Monday, July 14, 2008
Wally of the Week: Robert Fox
Well, Sunny Hundal made a valiant attempt to scoop this week's prize, but in the end there was no catching Vulpes Vulpes.
In his extraordinarily ill-informed and silly article for The Guardian's Comment is Free, Fox (above) repeated the old neo-con chestnut that Saddam could be blamed for the Iraq war for not coming clean that he had no WMD. Not only that, he accused Iran of adopting the same tactics. According to Fox, Iran is playing a 'dangerous game'.
In fact, Iran is playing an intelligent game. The only way the country will be able to prevent an Israeli/US attack on it is to make Israel/US fear the consequences of such an attack. That was the aim of last week's missile tests. The Iranian President has made it quite clear that his country has no plans to attack anyone. He's also made it clear that if his country is attacked it will retalitate, in no uncertain fashion. As I've said before on many occasions, Iraq was attacked not because the US and Britain thought Saddam possessed WMDs, but because they knew damn well that he didn't. In other words, Iraq was attacked because the aggressors (the US and Britain) were not sufficiently deterred from attacking. The lesson from Iraq (and indeed from the lack of US military action against North Korea) is that deterrence works. It always has and always will do. The Iranians understand the principle of deterrence. Which is why the 'game' they are playing: talking peace but making clear to their would-be attackers that the consequences would be grave if they attacked,is actually the safest game of all.
It's astonishing that Robert Fox, whose profile tells us has been a journalist specialising in defence/foreign policy issues since the late 1960s, can't grasp this. Had his article been written by a neo-con it would have been understandable- neocons have an agenda which is to propagandise for military strikes against Iran. But Fox is no neocon. Which makes his piece even more wallyish.