US’ Seasonal Policy: Escalation of Psychological War

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Abolqasem Qasemzadeh

The United States is run by a bipartisan political system. Democrat and Republican parties sway influence over both houses of the US Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives) as their nominees alternatively win presidential elections. There are also hundreds of small parties, syndicates, political organizations as well as civil institutions in the United States, but the result of their activities will be finally harvested by one of the two big parties. The power is in the hands of those parties whose members advocate various political tendencies from conservative rightist to leftist and liberal. Every four years, presidential polls are held in the country. The last year of every government is usually called the election year when two competing parties turn social gatherings into meetings to criticize programs of their rival and introduce their own plans. Election arena is now an area for political jockeying. Following bipartisan elections, two persons from two parties are introduced to run for president in the upcoming election.

Barack Obama has so far seen a four-year term in office as the US president and has been nominated for a second term. He will be actually unrivaled in a Congress dominated by democrats as they want to make nomination of Obama for a second term a show of the party’s unity. On the other hand, the Republican Party sways a majority at the House of Representatives. In Senate, however, the party does not have a majority. More importantly, they have not been able to introduce a prominent figure to run for president in next year’s presidential polls. The financial crisis in addition to difficult economic conditions is now the main focus of all American politicians. All of them suffice to enumerating problems, but are not able to present solutions in a bid to raise people’s hope in the country’s future outlook.

The American public has now gone beyond political figures and is addressing the very heart of the political management in Washington and both dominant parties. They are protesting to Capitalism and large-scale management of their country. The Republicans cannot find many faults with Obama’s economic performance because the current economic crisis has its roots in the period of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. The American people now consider his two terms in office as the most catastrophic period in the whole political history of the United States. On the other hand, Obama and his Democrat supporters have not much to say. The economic and financial policies adopted by Obama in the past four years have been able to remedy small problems, but have done nothing to heal the worsening financial crisis which is wreaking havoc to the country.

Meanwhile, Obama has been trying to reduce the unemployment rate to its lowest during the last year of his term in office and has been relatively successful.

The financial crisis in the United States has caused many social crises. Joblessness and poverty are so widespread that American sociologists believe that a kind of political gap has been created in the American society. The ever-widening gap has been reflected in the ongoing street protests staged by the American people. They believe that the bipartisan system which arises from the country’s capitalist system is no more representing people because it represents the one-percent rich which has been imposing its rule over 99 percent of the American people. “The one-percent rule” is the main motto of the American people. All these developments have worked to further complicate the election atmosphere in the United States. At present, leaders of both parties are facing dire problems for answering people’s demands. Presidential elections in the United States usually pivot around domestic and foreign issues. Under present circumstances, neither party has been left with much maneuvering room with regard to domestic issues. As a result, foreign policy is the main area of their gambling. Obama announced last week that the American troops will leave Iraq in the next two months. While the Republican Party previously argued that continued military presence in Iraq has become too costly for the United States, their prominent figure, John McCain, who is also Obama’s archrival in the forthcoming election, has noted that the announcement about withdrawal of the US troops is hasty and result of Obama’s political naivety!

The Republicans are busy criticizing Obama’s foreign policy in their media charging him with inefficiency in taking the best advantage of the US military power in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Obama has been as such, described as a feeble military commander who has given Iraq’s political scene as a gift to Iran by withdrawing US army out of the country. Obama, therefore, has had to explain his decision. Both he and his foreign secretary, Hillary Clinton, have noted that withdrawal of forces from Iraq does not mean that the US military will leave the Persian Gulf or the Middle East. The Fifth Navy Fleet is still based in Bahrain and they have also mentioned Washington’s military presence in the Indian Ocean as well as the Mediterranean. The dispute between two parties over Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq soared so high that the White House was forced to come up with two new plans to quench the media fire it had came under.

The first plan was establishment of a permanent military base in Kuwait with the second development being US plan to sign military contracts with six member states of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council for the establishment of new bases. The first of such bases was opened in Saudi Arabia. As a sequel to show of power in the face of his election rivals, Obama made Iran the main focus of his foreign policy, though the main reason was to provide new feed for domestic election-related propaganda. The case of the Islamic Republic of Iran has topped the list of election hustings items of both parties since the time of the former US president, Jimmy Carter. It has been used as a trump by two parties and their candidates both in the country’s foreign policy and to convince the American public opinion.

Both parties’ politicians are well aware that the United States’ internal problems, especially the ongoing economic crisis, has become too complicated and too difficult to manage as to be used as an election tool. Both parties’ leaders, therefore, have been giving prominence to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region with the Islamic Republic of Iran at the center of gravity of those efforts. Some US media have even noted that the recent scenario to charge Iran in the assassination plot of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington and explode Israel’s embassy is only a show of force in foreign politics aimed to flaunt the United States’ power at Iran.

Obama never ceases to talk about intensification of sanctions against Iran. The House of Representatives where Democrats sway majority has approved a draft bill to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and ban purchasing oil and gas from the country. The decision has been proclaimed with a lot of hue and cry. Even in Paris and during G-20 Summit whose main agenda was about financial crisis in Europe, Obama appeared before reporters along with his French counterpart, Nikolai Sarkozy, to announce that they have reached an agreement to escalate pressures and sanctions against Iran! The propaganda and political war against Iran is apparently being intensified to provide better feed for the United States’ forthcoming presidential election. The unfortunate part is involvement of Iran’s Arab neighbors in this scenario of psychological war against the country. Their media have been simply echoing the threats leveled by the US and Europe against our country.

The US scenario of psychological war is in addition to the outcry over Iran's nuclear case which is to be intensified in a few days when Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano (who is famed for his allegiance to the United States) is supposed to release his new report on the nuclear program of Iran.

To win the US election campaign, you need adequate show of power. In the upcoming election, both parties’ candidates will not have much of a maneuvering room over domestic problems and crises emanating from the country’s dire economic and social conditions. The profound financial and economic crisis is a reality on the ground for people both in the United States and Europe which has also brought social crisis to those countries in its aftermath. Therefore, using the foreign policy leverage to prove their power is just a means of assuaging the growing sense of frustration among American and European politicians. The current aggressive tones used by those countries’ politicians which has been construed as a full-fledged war of nerves against Iran, will inflame in the Middle East region while being a show of power for Obama and other American leaders inside the country. The main risk involved here is that no country in the region, Europe, or even the United States itself, will come to benefit from this failed policy. The Middle East region is experiencing popular uprisings. By fanning the flames of this psychological and political war, the American politicians will only harvest more hatred of regional nations. The West (US and its European allies) are object of hatred in the public opinion of regional people. The ongoing psychological war will get them nothing, but escalation of that hatred. A psychological war entails many risks. When it gets out of control and the regional crisis reaches the flash point, the ensuing conflagration will engulf the whole Middle East and the Persian Gulf as the world’s energy heartland.

Source: Ettelaat Newspaper
Translated By: Iran Review

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