Feb 26, 2007

New feature: The Weekly Fisking of Mad Mel

Some would say I am encouraging making fun of the politically challenged and clearly insane with this feature. And they are right. I really can't think of a more amusing way of spending my time except for dismantling the paranoid rantings of Mad Mel (cut me some slack, its Monday morning). Besides, if I cannot poke fun at someone who is foolish enough to put their ramblings into print for all to see, who can I do it to?

So, to todays feature from the Diary of Mad Mel: The War against the West

As has often been remarked, the capacity of the intellectual classes to deny the need for action against tyranny never ceases to amaze.

Indeed. Our support of Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are morally reprehensible.

If you want to tap into British denial of the need to confront the threat from Iran, listen to last night’s Moral Maze on BBC Radio Four.

Oops, wrong country. Sorry about that. But wait, isn't Iran actually one of the more democratic states in the Middle East, with a government that allows elections and has multiple parties that run for seats? Of course, there is the power of the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council are affronts to constitutional republics everywhere - but no more so than the monarchy in Saudi Arabia or military dictatorship in Egypt.

Particularly astounding was the suggestion that we should stop ‘demonising’ Iran

There is a little tradition in history you may have heard of Mel, its called "diplomacy". Its generally accepted among its practitioners that the best way to go about its functions is not to try and act like the country you are dealing with is full of irrational murderous madmen - even if this may be the case. Now, I'm no expert, but if we want to get Iran to get something, soft words and a big stick are generally accepted as workable methods.

and of course, there were the inevitable claims that America is fabricating evidence that Iran is involved in Iraq

Some of them plausible. No doubt Iran are acting in Iraq, but as I have pointed out, attacks that clearly have an Iranian influence are not decried as such, while less obvious and unprovable assertions, such as IEDs being supplied, have been uncritically accepted by the majority of the right-wing media, who mostly ignore that Iraq was armed to the teeth with conventional weapons and IEDs are easy as hell to make. Why would an insurgent buy them from outsiders if his cousin Abdul nicked as many as his family could carry in the months when no-one was guarding the many military complexes that litter the Iraqi landscape?

the idea that America, which is in such difficulties in Iraq, would actually choose to embark on an all-out war with Iran at this juncture, with all the appalling risks involved, not least to the world economy, simply in order to ‘cover up’ its difficulties in Iraq, is bizarre in the extreme.

You are assuming that American interests are in making the region more secure - whereas it has been suggested that in fact, with the conditions in Iraq continuing to get worse, the best idea may be to plunge the region into chaos and get out. Obviously, I disagree, but certain military personnel do not. Leaders before have willingly chosen to bite off more than they can chew. You also are making an implicit assumption that America is trying to "cover up" its problems in Iraq with Iran. That rules out a whole host of other possible motives as to why America is trying to confront Iran, including the ideology of the administration and wider geo-political aims.

It is not helped, of course, by the appallingly ham-fisted way in which the Bush administration has presented its evidence about Iranian roadside bombs blowing up coalition soldiers in Iraq. No sooner than the munitions were unveiled complete with serial numbers when General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, popped up to say ‘that does not translate that the Iranian government, per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this.’

Damn that pesky truth getting in the way, eh?

This is hopeless. How can the west be defended when America is not even able to present a coherent case for the involvement of Iran in Iraq?

Defended from what? Thats a rather huge jump in logic there Mel. Iran is rightly interested in Iraq - its on its border and should the USA not keep control, violence could spill over into its own country. That Iran is using Iraq to attack the USA is a huge stretch in logic. And that is where evidence comes in.

The evidence of this involvement has been known for years. This was finally rammed home when a group on Iranian officers was captured in Iraq, whose documents left the Americans aghast at the vast extent of Iran’s involvement in Iraq

Yes, Iraq again. We all know about the consulate raid, mostly because it was extremely foolhardy and a step off declaring war on Iran. But it details involvement in Iraq, no where else. Can you see where this is going? Iran's involvement in Iraq is more to do with it being next door to them then US troops being there. Far more.

