Guardian’s Simon Tisdall fears Romney’s belligerence (& Israel’s obsessive fears) may push U.S. to war

Simon Tisdall

His moral instincts are so refined, so sophisticated, and so unburdened by conventional thinking that he was able to see past the  universal enmity towards Sudan’s tragically misunderstood leader, Omar al-Bashir, charged with genocide for acting with intent to destroy non-Arab ethnic groups in the Darfur region.

Al-Bashir’s unimaginably bloody campaign resulted in up to 400,000 dead and resulted in 2.5 million refugees. 

Here’s the money quote from Simon Tisdall’s Dec. 27, 2010 apologia for Omar al-Bahsir.

“ostracised by western governments, [and] makes an easy target. America always needs bogeymen and Bashir fits the bill: big, bothersome, bad-tempered, black, Arab and Muslim.”

That final sentence should be placed in a museum of intellectual thought as a perfect representation of the Guardian Left’s capacity to synthesize anti-Americanism, post-colonialism and a perverse understanding of anti-racism in order to defend the morally indefensible. 

Such background should help partially contextualize Tisdall’s latest “analysis” of the foreign policy implications of the American elections, “You’ve been Romney-ed! Obama must beware of GOP foreign policy vortex“, Jan. 15.

Tisdall’s broad argument is that Obama should keep to his principles and not be pushed unwillingly into a regional war with Iran, as both the result of a political pressure (to be more hawkish and, thus, win re-election) from Mitt Romney’s increasingly confrontational and belligerent foreign policy positions regarding Iran – pressure partially caused by “Israel’s obsession “with eliminating the Iranian threat.”

Tisdall blames Romney for his “uncompromising hostility to the Tehran regime” – such as his support for an “increase [of] US military presence around Iran, stepped up covert warfare, support for Iranian opposition groups, and beefed up military co-operation with Israel” – which, he argues, would play right into Netanyahu’s hands.


All this must be highly encouraging to Netanyahu, who does not get on with Obama, is obsessed with eliminating the Iranian threat, and fears Obama would use a second term to pursue a more forceful regional peacemaking agenda, on Palestine as well as on Iran. For Iranian leaders, pondering war or peace, it must all seem highly provocative.

In this passage Tisdall demonstrates his moral divide: a militaristic Israel which fears the specter of a “peacemaking agenda”, and is irrationally obsessed with the Iranian threat, versus an Iran (“pondering war and peace”) which understandably views such American and Israeli belligerence as “provocative”.

Tisdall’s empathy for the legitimate concerns of the Mullahs in Tehran, and condemnation of Israeli measures meant to thwart the Iranian threat, represents pretty much conventional wisdom at the Guardian.

Such moral reasoning has included:

  • A Guardian editorial warning Israel against saber-rattling against Iran, and arguing that the Jewish state should just learn to live with a nuclear armed Iran (Iran, bolting the stable door, Nov. 9).
  • Saeed Kamali Dehghan’s warning against covert actions by the West and Israel to prevent Iran from acquiring nukes, which will “ruin any chance of dialogue with Tehran” (The covert war on Iran is illegal and dangerous, Jan. 11).

Of course, strangely missing from any of these essays and editorials warning about the dangers of provocative acts by Israel and the US is any mention that Iran’s military is not only already engaged in routine belligerence acts, but routinely foments terrorism around the globe, and engages in proxy wars as a component of their foreign policy aims of exporting their Islamist revolution.

Iran is widely recognized as the world’s leading state sponsor of international terrorism.  Both directly and indirectly, Iran funds, trains and arms groups that share the regime’s stated goal of destroying Israel and the West, as well as overthrowing moderate Muslim regimes. Groups who have received the Islamic Republic’s largess include Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. 

Iran also provides support to Islamist insurgent groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have inflicted casualties on American, British, Australian and other multinational forces.

In fact, Iran is attempting to expand its terror network beyond the Middle East, using Hezbollah and splinter groups of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to recruit and train sleeper cells in foreign countries.

The manner in which Tisdall and his Guardian colleagues almost uniformly contextualize the regional tension in a manner which frames Israel and the West as the warmongering aggressors and Iran as the victim of such (imperialist) aggression represents another instructive example of Guardian Left ideology.

The anti-imperialism which inspires such moral inversions, and informs their journalistic activism, is one of the more salient factors in properly understanding the institution’s near universal lack of moral sympathy for the Jewish state and the very real dangers the country faces.

