Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Persian War

I ran into an article from some obscure Euro-educated internationalist pacifist, named Adel Safty, and despite his not too subtle insults to American foreign policy, he made some valid points. But his alternative solution is more of the blind faith in internationalism that has ironically, consistently necessitated American military intervention.

The only reason I felt the urge to argue this obscure pacifist, is that his argument parallels the thinking of the American Left.

First, Mr. Safty argues the Bush administration has been planning and implicitly hoping for a war with Iran:
In January 2005, while US President George W. Bush was propounding the lofty ideals of his project to transform the Middle East, the campaign to engineer consent for a strike against Iran was in full swing.

Vice-President Dick Cheney stated that Washington's chief concern was not democracy, was not even terrorism, but Iran's "fairly robust new nuclear programme".

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported that American Special Operation Forces were already operating inside Iran...
And so on. Bush's ambition for a war with Iran is arguable, contingency planning is always a good idea -it's not like we don't have a reason to stop Iran, but for the sake of argument let's say Safty is right

Then Safty goes on to say how Bush has been weakened by elections, while bogged down in Iraq. But what about Israel:
An American strike against Iran under these conditions is difficult to plan for publicly; but an American-supported Israeli strike against Iran is not.

Israeli leaders seem to have reached a similar conclusion and began a concerted campaign of propaganda and intimidation.

Shortly after it became clear that Bush had been weakened by the outcome of the Congressional election in early November, Israeli accusations against Iran intensified.


Last week, a British newspaper revealed Israeli plans for a nuclear strike against Iran: "Two Israeli air force squadrons" wrote the Sunday Times, "are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters". (January 7)

In November, Israeli writer Michael Oren wrote that Olmert came to Washington in search of a green light for a strike against Iran. "The light Mr Olmert received in Washington," he wrote, "was probably not green, but neither was it flashing red." (Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2006).
So what does Safty say about a possible American and/or Israeli war against Iran? Doom and gloom, regional instability, fall of American support, etc. But what does he say of Iran, its nuclear ambitions, its anti-American and anti-Semitic language; what does Safty say about the Iranian threat?

Nothing. It seems the only threat Safty is concerned about is an American or Israeli attack. I give you, in its entirety, hi
s highly-detailed, thoroughly-planned, and well-established "lofty ideals:"
The international community and the UN have a responsibility to save the region from another war.
Just like they did before the U.S. invaded Iraq. Or just like they did before NATO came in to bomb Serbia, and just like they did in Bosnia.

It is rather ironic, where the international community and the UN have responsibilities for the sake of preventing war, America steps in to save the international community.


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