Saturday, January 21, 2006

BBC on Israel / Iran Double Standards

The BBC discusses the double standard Washington uses when talking about non-proliferation. The article points out that official criticism of nuclear powers Israel, India and Pakistan (all close allies of Washington) are muted at best.

As for the argument that Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - do any of you know when? It was signed in 1968, well before the Islamic Revolution of 1979. In other words the Western powers seek to use a treaty signed by a Washington-friendly government installed by a CIA-engineered coup in 1953. The current government of Iran is no more obligated to follow the Shah's treaties than the United States is required to follow those treaties of the United Kingdom signed prior to the Revolutionary War. The current government is in no way, shape, or form, a continuation of the same sovereign body that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Asking the UN to enforce sanctions based on the treaty is preposterous.

Once one admits that the Shah wasn’t speaking for today’s Iran and that any treaties he signed died with his government, it becomes clear that the international community has no legal right to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. With this knowledge, we have two options: the carrot or the stick. Given our leader’s preference for the latter, you had better contact your draft board.

4 Thoughts:

Blogger Bspot said...

Pardon for commenting here without reference to Demotiki’s focus on Iranian nukes; at least this will be in keeping with his post’s topic of double standards re Israel.

During a recent regurgitation of the tired debate on who's to blame for Palestinian suffering (a debate that admittedly took place with both sides stoned), it was remarkable to find that the usual leftist double standards against Israel are entirely alive and kicking. Presumably many leftists understand who Cheney and the Bush family represent, at least after sitting through Fahrenheit 9/11, if not before, but still don’t fully get the point.

U.S. leftists and their European counterparts are so quick (and right) to blame American capitalist oligarchs for virtually all other evils around the world. But they rarely seem to wonder why the combined powers of wealthy elites in six Arab nations, along with those in Europe and the U.S., have spent half a century letting a tiny band of corrupt Palestinian thugs continue to rule over their impoverished subjects, who themselves are brainwashed by tiny thug-controlled media operations and schools. The mideast conflict keeps the weapons trade in good health and, by helping Arab dictatorships maintain power over their subjects, keeps oil cheap. (Though oil prices do rise slightly when the conflict flares, they would soar much further if the conflict were ever resolved, letting Arab populations focus more on their own domestic oppression and the need to overthrow their rulers. Note the spike in oil prices when U.S. oil interests lost control of the White House and Carter and Sadat brought the conflict closer to resolution.)

Do these leftists really think – with oil and weapons prices at stake – that the Great Powers and Superpowers allow the Palestinian-Israeli farce to go on merely because they don’t care about Palestinians?! Certainly they don’t care. But they let the conflict go on, and even help stoke it, for other reasons.

Normally leftists would know these reasons. But when it comes to Israel, leftists impose double standards. With regard to most of the Third World conflicts that occurred between World War I and the end of the Cold War, leftists have been content and right to place blame squarely on European, American and Soviet imperialism, and its leftover messiness.

Not so, however, when disempowered refugees, thrust into conflict with their neighbors, happen to be Jewish.

Just as the socialists and communists of yore were anti-semitic in part because Jews were associated with European commerce and banking; so now knee-jerk leftists in America and Europe are anti-Israeli. Major, visible facts can lead gullible leftists to simplistic conclusions. Many African Americans have found strength in political Islam, along with its anti-Jewish-European-American precepts. The oppressed minorities of Europe are Muslim. Meanwhile, American Jews have become well-off doctors and lawyers and bankers. (Ignore that they arrived as impoverished immigrants.) And the Israeli population has built and benefited from a strong economy. (Ignore that great wealth resides in Arab countries but simply is extremely concentrated.) Thus, the villains behind Palestinian oppression must be captalist Israeli colonialists. This is the easy conclusion for leftists unable to see victimization on more than one side. To them it seems that to be pro-Palestinian, one cannot be pro-Israeli.

You can’t be pro-environment and pro-jobs. You can’t be pro-growth and pro-poor. You can’t be pro-security and pro-freedom. You can’t be pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli.

Yes you can, and should.

So often in the haggling among Americans, Jews like to take one side and leftists the other (alas leaving some Jewish leftists confused and split). The foolish haggling is over the history of ancient claims to land, modern immigration flows, little squabbles between poor Jews and poor Arabs in the first decades of the 20th century, the details of the wars in ’48, ’67 and ’73.

