You will never see me place an Iranian flag in my name on Twitter, in any of my social media profiles, or any other such nonsense. I find such ‘irony’ to be too close to virtue signaling for my tastes. I do not support and will not defend Iran; I have repeatedly and publicly made clear my stance on Islam — I have even called for a Tenth Crusade. I am no friend of Islam or of the Muslim world, and yet I cannot support this (actual and escalating) war against Iran.
The absurdity of having to argue that foreign adventurism and interventionism are neither nationalist nor rational almost stayed my hand from writing this article. We often hear that we are now living in a ‘post-truth’ era, but the increasing prevalence of ‘post-rational’ discourse is far more worrisome. It is one thing to advance a false position for gain, and it is entirely another to advance a position that is both manifestly untrue and clearly contrary to one’s interests.
Iran presently poses only a relatively minor threat to the US, and, despite what Media and celebrity would have us believe, Iran is no more naturally hostile to the West than any other Muslim nation (and arguably less so than some). Hostility to the US in the Middle East has two primary motivating factors:
- US foreign policy.
There may have been a time when there were valid US interests in the Middle East (and such a time may come again), but the US is now a net exporter of fossil fuels — we need not concern ourselves with the overwhelming majority of what happens in the Middle East because it simply does not concern us.
There are two countries that benefit from war with Iran, and those countries are Israel and Saudi Arabia. Should the war continue to escalate, our geopolitical competitors will also benefit — at our expense — as we will relatively weaken; China is, perhaps, the most notable member of this group.
The US is already effectively bankrupt, and yet thousands (perhaps even millions) are cheering for a war that would entail extreme costs. This is utter madness. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our educational system is an unspeakable disaster, our healthcare system is broken almost beyond repair, our military is depleted from endless war, and we are being invaded across our southern border. We are not so bereft of problems that we need to go looking for — or creating — new ones.
Trump ran on a platform of refocusing on American concerns, of securing our borders, of restoring our economic vitality, of doing a great many things under the aegis of "America First", but what has he actually done? Economic gains have gone almost exclusively to the wealthiest one percent, our border is still totally unsecured, and we are now being drawn — away from actual American interests — into yet another war in the Middle East. The difference between Trump and a carnival barker is that the barker usually does have something to show you after you after you give him your money.
Blindly supporting Trump is not patriotism, and it is most certainly not nationalism — not America First. If Trump is permitted to behave as he pleases and pursue whatever he wishes with no regard for his supporters or his promises, then he will continue to fail to deliver. Where there are no consequences, there will be no action.