From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:27 AM
To: Graciela Lopez; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS; James Bernal
Subject: The Ahmadinejad Witch-Hunt
It is certainly refreshing to see members debating an Antiwar Bulletin, rather than demanding that management censor, punish and/or prohibit its distribution on the union e-lists — as some have done ever since 9/11.
However, they have gotten their facts wrong. Those who have actually read the referenced Salon article <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18453.htm> will know that Juan Cole, professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, doesn’t make out Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be a “saint,” or endorse his indefensible questioning of the Jewish Holocaust.
But Professor Cole does expose false claims that Ahmadinejad is a “new Hitler,” that he advocates genocide against Jews, and that Iran has WMDs or is behind the Iraqi resistance. In other words, Professor Cole seeks not to idealize Ahmadinejad, but to debunk an orchestrated pro-war hysteria that is all-too familiar.
Ahmadinejad may be anti-gay — in which case he has something in common with Bush, the right-wing Christian fundamentalists who make up much of the pro-war Israel lobby, and the Orthodox Jewish theocracy that dominates much of Israeli society. So let’s be real: War on Iran is no more for gay rights than wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are for women’s liberation.
Moreover, those who deny or remain silent about the long history of U.S. interference in Iran or the current U.S./Israel-inflicted holocaust in Afghanistan, Iraq (more than one million dead in Iraq alone, Antiwar Bulletin, point 2), Lebanon, and Palestine (Antiwar Bulletin points 6-7), lack moral standing to criticize Ahmadinejad.
That right belongs to those who acknowledge that, as Martin Luther King Jr. declared about the Vietnam War, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.”
Judge for yourself:
*Juan Cole on Civil War in Iraq, the Hyping of WMD Intel on Iran, and How the Lebanon War Has Weakened Israel, DemocracyNow!, September 25, 2006, http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/25/1318238
*Juan Cole, Ahmadinejad: “I am not anti-Semitic,” Palestinians should Decide on Two-State Solution, June 26, 2007, http://www.juancole.com/2007/06/ahmadinejad-i-am-not-anti-semitic.html
*Stephen Zunes, My Meeting with Ahmadinejad, Foreign Policy In Focus, September 28, 2007, http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4592
*Virginia Tilley, Putting Words in Ahmadinejad’s Mouth, Counterpunch, August 28, 2006, http://www.counterpunch.org/tilley08282006.html
*Full Interview With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, CBS 60 Minutes, September 23, 2007, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18452.htm
*Seymour M. Hersh, Shifting Targets, The Administration’s plan for Iran, The New Yorker, October 8, 2007, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh
*Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Hegemony and Appeasement: Setting Up the Next U.S.-Israeli Target (Iran) For Another “Supreme International Crime,” Znet, January 27, 2007, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=11963
*Deepa Kumar, Hands off Iran: Why Iranian Women Don’t Need Rescuing by the US, MRZine, October 1, 2007, http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/kumar011007.html
*Scott Peterson, In Ahmadinejad’s Iran, Jews still find a space, Christian Science Monitor, April 27, 2007, http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0427/p01s03-wome.html
*Jonathan Cook, Israel’s Jewish problem in Tehran, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 6, 2007, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article7147.shtml