The unofficial war with Iran continues

Stephen Walt has an excellent article pointing out that a Martian visiting Earth would be completely baffled by the current debate in the west about Iran.

In fact, given the various threats now facing Tehran, our Martian friend might have trouble explaining why Iran’s leaders hadn’t gone all-out to get themselves some sort of WMD, merely as a deterrent. And yet it is the United States and Israel that profess themselves to be terribly, terribly worried about the supposed “threat” from Iran, and who are contemplating a preventive war that most observers realize would strengthen Iran’s nuclear ambitions and could only delay its program for a couple of years.

A news report today says that an attack has been carried out on an Israeli diplomat in India, though fortunately there were no fatalities. A motorcyclist had apparently attached an explosive device to the car. A similar bomb targeting an Israeli diplomat in Georgia was defused.

I wrote last month about the murder of an Iranian scientist in Teheran using similar means. Suspicions then focused on Israel or the US as being behind the killing.

Since today’s bomb attacks targeted Israeli officials, you can be sure that these latest acts will be unhesitatingly called ‘terrorism’ in the US media (Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has already done so) while that word was avoided in the earlier case of the Iranian scientist.

Update: Glenn Greenwald provides further evidence of how the word ‘terrorist’ is used selectively, more as a political weapon than as a descriptive term.


  1. noastronomer says

    “…why Iran’s leaders hadn’t gone all-out to get themselves some sort of WMD…”

    If there’s one guaranteed result of an Israeli or US attack on Iran it’s that Iran will immediately, and openly, and with at least some international support, embark on a crash program to develop a nuclear weapon.

  2. Upright Ape says

    The US and Israel are not denying established historical facts (the holocaust). They are not threatening to wipe any country off the map. And they are not run by a doomsday cult trying to usher in end times by starting a nuclear war. It was Iran that started the threats by aiding Hamas and Hezbollah, calmoring for “a world without zionism”, and holding holocaust denial conferences.
    I’d advise the alien to go back to Mars and stop showing how clueless he/she/it is.

  3. F says

    They all want to play their little games until it gets out of hand, then claim the other guy started it. All three major players here constantly act in bad faith. Now the U.S. and Israel are spoiling to go overt again.

  4. Yoritomo says

    Please remind me of the last time Iran launched a war against another country. And “doomsday cult trying to usher in end times” seems to be a perfect description of, say, Sarah Palin’s beliefs. God himself told George W. Bush to go after Iraq, didn’t he?

    Holocaust denial is both stupid and a warning sign, but Turkey also has problems with denying genocide, and I haven’t seen anybody advocate we bomb Ankara. You can also read Chris Rodda on attempts to deny historical facts in the US.

    The threat to wipe Israel off the map is indeed alarming, but I have heard it argued that Ahmadinejad didn’t actually say so. I don’t speak Persian and can’t tell what he really said; while certainly not a nice comment, apparently it can be understood as a call for “regime change” (and guess who has intervened in Persia in the past for just such purposes).

    I’m with F below: They all act in bad faith.

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