"We're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." (US General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Commander of NATO)
Contemptuous of international law, the US makes no secret of its plots to overthrow the leaders of internationally recognized governments that reject the neoliberal New World Order. Iran is at the top of the US enemies list. The US has been at it since the 1979 Iran Revolution, when the Iranian people overthrew the US's "our boy", the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah had become the US's "our boy" as CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt referred to him in 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower overthrew the popular democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Overthrowing governments is illegal according to US law and international law. It is also immoral if one believes in democracy, self-determination, and the sovereignty of nations, respect for human life, and the rule of law.
The Weaponization of Human Rights
The crushing economic sanctions now unilaterally imposed by the US on Iran are causing massive suffering and the deaths of thousands of Iranian civilians. The US response is glee that the sanctions are "working". This is nothing short of barbaric siege warfare to starve the Iranians out. Under international law the Iran sanctions may be illegal, since they are not authorized by the United Nations. The collective punishment of economic warfare is immoral, economic terrorism and a weapon of mass destruction. Secondary sanctions that impose sanctions on non-US and non-Iranian financial institutions that transact business with Iran amounts to blackmail, especially since it is the US that violated the Iran Nuclear Deal, and not Iran.
Weaponizing human rights is a most cynical tool of US imperialism, especially since the US has a very poor record on human rights at home. While holding itself out in biblical terms as a "city on a hill" (Matthew 5:14-16), the US is not a model of John Winthrop's Christian Charity , as politicians such as Ronald Reagan have opined. The US is the only developed country that does not consider healthcare a universal human right, and it has been steadily cutting FDR's New Deal social benefits, while the rich get richer from tax cuts. In 2008 the US bailed out the banks, while millions of homeowners lost their homes. Over 20% of US children live in poverty. Basic human services that are the responsibility of government have been turned into cash machines by privatizing.
George H. W. Bush's New World Order neoliberals and neocons despise any country that closes its doors to US corporate exploitation, and instead uses its own natural resources for the benefit of its own people. The US uses "human rights" to attack countries such as Venezuela, Libya, and Iran that consider economic freedom from need a human right.
One of the main reasons that Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani negotiated the Iran Nuclear Deal was so that the lifting of UN Security Council economic sanctions would give Iran the much needed ability to increase social spending for the Iranian people. Instead, the imposition of even harsher US unilateral sanctions by the Trump neocon stacked administration has dashed Rouhani's hopes, and makes the economic situation direr for the Iranian people. The nefarious purpose of sanctions is to make the Iranian people suffer so that they will become disgruntled and rebellious.
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) is a right wing neocon funded and infested think thank that has been particular rapacious in attacking Iran. FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz has been previously hailed as "the architect of many of the Iran sanctions", as reported by The Nation magazine, How the Anti-Iran Lobby Machine Dominates Capitol Hill.
As Robert Fantina has written in Counterpunch, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy is intensively lobbying for the US to sanction Iran's "The Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order" (EIKO). One of EIKO's subsidiaries is the Barakat Foundation, which is a charitable foundation that is concerned with social programs for the people. The Ayatollah Khomeini has described it by saying,
"I'm concerned about solving problems of the deprived classes of the society. For instance, solve problems of 1000 villages completely. How good would it be if 1000 points of the country are solved or 1000 schools are built in the country."" The Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order.
Targeting human rights organization to "promote human rights" is a cruel oxymoron. It is weaponizing human rights at its worst, and attacks the most vulnerable people in a society.
Liberals often consider economic sanctions an acceptable, even humane, alternative to force. Nothing could be further from the truth, and progressive people everywhere need to recognize it. Economic sanctions are violence. The Geneva Conventions recognize that siege warfare and collective punishment against civilians are war crimes. How could something that is illegal in wartime be legal in peacetime? The International Committee of the Red Cross has often raised concerns about economic sanctions, including UN authorized economic sanctions.
The United States of "Amnesia"
Gore Vidal was one of the great American intellectuals, writers, commentators and critics of US foreign policy, domestic politics and society. He coined a phrase to describe the US's memory loss of inconvenient truths: "The United States of Amnesia". Most Americans are illiterate about US history. They cannot even remember recent events that happened in their lifetime. Today people barely remember what happened prior to the current 24 hour news cycle.
Now that the destruction of Iran is at the top of the to-do list, the people of the "United States of Amnesia" have forgotten all the countries that the US has destroyed in just the past quarter of a century. It has gone down the memory hole. Anything that happened in the 70's, 80, and 90's has been completely lost in the fog of amnesia. US victims are not so forgetful.