Speak about coincidences. Here I penned a short post hailing a new discovery in biology of political bodies by one and only Juan Cole, and now we have another situation where his considerable talents are the only means available to save us from total despair.
It started with Ali Larijani, the Hon speaker of Iranian Parliament, explaining to the world at large what will happen if anybody* intervenes in the ongoing unpleasantness in Syria. The microphone has barely left his able hand, and here we have three vastly different interpretations of his main point. First of all, the Haaretz' version:
In what seemed to be an explicit threat against the consequences military action could have on Israel, Larijani said that violence form a Syrian version of Benghazi "will spread into Palestine and the ashes of such flame will definitely bury the Zionist regime."Well, any naive reader may consider the statement clear and unequivocal. But wait, here comes Ynet (Yediot Ahronot):
"US military officials probably have a poor understanding of themselves and regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya, and (the effects of) creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would definitely envelop the Zionist regime,” Larijani was quoted by the Tehran Times as saying during a speech in parliament.And then Times of Israel joins the fray, muddying the issue even more:
Iran’s parliamentary speaker threatened that fallout from a Syria war would engulf Israel.So what will it be, I barely dare to ask Juan Cole, our luminary: bury, envelop or engulf**? I hope that he will solve the issue exactly as few years ago, when he brilliantly interpreted Mahmoud the Mad for all of us unwashed heathens (unlike, for example, this uncouth Iranian general who until now didn't read prof Cole's explanation***).
I know that I am demanding a lot from this tired, but still magnificent brain and hope that he will rise to the occasion to demonstrate again this penetrating wisdom.
And notice that I don't even for a moment dare to ask a related question: how come the Iranians seem hell bent to involve Israel**** in a conflict no one in Israel seems to want to mess with - aside of very understated hints on a somewhat unbridled way Baby Assad has of killing his own people. No sir/madam, I am sure that prof Cole could dispense with that question as easy as swatting a fly. He knows that what Ayatollahs want is right, and so should you.
(*) Anybody but Iran, of course.
(**) I was mulling a bit on the three options and now I don't know myself which one I personally prefer. There is a slight edge to engulfing, but I am not sure yet.
(***) The general, in fact, says "...that the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end." But it is obvious that he means it in some non-physical way. Something spiritual. Capisce?
(****) Sorry, as prof Cole explained again and again, they don't use the hated word. They call it "Zionist regime" or "Zionist entity".