Pursuing Regime Change Isn’t Dignified or Wise

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh are wrong as usual, but in this piece they are also wildly irresponsible:

The Biden administration has now run into this buzzsaw of sexual politics and faith. If the president were wise, he would throw his lot in with Iranian women. Mr. Biden wasn’t going to stop the Iranian bomb in Vienna. Aligning American policy behind the rebels at least gives the administration a chance at regime change [bold mine-DL]. It also gives the White House a chance to restore American dignity.

It is not surprising that pro-regime change zealots see every event as an occasion to agitate for regime change, but they are as deeply mistaken as ever when they insist that pursuing this goal is the appropriate role for the US government. Leave aside the nuclear negotiations for a moment and ask whether it makes any sense for the US to insert itself into these protests. The Iranian government is already casting protesters as agents working on behalf of foreign governments, and Gerecht and Takeyh would like to lend credibility to those accusations.

In many cases like this, the wiser course of action is to refrain from becoming involved so that our government does not exacerbate the protesters’ difficulties and so that it does not create false expectations of more direct intervention down the road. The US should recognize the sharp limits on its influence in a country that our government understands very poorly and where it has not had a diplomatic presence in more than forty years. The US should not seek to exploit popular protests for destructive ends. There is nothing dignified about intruding into another country’s affairs in an attempt to topple its government.

Referring to protesters seeking redress of grievances as “the rebels” is a gift to the Iranian government, which would like nothing more than to dismiss them as “seditionists” and crack down even harder. Perhaps Gerecht and Takeyh understand that they are undermining the protesters by calling them rebels, and perhaps they don’t, but that is what they are doing. Talking about these protests as a means to achieve regime change plays into the hands of the state’s propaganda.

If the US started making policy with an eye towards using Iranian protesters as if they were pawns in a regime change policy, that would be deeply wrong and also likely to blow up in our faces. While the US can and should criticize the Iranian government’s use of violence against protesters, there is very little that our government could do that would be constructive and welcome inside Iran. Trying to hijack an Iranian cause to advance a fanatical interventionist goal is exactly what the US should never do.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

US Military Massive Public Relations Machine Unable To Dig Navy out of the Red Hill Jet Fuel Contamination Hole

Shut Down Red Hill military families and O’ahu Water Protectors in Washington, DC. Photo by Mikey Inouye

The U.S. military’s massive public relations machine produces news releases, articles, films and spends millions of dollars on civilian media contractors to create content for recruiting and selling national security priorities to the American public.

Yet, with all the media assets available to the Department of Defense and each of the military services, the actions of senior civilian and military leadership make it impossible for one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates to dig itself out of the hellhole of the Navy’s Red Hill jet fuel contamination of the drinking water of 93,000 in Hawai’i and lack of medical resources for those poisoned by jet fuel.

For example, on September 29, 2022, the Secretary of Defense, retired 4-star Army general, Lloyd Austin, arrived on the island of O’ahu to take a tour of the 80-year-old underground jet fuel tanks that in late November 2021 spewed for 35 hours 19,000 gallons of jet fuel down a tunnel hallway, under a raised door and directly into the Red Hill drinking water well and into a part of the aquifer of Honolulu. 93,000 persons drank water from that well. Tens of thousands were seen in emergency rooms for jet fuel poisoning. Hundreds, if not thousands, have permanently left O’ahu to seek treatment and to live in uncontaminated housing. Many families left in Hawai’i still report poor air quality and continuing sheens in their water.

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Join With Daniel Ellsberg To Help Prevent a Nuclear War

From Roots Action:

After decades of virtually ignoring the risks of nuclear war, U.S. news media are now giving the increased dangers a bit more coverage. But the press attention is still terribly inadequate, and so are the responses from Congress and the White House. You can help change that in the next couple of weeks.

We urgently need steps to de-escalate tensions between nuclear powers, while reviving negotiations for nuclear-weapons treaties and disarmament measures. And that’s why the Defuse Nuclear War campaign – and participation in it – are so important.

You’re invited to hear Daniel Ellsberg, one of our featured speakers during a 90-minute live stream this Sunday (Oct. 2), starting at 11 a.m. Pacific / 2 p.m. Eastern. Ever since revealing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, Ellsberg has been a tireless advocate for disarmament, genuine diplomacy and peace. He draws on extensive experience as a former consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. (Bio details are here.) His book The Doomsday Machine is powerful.

On the live stream, Ellsberg will be joined by a range of activists and researchers including Professor Vincent Intondi, Emma Claire Foley, Khury Petersen-Smith, Alice Slater, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Alyn Ware, Marcy Winograd, Hanieh Jodat, and Ryan Black. Please RSVP here.

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Chicago Tribune Commentary on ‘West vs. the Rest’ Reflects Trib‘s Long Overdue Ukraine War Pivot

The Chicago Tribune finally acknowledged one inconvenient truth about the Russo Ukraine war. Outside of the US, Canada and Western Europe, the rest of the world either ignores it, or even supports Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Its foreign affairs columnist Daniel DePetris, in his Ukraine war commentary, laments this truth that the Tribune, indeed most US media, has suppressed for all 218 days of this horrific war. DePetris is careful to repeat the West’s false, and now largely ignored narrative, that “Vladimir Putin, the thin-skinned, bloodthirsty, nuclear-armed dictator is hell-bent on a war of conquest. And the international community needs to step up and ensure he doesn’t succeed.”

But DePetris completely ignores the other inconvenient truths about this war. First, the US, NATO and Ukraine have been provoking this war for 14 years, beginning with the 2008 pledge to expand NATO into Ukraine up to Russia’s borders. That provocation dramatically expanded in 2014 when the US supported the coup that toppled democratically elected, Russian leaning Ukraine president Victor Yanukovych, setting off a civil war resulting in secession by Russian speaking Ukrainians in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

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Protests Break Out In Europe: Cold Winter Coming

On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Earlier this week in Germany and the Czech Republic, tens of thousands took to the streets to demand an end to Russia sanctions and the start of the NordStream II pipeline. Then someone blew it up. With better EU/Russia commercial ties no longer an option, how much stronger will protests become? Also today, Kamala Harris tries her hand at foreign policy at the Korea DMZ…with predictable result.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.