April 27, 2006

Freedland for war on Iran

Jonathan Freedland wrote a comment piece in yesterday's Guardian about what a threat Iran is. It's a bit quirky, at one point he even suggests that Tony Blair is an expert on nuclear weapons and intentions, but it's un unmistakeable call to arms againt Iran. Freedland stresses the messianism of the Iranian president, that Iran has verbally threatened Israel and that Iran doesn't need nuclear power. I couldn't be bothered to write about it yesterday either here or to the Guardian. Fortunately others are made of better stuff. John Rose addresses the messianism:
Ahmadinejad's belief that, when he addressed the UN, he felt a divinely inspired halo over his head, may be proof, according to Jonathan Freedland, that the president is losing his grip on reality (The problem is: Iran does pose a threat in every way Iraq did not, April 26). Unfortunately, this kind of messianic-tinged politics is all too common in the Middle East. During the Suez crisis in 1956, Israel's leader David Ben Gurion reported that the war for the Sinai desert "was no mere battle. The halo of Sinai and all the deep and mystical experiences associated with that name ... glowed over our soldiers' heads, as if their parents were present at the Mount Sinai event." Plus there are plenty of contemporary "divinely inspired" voices in Israel justifying the country's own nuclear weapons, enthusiastically endorsed by the Christian right in the US. Messiah-free, as well as nuclear weapons-free, politics requires the west to put its own house in order first.
John Rose
London
Dina Turner addresses the issue of aggression:
I might have been more convinced by Freedland's argument that Iran is a threat if he hadn't ignored the fact that it is Israel and not Iran that currently has nuclear weapons. That would make Israel more of a threat to the region than Iran.

After all, Iran has never acquired land by war. In fact, the logical extension of Freedland's analysis would be to pressure Israel to get rid of its nuclear weapons, then no one in the Middle East will feel the need to enter into this race. That would be the peaceful solution, instead of building up the case for another war in an already devastated region.
Dina Turner
Farnham, Surrey
And Christian Haesemeyer addresses the energy issue:
Jonathan Freedland repeats the canard that Iran could not possibly want nuclear power because they have all that oil. The market for oil is international. The cost (in lost revenue) of energy produced from oil is the same for Iran as for the US.
Christian Haesemeyer
Champaign, Illinois, USA
I should say here that, as I recall, Freedland claimed to be against the war on Iraq but I think that was after it had started. Here he seems to be lending such weight as he has to a propganda campaign for war on Iran.

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