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Thursday, August 02, 2007


Iranian nukes (again)

In a syndicated column yesterday, Derrick Jackson takes the Administration to task for planning to ship $63 billion in military "aid" to various countries in the Middle East (half to Israel, half to others). In the course of the column, Jackson refers to "sav[ing] us from Iran's future nukes," and quotes peace activist Frida Berrigan saying "Iran is five to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon" and referring to "Iran's desire to have a nuclear weapon."

Those things wouldn't have been enough to make me repeat things I've said before, though. Instead, it was Jon Stewart's Daily Show last night, in which Stewart added one more to a long list of establishment warmongers he's given a platform to; this time it was Jed Babbin, a former undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. Babbin, as you'll see in the brief clip below, was insisting that "we" have to focus on the "real threats" in this world, and names Iran as "the central terrorist nation in the world, the most dangerous nation." But unlike most, who focus on President Ahmadinejad, Babbin insists the real person we need to listen to (as evidence of the threat Iran poses) is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And so my question is the same as it has been before: why is it that people who are so threatened by Islamic fundamentalism, and think that the hold of this religion is so powerful, never mention that this same Ayatollah issued a Fatwa on August 10, 2005, saying "that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that the Islamic Republic of Iran shall never acquire these weapons." Never. You will never hear any of the critics of Iran mention this, even to say something like "well, you can't believe what they say." Never. Because they know they can't talk about the power of Islamic fundamentalism in one breath, and then deny its power (in the form of a Fatwa issued by the "Supreme Leader") in the next.

And people like Derrick Jackson and Frida Berrigan, who claim to be opposed to war against Iran, should avoid giving ammunition to people like Babbin (and Stewart and Bush and Cheney) by talking about "Iran's desire for nuclear weapons."

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