Isn’t it ironic that the leader of the country from which the Nazis originated (bringing about the holocoast, one of the most horrific acts in the history of mankind) is using the term “Nazi”, and all the horribly negative connotations associated with that word, to describe the so-called “threat” from Iran, the country whose people at one point freed the Jews from bondage and helped them return to their home land? Check out the following from Reuters:
Addressing the annual Munich security conference, she [Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany] said there had been complacency in other countries as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
“Looking back to German history in the early 1930s when National Socialism (Nazism) was on the rise, there were many outside Germany who said ‘It’s only rhetoric — don’t get excited’,” she told the assembled world policy makers.
“There were times when people could have reacted differently and, in my view, Germany is obliged to do something at the early stages … We want to, we must prevent Iran from developing its nuclear programme.”
This is a very sneaky and manipulative use of the Nazis. Associating Iran’s nuclear program with the imagry associated with the Nazis, is extremely irresponsible and I believe it is being done to take advantage of the fears of average people.
Iran’s President has indeed made remarks that are also extremely irresponsible, but he is not even in control of his own government let alone the people of Iran. He is definitely a fundamentalist. But one must look at actions, not rhetoric when judging a country. Ahmadinejad is trying to consolidate his power by stirring the pot. His comments really are for the purpose of generating a crisis over the nuclear issue so Iranians feel threatened. He wants to rally Iranians around this issue because he (and his mullah cohorts) know that in essence they are failing the Iranian people when it comes to governance and the economy. Iran hasn’t been starting any wars of late. Washington and some European countries have (case in point, Iraq).
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and as such is obligated to follow strict guidelines and maintain transparency in its nuclear activities. In addition to this, Iran has signed the Additional Protocol, which allows snap inspections of its facilities.
To-date, there has been no evidence indicating that Iran is anywhere NEAR producing nuclear weapons. All Iran has done is develop the technology to enrich uranium. Enriched uraniam can be used to make nuclear weapons, in addition to nuclear power plants. Iran claims it is only doing the latter. And it has the right to do so as a signatory to the NPT. In fact other signatories (such as the US and various European nations) are supposed to assist in the development of Iran’s nuclear energy program under the NPT, while at the same time reducing their own nuclear weapons arsenals. But instead the US is developing new bunker-busting nukes, which will obviously trigger a new arms race, but that’s another topic for another day.
Today Iran was referred to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) because of its nuclear program. The referall is the next step in escalating the matter. Soon some form of sanctions will be imposed on Iran, which most likely will only hurt the already suffering people while helping the government consolidate its power even more.
Comments such as the one from Merkel just seek to obfuscate the issue and wrap it in a shroud of BS, frightening BS, to sway public opinion against Iran and to re-inforce its “rogue” or “pariah” state image. This is being done so that the upcoming confrontation that the west is instigating can be justified.
It’s pretty shameful of Merkel, really, to invoke such a comparison. Let’s put things in perspective here.
The Nazis had proven time and again that they were aggressive war-mongers. Can anyone give ONE SINGLE example of Iran initiating a war on a SINGLE country in modern history? Even one?
Iran has a history of peace with Jews, and has the largest population of Jews in the Middle East outside of Israel.
Right now Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers on all sides, such Israel and Pakistan (which by the way, has a populace that is by FAR more fundamentalist Islamic than that of Iran). Pakistan was not a signatory to the NPT and developed nuclear weapons clandestinely. The radical ideology of the Taliban originated in the madrassahs of Pakistan. If you believe the rhetoric against Iran’s nuclear program now, then you have to ask yourself why Pakistan has not received any of the heat that Iran is now receiving.
The government of Pervez Musharraf is far more unstable than that of Iran, and if if Pakistan were to fall under the control of its Islamists then it would be far more likely to use nukes than Iran.
Let me be crystal clear here. I believe in a free, democratic, pluralistic Iran. But the Iranian people can and will bring such a state about in Iran themselves, if the the threat of external force is removed. They don’t need to have freedom or democracy imposed at the barrel of a gun, like in Iraq (where the American experiment in forcing democracy through violence is clearly failing).
Let us not forget Mossadegh and Operation Ajax. Mossadegh was the Prime Minister of Iran when Iran was a newly minted, secular, liberal democracy. The first in the Middle East. Operation Ajax is the CIA-imposed coup d’etat sting operation that brought down this democracy so that the US and British could have freer access to Iranian oil. I have written about these here before. Just use the search feature of the blog to read up on them.
If the world wants to help Iran bring about change in it’s government, then they should engage the people of Iran. They should open the doors to business with Iranians. They should make cultural exchanges and promote scientific collaboration. They should engage Iranians at the grassroots in peaceful dialogue. Iranians yearn for change. And they actually want to be and are fully capable of being responsible members of the world community. They are constantly seeking to connect with the outside world. If a picture is worth a thousand words, check out this one:
Photo by Webgard
I recommend looking at the enlarged picture to get the full impact. As far as the eye can see the buildings are covered with dishes. (See Enlarged Photo”)
The Iranian people are not insular as a whole. They are reaching out to us. They don’t need to hear the leaders of free countries comparing the development of their nation to the Nazis. That’s not how to win their hearts and minds.