Monday, February 5, 2007

A Genocidal War to "Prevent" Genocide?

-- if by "the job" one refers to demolishing what remains of America's liberty, prosperity, and international reputation.

If the Bush regime, which clearly lusts for war with Iran, isn't able to confect a casus belli out of dubious claims about Teheran's nuclear program or its role in fomenting insurgency in Iraq, it may embrace a justification for aggressive war: An attack on Iran would be necessary in order to arraign its president on a charge of incitement to genocide.

Last December 14, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations held a symposium to inaugurate an “international effort to prosecute President Ahmadinejad for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention provisions of the UN Charter and other international conventions.

For "international effort" we should read: "A campaign involving the familiar cast of war-intoxicated neo-Trotskyites from North America and Israel."

The roster includes former Israeli prime minister Bienjamin Netanyahu, Natan Sharansky, General Staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon, the IDF's former chief of general staff, former Israeli UN ambassador Dore Gold, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, and, of course, Harvard's Alan Dershowitz (who never met a guilty, rich murderer he couldn't exonerate, or an innocent Arab he wouldn't obliterate).

According to this “august” group, an indictment should be submitted to the UN's International Criminal Court at The Hague accusing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of violating the Genocide Convention by making public statements allegedly calling for the obliteration of Israel.

For Cotler and Dershowitz, a trial would be a mere formality, since Ahmadinejad's guilt is apodictic.

Ahmadinejad’s genocidal criminality is as clear and compelling as any I’ve ever seen,” insists Cotler. “This is advocacy of the most horrific of crimes, genocide; embedded in the most virulent of hatreds, anti-Semitism; propelled by a publicly avowed intent to acquire nuclear weapons for that purpose, and dramatized by the parading in the streets of Teheran of Shihab-3 missiles draped in the emblem `Wipe Israel Off the Map.'”

The execrable Alan Dershowitz: The love-child of Shylock and Bozo the Clown? (Actually, this is entirely unfair; Bozo has much more charisma, and Shylock -- who, along with his daughter, was treated horribly -- wasn't a cynical grievance-peddler like Dershowitz).

In an address that unambiguously called for military action – up to an including nuclear strikes – against Iran, Dershowitz insists that Iran has actually “succeeded at the beginnings of genocide” through its alleged role in the bombing of an Argentine synagogue in 1994.

Given his eagerness to cultivate favor with the Israel-centric Evangelical Right, it's not surprising that Mitt Romney has eagerly enlisted in this campaign. A position statement issued by the Romney campaign calls for “an indictment of Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the Genocide Convention. The United States should lead this effort.”

In an argument almost certain to become a mantra chanted by Bu'ushist media mullahs, Romney suggests that the Genocide Convention not only permits, but requires, pre-emptive war.

"The full title of the Genocide Convention is the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” observes the Romney campaign's position statement. “Remember that word: Prevention. Article III of that treaty establishes that 'public incitement to commit genocide' is a punishable crime. Every signatory to this treaty, including the U.S. and most European countries, shares an obligation to enforce it. So do human rights groups that care about international humanitarian law.

What would “enforcement” of an indictment against Ahmadenijad look like in practical terms? To answer that question we turn to Dershowitz, a comprehensively loathsome figure who seems to have made acting out the worst anti-Semitic caricatures his mission in life.

If the international community fails, if this challenge is not met, we reserve [the] right of self-defense,” brayed Dershowitz at the December 14 symposium. “We pledge to do everything it takes, and anything it takes, to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We will stop at nothing in satisfying that pledge.”

When Dershowitz says “nothing,” that is exactly what he means. As I pointed out several months ago, during the most recent Israeli-Lebanese war, Dershowitz declared that the entire nation of Lebanon could be liquidated if the Israeli government deemed such action necessary. So it's reasonable to believe that “everything it takes, and anything it takes” to forestall Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, as defined by Dershowitz, would include nuclear genocide of the Iranian people.

So here's the reasoning (if that word can be tortured into applying here) being followed by Dershowitz and his comrades:

The President of Iran has given speeches endorsing the destruction of Israel with theoretical nuclear weapons. This entitles Israel and/or the United States to use their very real nuclear arsenals to annihilate the entire Iranian population. And this unprecedented atrocity would not only be compatible with the UN's Genocide Convention, it is all but mandated by it.

