists by the U.S. government. In Colombia, the U.S. is not only funding and arming paramilitary terrorist groups with atrocious human rights violations, but is also funding the corrupt government who commits horrible acts of state terror on the Colombian people.
If any of this qualifies as funding and cooperating with terrorists – and it quite obviously does – I’m not really sure where the U.S. gets off criticizing Iran for allegedly doing the same thing on a comparatively infinitesimal scale. It’s also important to note that my parallels have been kept mostly to non-state terror, but if we include the state terror America supports it begins to reveal America’s well earned place at #1 top supporter of terror on planet Earth. Even still this barely scratches the surface.
It should also be noted that this isn’t merely about hypocrisy and being principled and consistent. American policy is currently in violation of its own laws which prohibit providing material support or resources to terrorists. This means America should be in the process of prosecuting its own leadership, instead of, say, attempting to justify aggressive actions against Iran for behaving just like America.