I’m catching up with the latest developments on the much-debated question of talks with Iran. The first comes from the mullahs’ vice president for media affairs, a certain Mehdi Kalhor. He announced two “preconditions”: America has to get out of the Middle East, and must end its support for “the Zionist regime.”
No matter, the demand to use the “diplomacy weapon” continues to rattle around the commentariat, as for example from MJ Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum, writing in Haaretz . But then, calls for negotiation are the raison d’etre for both IPF and Haaretz, so no surprise there. It will be interesting to see if any of the negotiation-as-a-weapon crowd, from James Baker Brent Scowcroft to Barack Obama, take notice of the Iranian “preconditions.” Some of the American would-be negotiators would of course love to see us end our support for Israel, since they believe that the problems in the Middle East are caused by it. But there aren’t many of them, and aside from Pat Buchanan and his merry band of anti-Semites there are even fewer to say to publicly. Unless they have endowed chairs at Harvard and Chicago, that is. And fewer still would be advocates of an American retreat from the Middle East.
Meanwhile, none of them seems to have noticed that we’ve been negotiating with Iran for thirty years, with no measurable success.
Earlier in the week, Foreign Minister Manucher Mottaki was interviewed by the WaPo’s Lally Weymouth. She asked him whether the Iranians would regard an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities as an attack by the United States. He said “In the Middle East, [no one] makes a distinction between the U.S. and Israel.”
And that’s the point, of course. All those people who think we can escape from Iran’s war against us, if only we’d ditch the Israelis, are, well, fools. The Iranians view America and Israel as integral parts of a vast satanic continuum, against which they are waging jihad. We’re the Great Satan, the Israelis are the Little Satan, but we’re both demonic forces and we must be destroyed.
The Iranians keep saying this, but nobody wants to listen. That’s why I’m writing a book called Accomplice to Evil; Iran and the War Against the West. It deals with the many occasions in the twentieth, and now the twenty-first centuries when we should have seen evil emerging, and defended ourselves against it before the conflict became global. Iran is the most recent case.
Why do we refuse to see evil when it is so plain? Stay tuned.