January 7, 2006


Axis Of Fanatics -- Netanyahu
And Ahmadinejad
(Norman Solomon, 07 January, 2006, CommonDreams.org)

Now, with Netanyahu campaigning to win the Israeli election for prime minister in late March, he’s cranking up rhetoric against Iran. His outlook seems to be 180 degrees from the world view of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet in tangible political ways, they’re well-positioned to feed off each other’s fanaticism.

The election that gave the presidency of Iran to Ahmadinejad last summer was a victory for repressive fundamentalism. Results have included a negative trend for human rights in the country and a more bellicose foreign policy.

When Ahmadinejad declared in late October that “Israel must be wiped off the map,” he did a big favor to the most militaristic of Israel’s major politicians -- Benjamin Netanyahu -- who demanded that Prime Minster Sharon take forceful action against Iran. Otherwise, Netanyahu said in December, “when I form the new Israeli government, we’ll do what we did in the past against Saddam’s reactor, which gave us 20 years of tranquillity.” [...]

Candidate Netanyahu is a standard bearer for nuclear insanity. He’s also an implacable enemy of basic Palestinian human rights. Many Israelis understand that Netanyahu is an extremist, and polls published on Jan. 6 indicate that the post-Sharon era may not be as hospitable to Netanyahu as initially assumed.

For that matter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not serve out his full four-year term as Iran’s president. Evidently the hardline clerics who dominate the Iranian government got more than they bargained for when they threw their weight behind the Ahmadinejad campaign last June. In recent months, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has shifted more power to the governmental Expediency Council headed by the shady magnate Hashemi Rafsanjani, a relatively moderate political hack who lost in the presidential runoff last year.

Bibi misread the Israelis and America on Palestine, but he's right on the button as far as Iran. Few sane people, even in Iran, are willing to see Ahmadinejad get his hands on nukes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2006 7:48 AM

Few sane people, even in Iran, are willing to see Ahmadinejad get his hands on nukes.

Just wait until George W. Bush starts mentioning Ahmadinejad by name and see how many people -- including a few a CommonDreams.org no doubt -- suddenly will start rationalizing away the need for Iran to have nukes in order to protect themselves from the facist wanna-be dictator in the White House.

Posted by: John at January 7, 2006 10:11 AM

No, the Left has a deep hatred of the Shi'a.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2006 10:52 AM

How many on our left know the difference between Islamic cults? Or can name any of them.

They just favor those who are the most anti-American.

Posted by: erp at January 7, 2006 10:56 AM

As many as on the Right.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2006 11:01 AM

Totally right. 99.99% of we, the people on the right, don't know or care about Islam and its various sub-groupings and that's as it should be.

We elect people to take care of things and so far, they've done a fine job. Carry on.

Posted by: erp at January 7, 2006 11:39 AM

Your run of the mill democrats might not defend the right of Iran to nukes, but the hardcore leftists, like theCommondream folks will and in some cases already are.

There's a troll at Jeff Goldstein's site who regurgiatates that same sort of Chomskyite pablum as kb et al who claims that the Iranians have as much right to nukes as the US. And one suspects that folks like that believe Iran has more right than Israel.

The left may hate the shia, but that didn't stop them from supporting the mullahs when the Shah was the opponent, and it certainly won't stop them when Bush is the opponent.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at January 7, 2006 12:09 PM

Jim: That was more or less the position of the Kerry/Edwards ticket, who kept saying that we lacked the moral authority to t ask other nations not to pursue nukes while we had them and were developing new types.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 7, 2006 12:34 PM

Of course Iran has as much right to them as other countries, but all of those rights are subject to our approval of their regimes.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2006 12:46 PM

OJ, I think in the hierarchical scheme of things, the left's hatred of GWB for now trumphs their hatred of both all things Shi'a and -- if it does become personal between Bush and Ahmadinejad -- their hatred would cancel out their fear of someone this unhinged getting his hands on nuclear weapons, if doing so in their eyes meant a comeuppance for the president.

The mullahs make take care of the problem before it ever reached crisis stage by calling a time out on Ahmadinejad, but given the extreme examples of Bush Derangement Syndrome exhibits over the last three years, it's hard to see the old theory of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" not applying here over whatever distaste the left has for the Iranian's form of Islam.

Posted by: John at January 7, 2006 3:05 PM

They voted for war with Saddam.

Posted by: oj at January 7, 2006 3:10 PM

John is right about this. Queers, schoolteachers, old-time comsymps--people like that--hate Bush for religious reasons much more than they dislike this or that Islamic sect.

And well they should. Shiites aren't making Supreme Court appointments. These people care about their own agenda, not about their country's interests

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 7, 2006 4:23 PM