The sheer cluelessness of Sydney Morning Herald editorials on the Middle East never ceases to amaze. Yesterday's was no exception. According to the Herald, it is now Time to get tough with Iran. That's right - with Iran!
The Americans and their mercenaries (Hello, Australia!), having comprehensively gang-banged Iraq, are now binging on Afghan and Pakistani blood. Regional psychopath Israel, pumped by its decades-old reign of terror in occupied Palestine, its pockets bulging with nuclear, chemical, biological and state-of-the-art conventional weapons, is baying louder than ever for Iranian blood. (Bushama has reportedly just told the Chinese that he "[will] not be able much longer to keep Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear installations for much longer."*) US bases in Georgia, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have Iran encircled. But incredibly, for the Fairfax pundit (presumably foreign editor Peter Hartcher), Iran is our pre-eminent problem! [*US warns Chinese on Iranian threat, The Australian, 18/12/09]
His corporate heart (oxymoronic I know) bleeds, not for the wretched of the earth in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, but for poor, sorely provoked Israel: "Iran's latest test of a solid fuel missile with sufficient range to reach Israel, regional US bases and even parts of Eastern Europe...yadda, yadda... Israeli military experts believe it may be just 6 months before Iran's nuclear program reaches the point of no return...yadda yadda... Tel Aviv already lives with the daily threat from Iran's conventional weapons... yadda, yadda... In the next-to-worst-case scenario, Israel, fed up with Tehran's procrastination and provocation, makes a military strike on Iranian weapons sites to knock out or slow down nuclear development."
But then, just as he's finished fretting for Israel and calling for "tougher economic sanctions" against Iran, a tiny light somewhere in the dim recesses of his memory flickers on: "It is worth reflecting," he muses, ever so tentatively, "on the hypocrisy in the situation. A major if usually unstated component of Israel's global heft is its undeclared nuclear capacity. From Tehran's viewpoint, a nuclear deterrent has proved indispensable to Israeli and to US security. Getting it to give up that goal for itself won't be easy."
Amazing! Iran, which occupies no one and has attacked no one in living memory, is actually conceded a "viewpoint," and the blatant hypocrisy of a nuclear-armed Israel blowing the whistle on a nation which not only does not possess nuclear weapons but denies even the intention of obtaining them is finally accorded a footnote. Will wonders never cease?