Monday, September 10, 2012

Today's Thoughts on Iran

On Friday the Huffington Post published what is (for them) a more measured analysis of the problem with Iran. Although freelance journalist Fariba Amini is pretty clearly on Iran's "side" in all this, she doesn't pretend that Iran is perfect or without its problems. However, many of her facts still require correcting. So I thought that we should take a look.

She begins by saying how times have changed between Israel and Iran, and yet people still don't know a lot about what Iran is really like. Ms. Amini also thinks the elections that put Ahmadinejad in power were "rigged" which is also surprising, as many of the pro-Iran contingent on the Huffington Post will militantly disagree. But after this she accuses anyone and everyone of "fear-mongering" about Iran. Ready to see her evidence?
"I decided to go on the website of AIPAC, America's most powerful pro-Israel lobby. It was astounding to see that every other article on their website mentions Iran. It actually begins with a photo of Ahmadinejad and Iran's Foreign Minister in one of Iran's nuclear power plants. The titles were: "IAEA to press Iran," "Iran struggles to reflag oil tankers," "Iranian universities shut female students," "Prevent a nuclear capable Iran," and "Congress approves new Iran sanctions."'
Wow what a surprise that a pro-Israel lobby would pay a lot of attention to a country that threatens to wipe out Israel. This is the kind of hard-hitting investigative journalism that is clearly missing from the Huffington Post. Ms. Amini then rehashes some history of Iran-Israel relations, pointing out that their war started when Iran closed the Israeli embassy (sounds like they "started it" doesn't it?) and that Israel supported Iran against Iraq. Then she brings out the big guns, and by the big guns I mean the most overused argument on the Huffington Post:
"According to some Israeli and American nuclear scientists and the IAEA, Iran is far from having the capability of building the bomb. On the other hand, Israel has close to 300 nuclear warheads.As of 2012 and contrary to a barrage of misinformation, Iran has NONE."
Again, that's the Huffington Posts' highlight. My answer to Ms. Amini is: so what? Is that supposed to be some kind of revelation. Nobody thinks that Iran has nuclear warheads. The whole point of this is to keep them from getting them. And deflecting to Israel, although a common rhetorical device, has nothing to do with anything. The world trust Israel with nuclear weapons, as time has proven that over decades they can be responsible with them. Ms. Amini's friends in Iran, however, have not. So although she seems to think this paragraph is a powerful argument, it really isn't. Surprise surprise.

Then she switches to what amounts to a conspiracy theory about the Iraq War:
"What prompted America to go to war in Iraq was an endless stream of misguided advice by neo-cons working for Washington think tanks who on false premises pushed the Bush administration into war. Quite a few names come to mind: Ledeen, Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams. Even the famous Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, became a regular guest at the Bush White House."
Uh huh. The "neo cons." Heard that one before. At this point she launches into the suffering of American soldiers (ignoring the complicity of Iran in that suffering, naturally), and then moves on to an indication that she really doesn't understand what Israel wants in this situation:
"On what grounds does Israel with its 300 nukes which at any minute can annihilate the entire Middle East, have the right to attack a sovereign country and wipe it really off the map? Which international body gives it permission to do so?...Has the Israeli government's arrogance blinded the eyes of its citizens?"
WHAT? I freely admit that I could stand to pay better attention to the news, but never have I seen anywhere an Israeli desire to "wipe Iran really off the map." If someone would like to show me some evidence but everything I have found says they want Iran not to have nuclear weapons. Any attack would have the goal of hitting Iran's nuclear silos and delay their program. Ms. Amini, on the other hand, seems to think that Israel is planning to drop atomic bombs:
"Just imagine that tomorrow, the beautiful and historic city of Isfahan, home to many Jewish-Iranians and several old synagogues, may vanish, with just one bomb, from the many Israel possesses."
Yeah, no one in Israel is talking about doing that. Sorry if that doesn't fit her narrative. Jeez, and Iran supporters accuse Israel of being paranoid.

1 comment:

  1. The great thing about talking about Israeli WMD is that you can pull anything, any number any 'fact' anything at all and people will accept it as absolute truth. 300 you say? Of course not, it's 700. Or a thousand. And 500 armed nuclear satellites. And an earthquake machine.

    Because why not. We're Jews - we can rewrite the laws of nuclear physics and engineering at will.


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