HUMINT: Iranian Tyranny
The Islamic Republic of Iran is directly and indirectly perpetuating violence across the Middle East. Iran backs violence because it is a sectarian and dogmatic regime. Iranian foreign policy is an ever-present danger. Iran’s ambitions are overt and extend well beyond the scope of illegally pursuing a dual use nuclear program. The Old Persian Empire is wearing a new shroud and it’s an oppressively theocratic breed of governance.
Wherever Iran operates, organizations supported by Tehran represent political forces that pursue the fracture of sovereign nations. Iran backs militias around the world that seek to become states within states. Hezbollah represents a near autonomous State within Lebanon. Hamas represents an autonomous state within Palestine. The lesson here is that Iranian foreign policy follows a clear pattern of reckless destabilization.
Iran destabilizes a host nation by encouraging strife at the local level, splitting local municipalities from their central government along sectarian lines. Overtime, this policy makes the central government fracture and look for external sources of cohesion. Ususally that cohesion is found through a shared enemy, IE the United States and or Israel. Regardless of which nation Iranian interference occurs in, the policy always threatens the sovereignty regional neighbors.
Make no mistake; the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a serious regional threat. That’s no secret. That’s not hype. That’s a fact. But Wait! If the situation in the Middle East were to improve, could the U.S. partner with Iran? Could the political situation conceivably improve if a “grand bargain” were struck between Iran and the United States? No! Iranian imperialism will continue destabilizing the Middle East because that’s the reality of that government’s world view. Iranian officials feed on crisis.
Some experts argue that the imperialist tendencies of the Iranian government are shared by the Iranian people themselves. Evidence suggests the opposite. In polls conducted in Iran, Iranians want to join the international community and are overwhelmingly pro-American. There’s no question about it. The Iranian people are not represented by their Government. Therefore, they are not likely to share the Iranian Government’s anti-American foreign policy either.
Yet many Western intellectuals argue that supporting the Iranian people’s democratic aspirations is too problematic and too confrontational to become official American policy. As for the Iranian people and Americans who support their aspirations for democracy, it’s definitely worth the risk to challenge the status-quo in Iran. 
Pundits who claim the Iranian people will side with Iranian clerics before siding with Americans who support their inalienable rights are missing the big picture. So what if Iranians do turn to their masters before embracing liberty? Those that side with tyranny over their own freedom are politically and diplomatically irrelevant. Therefore, international relations with Iran remain tenuous at best and dangerous at worst.
Iran’s intransigent birth cannot be downplayed. The Islamic Republic was born a hostage taking nation and continues to use hostage taking as leverage in foreign policy negotiations. Violence is embedded in the current Iranian government’s national identity. Nothing short of a regime change will end Tehran’s imperialist ambitions. Call this essay a quest for behavioral change among Iranian officials, if you like; nevertheless, regime change is this essay's ultimate demand. 
If recent newspaper headlines are an accurate indication of a shift in American foreign policy toward Iran, the United States has once again rejected a policy of regime change in that country. Recent headlines across Europe and the Middle East are lavishing praise on Iranian nuclear resistance to international requests for the Iranians to halt their nuclear enrichment program.
It's not in anybody’s interest that Iran receive a pass for its bad behavior. Western pressure to stop Iranian uranium enrichment has been met time and time again with deception and denials. Ultimately, U.S. consensus on the Iran issue has been capitulation. Rational requests from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to halt uranium enrichment are repeatedly denied by the Revolutionary Government of Iran with a consistency the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA) and UNSC couldn’t match.
It’s been the Iranian government’s lying, sarcasm and stubbornness that effectively broke the back of the UNSC and the IAEA. The IAEA is tasked with inspecting declared nuclear sites in Iran. Instead, the IAEA has been complicit in Iranian lying, sarcasm and stubbornness through mismanagement and lethargy. Arguably the United Nations and its sister organizations have been a broken bureaucracy from their inception. So what do world leaders do? Do they find a way to make it work? Do they engender the will to face sarcastic liars? No! They dither!
None has dropped the atomic ball more than the world’s recognized democratic leader, the United States of America. U.S. efforts to curb Iranian domination are not easy, but they shouldn’t be undercut by agencies within the United States. Of course, Russia, China, Venezuela and Syria support Iran’s nuclear progress. Dictatorships actively sabotage the efficacy of democratic international relations. That’s because they aren’t democracies. Their obstructions are expected. Capitulating to these nations’ support for Iran’s defiance is capitulating to global dictatorships. That’s a far cry from the UN operating as a healthy global democracy. Global policy toward Iran at this time is no longer about consensus building, it’s about dithering. Arguably, that’s what the United Nations does all the time. Dither!