If we're going to get into the business of dragging people off to The Hague to stand trial for incitement to genocide, Dershowitz really should be among the first in the dock. Another suitable defendant would be Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Baghdad-born, Cairo-educated Rabbi who serves as “spiritual leader” to the Shas Party, the third-largest in Israel.

Among the reasons Iran's president Ahmadenijad is being depicted as an avatar of Adolf Hitler are the Iranian figurehead's skepticism about the Holocaust. Rabbi Yosef, from the perspective of at least some who survived that episode, has committed what could be considered an even more serious offense by denying the humanity of those who were killed at the death camps, insisting that they "were reincarnations of the souls of sinners, people who transgressed and did all sorts of things that should not be done. They had been reincarnated in order to atone."

Genocide advocate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef meets with Israeli President (and accused rapist) Moshe Katsav (left) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (right).

Yosef has also called for Israel to “annihilate” Arabs as the opportunity presents itself. “It is forbidden to be merciful to them,” insisted the Rabbi in a Saturday night sermon broadcast by radio in 2000. “You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”

Much attention (in my view, hardly enough) has been paid to the growing efforts of Saudi Arabia to propagate Whabbi Islam in the United States and Europe. But Rabbi Yosef is easily the match of any Whabbist Mullah in propagating genocidal doctrines – not necessarily among his Israeli followers and Jewish disciples in other nations, but among a large and growing community of Dispensationalist Christians. His most effective emissary has been Benny Elon, an Israeli Knesset member and former Israeli Minister of Tourism.

Joel Rosenberg, a former Israeli government adviser turned “novelist” (his books are ineptly written and badly plotted war propaganda) points out that Elon “was at the forefront of Israel's campaign over the last several years to team up with Evangelical Christian supporters around the world.” In the Knesset Elon heads the “ increasingly influential Christian Allies Caucus, which was established nearly two years ago and now has 14 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, [and which] aims to garner the support of pro-Israel Christians around the world.”

At last December's Jerusalem Summit, Elon presented an award to San Antonio preacher John C. Hagee, founder of the Christian Lobby for Israel – a self-described “Christian AIPAC” devoted to representing the interests of the Israeli government. Like Rosenberg, Hagee is an indefatigable advocate for war; rather than novels, however, Hagee prefers to use religious tracts as his propaganda delivery system.

The people seeking a UN "genocide" indictment of Ahmadenijad are conjuring up yet another Golem that they believe -- with entirely unwarranted confidence -- will always be under their control. They really need to refresh their memories regarding the way most versions of that story ended.

Make sure to visit The Right Source -- the news portal of choice for the freedom-fixated!


dixiedog said...

I agree, as is usually the case, with your basic premise, but like with almost all your posts involving drugs, the Christian right, etc. as those things relate to "the State," the problem is that it brings forth the trolls out of the woodwork who will no doubt claim you to be a bone fide champion of their pet cause or view.

Anyway, allow me please to get to the nuts, bolts, and grit of it right away. First off, a few basic questions need to be answered:

A.) What makes you think that the Israeli government mindset doesn't jive with their respective aggregate ordinary commoner mindset?

B.) What makes you think the Iranian government mindset doesn't jive with their respective commoner mindset?

C.) And on Arabs, I think the Arab commoners in the Palestinian territories voted for Hamas not too long ago. Does Hamas not represent the aggregate Arab commoner mindset?

(Of course, I believe "voting" has nothing to do with genuine freedom and liberty and is merely a way of showing subservience to the figure(s) or respresentative(s) YOU as an individual believe should reign and represent authority over YOU, but that's another subject for another time.)

As for me, I'd answer respectively: Nothing, nothing, and emphatically no! for those three. How 'bout you?

These are critical questions, Will, and I'd be interested in what your answer would be.

This brings up another line of thinking I harbor against this utopian "we're spreading freedom and demonocracy [sic]" thinking regardless of where it originates or from whom it originates - the so-called "Christian Right," the neocons in government, the Israeli government, the Israeli people, Ami Jews - it matters not. That is this unrealistic view that we can somehow manage to spread genuine freedom around the M.E., or spreading so-called "democracy," or other nonsense. Heck, they already enjoy democracy or mobocracy!

The reality is this place and its people have never known a genuine republican form of government or, for that matter, a representative democracy! They swear by power, they live by force, their worldview is Islam and that's how their leaders and aggregate commoners think and live!

