Tuesday, November 5, 2013

John Tirman Claims Israel Only Cares About Iran As a Distraction

In a rare move for the Huffington Post, blogger John Tirman did not blame everything bad in the Middle East on Israel. His latest article is about negotiations with Iran and he is very clear that although Israel is nervous about it it is the Gulf states and especially Saudi Arabia for trying to undermine the negotiations. In fact it's kind of shocking how much he gives it to them, in a strong departure from what we usually see on the Huffington Post:
"The new Whiner State is Saudi Arabia and a bunch of little Whiner States in the Gulf -- Qatar (which owns Al Jazeera), Kuwait (recall that we liberated them in 1991), and the UAE (a world leader in sex trafficking). I was reminded of Saudi's human rights record when a video depicting a "guest" worker in Saudi Arabia -- likely a Pakistani -- being beaten by his Saudi master for apparently saying something to the Saudi's wife. Such is life for millions of South Asian "guest" workers in the Arabian Gulf."
Ooh, snap! Unfortunately I have to disagree with Tirman when he turns his attention to Israel as he seems to claim that Israel is against Iranian nuclear weapons for all the wrong reasons:
"Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu started carping about Rouhani as a wolf in sheep's clothing from the get-go, and has warned darkly of U.S. capitulation of Israel's security interests. This was of course predictable, being only a slight variation on Netanyahu's daily apocalyptic orations. (If Iran did get a nuclear weapon, a very unlikely possibility, it would make the score Iran 1, Israel 200.) Bibi never says that a nuclear deal might strengthen Israel's security -- which it would -- because Iran is such a splendid distraction from Israel's 46-year occupation of Palestine."
It's interesting how even an international relations expert falls so easily into the old talking points and strawman arguments that we usually see solely in the comments section. The one that jumps out most clearly is the proliferation problem, which we have discussed before. Tirman dismisses Israeli concerns about Iranian nuclear armaments by saying that they are "very unlikely" to get one (without evidence) and even if they did it doesn't matter because Israel has a lot.

Tirman ought to know that this argument fails for two reasons: the first is that even one nuclear bomb is enough to pretty much annihilate Israel as Iran's "peaceful" leaders have already said. The second is that Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while Israel has not. So Iran getting even one nuclear weapon is not only a serious violation of international law (something leftists claim to care about) but it would mean that Iran has been lying to the world for years if not decades when they claimed that they only wanted peaceful nuclear energy. So yeah, the consequences of Iran getting a nuclear weapon is much greater than simply putting 199 weapons behind Israel instead of 200. Tirman ought to know that.

Finally, the idea that "Bibi" only cares about Iran because it distracts from Israel's "occupation" is pretty much what I would come to expect from the Huffington Post, but it doesn't make it any less moronic. Does Tirman seriously think that people are just going to forget about it? Believe me we would like to but that's impossible. But I can't imagine why Israel would be nervous that such a peaceful regime as the Iranian one might have darker motives. The idea that they would risk nuclear war and regional conflagration just so people would stop talking about Palestinians and checkpoints for five months is ridiculous, but it betrays the kind of logic of the Huffington Post. Israel can't have legitimate grievances, it must all be a lie done to defend something else they do that we don't like. And holding Iran responsible for anything is definitely out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey guys we've started to employ a slight comment policy. We used to have completely open comments but then people abused it. So our comment policy is such: No obvious trolling or spamming. And be warned: unlike the Huffington Post we actually enforce our comment policy.