Way back in the day, the 1820s to be exact, President Monroe (yes him again) and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, declared the Americas as a zone forbidden to future encroachment by foreign powers. Russia and Great Britain were, at that point in time, the main targets that the United States was aiming this at. We know it today, if we know it at all, as the Monroe Doctrine. To sum it up, most of the countries of South and Central America were established as republics in that era. They had been Spanish possessions but Spain was no longer able to maintain control in this part of the world, as witnessed by the US grabbing Florida and other territory on the continent. But Great Britain was to our north in Canada and Russia was nipping at our heels in the Pacific northwest. So Monroe and Adams declared it all off bounds, with the one exception being Canada. What does this have to do with 2012? Well, take a look at a world map:
Do you notice something striking about Iran? Now I know the Iranian leadership is half crazy and the other half is out of their minds. But, let's all become Iranian for just a moment. I won't get in to the Shah and all of the nasty political stuff prior to his removal. I am just referring to the now. Okay, to the west is Iraq, where there are American troops and advisers, to the east is Afghanistan where there are American troops and advisers, to the southeast is Pakistan and it's nukes, to the southwest is Saudi Arabia an ally of the West. Then you have the volatile Persian Gulf. Now color me crazy, but as an Iranian I would be a bit nervous about where I live, and would be preparing myself for doom and gloom. One look at the map, and one look at the US in 1820 and I fully understand why the Iranians are planning to defend themselves in any way they see fit. Back in the day we Americans were quite nervous about our neighbors. Remember, we are talking about an America still in it's birth pangs, just less than 10 years from the War of 1812 where foreign troops marched into Washington and burned the White House to the ground. We really were still powerless to stop any foreign country, or let's say Russia and Great Britain, from grabbing territory on the North American continent. We had little fire power on the land or the sea. Nevertheless, Monroe declared both North and South America as off bounds to foreign incursion. We didn't want those nasty foreigners and imperialists treading on our scared soil. I suppose the Iranians feel the same way. It's difficult to see the other side of the coin when it comes to Iran, North Korea, and other countries that we see as "against us." But perhaps we need to read some history and consider the rest of the world as independent of American and Western hegemony.