Embezzlement of the lion’s share of the national treasury was not a difficult act to perform during the Cold War era because the pretext for continued increases in military spending—the “communist threat”—seemed to conveniently lie at hand. Justification of increased military spending in the post–Cold War period, however, has prompted the military-security interests to be more creative in inventing (or manufacturing, if necessary) “new sources of danger to U.S. interests.”
Thus, when the collapse of the Soviet system and the subsequent discussions of "peace dividends" in the United States threatened the interests of the military-industrial conglomerates, their representatives invented "new threats to U.S. interests" and successfully substituted them for the "threat of communism" of the Cold War era. These “new, post-Cold War sources of threat" are said to stem from the so-called "rogue states," "global terrorism" and “Islamic fundamentalism.” Then comes Iran in the picture.
Now, it may be argued that if it is true that beneficiaries of war-dividends need external enemies in order to justify their unfair share of national treasury, why Iran?
Why have successive U.S. administrations been reluctant to enter into a conflict-resolution dialogue with Iran, which could clearly be in the national interests of the United States?
Military threats and economic sanctions against Iran did not start with Ahmadinejad’s presidency; they have been imposed on Iran for more than thirty years, essentially as punishment for its 1979 revolution that ended the imperial U.S. influence over its economic, political and military affairs. It is true that the criminal sanctions have been steadily escalated, significantly intensified in recent months. But that is because Iran has refused to give in to the imperialistic dictates of the U.S. and its allies.
Second, it is naïve to think that U.S. imperialism would be swayed by gentle or polite language to lift economic sanctions or remove military threats against Iran. During his two terms in office (8 years), the former president of Iran Muhammad Khatami frequently spoke of “dialogue of civilizations,” counterposing it to the U.S. Neoconservatives’ “clash of civilization,” effectively begging the United States for dialogue and diplomatic rapprochement between Iran and the United States. His pleas of dialogue and friendship, however, fell on deaf ears. Why?
Because U.S. policy toward Iran (or any other country, for that matter) is based on an imperialistic agenda that consists of a series of demands or expectations, not on diplomatic decorum, or the type of language its leaders use. These include Iran’s giving up its lawful and legitimate right to civilian nuclear technology, opening up its public domain and/or state-owned industries to debt-leveraging and privatization schemes of the predatory finance capital of the West, as well as its compliance with the U.S.-Israeli geopolitical designs in the Middle East. It is not unreasonable to argue that once Iran allowed U.S. input, or meddling, into such issue of national sovereignty, it would find itself on a slippery slope the bottom of which would be giving up its independence: the U.S. would not be satisfied until Iran becomes another “ally” in the Middle East, more or less like Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the like.
U.S. foreign policy decisions, especially in the Middle East, seem to be driven not so much by broad national interests as they are by narrow (but powerful) special interests, not so much by “peace dividends” as they are by “war dividends.” These powerful special interests, represented largely by the military-security-AIPAC forces, tend to perceive international peace and stability, especially in the Middle East, as detrimental to their nefarious interests. Instead, they seem to prefer an atmosphere of war and militarism in order to justify their lion’s share of our national treasury, or their occupation of Palestinian land. This explains, perhaps more than anything else, the relentless preparations for an all-out war on Iran.