Monday, October 08, 2007
The Horror of Planet Neocon
This article of mine appears in today's Morning Star.
I’m not a regular churchgoer, but I do think it’s an appropriate occasion to say: “Three cheers for the Archbishop of Canterbury!” On his return from Syria, where he met Iraqi Christian refugees, Dr Rowan Williams warned of a problem of almost unprecedented scale as up to 1.5 million Iraqis have fled to neighbouring countries in the light of the illegal US-British invasion. "When people talk about further destabilisation of the region - and you read some American political advisers speaking of action against Syria and Iran - I can only say that I regard that as criminal, ignorant and potentially murderous folly“, the Archbishop told the BBC. "We do hear talk from some quarters of action against Syria and Iran. I can't understand what planet such persons are living on, when you see the conditions that are already there."
The planet ‘such persons’ are living on in called Planet Neo-Con and believe me, it’s a dark and scary place. It’s inhabited by people like David Wurmser, the ultra-hawkish former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. In an ‘exclusive’ interview with the Daily Telegraph last week, Wurmser said that the US had to be prepared to launch full scale attacks against both Syria and Iran. Limited strikes against Iranian nuclear targets would not be enough: "If we start shooting, we must be prepared to fire the last shot. Don't shoot a bear if you're not going to kill
it". Wurmser, like all neo-cons, is addicted to the use of violence to achieve political objectives. He was one of the main authors of the notorious 1996 ‘Clean Break’ report, which urged the new right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanhayu to ditch the Oslo Peace Accords signed by the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and adopt a new aggressive policy towards the Palestinians. The report also called for armed incursions into Lebanon, possible strikes against Syria and Iran and enforced regime change in Iraq. Four year later, Wurmser again called for a “confrontation” with the regime in Damascus, while after 9/11 he played a key role, together with other neo-con warmongers, in lobbying for an invasion of Iraq, which to date has cost the lives of over 1m people.
Yet, even after the all the death and destruction they have caused, the inhabitants of Planet Neo-Con are still not satisfied. Like vampires from Hammer Horror films, the neo-cons’ taste of blood only seems to increase their desire for more. Iraq has been destroyed- so why not do the same to Iran and Syria? After that, let’s move on to enforced ‘regime change’ in Belarus, or perhaps invade Cuba and Venezuela?
The double standards involved where neo-cons are concerned are breathtaking. In an article entitled “Advocating Mass Murder”, the anti-war writer Stephen Gowans has contrasted the treatment of Umran Javed, a British Muslim who led a crowd in chants of “Bomb, bomb Denmark, bomb, bomb USA”, with that of Michael Coren, a newspaper columnist for the Toronto Sun, who called for the US to nuke Iran. Both men were, as Gowans points out, calling for mass murder. Yet while Umran Javed was found guilty in a court of law for incitement to murder, Coren continues to freely spout his warmongering bile, without fear of facing a courtroom.
The double standards apply to political figures too.
The mistranslation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s words on wishing to see
“the regime occupying Jerusalem vanish from the page of time”, created a massive media storm, yet there was no such outcry when leading US Presidential hopeful Rudolph Guiliano recently said that if Iran should approach nuclear competence, "we will prevent that or set them back five or 10 years. That is not said as a threat. That should be said as a promise."
Guiliano was echoing fellow warmongering Republican John McCain whose response when asked what he would do about Iran, was to sing “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boy’s ‘Barbara Ann”. Hysterical stuff if you’re an inhabitant of Planet Neo-Con, but, when juxtaposed against the 1m people already killed by US-led aggression in neighbouring Iraq, it’s a joke that most normal members of Planet Earth would fine totally depraved.
The neo-cons’ aggressive, intimidatory rhetoric is directed not just at foreign countries who don’t do their bidding, but at anyone who challenges them- and who tries to expose the financial benefits many of them derive from the military interventions they advocate.
When the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed that the arch-neo-con Richard Perle, seen by many to have been the architect of the Iraq war, had set up a company that could benefit from the hostilities, Perle responded by calling Hersh “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist“. But with their constant calls for the bombing of any country that stands in the way of their imperialistic designs, it is the neo-cons themselves who are, in reality, ‘the closest thing’ America has to terrorists. Neo-cons don’t advocate suicide bombings, because they don’t have to. Instead they call for the full military might of the world’s most powerful nation to be unleashed on defenceless third world countries, knowing full well that such military action will cause mass loss of life.
To use a phrase beloved by the warmonger Guiliani himself, it’s time we adopted a “zero tolerance” policy towards all those who call openly for violence, bombings and war. Not just on apostles of violence who have swarthy complexions and pray to Allah, but also on those who are white, wear suits and disseminate their hate from comfortable, well-heated offices in Washington.