No matter how one looks at it, Iran’s inflexibility has been met with flexibility from the Untied States and the International community. That’s not pragmatism. That’s capitulation. The United States, a world leader for freedom and democracy looks as though it recently surrendered to an international oligarchy, hell bent on protecting Iran as it continues to develop the means to make a nuclear weapon!
The international community can continue equivocating over such things as Iran’s intent. In terms of the Iran threat, it represents more than a nuclear threat. The threat is the regime itself. Nothing’s changed.
HUMINT: Unconditional Love
HUMINT: Unconditional love can be expressed in many ways. I think of unconditional love as the emotional expression of a part for the whole. A mother and her newborn are emotionally inseparable. That’s an expression of unconditional love. Brothers may share it, if they’re close confidants. Soldiers may feel a version of unconditional love for those they risk everything for. A priest may feel unconditional love for his parishioners and vice-versa. Unconditional love is usually detached from materialism but it can indeed exist over purely material relations. A zealous store owner may feel a version of unconditional love for their most loyal customers.
The interconnectedness between part and whole is a transcendent bond that engenders unconditional love. Only through exercising those bonds can love be replenished. Without a sensation of unity; a part yearning to be whole, unconditional love is impossible. To understand unconditional love we need to consider what is conceivably whole and all the parts that contribute to its wholeness. Alternatively, we might assert, when parts are missing from the whole, there is an observable incompleteness.
At first glance, it’s apparent that none of the relationships that tie a part to its whole is ambivalent. In other words, the cohesion that binds a part to its whole is biased. It makes sense in the context of righteousness. There’s no such thing as righteous ambivalence. Pragmatism is often masqueraded as righteous ambivalence but instead, it’s self delusion; a form of escape; a part abandoning the whole.
Examples abound. Tribalism is often an elaborate expression of the bond between a member and their extended family. Nationalism is an elaborate expression of the bond between a citizen and their state. Consumerism is a bond between a consumer and their market choices. Environmentalism is a bond between a person and the earth. Spiritualism is an elaborate bond between the individual and their universe. None of these bonds is mutually exclusive. Each tug and push on the other, vying for equilibrium.
When these cohesive forces contradict each other too quickly or for too long, the inevitable result is a crash. In terms of tribes and nations, these crashes are called revolutions. They’re called recessions in terms of markets. When discussing the environment, they’re called extinctions. Only religion asserts its permanence yet we know that religions are as equally capable of extinction as are all of a faith’s adherents.
That said; how do we know these things? Inversely, how could we thrive if we did not know these things? Even if you’ve never heard of the scientific method, or never conducted a single laboratory experiment; we’re all aware of the past. Our unique interpretations of the past may deviate wildly; nevertheless we all know our present condition is a product of events that occurred in the past.
Humanity, in the here and now, represents all people --- a seemingly comprehensive whole to consider. Unconditional love exists between individuals and humanity, although it is very rare. It’s rare because it’s impractical. It only works for individuals loosely bound to their own past, and the history of all the wholes they belong. It might work for revolutionary idealists, but not their children or their children’s children. That’s because unconditional love for humanity is not the same as the whole represented by all of human history.
Human history is a truly comprehensive whole. Like religion, history, so long as there is a person capable of learning and remembering it, is impervious to crashing. Unlike religion though, humanity’s history includes all of the religions any one of us or our ancestors have ever believed in. Indeed, unlike these other sub-wholes [Tribe Nation Market] are each included in human history. Unfortunately, unconditional love does not exist between historical events (the parts) and history (the whole). History’s many parts are incapable of emotion; therefore past events have no cohesion to the whole of human history. It’s only through iterative interpretation of historical events that cohesive parts begin gravitating toward a unified whole.
That’s what all of us do with the history we think we know. The truth is, only historians operate with the legitimate qualifications, AKA, academic license, to organize historical events into a cohesive unified whole. Every other interpretation of history is just a convoluted opinion cobbled together by the emotional mix that guides each of us through our lives.
Maybe, one day, when historians are allowed to abandon their own [Tribes Nations Markets Environments Religions] and begin articulating human history as the whole that it truly is, the rest of us highly emotional laymen will understand the deeper meaning of our life, love and work in the context of all the life, love and work that was accomplished before us. From that awakening, we will see ourselves anew; we will find a new respect for history and an unconditional love for the future.
Among the competing forces that define who we are now, there is a force generated by the image of who we intend to be in the future. Constantly baptized by the fires of history making events, for better or worse, we are all changing. The questions we should be asking ourselves and each other are “how?” and “why?” Arguably, the force compelling us to succeed in harmony with each other is the most potent of all forces. Its power is an enduring theme throughout human history because it is a complementary force. Given freedom, and an accurate history, there is no reason to believe we couldn’t all be born again, in sustainable peace. That’s my definition of victory.
In short, our history deserves unconditional respect and our future deserves unconditional love.