No War on Iran!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Is Ahmadinejad dressing up as Bush for Halloween?

I thought Ahmadinejad was suppose to be curbing corruption in Iran! So why is running around banning foreign movies and talking about wiping Israel from the face of the earth when doing business in Iran is still like trying to walk down a street waist deep in mud?

This confirms my deepest fears – in Ahmadinejad Iran has found its very own GW Bush! Not only does his religious zealotry blind him to any sort of practical political action, but he is clearly frothing too much at the mouth to see the ironies of his own rhetoric.

First of all, the heat is on Iran. At this point it is at a distinct disadvantage with regard to the IAEA after the recent vote allowing for future referral to the Security Council. I personally think this action is discriminatory since Iran is being expected to fulfill obligations far beyond ones in the treaty and there is a long list of nuclear rogue states that have not even signed the treaty (with Israel topping the list).

But fair or unfair, Iran must assert it claims to peaceful intentions of its nuclear program because rule of law is not the preferred method of the neo-imperialist war-mongering cabal headed by the US government. But when you have threatened the existence of another country, it is pretty easy to make a case that you do not have peaceful intentions.

Like Bush’s empty mouthings about easing the yoke of authoritarian government from peoples abroad, Ahmadinejad talks big about helping the Palestinian people. But what has he done for them lately? I really don’t see how burning an Israeli flag helps a woman dying in childbirth because proper medical care is not available. It does make him look big and bad manly, although I am almost certain Palestinians don’t care a whit about his ego. Has the Iranian government done anything but maybe provide weapons for a small faction of fundamentalist militants who will probably put the general population at un-consented-to risks as they continue their struggle? Can he not see that he is probably putting a whole bunch of other Palestinian groups in an awkward position and making them look bad? It’s just like when the US voices platitudes in support of the Iranian opposition in the country and gives the Iranian government a great excuse to crack down on them because their project is lauded by the largest threat to world peace today (the US government).

Ahmadinejad is also like Bush in that he can only think in monolithic constructs. For instance, in what seem like budding delusions of grandeur, he claimed that "My words were the Iranian nation's words. Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid.” Well, last time I checked he was elected president of the Iranian STATE, the Iranian nation is another matter. Imagine the audacity of claiming to speak for the Iranian nation. I personally disavow his attempt to speak for me based on several things:

I have always disliked the unsophisticated conflagration of Judaism, Israel and Zionism. But Ahmadinejad, like so many American Zionists (Christians and Jews alike) and right wing Likudniks want Israel (a state), Zionism (a political ideology) and Judaism (a religion) to all mean the same thing. If Ahmadinejad wants to traverse the same tired logic of Zionists in his unoriginal critique, then he can. But do it in private, man! Personally I prefer to critique Zionism in a way that does not subscribe to the logic of that selfsame ideology?!

Ahmadinejad is pandering to his Basiji constituency and participating in a testosterone filled, ego trip ceremony. Add white hoods and burning crosses and you have the Klan. Add white baseball caps, date rape and beer and you have a frat party. Is he really so immature that he doesn’t realize that such strategically impractical displays have no place in the President of a country under a great deal of international pressure and scrutiny. One almost wonders if he wants to bring down a war on Iran so that he can attempt to galvanize Iranian society in support of his reactionary program. If not, he is a dangerously stupid and inept because he all but drew a big target on Iran. He is free to draw a large target on his own forehead and I will pray that his wish is fulfilled, but who does he think he is putting the country at risk of the miseries of attack “for their own good” ?! Or is he trying to distract young people from the rising unemployment that makes their degrees mean next to nothing? Can he please get his head out of the past that never was and start acting like a responsible head of state?

After such repulsive and gross statements, Ahmadinejad is no better than the racist Knesset members who liken Palestinians to roaches and talk about sweeping their filth away (comments which receive nothing close to the criticism they should, as if Israelis have any right to such genocidal speech ESPECIALLY because of their past). He is just taking the opposite position and reinforcing the logic of Zionism. Isn’t the view from the Pharaoh’s seat always better? Perhaps a real critique would be to attack the exclusionary nature of Zionism that disenfranchises millions of people under Israeli political domination. It is a selective democracy, which provides full citizenship only for Jews. I propose equal rights for all. But then, if Ahmadinejad were to take an ethical stand for the rights of Palestinians, he would be undermining theocratic government. Maybe that’s what a world without Zionism would look like…

*Mana Kia is a PhD student in History and Middle East Studies at Harvard University.