Wednesday, 1 August 2012

True, but inconvenient, Mitt

The Mitt is an embarassment, true enough, but his celebrated ‘gaffes’ pretty much consist of saying true things at inopportune moments. (Who really thinks the London Olympics are a model of smooth management?) Aren’t Romney’s racist confessions about Palestinian v/s Israeli ‘culture’ are an accurate reflection of how the U.S. mainstream views both? While we can certainly bemoan his open support for the Israeli war machinery, now gearing up to attack Iran, who can pretend that the current occupants of the White House have done anything much to discourage the imperial idea that we get to attack people at will?

Lost in the demonization of the Iranian regime is the salient fact that they have not done anything illegal in pursuing nuclear enrichment. This has been pointed out ad nauseum but has no impact on the breathless war-boosterism passing for journalism. Romney’s endorsement of an unprovoked Israeli attack is merely an immoderate formulation of current policy, and the sight of Obama’s Pentagon chief now in Tel Aviv promising to ‘exert all options’ against the Iranian nuclear capacity is a reminder that, on this point, the U.S. establishment is entirely united.

I’m amused by the legality argument because it is such a piece of cynical opportunism when used to denounce the guy doing your lawn and washing your dishes at the Olive Garden. ‘What part of illegal don’t you understand?’ is the favorite placard slogan. And yet the entire topic of what is permitted by law flies out the window when discussing surveillance, torture or nuclear non-proliferation.

A question I have not seen asked so far is what impact an Israeli attack might have on the revolution in Syria? One would think this latest attempt to oust a hateful and genocidal tyrant would be the priority for any decent regime in the region. Will an Israeli bombardment of Teheran help or hurt that cause? While the Israelis certainly detest Assad, they may be even less eager to see a revolutionary regime appear on its borders. I’m waiting for this debate.

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