Rid the Middle East of All Nuclear Weapons
From: Justin Raimondo To: Michael Freund Subject: Taking chutzpah to a new level Señor Freund, You purport to speak not only for the entire nation of Israel as well as the United States, but now also “the rest of mankind.” … Read More
From: Justin Raimondo To: Michael Freund Subject: Taking chutzpah to a new level Señor Freund,
You purport to speak not only for the entire nation of Israel as well as the United States, but now also “the rest of mankind.” And this from someone who entitles his last email: “Facts, Not Fantasy”! You give new meaning to the word chutzpah. I also have a very hard time reading comments like “you appear to inhabit…a…fantasy world.” Especially when they are written by someone who has totally ignored my arguments, and appears to be involved in a “dialogue” with himself. I am having trouble figuring out if this is an ethno-cultural trope, or a political statement: Perhaps it is a little of both.
Okay, okay, on with the “discussion.” To begin with, Michael, you don’t seem to know where you are, and this strange disorientation is immediately apparent in the following:
“You see, Justin, out here in the real world, there are people such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who want to kill you and your family and destroy our collective way of life.”
What is this “collective way of life” that we share? You, my friend, are sitting over there in Israel. I, on the other hand, am hanging around Pacific Heights in the City by the Bay. If you get on a bus, the journey may end in a blast from a suicide bomber; if I get on a bus, the worst thing that can happen is for one of San Francisco’s many homeless individuals to emit the organic equivalent of a stink-bomb, clearing the area around him in minutes. I am living on land that was stolen from the Indians many moons ago, so many moons that there are few of the original inhabitants left to claim it; you, on the other hand, are living on stolen land that has the original owners glaring though the fence that separates you from their wrath, hating you and plotting revenge.
Our “collective way of life”? We couldn’t live in more different worlds. You live the life of a settler colonist: dangerous, and even a little brutal. You live in constant fear. I have no reason to live in such a condition, and I refuse to make your enemies my own—which seems to be the entire thrust of your last note. Try that “assessment of reality” on for size.
You don’t give any references for your quotations from Iranian leaders, or provide links with which to back up your screed. This is typical of the War Party, which throws out assertions and expects we'll blindly accept them, just as we’re supposed to accept the “intelligence” provided by our leaders to rationalize a policy of relentless aggression. I would point out, however, that the alleged Ahmadinejad-Khamenei plot to blow up America—and, one assumes, the rest of the West—is contradicted by this comment from CNN State Department correspondent Zain Verjee:
Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is usually praised for his defiance of the West. Now it seems he’s gone too far and his country has had enough. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei handed Ahmadinejad a stinging slap over the country’s nuclear policy in a newspaper he owns.
The paper says…Iran’s nuclear policy needed toughness, sometimes flexibility. Now 150 Iranian lawmakers, some from Ahmadinejad’s own party, are publicly blasting his nuclear and economic policies.
In the black-and-white world of the Likudnik ideologues, Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are cut from the same cloth, and both are poised to destroy the West. In the real world—as opposed to the Bizarro World universe inhabited by you, Michael, and your American and Israeli co-thinkers—the situation is a bit more complicated than that.
So what if Iranian missiles can reach Europe? The Europeans lived with the threat posed by Soviet missiles for the entire length of the Cold War, and lived to tell the tale. Israeli missiles, too, can reach Europe: Should NATO order air strikes on Israeli nuclear facilities on account of this?
Speaking of Israel’s nukes: Everything you have said about the Iranian nuclear program applies to the Israeli nuclear program. Israeli nukes were developed in secret: The Israelis refuse to allow inspections. And, unlike the Iranians, they refuse to allow “snap” inspections—or, indeed, any sort of inspections.
Iranians may not like the “international community,” and may ignore its pleas to stop pursuing the nuclear path. Yet is their contempt any deeper than the Israelis’, who have regularly flouted international opinion, not only in actually creating a formidable nuclear arsenal, but also in treating the Palestinians like dirt, killing them, occupying their land, and bulldozing their homes?
Israel may be threatened by Iran, but this threat can be diminished and perhaps even permanently ended if Israel dismantles its nukes in exchange for similar actions on the part of the Iranians. The proposal for a nuclear-free Middle East has long been a central demand of Israel’s Arab neighbors. Tel Aviv has steadfastly ignored this eminently reasonable request. You don’t even address it, although it was a central point in my previous email to you.
In trying to convince us that Israel’s fight is America’s fight, you assume that Israel and the U.S. are such tight allies that their interests are virtually one and the same. If that is true, how does he explain this, and this—not to mention this?
Israel is popularly viewed as our special ally, but it often acts like our adversary—and it is, increasingly, a problem rather than an asset. Many Americans are beginning to question the “special relationship,” and for good reason.