Glenn Greenwald Tears Apart the Propaganda Driving the Insane Push for War With Iran
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GG: Think about how incredibly deceitful this is in such obvious ways. For one thing, if the Iranians were this regime that wanted to exterminate Jews, and didn’t care what the repercussions were, there’s a very easy way for them to get a really good start on that which is to take the 25,000 Iranian Jews who are living quite peacefully and prosperously inside of Iran and simply round them up and kill them. Yet that doesn’t happen. I don’t want to depict this in this incredibly romanticized way, but there’s an Iranian Jew in Iran’s Parliament, they have freedom of religion in that country, and they exercise most of the civic rights of citizenship. So if Iran were some sort of second coming of the Nazis, none of that would be true.
More to the point, if you want to posit that a country is essentially suicidal, let’s be very clear: if Iran were to use nuclear weapons against Israel or the United States its obliteration as a country would basically be guaranteed. Israel has a second strike capability. You could launch nuclear weapons at Israel and they have all kinds of devices that are guaranteed to destroy whatever country had done it. The United States would certainly be involved in that as well. So you’re talking about literally positing the idea, if you don’t believe containment is possible of a nuclear-armed Iran, that they are literally suicidal and are willing to risk the complete destruction and annihilation of their country.
If that were true, one would presumably see evidence of that at some point in the last 31 years since the Iranian Revolution installed these mullahs in power. Yet there’s none of that. Iran has not during that time even invaded another country, unlike Israel and the United States which has invaded and bombed many. They have been very shrewd and calculating about cultivating alliances around the world with China, Russia and other countries like Venezuela. They’ve been very calculated and very cunning about holding onto power. These are leaders who have demonstrated repeatedly that they care about the things that typically political leaders care about, which is maximizing their power and ensuring their own continuation. That’s the ultimately rational mentality that the Iranian leaders have displayed.
JH: Continuing on this theme, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad certainly makes some explosive statements. I think he’s a right-wing religious fanatic. I think right-wing religious fundamentalists are inherently dangerous, whatever their religion and culture. But it’s important for people to understand that he doesn’t have control over the Iranian military, does he?
GG: No. The person who runs all of Iran, especially its foreign and military policies, has the title Supreme Leader. I think that title is self-explanatory. Ahmadinejad may be the third or fourth most powerful person in the country, if that. In fact there were just elections [last weekend] in which most of his allies were defeated at the polls, including his own sister who was running for Iranian Parliament. He’s been weakened by rivals in all kinds of ways.
Let’s just take a step back and look at the broader context. Oftentimes much is made of the comment “we want to see Israel wiped off the map.” If you look at some of the United States’ closest allies in that region, the ones we arm, fund and help prop up, bolster and protect, those countries are run by far-right-wing religious fanatics -- countries like Saudi Arabia and others as well.
If you go to the Web site of the United Arab Emirates, one of the closest American allies for quite some time, you will see on their immigration page a statement that no Israeli immigrants are permitted, and the word “Israelis” is in quotes, because they don’t recognize the right of that country to exist. They believe that the right map of the world is one that excludes Israel. This is true for many countries in that region.