Thursday, August 16, 2007

Don't Paint Everything Your Favorite Color

It is not OK for the Bush administration to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Although it might fall into the hazy, non-specific, polemic definition of terrorism this administration has contrived, it goes against every logical rule of successful international relations, reeks of name calling akin to red-baiting, and is a tool for the administration to split the world into an over simplistic categorization of good and evil.

(1) It is not right to label it terrorist because you don't negotiate with terrorists. We should negotiate with Iran, if not now then later. By putting this label on you're effectively ruling out anything except war. Hello!!!! Not smart.

(2) Calling the Corps terrorist reminds me of when, during the Cold War, any country that didn't comply with whatever the US wanted was immediately labeled communist. Unfairly. Even countries like India, who maintained a mostly neutral position, were labeled communist. Explain to me how that helps anything. It's a crybaby immature tactic of throwing a tantrum whenever the US is faced with a stubborn country (stubborn meaning not buying us a snickers when we really, really want a snickers). The 21st century version of this has so-far been using the terms "axis of evil" and "rogue states," but in the Rove-sculpted administration, you know that labels need to be as strong as the problem. So we see them cutting right to the point and calling Iran terrorist. Bam.

(3) That's the issue, a quick split. Too simple. You can't just divide the world between good and evil. The problem, as it was in the Cold War, is that the GOOD we're talking about is not some kind of universal good, it's a good that really means whatever is best for the US. It's not TRUTH or JUSTICE, it's whatever is best for the US. So we label Iran evil because they pose a threat to the US and to US allies. We label Iran evil because we disagree with its philosophies and actions. Now, I don't meant to exonerate Iran. Its leader is a power hungry holocaust denier who has never had a problem making scary threats to blow up Israel and half the world. But if we are to deal with these kinds of states with these kinds of leaders it would be more constructive for the US to try and understand what Iran wants exactly. What would they see as GOOD? Instead of simply splitting the world into pro-Arab and anti-Arab, defining that distinction in terms of the EVIL (pro-Arab) and the GOOD (anti-Arab), why not deal with them with respect. Why not respect some of the things they want and figure out a way to fix it.

Is this so naive? Is this completely loony? I don't think so. I think that the cultural differences between the West and the world has always played a part in the stress and animosity. I think that in the 21 century humans should be able to accept other people's cultures and go forward from there.

Unfortunately, this arbitrary labeling is our action. We, like the white missionaries finding a culture and immediately labeling it evil and savage and going all out to change it for the GOOD, have once again screwed any chance for peace in the name of selfishness and narrow mindedness.