July 19, 2008

Accessories Before the Fact

The full-blown lycanthropic yowling of some for an air attack on Iran is well-known in the media and the blogosphere, but considering the nature and extent of the threat, moral and physical, that such an adventure poses, it has not drawn enough attention.

Much of the yowling comes from Jewish Americans who sympathize with the most aggressive and hysterical forms of Zionism. These are the people for whom any criticism of Israel is Jew-baiting (remember Joe Klein), the diverse world of jihadis is a single, monolithic enemy, and it is 1938 every day. They take the rhetoric of Iranian President Ahmadinejad as an expression of his intentions, and see no distinction between the interests of israel and the United States. They are, of course, a small minority of American Jews, who absorbed veneration for St. Eleanor and the slogans of liberalism at their grandma's knees.

There are, of course, proponents of an aggressive war with Iran who are not Jewish and don't even particularly care about Israel, except as a strategic asset. (Despised in the region, Israel must tie itself to a foreign sponsor, first Britain and then the United States--hence it's a Mideast base of last resort).

However, to give the agitation critical mass and effective rhetoric, it's the NoPods and the Krauthammers whose theme-development and writing are essential to the effort, in which exploitation of WWII genocide is constantly exploited. Pat Buchanan, although in some ways performs yeoman service, has to play bad boy and use the term "Fifth Column" to describe these circles, and if Israel were an enemy, and not just an over-pampered and too-influential ally.

I have played the troll on Commentary's Contentions blog, attacking this notion and the constant lies used to promote and exonerate Israel. It's no fun commenting where everyone agrees with you. But it's a bigger deal than a few nasty exchanges.

War with Iran would be a horrible mistake, and a crime. Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson said,
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
The United Nations Charter, to which the US is still, perhaps unwisely, a signatory, also forbids aggressive war.

To bomb Iran, then, without an attack from Iran or the imminent danger of an attack, would not only be a mistake, it would be a crime. And the Commentary crowd are accessories before the fact.

Psychopathology plays a part here. In most intellectual men there lurks the self-doubt--am I, a scribbler, really a man? Norman Podhoretz, the leading agitator for a bombing campaign, parlayed reminiscences about being beaten up by what used to be called "Negroes," into a literary career, and fame among a small New York coterie. For those who were converted to Zionism in 1967 or later, identifying with the image of the tan, tough, brash and ruthless Israeli is an anti-pansification salve.

Instead of agitating for the murder of thousands to reassure themselves that they aren't wimps, here's my suggestion to these folks. Take a Viagra. Then take a Valium.

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