Guardian warns of dangerous saber rattling by anti-Iranian Sunni-Zionist Alliance

There has, for some time, been something of a concerted effort by Guardian writers to dismiss the whole issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme as something unnecessarily hyped-up by reactionary neo-cons in Jerusalem and Washington.

Israeli motives are framed as deliberately bellicose and US understanding of Israel’s concerns is interpreted as a product of magical Israeli influence in the White House alongside confirmation of what the Guardian always suspected to be ‘redneck’ qualities.

And so we have seen, among others, Brian Whitaker chastising the American media for spreading ‘scare stories’, Simon Tisdall declaring Barak Obama ‘beyond redemption’ should he opt for military action against Iran,  a rather hilarious Observer editorial accusing Israel of ‘posturing dangerously’ and Simon Jenkins reprimanding the UK for even thinking of supporting an American ‘itch to brawl’.

But perhaps the best example of all came on November 9th in the form of a surreal Guardian editorial urging us to just get used to the idea of a nuclear armed Iran. On the same day it also published a letter from representatives of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’, including the famous ‘pacifist’ Hamas operative Mohammed Sawalha.

Guardian antipathy towards Israel and the United States is not new, although that does nothing to make the fact that such antipathy is allowed to colour analysis and judgement any the less unfortunate. What is interesting, however, is the manner in which the Guardian is dealing with the wave of ever louder opposition (which mirrors Israeli and American concerns) to the Iranian nuclear programme from the direction of the Gulf States over which it so often fawns.

This week’s release of the IAEA report has had the effect of making previously fairly low-key objections from the direction of the Gulf States more audible. These objections are nothing new; the Guardian itself published examples of them in the Wikileaks cables. However, a recent article by Mubarak al Hajri in the leading Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reflects the worries of the states neighbouring Iran with previously rare frankness.

“Iran is close to gaining nuclear weapons, something which threatens the peace and security of the world.

The mentality controlling the policy in Tehran is an archaic, sterile one which looks further afield. Iran aspires to rule the Arab Umma (nation) as a whole.

Iran will not rest until it sees its flag flying above the capitals of the Arab world.”

 But Simon Tisdall’s November 8th article seems to indicate that the Guardian has decided that rather than address the concerns of the Gulf States in a serious manner, even they will  be defined as drama-queen hysterics if they express a stance similar to that of Israel and the US.

“While Perry and the pacemakers play drums, the Gulf’s Sunni-led monarchies, historical enemies of revolutionary Shia Iran, are on acoustic guitar. Their lament, orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, is music to the ears of tone-deaf neocons and oil executives everywhere: Iran is the snake skulking under every stone – backing Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the blood-drenched Alawite regime in Syria. An Iran armed with the bomb, they warn, would terrorise the region, threaten energy supplies, and provoke a pan-Arab nuclear arms race. Their solution? By “cutting off the head of the snake”, Washington would defang these troubles and maybe get Syria (and pro-Tehran Iraq) thrown in for free.”

It is probably very easy to be so wittily scathing about the environmental and security fears of the 90% Sunni majority in the Middle East from the safety of London.

Tisdall’s glib comments are, however, indicative of his and many other Guardian writers’ cultural handicap which becomes evident when they try to analyse Middle East affairs through their own limited blinkers.

The Sunni majority countries in close proximity to Iran understand very well that the ideology which drives Ahmadinijad and others in the Iranian regime does not answer to Western-style reason or logic.  They know only too well that the Shi’ite version of Judgement Day includes the slaughter of all Sunnis and that the messianic Hojatieh Society cult to which Ahmadinijad subscribes adheres to the belief that the Mahdi, or Hidden Twelfth Imam, will only appear during a time of war and mayhem in the world and that his followers can speed up his coming by creating such a situation. They have also no doubt noticed the  interpretations of the ‘Arab Spring’ by some Iranian leaders as heralding the coming of the Mahdi and the attempts to propagate that belief.

