05 November 2014

35 Years after 55 for 444, No Apologies for FUBAR

Yes, it really has been 35 years (yesterday, 4th November) since Iranian "students" occupied the American Embassy in Tehran. 35 Years since the beginning of the events in Argo (a great film, pity they misrepresented the actual role played by the New Zealand ambassador, but never mind).

Yesterday on Facebook I posted "35 years since Iran invaded US sovereign territory (embassies are sovereign territory). Until Iran formally apologies, they can, and should, stay out in the cold. Remembering 55 Diplomats held hostage for 444 days!"  55 diplomats who served their country, and could have died for their country. 55 diplomats abused by Islamic fruitloops steeped in an international culture of "blame the Americans" for every single FUBAR in their own countries.

I should have known, that with my international circle of "friends", that someone would take umbrage (nationality not mentioned here, because it is not relevant).

You see, as those of you who have lived outside the US as Americans know, every sin committed by the US is current, extreme, and you probably had something to do with it. Hell, you condoned it by being American. And there really is no hiding. With smiles our actual friends hide their disdain for, and in extreme cases loathing of, the US behind friendship with you as an individual.

But, you also are known by your love of something called the Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights. You have also had to put up with, for decades, ignorant people who have been told that everything wrong with their country, every bride paid or asked for, every overthrown government, every burst water main, every power outage, was somehow America's fault. Blow that!

So let me say a few things here:

1. I am proud to be an American (and of other things and nationalities that I'm equally proud of).
2. I have never tipped (oops, bribed) anyone that was not looking for a tip (oops, bride).
3. The US didn't start Vietnam, the Vietnamese did, and the French made it worse, then we really screwed it up.
4. Yes, bribes were paid to overthrow Mosaddegh (and I really don't care who did overthrow him - after all, it was Iranians, driving Iranian army tanks - bought by pre-Shah Iranians who overthrew Mosaddegh). Mind you, Mosaddegh was no paragone of democracy. He was also guilty of manipulating the political system. He played the game. He lost.
5. But lets move on - host Countries, as a rule, grant sovereignty over the land that an embassy is on to the country of the embassy. This has allowed political dissidents around the world to claim asylum in embassies (including Mr Assange [we'll assume for a moment that he  is a political dissident] in London, at the Ecuadorian embassy)
6. Lets look at the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 (of which Iran is a signatory) "Article 22. The premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, are inviolate and must not be entered by the host country except by permission of the head of the mission. Furthermore, the host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage. The host country must never search the premises, nor seize its documents or property. Article 30 extends this provision to the private residence of the diplomats."
7. Moving away from Iran - the Greek military junta overthrew the Greek government, not the US (and the film Z helps show the lead-up - great film by the way, and a fantastic soundtrack). Greeks overthrew Greeks. How many times was I told that it was all America's fault?
8. So ITT helped overthrow Allende in Chile. And yes, Pinoche was a shit. Get over it. The Chilean airforce bombed the presidential palace, and the Chilean army overthrew him. Yes, ITT (and CIA) money helped, but bluntly, they probably would have done it anyway.
9. My family was evacuated from an American embassy when it became clear that the Iranians were willing to push the problem further.
10, My father stayed in that embassy for another 6 months, waiting for the Islamic fruitloops to come over the walls.

Has the US made mistakes? Absolutely. Have some of these been great mistakes? Absolutely.

I'll go out on a limb here. I was in favour of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was the right thing to do. Happy to discuss this privately. Did the US then manage to stuff-up EVERY SINGLE decision that they had to make after the invasion. Absolutely. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal believed what they wanted to, and were told lies that they believed. They also made FUBAR after FUBAR after FUBAR, resulting the mess we now have.

There are no excuses for how badly the screwed up, again and again. They should be tried in the Hague for war crimes.

But you know something; being Great as the US is, means that you do great things also. Yes the FUBARs are great, but so are the decades of quite development aid, the Marshal Plan, the food aid, the Peace Corps, the (too often too late) interventions like Serbia to stop ongoing genocide. America is great, and with that comes great failures and great victories, great successes, and great support for the oppressed. And yes, great FUBARs.

But getting back on track - The Iranian Government enabled, allowed, and supported the invasion of sovereign US territory 35 years ago. What the US may or may not have done is NOT relevant.There has been no apology.

Therefore, I will not apologise to calling Iran on their great FUBAR.