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Manuel Ochsenreiter
OPINION

Missing the compass

The recent events in Iran show in many cases the absence of the true understanding of the term “sovereignty”.

Published: January 7, 2018, 8:55 pm

    The beginning of the new year started overly violent in certain corners of the world. Cars were burning, security forces faced attacked by young protesters, while young people were calling out their governments. Countless uploads on YouTube suggested that civil unrest was ongoing, and police forces were using batons and armored vehicles to fight young protesters. What is going on over there? Will there be a revolution? Are the days of the political system numbered?

    Anyone who thinks this scenario is currently taking place in Iran, is dead wrong. These scenes were instead taking place in Europe, in France, Belgium and Germany leading up to and on the night of New Year´s Eve.

    So, while these things were happening in Europe, the huge mainstream media corporations, US president Donald Trump and – unfortunately! – at least a part of the Eurosceptic scene, seemed to focus on the protests in Iran.

    It is the hour of the hobby experts on Iran, of the self-declared “human rights activists”, the armchair analysts, leftist Iranian expats in Europe and some freaky liberals who of course know everything about every topic. The reports about the events in Iran are on display much like a huge finger food buffet at an overpriced beach club. There is something for every taste: The European liberals prefer a liberal narrative, the European conservatives a monarchist one, the feminists want to make us believe it is about “women’s rights” and some leftists dream it is about socialism.

    US president Trump immediately expressed his support for the protesters on Twitter: “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” Sadly, not one of these so-called analysts, propagandists or supposed experts on the European TV screens were even trying to show the complexity of the Iranian society and economy. Instead, they project their own political agendas – no matter how utterly far-fetched – on the Iranian issue.

    This is a general problem, a typical European problem, it seems. And it is not particularly original. In 2011, in various Arabic countries when civil unrest broke out – the so-called “Arab Spring” – the same steady flow of “analysts” inundated in the media. They wanted to make us believe that liberal-democratic hipster students were somehow expressing their discontent against “dictatorships”.

    The reality was rather Muslim brotherhood hordes and hardcore Wahabi terrorists entering the scene to take over or decimate these countries with Western financial and military help. The results are well known: Libya collapsed, Egypt was destabilised by the Mursi-led Muslim Brotherhood government, while Syria is still struggling for its unity.

    The consequences for Europe are also well-known: Our continent now has deeply unstable regions, with massive waves of illegal migration flooding EU countries. Beyond any doubt, the “Arab Spring” or whatever these violent protests are called, did not serve European interests.

    And precisely that should be the litmus test for whether a foreign policy stance should be supported or not. What were the effects of these events for us Europeans? The question of whether we sympathise with any particular ideological position, should play no role in that context.

    Is that not a cynical position to take? Not to care about what is going on in other regions? Do we not have a “certain responsibility” towards them? That is usual the argument put forward by political opponents, mainly liberals. But their own cynicism is displayed every single day by the bomb blasts in Syria, by mass killings in Iraq and Libya executed by their radical terrorist allies. Actually, every rape by a “refugee” in Europe, every terrorist act against Europeans conducted by migrants, serve as confirmation of liberal cynicism.

    The core of liberal cynicism is to support foreign militant groups with arms and money, and to help them overthrow inconvenient governments. Or in other words, others shall pay the bloody price while the liberal strategists hide behind their desks in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris and Berlin. Neither in the Middle East nor in Europe do they care about massive civilian casualties.

    For Europeans it begs the important question of our understanding of sovereignty – not just for ourselves but also for others. Eurosceptic parties are promoting the concept of national and cultural sovereignty. The core of sovereignty is that a nation can organise itself in its own way. It may choose a socialist order, it may ban LGBT propaganda, it may be an “Islamic Republic” or an old-fashioned monarchy.

    But what are the realities today? When in 2011 the war in Syria started, some European so-called patriots and nationalists expressed their support for the terrorists – because “Bashar al-Assad and his Baath party are socialists”. When in 2013/14 the Maidan-protests against the legal Ukrainian government erupted, a huge number of European “right-wing” politicians and activists openly took sides in supporting the protest movement, because it had roots in far-right Ukrainian nationalism. And now, when it comes to Iran, some European sovereignists and patriots express their support for the protesters – because they dislike the Islamic political system in Iran.

    The examples of Syria and Ukraine have shown beyond doubt, that these choices were utterly wrong. The Syrian war opened the floodgates of illegal migrants to Europe. The Ukrainian destabilisation created a failed state, now struggling in far worse conditions than before the “Maidan-revolution”. The country is only able to survive with European financial support , which essentially means our taxes.

    In addition, it has dragged Europe into an unnecessary and dangerous conflict with Russia. The same goes for Iran. A civil war in Iran, a destabilisation of the Islamic Republic would not serve European interests in the least. Perhaps it would help the wet dreams of some anti-Islamic armchair warriors and self-declared “friends of Israel”. The rest of Europe however, is going to have to pay a heavy price for their small-minded political fantasies.

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