As my answers to those previous three questions would clearly indicate, I believe demonocracy [sic] itself indeed does work spectacularly in these countries! Gee, do not totalitarian paradises anywhere have 100% or near 100% voter participation? Do those states not act, or attempt to act in some fashion, on behalf of their respective commoners' worldviews? About Israel? About the "Great Satan"? Of course, they do!

And as for we being able to compel them to swallow our way of thinking, which is itself misguided, depraved, and naturally secular, and certainly not republican in any Founder's sense of the word, I don't think can possibly ever be expected to succeed peacefully. Enforcing a foreign (our) mindset, falsely claiming it as "freedom," upon these folk is simply insanity, no matter the terms it's cloaked in. It cannot and won't work.

To summarize, I agree with your premise here, but I have to use the broad brush when characterizing the various and sundry folk involved, whereas you're distinguishing between "the State," tied to all of them, and the various distinct "commoners" or citizens in question. No, the Iraqis, the Israelis, the Iranians, the Americans (be they the "Christian Right," atheist Left, humanists, whatever) and their respective governments, which represent their respective citizens by democratic choice of those aggregate citizens, are ALL wrongheaded and will ALL pay the price for whatever transpires.

It's unfortunate, but this is the way the inhumane, un-Christian or post-Christian, human world works, Will. America is looked upon as a single whole entity - it's government, it's culture, it's people - all as a representation of "America." Israel is likewise viewed that way. Iran is viewed that way. I'm not saying it's the right way to view it, necessarily, but that it nevertheless is the way nations of folk view other nations of folk. That would explain why radicals, regardless from which religion, ethnicity, or race they sprout from, can accept genocide and/or other atrocities as palpable or acceptable.

The bottom line cold reality is that it just doesn't matter whether folk - who don't resist these insane views in some loud and overt way, or otherwise speak against them, or do not vote against them, or whatever else to show YOU as an individual are not part of the herd - are afraid to resist or not. Forget it, everyone is responsible for their chosen way, not the State. Whether the right choice brings you death or peace here and now temporally means nothing. You, on the other hand, seemingly are more apt to excuse the commoners' actions or inactions, in each of these groups and lay all the blame conveniently at the feet of this disconnected entity "the State."

If I disagree with anything here, that particular would be it, I suppose ;).

It's a hellish world, eh Will? Should that be really surprising, though? Nah, not a all.

DrFix said...

I suppose what you're saying, Dixie, is that generalities, in whomevers hand, can be used to paint anyone as the enemy. You could use the Old Testament description of the pre-Noarchian world where "everyone did what they wanted to do" and damn the consequences. And we know how that ended.

dixiedog said...

I suppose what you're saying, Dixie, is that generalities, in whomevers hand, can be used to paint anyone as the enemy.

Yes DrFix, precisely.

But in addition the salient point throughout is that it rains on ALL and the sun shines on ALL. Most people think in terms of groups (or nations) and everyone so identified with said group (or nation) is a target.

Repercussions, consequences, and/or rewards of actions are not limited to those who literally plan and perpetrate them.

Discrimination should always be a part of everyone's decision making process, but sigh..."that's e-v-i-l"...our PC culture would claim. So, is it any wonder that often ALL who just happen to be a member of a group, race, religion, or ethnicity, and by extension nation, suffer accordingly?

You don't see Palestinians only attacking agents of "the Jewish State" in Israel, like soldiers or government officials, they attack and kill any otherwise innocent Jewish men, women, and children. Are there Jews who don't agree with their State's public pronouncements or positions? Sure, there are.

The Israelis likewise, in retaliation for continuous attacks upon their civilians, also often fail to discriminate and level an entire building or a group of residential dwellings in a given Palestinian neighborhood. Were there a few otherwise innocent Arabs who didn't agree with their respective State's message about Jews and Israel? Who didn't attack Jews? Who don't kill Jews with abandon? Sure there are, but...ditto what I said in the previous post.

It's bizarre, but it's reality.

I personally don't agree with these views either. But wherever I go I'd be looked upon as a caracature of "Amerika" regardless.

When I was stationed in Germany in the latter 1980s, the aggregate Germans always would refer to me as "Yank" or "Ami." Well "Ami" didn't bother me as that is merely slang for "American" (not "Army" as some USAFE airmen mistakenly believed at the time...hehe) in the abstract.

But "Yank" on the other hand would just wilt my ears (arrgh!). I'd tell them that I hailed from the South and was absolutely not by any stretch a damn Yank! They laughed...but again groupthink prevails unfortunately. After all, I was an agent of "the State" back then :P so I guess I could not blame them.

