1907 Partition of Persia (Iran) by Russia and Great Britain

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“‘The Great Game’ refers to the rivalry between Britain and Russia over territorial and political control in Central Asia. The middle zone of land that was located between India and Russian holdings: Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet.” (See here.) As part of The Great Game, Russia and Great Britain partitioned Persia (now called Iran).

Persia had had a revolution and had formed a majilis (parliamentary assembly) to counter the shah of that time. Classic liberalism was at work. Neither Great Britain nor Russia had any interest in that.

The finances of the Persian government were so bad that they found an American expert and offered him the job and power of cleaning it up. W. Morgan Shuster took on this task, taking the side of the constitutionalists. Russia sought to defeat this move, and eventually Shuster was expelled. “Shuster and his administrative assistants were the direct targets of the Russian invasion of the country in 1911-1912: Shuster’s removal from his position at the Treasury was a principal objective of Russian foreign policy.”

Shuster then wrote a book “The Strangling of Persia“.

The U.S. has a similar Great Game of its own in these same Central Asian regions. Although Iran has a constitutional republic, the U.S., replacing Great Britain, has no basic interest in that or the rights of the Iranian people or their self-determination. The same has been true of the U.S. with respect to Iraq, Libya, Syria and every other country in the region. U.S. policy is not driven by the goal of spreading democracy and creating strong states. And, even if Israel were not present in the region, U.S. policy would be much the same.

The U.S. has replaced Great Britain in the antagonism toward Russia. It has mobilized NATO to surround Russia. The U.S. is the new empire on the block. In practice, it has long since abandoned the ideals and practices of classical liberalism. Some of the rhetoric is still heard. The words “freedom” and “free people” are frequently tossed around, but little else because it clashes so obviously with the realities of the U.S. empire’s actions.

4:32 pm on December 18, 2013