Powered by WebAds

Friday, October 17, 2008

False pragmatism

JPost had a spot-0n editorial in Thursday's edition that I did not get to post. It ripped the 'pragmatism' of the European leftist media and of many European countries in being willing to feed Israel to the Iranian wolves.
In a September 26 editorial, this is how Britain's Guardian judged Israel's efforts to convince the world that Iran's nuclear program poses an existential threat to the Jewish state, and that military action might be the lesser of two evils: "Israel has lost the argument, and we should all breathe a sigh of relief [that] pragmatism... has prevailed."

Beyond its left-liberal readership, the newspaper's stance reflects a wide swath of Western thinking.

The problem is that this view confuses pragmatism with appeasement. It is a "pragmatism" that does not demand the kind of biting sanctions that would force the mullahs to their knees - precisely in order to obviate the need for a military strike.

It's a pragmatism that does not mean, for instance, cutting virtually all trade with the Islamic Republic; or ensuring that no Western airliner lands in Teheran. These "pragmatists" support engaging Iran because there is profit to be made under the cover of a diplomatic minuet that pays lip-service to sanctions.

They paint Israelis as unreasonably hawkish, seeing an existential threat where none exists.

Yet these pragmatists heard President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad deliver the same September 23 speech to the UN General Assembly as we did.


IN FACT, there's nothing pragmatic about sweeping the Iranian problem under the rug. Just the opposite. By taking - for all intents and purposes - robust sanctions off the table, those who profess to being pragmatic are in fact being shortsighted. The unintended consequence of such false pragmatism is to bolster the most radical elements within Iran.

And of all the pragmatic countries in Europe talking sanctions while stoking the Iranian economy, none disappoints more than Germany. We could have sworn we heard Chancellor Angela Merkel tell the Knesset on March 18 that Berlin felt a special responsibility for Israel's security, and that it would be disastrous if Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons. And that "We have to prevent this."

Yet Germany remains Iran's main European trading partner.

Now comes the news that last month, the German ambassador to Iran, Herbert Honsowitz, in contravention of EU guidelines, sent his military attache to an Iranian military parade. Honsowitz, ever the pragmatist, is a strong booster of German-Iranian relations, including trade.

This newspaper takes at face value Ahmadinejad's October 26, 2005 pledge, before the ominously named World Without Zionism Conference, that "Israel must be wiped off the map."

We do not beat the drums of war. But if conflict comes, heaven forbid, the responsibility will fall on those who denigrated the dangers; removed the option of force from the international negotiating agenda, and undermined sanctions.

It will fall most heavily on those who fueled Iran's economy and were comfortable being spectators at the parade as the Shihab missiles rolled by.
Read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home