Likewise, insurance companies don't discriminate between crap drivers and good drivers when you're a youngster. You're automatically labeled a crap driver and suffer high rates accordingly regardless of your driving record.

And on...and on...and goes.

kishnevi said...

You leave out the fact that the president of Iran has publicly called for destruction of Israel, has in public statements approved the use of nuclear bombs on Israel, and supported genocide aimed at Israel--as well as support, through money, weapons, and public endorsement, the random murder of Israelis. The Holocaust conference is actually irrelevant to this. He is quite clearly guilty of inciting genocide. That does not justify attacking Iran, but the fact that he is inciting genocide is fairly clear. The only real question is his ability to turn those threats and incitements into actual attempts.

I speak as a person who has several members of my social network--relatives, friends, relatives of friends, and friends of relatives--who live in Israel and perceive themselves as directly threatened by Iranian weapons and Iranian back terrorists.

William N. Grigg said...

D.D. -- First of all, I'm nicking your neologism "Demonocracy" -- the official ruling ideology of pandemonium, as it were.

One thing I've neglected to clarify, apparently, is my conviction that the individual is always and ultimately responsible for his moral choices, and this emphatically includes acquiescence in the evil deeds done in his name by that element of society we call the State.

If I really believed that the State's role somehow absolves the common man of such responsibility, I wouldn't be such an inexhaustible fountain of complaint, since protesting the injustices I write about would be as pointless as circulating a petition to repeal the law of gravity.

I'll offer a few unfortunately half-digested thoughts in response to your provocative questions:

Among the manifold tragedies of mass democracy is the fact that an impassioned plurality, or even minority, can win the support or passive consent of the majority, and thereby lead the entire polity to ruin (Madison, like many of his colleagues, had a lot to say on this subject).

I'm reluctant to say that ANY of the ruling classes in the Middle East reflect the "aggregate ... commoner mindset" in any consistent sense. (This may be particularly true of the Israelis, since as my Jewish friends constantly remind me, if you gather a group of three Jews together, you'll hear at least ten opinions.)

Yes, it's likely that most commoners in Israel have, at some time, fallen prey to the notion that all Arabs should be exterminated, and that most of their Iranian and Palestinian counterparts have played host to similar notions about the Israelis as well. But this is generally an ephemeral impulse of the sort that comes natural to the fallen flesh.

Successful democrats find ways of refining those impulses into a political propellant. Once thrust into power they claim a mandate to act on those same impulses, and take care to cultivate the most militant constituencies through plundered largesse.

Arafat was a MASTER of this game: As PA Chairman, most of Arafat's waking hours were devoted to bribery -- redirecting foreign aid to this or that grouplet, trying to keep his coalition together through money as well as murder.

Bush and Company play exactly the same game, with infinitely greater resources.

The point of mass democracy, since Rousseau, is to convince the ruled that the State (as embodied in a suitable figurehead) represents the General Will. How successful is this? Well, how often do opponents of the Iraq war like myself slip up and refer to "our" war, and what "we" are doing? I catch and correct myself in this respect probably at least a couple of times each day.

William N. Grigg said...

kishnevi, my essay did make mention (by way of quoting Dr. Cotler) of Tehran's threats against Israel. Ahmadenijad's tongue may be writing his nation's obituary, assuming that his more incendiary statements have been reported accurately.

RonL said...

Israel has never threatened to destroy Iran.
It harbors no hatred of the Persian people. Quite the opposite. The current President of Israel, Moishe Katsav, is a Persian Jew.

Historically, Persians and Jews have gotten along. The first man called a "messiah" in the bible is Cyrus the Great of Persia, who allowed the Jews to return from Babylonian exile. While Israel was ethnically cleansed by the Romans and Byzantines, Jews looked to Persia for salvation right up until 619CE.

AFter 1948, Iran had friendly relations with Israel. The only problem was the rising power of the Islamists. When they took over Khomeni and his followers declared war on both the Great Satan (the US) and the Little Satan (Israel).

And Ahmadenejad wants to destroy both Israel and the US. Allowing a radical Twelver Shi'ite, a man who holds that a reign of destruction will bring the Mahdi, to have nuclear weapons is suicidal.
These people wil gladely trade Tehran for Washignton and Jerusalem. They believe that the Mahdi will come and repair Tehran and kill all the Jews and Christians who don't convert.