Sunday, April 06, 2014

Spoilers, alerted

Here's young Jennifer Rubin on the subject of the nomination by Iran's President Rouhani of Hamid Aboutalebi to serve as Iran's ambassador to the United Nations:
If you believe that President Obama’s Iran policy is correct, then you must assume Iran is a normal state like other states, that its leaders want their country to prosper and that it wants to function as a nation-state in the “international community.” For it is only such a state that would willingly give up its illegal nuclear program in order to reintegrate back into the “international community.” Only a run-of-the-mill regime would put the welfare of its own people over the retention of an unusual weapon system, the sole purpose of which is to terrorize and blackmail neighbors.
You know, I really don't want to talk about the character of a regime that would retain an unusual weapon system, the sole purpose of which is to terrorize and blackmail neighbors, but I swear I will if you make me.

I do want it noted that Iran cannot be accused of "retaining" a weapons system that doesn't exist. Or of conducting an "illegal nuclear program" when it has been found repeatedly that it is not doing so (including by all the US intelligence agencies, again and again), but is rather in a position from which it could start one up at some point in the future, and has not yet provided certain information on the subject that the International Atomic Energy Agency wants it to provide.

What Iran is not entitled to, as Mohamed ElBaradei said in 2007, and it's still more or less true, is a "pass":
"We have information that there has been maybe some studies about possible weaponization," said Mohamed ElBaradei, who led the International Atomic Energy Agency. "That's why we have said that we cannot give Iran a pass right now, because there is still a lot of question marks. But have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No."
But if it's not a pass, it's not a fail either, just an incomplete. Question marks may make you a little nervous, or even a lot nervous if you're the nervous type, but they're not illegal.

I can't even begin to imagine what Rubin thinks she is telling us about the Obama Iran policy and the assumption that Iran is a "normal state", but what she must be referring to is the administration's belief not that Iran is "normal", whatever that is, but that it is possible for Iran to normalize its international situation, and that that would be a good thing. Whereas it is the conviction of the Rubinesque wing of Zionism that Iran is wicked by some kind of historical necessity, and that a normal Iran—would threaten, perhaps, the entire cosmos. If it were fundamentalist Christians talking, I'd say it was because Iran must be wicked enough to invade Israel to bring on the Second Coming as prophesied in the books of Ezekiel and Enoch (Enoch?? there's a reason for calling that one "apocryphal", you know), or else sorry, folks, no Rapture. But I'm pretty sure Rubin isn't one of those.

Anyway Aboutalebi, Rouhani's nominee to the UN, has roused the collective fury of the wingnuttery (wonder why these guys are always so bugged out over the specter of "collectivism" when they act so entirely on a collective basis themselves) by having gotten himself photographed, 34 years ago, among the Muslim Students Following the Imam's Line who were occupying the US embassy in Tehran. He says he helped them out on a few occasions as a French translator and negotiator, and nobody as far as I know has yet challenged his account. As Richard Silverstein says,
it’s as if you discovered that someone baked a casserole that was served at an SDS meeting in 1969.  In fact, the Iranian diplomat believes the embassy takeover severely damaged relations between Iran and the U.S., which is a development he’s trying to repair.
But to the wingnuttery that means that he is a "hostage-taker" and being a hostage-taker means he is a "terrorist", and that means, as Rubin puts it, that
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), to his credit, introduced legislation, S. 2195, to prevent known terrorists from obtaining visas to enter the United States as ambassadors to the United Nations.
Because I guess, who knows, if you let him into Turtle Bay he's likely to frog-march Samantha Power off at gunpoint to—where, exactly? A submarine waiting in the East River to carry them away? Certainly didn't happen when he was on his last diplomatic mission to New York in 1994. And we all know how easy it is for terrorists to worm their way into New York, because it's happened so frequently before:
Yasir Arafat, 1988, via Panos Haritis.
Menahem Begin, with Aliza Begin and Elizabeth Taylor, 1977.
Yitzhak Shamir with Mayor Ed Koch. Haaretz.
Wait wait, who's that? Nobody hits Muhammad Ali in the face. Sports Illustrated.
What's sad is that the State Department seems to be taking this nonsense seriously, and as Laura Rozen notes Aboutalebi is a staunch opponent of old Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supporter of the reformists who is close to Rouhani and capable of bringing diplomacy with the US way forward. Some spoilers are interested in wrecking this (see comments at the Silverstein piece linked above).

[Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names]

1 comment:

Victor said...

"Anyway Aboutalebi, Rouhani's nominee to the UN, has roused the collective fury of the wingnuttery..."

Who, outside of their circle-jerk of fellow conservatives and Christan loons, DOESN'T 'rouse the collective fury of the wingnuts?"

Malkin's flying-monkey's even went after a kid, checking to see if his parents had marble countertops.

Nixon, to his "credit," only had a short enemies-list.

With today's loons, it's an ever growing list in the millions - if not billions!

Everyone who disagrees with ANY thing they say or want, automatically gets on that list.