04 December 2011

Rosenberg vs the man with a gun

Primo Levi once said:

When a man with a gun says he's going to kill you, believe him.
Well, MJ Ronsenberg doesn't. Believe, that is. On the contrary, in his recent article in the Huffington Post, he's trying to convince the rest of the world not to believe these words, using a rather unorthodox mix of arguments.

Of course, true to his own obsessions, he begins by attacking AIPAC over something that they didn't do:
The drums of war with Iran will be beating loudly in the three months leading up to AIPAC's policy conference early next March.
I almost expected to spot a picture of Michael J. Fox, maybe a short video clip with a promo for the next generation of "Back to the future" movies.

Rosenberg then goes on to his next favorite target:
As I noted in a column a few weeks ago, the Iran war claque is comprised almost entirely of neoconservatives/right-wing "pro-Israel" activists and opinion leaders (from AIPAC and its associated organizations) joined by politicians seeking campaign contributions.
For a politician, being an Iran hawk can be very lucrative while favoring diplomacy is a sure ticket to AIPAC purgatory.
Because, you know, this is all about groveling to the right-wing Jewish lobby. It has nothing to do whatsoever with Iran celebrating a "Death to America Day". It's class warfare. Iran is nothing but the providential instrument fate provided to show us all the light at the far-left, AIPAC-free end of the tunnel. An aside thought: isn't "favoring diplomacy" what recently brought an attack on the British embassy in Tehran?

And again this very tired argument about Netanyahu and his right-wing government bringing disaster upon Israel:
Every major Israeli city is within range of Hezbollah's missiles and it has tens of thousands of them. How many innocent Israelis would die in a missile onslaught produced by Netanyahu and Barak's obsession with maintaining Israeli hegemony? How many is it worth?
May I respectfully remind Mr. Rosenberg that the last missile onslaught with Hezbollah's signature on it has occurred  not so long ago during the reign of the left-wing government led by Olmert?

As if making the Iranian problem a left-wing versus right-wing issue wasn't surrealistic enough, Rosenberg goes on to throw the rest of the blame on...well, Jews. He links to a post by Gary Kamiya on Salon with the not so subtle title The boys who cried "Holocaust".
The Holocaust mind-set has led Israel into self-destructive policies. And its promiscuous invocation has helped ensure that Israel maintains a stranglehold over America’s Mideast policy. That stranglehold has always been harmful to America, but it is now actually dangerous.
If one wishes to follow this line of thought (though I can't imagine why), one is bound to come to the conclusion that the real threat is not Iran's aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons or long range missiles. Nope. It's Jews' will to live, you see, that threatens innocent Americans. Kamiya completely ignores the simple fact that the antisemitism that led to the Holocaust is flourishing in the Muslim world maybe even more than in nazi Germany then. Wouldn't the same cause be likely to produce the same results?

But the brightest gem is yet to come:
I have been reading Israel’s best newspaper, Ha’aretz, for more than 10 years, and I have never seen a possible war with Iran taken so seriously by its journalists.
Right. More than ten years of Ha'aretz might be too much even for the best of us.

Journalists like Rosenberg and Kamiya are in fact using the Iranian issue as choice weapon in their petty quarrels, while Iran is building an arsenal of real weapons. I'm not an apologist for a war with Iran - for any war actually, I leave that to politicians - but burying one's head in ideological sand isn't going to make the problem go away, is it?

In light of the widespread controversy on this subject, it would be fair to ask Iranians what do they think of their country being attacked by western powers:
Even though we have been wronged by the West, as with the CIA-backed coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, we have gotten over our grudge, especially after 30 years of indigenous rule have shown that sometimes homegrown tyranny is worse than "imported influence."

To understand the new generation of Iranians and this new sentiment toward the West, one must shed the grammar of the traditional left, something that many of us who eagerly took part in the 1979 Revolution find hard. But post-Islamist Iranians no longer see the West or Americans as their enemies. Having had anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism shoved down their throats, they have come to love Israel and the United States.
Not quite what the likes of Rosenberg and Kamiya would have expected, I reckon. Unlike them, I believe the man with the gun when he says he wants to kill me:


SnoopyTheGoon said...

"Journalists like Rosenberg...' If that critter is a journalist, I am the Pope.

Dick Stanley said...

There is the old saw that you should never point a gun at someone unless you intend to pull the trigger.

And, of course, Rosenbergs who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones. 

But Providence does seem to have decreed that an Obama who grew up Muslim would be president long enough for the Iranians to build their bombs. 

A few quick strikes are not likely to deter them for long, whereas a lengthy air campaign might do the trick. Not something Obamalot is likely to allow, however.

Dick Stanley said...

An atheist Pope, heh.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Well, Vatican can do with a doubter, for a change.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

As you know, I also favor that "If you are going to shoot, shoot, don't talk". Rosenberg's glass house is more of an outhouse in my book. As for the lengthy air campaign - there is only one country able to do it, and I agree that it wouldn't.

peterthehungarian said...

Hey Snoopy I was told that the Pope is catholic...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

A mere technicality.

jams o donnell said...

I am wary about an attack on Iran but if I were living in Israel I would be happier if arrangements were made for that contingency.

What PBS has to say about younger Iranians isn't wide of the mark. They certainly have a lot more to hate at home without bothering with overseas enemies! but then  they are not the ones with the guns...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I am not too happy about the idea as well. Also - I would love for all this blabbering in the media about the attack on Iran to cease, at least for a while.

And I hope (against hope) that there are enough unhappy young Iranians to affect a change in that nation sometime.

jams o donnell said...

I dearly hope that is the case mon ami.  I can only speak for the Iranians I know who are young (well in their 30s and 40s), some were children when the Revolution happened and grew up with the terror of the new regime then the  Iran-Iraq (Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis strikes a chord with them... It was their life). They've had plenty enough to hate without bothering with Israel. Don't expect bosom buddies but they are not Israel's enemies.

Believe it or not there's actually a reason for a lot of young Iranians to see the Palestinians as their enemy and not Israel

the 2009 protests were put down by the Basij militia (the best comparison I can think is that they are like the Totenkpofverbande to to the Revolutionary Guard's SS - sorry to use an offensive comparison here) .A lot of young Iranians firmly believe that there were Palestinians among the Baseej beating down and murdering protestors alongside homegrown thugs.

This could be just a rumour of course but it is not beyond the realms of possibility as the Baseej do have links with Hamas and an Iranian can certainly tell the difference between one of the Iranian Arab minority groups and a Palestinian.

Ach I am rambling but there is hope for the future of Iran, albeit a faint one at present

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I did hear the rumor about Hamas trainees participating in that thuggery too.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for these young men of the future. Maybe they will put the end to that stinking regime.