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News & analysis from Proletarian Internationalist Notes—news, reviews and analysis from a global perspective
The exceptional trauma of Amerikans: Western inconsistency on psychiatry is a source of difficulty for Iran and Saudi Arabia
April 26, 2016
A U.$. district court judge issued a default judgment against Iran last month for $10.5 billion over 9/11 even though George W. Bush said years ago the CIA didn’t find a direct connection. (Had Bush claimed one, there might have been another war with millions dead or orphaned. Although, with the help of pseudo-feminist anti-Islam Democrats, liberals and fake progressives in the united $nakes Bush was not lacking in justifications.) Part of the amount would go to the insurance industry. Last week, the U.$. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing almost $2 billion in frozen assets to go to relatives of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing dead and family of the dead in other attacks. Default judgments were involved there, too. During an interview with Iran’s foreign minister, Robin Wright said in apparent support of the Supreme Court decision, “I lived there and I heard it go off, and I hear it go off in my head quite often. And I saw American bodies being dug out of the wreckage for weeks and weeks. It was traumatic for the United States.”(1)
Uh, what? Sounds like a persynal problem. The thing is the West claims to have psychotherapies that work for treating that, at least for Westerners. If Robin Wright wants to say they didn’t work for em, that’s one thing, but after three decades people should not be talking about their “trauma” and preoccupied with some elusive justice as if the only way to overcome trauma-related disorder were to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from an oppressed nation, or threaten war, as some kind of imperialist sociopolitical approach to mental health. Despite the nuclear agreement reached last year, Iran still faces warmongering related to 9/11 and to imagined or actual terrorism blamed on Iran, in addition to experiencing ongoing u.$. convert operations. The default judgments and recent ruling contribute to justifications for war. The reasons cited for the decisions against Iran, including the default judgments, are being repeated in media to agitational effect, and relatives themselves won’t feel a full sense of closure with the money.
Murdering people and contributing to global inequality aren’t acceptable ways of dealing with mental health issues. Either there are treatments for trauma-related disorders, or there aren’t. If people don’t want to hear that, they should stop talking about their alleged mental disorder symptoms in public three decades or fifteen years later and treating them as an excuse for imperialist state-backed economic punishment of other countries, drone strikes, and taking out destructive feelings on people globally.
The Western attitude about mental health and solutions is inconsistent in a self-serving way. After decades of no revolution in the united $nakes, decades of war, decades of denying the majority of their imperialist country privilege, ideological stagnation, and years of global embarrassment, it’s trendy now for Amerikans to claim to be some kind of victim or mental trauma patient. The claim is often irrelevant to situations the Amerikans do have responsibility for or complicity in. Yet, somehow the trauma of oppressed nation people in the Third World doesn’t count, not enough to justify war to resist the oh-so-traumatized united $nakes, not enough to oppose psychological warfare, not enough for reparations in the trillions. Or if it counts, treatment has to come through Western “sexual liberation” or by going to war with the oppressed nations and then exporting Western mental health professionals to control the aftermath.
The world has had enough of Amerikans’ lethal narcissism about its trauma and 9/11.
At the moment, Iran appears in international media to suggest uniting with the 9/11-dead relatives wanting to sue Saudi Arabia for trillions of dollars. JASTA (the so-called 9/11 lawsuit bill) would be necessary to sue governments that aren’t officially considered “state sponsors of terrorism,” a label that isn’t branded on Saudi Arabia at this time. Obviously there is unequal treatment of Iran and Saudi in this terrorism lawsuit business. Part of the money stolen from Iran will end up paying for weapons for Saudi Arabia, indirectly through taxes. If Amerikans and pro-Amerikan Saudis were to reduce their involvement in Iran, there would be less reason for Iran to appear to side with the 9/11 relatives in their pursuit of so-called justice against Saudi Arabia.
If 9/11 relatives were going to argue the united $tates had responsibility for what Al Qaeda did and had a chance of suing the u.$. government successfully, supporting the 9/11 relatives in lawsuits would be more understandable. The united $tates wouldn’t possibly be held to the same standards, with enforceable judgments, as other countries so supporting Amerikans in lawsuits over possibly CIA-connected terrorism leads to seeking revenge on vulnerable countries.
The Iranian and Saudi governments are in a position to know more about some matters than many commentators know. The important thing to understand generally is that the united $tates plays countries off against each other that are in difficult situations. Had their been more support for Iran (from various countries, including Third World ones) and less support for pro-Amerikan or CIA-influenced forces in other countries—instead of deceitful or deluded so-called progressives’ acting like the united $nakes had some proletariat about to overthrow the government and that there was no need to support some bourgeois leaders in the Third World—there might have been less pressure for Iran accept deals. And there might have been less warmongering now against Saudi Arabia related to making those deals. The warmongering figures into cooperation with the heavily armed united $tates.
In the buildup for the agreement with Iran, after years of warmongering against Iran over alleged terrorism, Amerikans were accusing Saudi Arabia of supporting ISIS specifically in addition to the usual talk about Al Qaeda and money going from Saudis to other Sunnis allegedly. They were warmongering against Saudi Arabia as if more gunboat diplomacy against one Muslim country required more warmongering against another. (Sometimes part of the reason for warmongering is to distract from ongoing cooperation with the targeted country.) When the united $tates conducts diplomacy with Saudi Arabia, there is warmongering against Iran. Warmongering against Iran was a threat facilitating the nuclear agreement as finalized. Hysteria about terrorism and 9/11 in particular, including cries for justice for traumatized relatives, continues to play a role in warmongering against multiple countries, warmongering that people in imperialist countries must oppose. In an environment of unequal diplomatic and legal treatment of various countries, the publicly expressed hysteria of the united $nakes of amerikkka over missile tests, past terrorism, and alleged nuclear weapons ambitions still, makes anti-u.$. struggle more complicated.
When there is less invested in the united $tates, there is less for it to seize. In the New Yorker interview, Foreign Minister Zarif mentions u.$.-caused difficulty doing business with European banks. “The most important problem is that the United States is taking a back seat after eight years of scaring everybody off, imposing heavy penalties on people who wanted to do business with Iran.” “I want to see European banks doing business with Iran without fear of U.S. retaliation. A lot depends on it. As we implemented our obligations fully, we are entitled to benefit fully. The United States needs to do way more. They have to send a message that doing business with Iran will not cost them. Period. No ifs and buts. International regimes, international treaties, international norms are observed not because of the goodness of anybody but because they bring benefits. If they don’t, then the longevity of those agreements come into jeopardy.” Financial struggle continues in various areas despite the nuclear agreement.
The $50 billion fine issued against the united $tates last year is too little. That is only 0.29% of the u.$. GDP and less than 10% of the u.$. military budget. The more than $12 billion in judgments against Iran is 2.9% of Iran’s GDP. Of course, the Third World’s ability to seize assets using courts and agents is considerably less than the united $tates’, and the united $tates owes the world thousands of times more than $50 billion. ◊
• Bank Markazi, aka Central Bank of Iran v. Peterson et al. Roberts, C. J., dissenting. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-770_9o6b.pdf
• “Saudi Arabia: Obama deals with the consequences of Democrats’ warmongering,” 2016 April 23. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-04-24-news-911-lawsuit-bill.md
1. “Iran’s Javad Zarif on the Fraying Nuclear Deal, U.S. Relations, and Holocaust Cartoons,” 2016 April 25. http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/irans-javad-zarif-on-the-fraying-nuclear-deal-u-s-relations-and-holocaust-cartoons