Monday, 2 April 2012


Netanyahu and Jenkin’s Ear

Am I missing something? I just cannot find any honest reason for our current persecution of Iran. Sure we dislike the regime but so do most Iranians who now hate us because of all the harm we have caused a nation that in modern history has never launched a war of choice. And now we have the gall to use it as a cover up. Reminds me of Jenkins’ ear. When building colonies in the Caribbean, Britain tolerated many provocations from Spain because it was unprepared for war. Years later, when prepared, there were no excuses for war . . . until, in a minor 1731 incident, the brig, Rebecca, was boarded by the Spanish, its cargo seized, and Captain Robert Jenkins’ ear sliced off in the scuffle. In 1738 his encased ear was paraded in the House of Commons and used as an excuse to declare war on Spain which resulted in 20,000 casualties and 407 ships sunk as the war evolved into the Austrian Succession dispute. Today, Netanyahu, needing to distract world condemnation from his continued persecution of, and stealing land from, the Palestinians, and in spite of extremely good relations between the people of Israeli and Iran, latched on to a few words spoken by Ahmadinejad that Israeli should be wiped off the map and that the Holocaust never happened, ignoring the rest of his rhetoric that the Holocaust was caused by Europeans and should be compensated for by Europeans and not Palestinians, and that Jews have a perfect right to live in Palestine but not in a state superimposed and run exclusively by them.

The current Iranian government is no threat to the US; it is no threat to Israel; it is a threat to Iran. It has many reasons to distrust us. Persia, 2500 years ago, was the world’s first, and most benevolent, empire. Later, in 1828, Russia seized Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan from it and in 1881 Turkmenistan. In 1907 the UK and Russia divided Persia into spheres of influence, then in WWI, both moved in. The UK stayed to exploit the oil, most useful in converting the Royal Navy from coal to oil. In 1935 Persia became Iran. In WWII it was occupied by the UK, US, and USSR, who still exploited its oil. In 1951 democratically-elected Mossadegh made social reforms and nationalized the oil. This democracy, like the one in Gaza, hurt our interests so we, the CIA and MI6, engineered a 1953 coup that re-installed Shah Reza Pahlevi who made some reforms like female suffrage, and Iran did serve on UN peacekeeping missions in the Congo and Golan Heights. The US had Iran start a nuclear program, hoping to sell it 18 reactors and had no objections to it having nuclear weapons. In 1979 dislike for the Shah’s harsh police and his heavy reliance on US power led to the "Islamic Revolution"that returned exiled Ayatollah Khomenei who scrapped the bomb program as un-Islamic. In 1980 Saddam’s Iraq, backed by the West, invaded, taking a million lives and using western-supplied poison gas on Iran that had banned such weapons. Iran then backed about 30 killings around the world while we killed all 290 aboard an Iranian Airbus and froze Iranian assets.

What is vital to realize is that the entire Middle East teems with minorities with unfulfilled dreams and that many are still persecuted. We need to show respect and understanding and support those among us who have provided genuine and selfless help. We are too prone to label groups like Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist. Yes, Iran has helped them, but they are not puppets of Iran but indigenous responses to Israeli invasions, slaughter, and destruction. Like so many other countries, Israel has been its own worst enemy. Pity, as it could be the area’s hope.

Iran banned biological weapons in 1973 and chemical in 1997. It signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel, India, and Pakistan have not, yet we punish Iran merely on suspicion that its enrichment of uranium could be used to make a bomb against Israel’s 200. In 1992 isolated Iran started building its own weapons and does have 550,000 under arms at an annual cost of $9 billion. Israel spends $50 billion and has 3 million available for instant service. Both use conscription. No match for the US that spends more than the rest of the world combined. Utter Madness!

Surely, Netanyahu is not so stupid as to actually bomb Iran, but he has succeeded in getting US bunker-busting bombs and in removing his aggression from the US public eye. He is like the spoiled child who escapes a good spanking with a tantrum or two then extracts gifts for the promise of better behaviour. He seems intent on destroying the peaceful future Israel could build, and he harms the US.

Perhaps that is one reason the US ranks only 28th among world governments. Preoccupation with endless and costly electioneering precludes firm stands in the interest of humanity.

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