How to counter Israeli warmongering against Iran

by Yaniv Reich on January 11, 2010

Whereas socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said to them ‘I offer you struggle, danger and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.”
— George Orwell, New English Weekly, 21 March 1940

Although the subject of the quote is a dramatic one for obvious historical reasons, the name Hitler should not distract us from Orwell’s deeper wisdom about modern human psychology. In particular, Orwell identifies the fascist obsession with military virtue as one of humanity’s most base instincts, which is easily manipulated by cunning and self-interested leaders.

Today, I saw this impulse repeated and regurgitated wherever I turned. The Israeli press filled with commentary and analysis about the impending doom Israel is planning—currently, actively—to wreak upon the imprisoned inhabitants of Gaza. Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, Adm. Mullen, struggling to contain his effusive and slimy tongue as it compulsively praised the US military machine, and all who support it, on Jon Stewart’s show (and Stewart, incidentally, was happy to echo the majority of his jingoism).

Today, I was revolted by my own species.

In the midst of this orgiastic, seemingly harmonized refrain, I did manage to find one miniscule grain of thought not already swept up in war fever.

Israeli Brigadier General Uzi Eilam laid bare Israel’s fascist propaganda, which is cynically using Iran so that Israelis fling themselves to the war cause, whatever the next one will be.

Note that Eilam is a “pillar of the defense establishment” and a “war hero”, who was formerly in charge of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Although retired now, he is widely believed to receive constant updates from his colleagues.

Eilam argues that Iran is “a very, very, very long way from building a nuclear capability” and that his country’s official stance is “hysterical.” “The intelligence community are [sic] spreading frightening voices about Iran,” he said, adding that the “defense establishment is sending out false alarms in order to grab a bigger budget” and politicians are using Iran to divert attention from real domestic issues.

Next time someone advocates for war against Iran because of some alleged, pending nuclear threat, resist your inner jingoist and ask the same questions Eilam asks: “Those who say that Iran will obtain a bomb within a year’s time, on what basis did they say so? Where is the evidence?”

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