These things had force back then, but now, they have little bearing on the unexplained failure to resolve them. Reference back to them is a smokescreen, just like the ancient, dwindling antipathies among Serbs, Croats and Muslims, revived by small-time thugs (not unlike Arafat and 1990’s Sharon), were then used as a smokescreen to explain German, French, British and Russian paralysis, when in fact Great Powers’ paralysis was due to their conflicting economic interests in the region. The past is quickly overcome when major powers, united, want it to be. And peace quickly reigns as soon as it is in the interests of united oligarchs. (Peace would reign in Iraq if Iranian, Syrian and local Islamist oligarchs were united with U.S. and Saudi ones.)

It was always oil and geopolitical jockeying that led the British to side first with poor Arabs against poor Jews, and later to play both sides. The same motives later led (and still lead) the U.S. to help prop up and arm Israel, while simultaneously propping up and arming the Arab dictatorships.

Through this day, Palestinians continue to suffer because and only because it is in the interest of Arab dictatorships, and their U.S. sponsors, to use the "Palestinian cause" to distract the oppressed Arab underclasses, just as Bush uses 9/11. It is U.S. oil interests that cause the U.S. government to sponsor Arab dictatorships. Arab oil would be far less secure and far, far more expensive if there were Arab democracies in control. (Don’t think Cheney has any fear that actual democracy will take root in Iraq. Notwithstanding the idealistic neocon fantasies of Wolfowitz and Bush the Retard, the goal of those truly in power has always been a U.S. puppet regime in Iraq.)

With corrupt Palestinian thugs across the border from Israel brainwashing and deceiving their own people (Arafat stole a huge proportion of international aid to the Palestinians, totaling in the billions of dollars), it is foolish and ridiculous to point to excesses by the Israeli military, or to Israeli politicians and officials who cater to Israeli zealot settlers, as forces determining the sweep of history in the region. It is Arab dictators in neighboring countries, blessed behind the scenes by the U.S., that allow and condone the thuggery and the brainwashing perpetrated by Palestinian “leaders” on their own people. With mini-9/11’s perpetrated against Israel every week, OF COURSE Israel will be unable to obtain peace, though it is entirely in its interest; and OF COURSE some parts of the Israeli electorate, albeit in the minority, will support Israeli militants and religious zealot settlers. The U.S. electoral parallels are obvious. If it weren’t for 9/11, our own militant religious zealots would not control the White House.

The true pro-Palestinian will also be pro-Israel. The true, leftist, underdog-championing pro-Palestinian will recognize that the people causing the mideast conflict are not the not-long-ago-low-income Jews, or the currently-low-income Palestinians. The real culprits are the usual American suspects and their Arab dictator stooges.

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bspot said...

To clarify: How would Arab dictatorships and their U.S. sponsors end the so-called "mideast conflict" if they felt like it?

A paltry ten billion dollars in annual economic development aid for the Palestinian Territories, each year for three years, would do it easily. That would provide so many jobs, schools and clinics that Hamas would lose its power. It would include financial support for genuinely free news media and libraries with fair textbooks. And it would include support for arming and training a large, professional, Palestinian police force.

Where there's a will and enough money, there's easily a way to confiscate other militias' weapons, as was done for example in Rwanda (eventually) and in Albania. A highly effective method is to pay people large sums when they turn in their guns.

With police security in place and a democratic, empowered Palestinian government, political negotiations with Israel could finally be rational.

It would not be hard for the international community to ensure good-faith negotiations by Israel as part of a plan like this one. From the beginning, the Palestinian aid scheme could be contingent on U.N.-Israeli treaties ensuring good-faith negotiations by Israel. U.N. peacekeepers recruited from Arab countries would be in place in the Territories as well, giving teeth to international pressure on Israel to deal fairly (possibly requiring popular referenda among Israeli voters on key issues, thus diminishing the power of the right-wing zealot parties that currently have Knesset influence disportionate to their small-minority status.)

Monday, January 23, 2006 2:13:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Thanks for the thoughtful posts bspot!

Monday, January 23, 2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

that was excellent and enlightening. Thanks!

Monday, January 23, 2006 3:58:00 PM  

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