Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
DO YOU BELIEVE TRUMP’S CLAIMS THAT IRAN’S GENERAL WAS PLANNING ATTACKS?
Almost every statement critical of Iran is from the US and has fundamental flaws.
Such statements are overwhelmingly based on preconceptions about Iran and are woefully short on facts. The most fundamental preconceptions is that since Iran opposes Israel, which Americans think of as the Holy Land, it is an evil country in league with the devil. This notion is deeply embedded in the American psyche based on the influence of the enormously popular cult generally known as “Christian” Zionism, which completely dominates the US Evangelical mind and is not open to debate (partly because anyone who expresses doubts about Zionism is labelled an anti-Semite, though ironically, many Orthodox Jews outrightly reject Zionism). The cult cites passages from the Bible that, if examined closely, oppose rather than support, its teachings. The cult’s teachings are anchored in American lore and take precedence over the teachings of Jesus, who never advocated for a future secular state called Israel and never even hinted that his followers should do so. A rigorous adherent to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament would therefore certainly consider the name “Christian” Zionism blasphemous. After all, it is assumed that if you consider yourself a Christian, you take Jesus Christ’s teachings as the basis of your faith, and that is not anti-Semitism, it is just Christianity. Any teaching not directly issuing from the recorded words of the Master ought to raise red flags. But most Evangelicals simply accept the teachings of mere men, ie, pious-looking pastors and religious “authorities,” at face value, without question, particularly as they relate to modern Israel, and these teachings have gradually, and imperceptibly, replaced the Master’s teachings in the American subconscious, where accepted doctrines relating to end-times Israel have, inexplicably, become inseparable from the doctrines held by the original disciples and apostles. I detailed this phenomenon at Quora: r https://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-bring-peace-by-the-New-Middle-East-Peace-proposal/answer/Vince-Dhimos
There are two additional serious problems with the current discussion around Iran:
1. The unproven allegations about Iran and its officials lack any serious discussion of a plausible motive, and in fact, in most cases, an analysis of a possible plausible motive would lead to the conclusion that there could be none. In the case of the alleged Iran-linked bombing in Argentina, for example, there is simply no plausible motive for Iran to have gone to all the trouble of smuggling in operatives to blow up a building to retaliate against a deal that went sour. AMIA bombing - Wikipedia
After all, this kind of harsh action might conceivably be applied against Israeli officials who bomb buildings and civilians in Gaza or kill Palestinians during protests against Israeli occupation, but such a piddling pecadillo as reneging on a promise would not merit such a drastic response.
2. These unproven allegations lack any serious discussion of MO (modus operandi, or the typical behaviour, of Iran and Iranians). In the case of General Soleimani, for example, the State Department alleged that he was plotting to harm Americans in 4 embassies. The Senate’s critical remarks forced Secretary of State Pompeo to walk back that reckless claim. Generally, Iran does not like terrorist tactics and they are not part of its MO. In fact, the NYT has just come out with a blockbuster story of Iraqi officials reporting that the attack on a Kirkuk base that killed an American contractor was not done by Iran, as originally claimed by the Trump administration – with no specific evidence cited. The irresponsible allegation brought the world to the threshold of war. It turns out it was done by ISIS. Was U.S. Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran?
In another attempt to portray Iran as a rogue, some Iranophobes point to the funding of Hezbollah Funding of Hezbollah - Wikipedia. And yes, it is true that Hezbollah receives Iranian funds. However, here again, we are dealing with an American-made preconception that few Americans question because they are indoctrinated to accept this preconception as a fact, namely, the assumption that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. The trouble is, for many years, while US officials and analysts considered Hezbollah a terror organization, mostly because Iran and Hezbollah do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s statehood, Europe did not accept this view, for sound reasons. The fact is, Hezbollah has long been a legitimate Lebanese political party. And this is logical, since it was Hezbollah that succeeded in saving Lebanon from occupation by Israel in 2006, when Israel poured all its military resources into destroying Lebanese infrastructure. The casus belli, or pretext, was the allegation that Hezbollah had kidnapped some Israeli officials. Yet, rarely mentioned in the Western press was the fact that this kidnapping had been provoked by the kidnapping of Hezbollah officials by Israel in the first place. So Israel was poised to destroy Lebanon and occupy it indefinitely on this flimsy pretext, and of course, when Israel occupies you, it eventually gets around to claiming you as part of its territory. And then a Donald Trump, with the full backing of his “Christian” Zionist voters, declares you an Israeli possession. This is, BTW, all part of the Yinon Plan for creating a Greater Israel. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, many Muslims and Christians both are grateful to Hezbollah for saving their country. Linked below, for example, is a musical tribute by a Christian Lebanese singer to Hezbollah for this heroic deed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZgkGI5h0A
Another point made by Iranophobes is that Iran sends arms to the Arabs surrounding Israel: (Israel halts ‘Iran weapons shipment’)and that its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah fire rockets into Israel (Israel Strikes Iranian Targets in Syria in Response to Rocket Attack).
Here again, we are dealing with a specifically American preconception, namely, that while Israel has the unquestionable right to defend itself, the Palestinians that it abuses, and even kills wholesale in bombing raids, have no right to retaliate. This assumption is based primarily on the cult of “Christian” Zionism, and it results in US tolerance of deadly attacks on Iranian targets, for example, in Syria, the latest of which, a missile attack on Damascus, almost caused the downing of an airliner with 172 passengers on board (https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-golan-heights-israel-intercepts-rockets-from-syria-11574158819). As for the alleged rocket attack on Israeli territory, this allegation is based on the false notion that any land that Israel occupies is Israeli – a dazzling leap of logic. In fact, most of these alleged “attacks on Israel” target the Golan Heights, which is Syrian territory, despite Donald Trump’s claim to the contrary. This land is not Trump’s to give away and the UN says it is Syrian! The US may have the military power to act illegally at will, but it most certainly does not have international moral and legal authority.
As for the oft-repeated contention that Iran is building or occupying military bases in Syria or Iraq, let us remember that the Iranians are there as invited guests, while the US is an illegal invader in both countries, and the claims of an illegal invader against an invited guest cannot be legitimate and should be dismissed out of hand.
And finally there is the preconception that the Iraqis want the Iranians to leave because they feel Iran wields too much power there. The latest million-strong march in Baghdad put the lie to that myth and showed beyond the shadow of a doubt that Iraqis want the US to leave.