Sydney Morning Herald on Iran

The SMH editorial today on Iran was incredible. (why don’t my links look colourful? it’s annoying. )

The admission by Tehran that it has been building a second nuclear facility in secret underlines what has already been clear for some time: Iran’s leaders have no intention of dealing candidly with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or anyone else on this issue. But though the offence is flagrant, the response should be carefully considered.

A military strike will be unlikely to succeed, because the facilities are buried so deep that they are untouchable, and will inflame feelings across the region to an unmanageable pitch.

They don’t mention that Iran disclosed the nuclear facility, but put that aside. The SMH thinks this warrants a military strike, but such action would be ineffective. No other reason to not bomb Iran is conceivable. This reflects perfectly how fraudulent all of the pretend concern about human rights in Iran was.

It concludes with this pearl of wisdom: “In the meantime Iran, like North Korea, has drawn the inevitable conclusion from decades of Western inaction on nuclear disarmament: only nuclear weapons will keep it safe.”

Are they serious? Western “inaction” is why they think only nuclear weapons will keep them safe? Western action: invading Iraq on grounds of its supposed WMDs, putting Iraq, Iran and North Korea on the Axis of Evil and now they’re so concerned about Iran and North Korean nukes (North Korea has nuclear weapons). Funny that – North Korea feels safe not because of Western inaction, but because of Western action to which it responded. And Western “inaction” on nuclear disarmament is nonsense anyway. The US, for example, is developing a new generation of nuclear weapons. That’s not inaction: that’s defying the NNPT. And note how standard the double standards are: Iran must stop defying the international community with its nuclear weapons. Are there any other countries in the region which might concern the international community with it’s nuclear weapons? Of course, this is an unfair question, because when smh speaks of international unity, the world and so on, it means white countries, not the actual world, which opposes Israel’s nuclear weapons. But the lesson is straightforward: Israel has rights that other countries do not, and this does not even need to be argued for: it’s just an axiom, like how the corporate media breathes.

UPDATE: The Independent has an  intelligent op ed, which notes the obvious

For President Ahmadinejad, all of this renewed attention comes in rather handy. Via the current diplomatic process he is trying to reassert his authority in the face of ongoing protests. Any standoff with the US and its allies is very functional to this end. Not only does it promise to unite Iranian society behind a common, national cause and divert attention from recurrent flares of dissent, it bestows to Ahmadinejad and his conservative backers the kind of legitimacy they failed to secure via the electoral process in the country.

The Iranian president thinks he is in a win-win situation. If the US and its allies tighten sanctions and refrain from reining in Israeli calls for military action, he and his supporters can divert attention away from their flawed economic policies and blame the “West”. They would also find any further escalation conducive to quelling domestic dissent in the name of “national security”.

What Ganji, Ebadi and so on have been warning about for years. Constant threats are used by the conservative right to crush dissent. It shows how cynical all this mock concern about Ahmadinejad’s stolen elections were. The same people crying over the human rights violations are keen on bombing Iran a few months later. For any rational person, it is obvious that we should oppose Iran getting nuclear weapons. Yet this could easily be ensured by pursuit of a single standard on the issue of nuclear weapons disarmament, and by security guarantees (that is, the US and Israel can’t bomb Iran). The problem is that this is off the table.

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