The Guardian’s anti-Zionism doesn’t occur in an ideological vacuum and, as such, their coverage of the Iranian nuclear issue should necessarily be seen as part of their broader perverse understanding of what stances their “liberal” political package demands. 

9 replies »

  1. Given that the Board of Deputies rejected Jonathan Hoffman’s motion to boycott the Guardian, aren’t you all a bit like these two characters…

  2. A boycott was not in the Jewish communitys best interests .It did not prevent Jonathan Arkash senior vice president from stating categorically that the Guardian is an odious publication . However at the rate at which the guardian is losing both readers and money , a boycott is hopefully superfluous .

  3. “A boycott was not in the Jewish communitys best interests”

    Yes, it was. The BoD are cowards.

  4. As much as despise everything about Guardian, I can’t help but feel that a formal boycott of this organ of anti-Semitism is not the answer.

    The impact would be microscopically miniscule and it will be one more thing they’ll crow about. They’ll proudly wear the boycott as a badge of honour and show it with pride to their islamist friends.

    The facist rag is dying anyway.

    A better way would be to ridicule it, challenge it (through courts it came to that) and pillory the people associated with it. Make reading it something like smoking – a socially unacceptable behaviour.

    People should not read it by choice – like me.

  5. I wrote: “I can’t help but feel that a formal boycott of this organ of anti-Semitism is not the answer”.

    I meant: “I can’t help but feel that a formal boycott of this organ of anti-Semitism is the answer”.

  6. Whatever one feels about boycotts philosophically or practically, the raising of the issue at the BOD has now brought the Guardian’s disrepute into the limelight, and it now becomes harder for the established Jewish community to feign ignorance about the Guardian, so it’s still a positive outcome.

  7. They know the reckoning with Iran is coming.
    So they write these paid for pieces combining US and international news.

    Why would Obama listen to the Guardian?
    He saw his idol Carter self destruct over Iran and surely he knows that only by looking badass can he have any chance of re-election.

    The G knows this also. All normal countries lined up against Iran.
    Its allies remain Cuba, Venezuela, N Korea as even the Russians and the Chinese are playing a double game here.
    Even the “greatest European nation” and mandatory addition to the union, Turkey is as hard line on Iran as Israel or Saudi Arabia.

    The G now stands with the last remaining lunatic tin pot clowns of the world.
    They will never abandon their hatred for the West and what it represents. As it represents what they try to destroy.
    If defending Bashir, Saddam, Mugabe, Mao and even Stalin (as did Milne) didn’t burn the skin off of their nasty faces, this Iran story won’t either.

    These people see the world in simple terms. Brown, Muslim, poor country (despite oil or other wealth and because of mad management) is always the good guy while white, “rich” “equipped” forces are always bad guys.

    They know there is nothing they can do about what is going to happen to Iran. They know as well as we that Iran exhausted all means of trying to fend off this collusions of wants which it is facing similarly as Saddam did almost a decade ago. Except this time, France and most Arabs are on our side as well.
    The Guardian is basically setting the stage for the next phase.
    The Soviet Empire they so loved came down like a house of cards. Then their anti zionist Arab socialist dictators started to fall. This led them to sympathize with the Taliban. A force not even a non aligned lunatic country has dared an alliance with. Then the butchers of Sudan became their protected species. That country also fell apart and its leaders are closer to prosecution than ever.
    What remains for them is Iran, its theocrats, the Taliban and Al Queda.
    Once Iran is gone as the fascist empire of the century, the Guardian will come to defend the Muslim Brotherhood as the newest resisters to evil Western imperialism. They already whitewashed them a few times, I expect a full alliance between the Left and the MB which is positioning itself as the new force for “third world social justice”.
    As the cancer will eat away Chavez and age will eventually have the best of Castro, the Guardian will have a pretty nasty pantheon of idols left.
    Chubby Kim, Mugabe, the regime of Burma and perhaps communist China as it started to go backward to good old stalinism with HuJintao.
    All pure genocidal murderers.
    The Guardian will become a disgraced cartoon like Counterpunch or other lunatic leftist rags.

    No need to boycott …. I never bought a copy in my life…. just keep watching the circus as it will get weirder and weirder like the Jerry Springer show.

  8. The sad thing is, these Guardian writers like Tisdall (the insufferably smug looking git) are still labouring under the illusion that they are in any way liberal, progressive, humanitarian etc., while they are exhibing a moral blindness and indifference to genocidal atrocities and fascist mindsets that makes one speechless and lets one’s blood curdle.
    A boycott is the very least one could do to encounter these moral sellouts and extremist cheerleaders.