The problem, as ever, is the US administration is deeply divided over this evidence and what to do about it, as it has been over Saddam Hussein and the war in Iraq, with the intelligence community trying to cover up its own incompetence and elements within the military deeply unwilling to open up another front against Iran.

Yes, the oh so hesitant US administration, who are well known the world over for holding evidence in high regard and considering others points of views. Come off it Mel, even you can't keep a straight face writing that sort of shit.

Meanwhile, Iran speeds towards genocide, with people still scoffing that it’s ‘only rhetoric’.

Nope, its a lie. Sorry, but those of us who do a little thing called "research" know by now that the translation to which you refer is a lie created out of the American Free Enterprise Institute, a Neo-Conservative think tank whose knowledge of Farsi is either abysmal or purposefully crafted to build popular support for war. Also, Iran has vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons. If it wanted to, it could have wiped Israel off the map years ago. I think something about 80-200 nuclear warheads tends to focus the mind on rhetoric as opposed to action.

You too may want to partake in "research" at some point. Its very fulfilling.

We have been under attack by Iran since 1979, when Khomeini came to power and declared war upon the west and his intention to wipe out Israel and Islamise the world.

We have always been at war with Oceania, too. Oh please, this is too much! Iran, after the revolution, was invaded by our proxy in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein, if you recall correctly. They spent 8 years fighting a futile war in which over a million Iranians died, after a period of repression at the hands of another US-backed dictator. Of course their rhetoric is going to be extreme.

I notice you also use the past to justify the present. Could that have anything to do with Iranian youth now having a generally positive attitude towards the USA and the rights it supposedly stands for? But of course, you can't allow your readers to think of that. Iran has no internal politics, its a homogeneous, Israel hating state of religious fanatics through and through, right?

Like I already said, if Iran wanted to wipe Israel off the map, they have the weapons to do it. Also they're far more concerned with trying to wrest away leadership of the Islamic world from Saudi Arabia than trying to Islamise the unbelievers. How much do you actually know about modern Middle East history and dynamics, Mel?

Now, with the clock at five minutes to nuclear midnight, we are still in disarray. Washington is mired in vicious internal in-fighting. Our elites continue to demonise America and Israel, thus paralysing our politicians and paving the way for a second holocaust.

Iran has not even managed to produce enriched uranium yet. A working bomb is years away, if that is their intention at all. I believe it is, personally, but they will have to moderate between any possible future military program and the money that could be made by using nuclear power internally and selling oil to foreign states. For states with weak economies like Iran, hard foreign currency is likely to take precedence over an abstract nuclear threat, unless the USA and Israel keep muttering their own arsenals in relation to Iran in diplomatic circles.

Demonise them? Well, yes. Lets see, torture, misleading the public, ignorance of human rights, war mongering...the sort of thing we denounce states like Iran for their use of. I think those are grand grounds for such a thing. Or dare you suggest we just blindly trust our leadership to do the right thing, like some sort of dictatorship?

Already dealt with the "second Holocaust" red herring.

Meanwhile, we plunge ever deeper into total irrationality, with demented conspiracy theories about 9/11 being given a respectful hearing — as here on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show and here.

When are we going to pull ourselves together?

People in irrational belief shocker! Have you considered you own views at all, as I'm convinced they are every bit out of touch with reality as those of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, yet the Daily Mail sees fit to employ you. The BBC was covering them because there is a sizeable American movement who do believe in this conspiracy theory, no matter how wrong they are. Or would you rather the BBC ignored its own editorial guidelines on impartiality?

And what does that have to do at the topic at hand? Oh yes, nothing. I forgot. It was just a small sliver of irrational hate at the end of a rant that looks like it was drafted by Richard Perle when he was 10 years old. And possibly on meth.

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