Click to see video at PJTV

Of course Ahmadinijad’s messianic beliefs seem ridiculous to a Western secular mind. That, however, does not justify the adoption of a position of normative relativism which leads to factoring them out of any analysis of current events in the region. Post Ghaddafi, Western journalists should also have learned by now that a whacky persona with comic elements and entertaining dress sense is no guarantee of benign actions.

It is reasonable to assume that the peoples and leaders of the Gulf States are, like the Israelis, very realistic with regard to the dangers of Western military intervention in Iran: they know that any such action would put them in immediate danger.

Instead of dismissing the concerns of the Middle East’s Sunni majority with precisely the same flippancy as it dismisses the concerns of Israelis, it is therefore appropriate for any journalist seeking to provide useful and relevant analysis rather than mere ‘progressive’ platitudes to understand the background to the Sunni call for foreign intervention in the crisis.

A good place to commence would be the corner-stone assumption in the latest Guardian editorial urging us to embrace a nuclear armed Iran which states that “Neither [Iran nor Israel] wants to disappear in a cloud of nuclear dust.” Logic would dictate that statement to be true, but logic plays no part in end of times messianic beliefs and will also play no part in the crucial ongoing power struggles within the Iranian elite.

18 replies »

  1. Now, what would you say of anybody who had a dog and daily paraded him past your house while making loud remarks about the dog crunching up your bones and that he can’t wait until you’re gone? You’re a dog lover and have a tame and useful pet yourself, but this one is huge & powerful & being trained in unpleasant ways as your friend who sat on the garden wall and watched it all happen can testify. You’re not alone incidentally so don’t feel paranoid, the rest of the neighbourhood is also growing increasingly apprehensive about how big and savage this Bomba Atomba is growing .

    Perhaps you should take advice from the Guardian which would say that you should live with it. They’d say he’s never attacked anyone and that in fact your very existence & your own lawful peaceful efforts to curb the neighbour and his savage animal are to blame in the situation.

    Perhaps you shouldn’t.

  2. Yes it’s getting rather difficult for the Guardianistas these days.

    Their unrelenting demonization of Israel requires them to attack any country that agrees with Israel about anything. Thus the little spate of negative articles about India recently.

    Now the Sunni states are openly expressing concerns about Iran, the Guardian has been forced to rethink their attitudes to them too.

    Watch out for a stream of articles about the lack of democracy etc. in the Gulf states, which before their strategic interests began to converge with those of Israel, the Guardian never reported on.

  3. My cornerstone assumption – Guardian editors are extremists and should be banned like the organisation Muslims against Crusades.

    If they persist, Guardian editors should be prosecuted and if found guilty, spend lengthy periods in prison.

  4. The so-called “liberal left” in Britain (and the States) is the laughing stock of the world. Everyone else is fully aware that Ahmedinejad with nuclear weapons is a recipe for absolute disaster, but are struggling with the best way of dealing with it.

    By the way, I put “liberal left” in quotes because very little of what those who claim to be liberal or left these days bears any resemblance to liberal or left ideals, which on the whole I heartily support.

  5. I often wonder why we in the West don’t make it a precondition for giving protection to muslim countries that they convert to Christianity. In this way, the intractability of that religion’s behaviour could slowly be rolled back.

  6. I hardly know what to say to these posts. Islamic forced conversions are very well known and they don’t seem good examples.

    But maybe you could go to Gaza or the PA-controlled territories and make a start.

  7. The suggestion by John, supported by Rhalf is reprehensible and horrific in so many ways that it barely merits a response – in fact I suspect they may be trolls.

    Just in case however, I want to be sure that my name (appearing as it does on the same comment thread) is in no way associated with any form of support for forced conversion.

  8. One of your readers commented yesterday that an ability to learn from mistakes was an index of intelligence. Read this, then comment on the intelligence of people who “want to believe”.

