ds. Under the title “A ‘Conference of the Willing’ against Iran”, the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” reports on 14 February about the “Middle East Conference” in Warsaw organised by the US and Poland. The latter had taken up the cause of “promoting stability, peace, freedom and security for the Middle East” and invited the representatives of seventy states to the Polish capital. Since Iran was not on the guest list, the direction of the meeting was clear, it says: “An alliance should be forged which also includes European countries and which supports the hard course of the Americans against the regime in Tehran”. It remains to be seen how far this has been achieved. In any case, the foreign ministers of Germany and France as well as the EU foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini were missing. A glimmer of hope?
“The situation,” writes the correspondent for the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, “is reminiscent of the year 2003, when the US forged an alliance for its Iraq campaign. Today we know what has become of it”. The report of the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” is alarming!
At the Munich Security Conference from 15 to 17 February American Secretary of State Mike Pence attacked Iran once again in the strongest terms and demanded that Germany and France in particular should also break with Iran and join the “coalition of the willing”.
Connections and backgrounds
Anyone looking for contexts and backgrounds to the current crisis in the Middle East will find them in Michael Lüders’ latest book (see illustration). “The current crisis,” he writes, “has a long history in which the Saudi connection plays a major role.” By this he means the close political and economic ties between the USA and Saudi Arabia, whose business relations to this day are essentially based on the exchange of weapons for oil. This prehistory also includes the Israeli attitude towards Tehran. Lüders is by no means uncritical of Iranian politics, but he warns against dividing the conflict parties into “good” and “evil”. Beyond rhetoric, politics is rarely about morality, but about power and influence and the assertion of interests.
On the nature of power politics
“Every war, every military escalation”, writes Lüders, “is preceded by the demonisation of the enemy, that was never different.” Accordingly, there was a lack of willingness to take once the perspective of the other side. Thereby the peace ability would get lost. “Iranian, Russian, Chinese, Western power politics, follow first and foremost self-interest.” That is the essence of power politics. Those who regard the power politics of one side as “more moral” than those of the other, are either naive or propagandists. Those who would believe that only the West’s claims to power would be legitimate, those of all other actors, on the other hand, would express “malignancy”, would end as warmongers. “Intended or unintentional, this includes those who are subjectively convinced that the West does not actually pursue a self-centred power policy, but that it would pursue humanitarian motives worldwide.” (p. 189) Western power politics would like to disguise itself as an effort for freedom, democracy and human rights, says Lüders.
An attack would be a crime
Michael Lüders warns the West of an attack on Iran. “But should it come to extremes,” he writes, “the result will not be a Western-oriented Iran, but Armageddon in the Orient,”1 with millions of dead and endless streams of refugees, which especially Europe would have to master.
“The project regime change in Iran is unconditionally contrary to international law. Irrespective of this, any attack on the nation of Iran would be nothing short of a humanitary crime. Whoever participates in this, under any pretext, is complicit in the blame, even though the pleaded motives may still sound so generous.” (p. 234) •
1 The term Armageddon appears in the last book of the New Testament in the “Revelation of John” and is there the place of the eschatological battle of the Last Days.
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