What we find is rather par-for-course for those interested in perpetual war, increased terrorism and instability: false narratives, historical amnesia, pathalogical duplicity, the utter lack of a functional future plan, insane end goals, an aversion to facts and jaw-droppingly inept thought "leadership" which does nothing to improve the world in any way, but guarantees a good harvest for the grim reaper for years to come..
Contemplate the following from Badran's piece:
"...in order to obtain [the] Iranian "buy-in," the administration abandoned what's supposed to be the main objective in Syria, which is the removal of Assad and his regime. Assad, the administration now concedes, gets to stay on for an indefinite period as part of an indeterminate "transitional period." In other words, when it comes to Syria, not only did Obama force Iran down his allies' throat -- he also fully endorsed its position."
The first assumption here, that the "removal of Assad" should be "the main objective in Syria" shows a profound lunacy, bloodlust, and inability to learn from the past. Illegal wars and regime change operations directly led to the rise of ISIS, the staggering death toll and fallout of which has aggreived Muslims to the point of radicalization on an unprecedented scale. We wouldn't be happy if foreigners came and destroyed our countries and killed millions of our people either, we'd be out for revenge.
Look at Iraq, between two wars and genocidal sanctions, at least 1 million lives were lost. The plight of the Iraqi people is grim indeed. In cities overrun by ISIS, life is characterized by mass executions, terror and desperation on the daily. Things were much more stable with Al Queda's enemy, Saddam Hussein, in power. We all know he was a brutal dictator, but then, we have the CIA to thank for putting him in power in Iraq in the first place, so who are we to complain?
"When it comes to the case of Nimr, the radical Saudi Shiite cleric, the administration has applied the same core premise of its Syria policy -- that Iran has legitimate "equities" in Arab countries that should be "respected."
Here again Badran strips away all context and takes the untenable position that we should be outraged at the idea that Iran has legitimate interests in countries with large numbers of Shiites and whose stability impact Iran directly.
First, why doesn't Badran mention that al-Nimr advocated peaceful protest and more rights for Shiites in Saudi Arabia? Why doesn't Badran mention that Saudi Arabia knew executing al-Nimr would enflame the region? Why doesn't Badran mention that Iran officially condemned the attack on the Saudi embassy and has since punished some of the perpetrators? He knows stripping this context away is the only way to try to vilify al-Nimr and by extention Iran. And so, an appalling murder of a peaceful man perpetrated by Saudi Arabia is portrayed as righteous and Iran's (and the World's) protests at the murder worthy of scorn. Basically the opposite of the morals you'd expect in a well-adjusted mind.
Second. How can Badran believe a country with 80 million people should just simply have no interests in the region around it? How would that even be possible? Millions of Shiites live in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other countries. Is Iran, the only majority Shiite country, simply not allowed to take interest in the well-being of those people? Is Iran supposed to let nations fail all around it and let the instability threaten its own citizens? Iran, by simple definition of being a neighboring country in the region, has an interest in regional stability.
Badran's admonishments to be angry at people who wanted to stop al-Nimr's murder continue:
"The underlying premise of the administration's position is not only that Iran has a legitimate claim to represent Arab Shiites but also that since it has claimed Nimr, a Saudi, as a protégé, the Saudi government should not touch him. Therefore, the message the administration was effectively sending the Saudis was that Iran has a say in domestic Saudi affairs."
First, no. The Saudi's should not have touched him. Beheading a man advocating peaceful protest is indefensible in any context. (But funny how ISIS "justice" for "apostates" and those who disagree mirrors Saudi Arabia's to a fault, isn't it?)
Second, no Mr. Badran, the administration isn't telling Iran it has a say in domestic Saudi affairs, it's saying "King Salman, don't commit a flagrant crime against humanity that will enflame the region." It's quite obvious to those of us with functioning mental faculties, but if you can put aside morality and logic, it's apparently a praiseworthy position.
Wrapping things up, Badran writes;
"With the nuclear deal now in hand, and with a year left in President Obama's term, the White House is becoming explicit about this major shift in the historic U.S. position in the region."
Judging from the direction of the article, it seems like Badran is saying that this shift would be lamentable. But let's just look at the historical U.S. record in the region. It includes:
Overthrowing Iran's first democratically elected president Mossadegh and installing the brutal Shah dictatorship
Overthrowing Syria's first democratically elected president to put a right-wing general in power.
Installing Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq
Support for Osama Bin Laden and fundamenatlists in Afghanistan who later become the international threats known as Al Queda and the Taliban.
Increasing military support to Saddam Hussein and providing him with diplomatic cover at the UN after he used banned chemical weapons against Kurds and Iranians.
Operation Iraqi Liberation--a war crime which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent and devastated Iraq's infrastructure for a second time. This time the fallout would include the rise of ISIS.
Regime change in Libya resulting in a failed state and large swathes controlled by terorrists.
A failed "War on Terror" that has resulted in the opposite of it's objective: increased terrorism. Any surprise there? No. That war has caused roughly 1.3 million deaths, and each one serves as motivation for a new wave of terrorist recruits looking to strike back at those who kill their own. Utterly, totally counterproductive and unequivocally criminal.
6 trillion USD down the hole for pointless wars since 2003.
Had the US simply left middle eastern democracies (many of which were modelled on the US) flourish and done business with them, the region would be stable, thriving and friendly to US interests today. Instead, we have a terrorist morass and trillions down the hole. Thanks "historic U.S. position!"
If humanity is to survive, we have to prioritize peace, combatting climate change and resource scarcity, education and development. Humanity simply hasn't the resources to waste on pointless criminal wars Therefore, Mr. Badran, it's paramount the "historic U.S. position" changes. The real "gamble"--and it's a losing bet--is staying that destructive course.