    April , 1984 – an article entitled “‘Ayatollah’ Bomb in Production for Iran” in United Press International referenced a Jane’s Intelligence Defense Weekly report warning that Iran was moving “very quickly” towards a nuclear weapon and could have one as early as 1986.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    June, 1984, in an article entitled “Senator says Iran, Iraq seek N-Bomb,” Minority Whip of the U.S. Senate Alan Cranston was quoted as claiming Iran was a mere seven years away from being able to build its own nuclear weapon.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    In April 1987, the Washington Post published an article with the title “Atomic Ayatollahs: Just What the Mideast Needs – an Iranian Bomb,” in which reporter David Segal wrote of the imminent threat of such a weapon.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    The next year, in 1988, Iraq issued warnings that Tehran was at the nuclear threshold.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    By late 1991, Congressional reports and CIA assessments maintained a “high degree of certainty that the government of Iran has acquired all or virtually all of the components required for the construction of two to three nuclear weapons.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    In January 1992, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that “within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    A February 1992 report by the U.S. House of Representatives suggested that Iran would have two or three operational nuclear weapons by April 1992.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    In March 1992, The Arms Control Reporter reported that Iran already had four nuclear weapons, which it had obtained from Russia.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    That same year, the CIA predicted that Iran was “making progress on a nuclear arms program and could develop a nuclear weapon by 2000,”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    They later changed their estimate to 2003.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    A May 1992 report in The European claims that “Iran has obtained at least two nuclear warheads out of a batch officially listed as ‘missing from the newly independent republic of Kazakhstan.'”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    The Washington Post reported on June 15, 1992, that Israeli Major General Herzl Budinger had said that unless “Iran’s intensive effort to develop atomic weapons is not ‘disrupted,'” it would “become a nuclear power by the end of the decade.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    Speaking on French television in October 1992, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres warned the international community that Iran would be armed with a nuclear bomb by 1999.

    And the people wanted to believe.

    The following month, the New York Times reported that Israel was confident Iran would “become a nuclear power in a few years unless stopped.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    The same year, Robert Gates, then-director of the CIA, addressed the imminent threat of Iranian nuclear weapons. “Is it a problem today?” he asked at the time, “probably not. But three, four, five years from now it could be a serious problem.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    Fast forward, cos it’s just too funny.

    On January 25, 2010, Arutz Sheva reported, “A secret intelligence dossier currently being reviewed by US, Israeli, German, and Austrian governments reveals secret Iranian tests and hierarchies of power dedicated to the successful development of a nuclear bomb, and predicts that Iran will have a primitive nuclear bomb by year’s end.”

    And the people wanted to believe.

    You see, this is why people like me are fascinated with propaganda. We just struggle to understand how people are so subservient to authority figures, that they can lie to us time after time after time after time, and not only will people continue to believe it, but people like our friend Adam will dedicate significant chunks of their lives to making sure other people believe it too.

    Note: I have shamelessly copied and pasted from Nima’s fantastic article purely to illustrate a point:

  9. Believing falsehood is a characteristic of the left without which its assumptions about the nature of the world and its role in redeeming it would soon loose potency. Whether or not the suggestion that Iran was intent on nuclear weapons to facilitate the removal of the Zionist entity has been premature makes no difference to the assessment of whether this time it is more likely to be true. An explosion over Tel Aviv might allow us of more sceptical mind to tell you we were right all the time, but any small pleasure in the telling would be lost to the tragedy before us.

  10. Any nuke blast, despite any claims of non-involvement, will result in the Islamic Republic of Iran being totally destroyed in retaliation.

    All the rhetoric emanating from the openly genocidal Islamic Republic clearly lay out its fascist goals.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran will be responsible for WW3 and the retaliatory destruction of Mecca.

  11. Telling them that Mecca will be obliterated if they launch nuclear-tipped missiles against Tel Aviv or London may not be enough to prevent a nuclear holocaust on both sides.

    What if the claims are true that Ahmadinejad and some ruling clerics believe in the return of the 12th Imam, which can only happen if the world is plunged into chaos causing millions to die, and Israel – particularly Jerusalem – is destroyed ? With this in mind, the MAD doctrine would be worse than useless for Israel and the West.

    Can we afford to take the chance that the Iranians are sane?

  12. You say “Any nuke blast, despite any claims of non-involvement, will result in the Islamic Republic of Iran being totally destroyed in retaliation.”

    And then say GIRI is “openly genocidal”.

    So you are in a genocide dutch auction with them yes?