[R-G] Cacophony on the Left

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 20:29:26 MDT 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007
Cacophony on the Left

The US power elite are united on the points that Iran is developing
nuclear weapons, is out to destroy Israel, supports "terrorist
organizations" abroad, and is killing US troops in Iraq and
Afghanistan, and that therefore it must be stopped. They repeat these
points over and over and over again, and they are beginning to stick.
No one in the audience, presumably educated people, laughed when
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, a liberal man, hammered
on them as if they were well established facts.

Leftists, in contrast, have no such unity.

How many opinions exist on the Left regarding Iran's nuclear program alone?

    * "[C]ountries like Iran should possess nuclear arms to
      constrain the global hegemony of the United States."
      -- Slavoj Zizek

    * "[U]nambiguously oppose any nuclear energy
       development in Iran." -- Reza Fiyouzat

Between these two extremes are more nuanced voices like these:

    * Iran's nuclear energy program makes economic sense,
      and "[a]s long as the IAEA has not found Iran in violation
      of its international obligations towards nuclear weapons,
      the global community must not give in to unreasonable
      pressure by those nations that use international treaties
      as tools to advance their and their allies' agenda."
      -- Muhammad Sahimi

    * "We believe that the way out of the current crisis passes
      through transparency of all the decisions made and
      actions taken towards achieving nuclear technology,
      winning the trust of the International Atomic Energy Agency
      with respect to the extent and goals of advanced industries
      in Iran, avoiding any provocative statements and actions
      towards the countries of the region, and planning the foreign
      policy of the country based on the acceptable and
      established principles of international policy." -- Tudeh

    * "Countries don't get nuclear weapons to use them. They
      get them to strengthen their bargaining power, and to
      protect themselves from others. . . . Nuclear weapons
      are better relegated to the scrapheap of history, to be sure.
      The world would be a better place without them. There is
      no guarantee that they will not be launched, perhaps
      accidentally. But the potential that Iran will build them,
      and after that the possibility that it might use them,
      provide no reason to go to war against Iran."
      -- John B. Quigley

And so on, and so forth. The public would be hard-pressed to figure
out what exactly those in opposition to Washington want. Contradictory
voices do not add up to a powerful coherent discourse that can
effectively counter the US power elite's propaganda.


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