Waiting for the end of the world,
Waiting for the end of the world,
Waiting for the end of the world.
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
"cause you really started something.
Elvis Costello, Waiting for the end of the world
Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Return of the Keyboard Warriors -- a prized Return of the Living Dead spin-off -- is at hand. From Republican chicken hawks to public intellectuals, right-wing America is erupting in renewed neo-conservative revolt. The year 2012 is the new 2002; Iran is the new Iraq. Whatever the highway -- real men go to Tehran via Damascus, or real men go to Tehran non-stop -- they want a war, and they want it now.
Go ahead and jump
The festival of fallacies ranges from the usual "diplomacy has run its course" to "the sanctions are too late" -- culminating in the right-wing weapon of choice; "Iran is within a year of getting to the point when it will be able to assemble a bomb essentially at will." Why bother to follow what the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is doing, not to mention the National Intelligence Estimates released by the US intelligence community?
And why not add imperial disdain tinged with racism, as in "Iran is a Third World country that can't even protect its own scientists in the heart of Tehran." Of course not; they are being killed by the Iranian terror group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, merrily trained, financed and armed by Israel's Mossad, as US corporate media has just discovered.  Everybody in Iran has known this for months.
This is what passes for geopolitical analysis in Rupert Murdoch-controlled US corporate media - read and relinked daily by the Masters of the Universe.
Scary monsters, super freaks
Exhibit B is an op-ed piece at Tina Brown's The Daily Beast,  signed by Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard, senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford.
Recently, I actually took the trouble of reading Ferguson's latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, during my favorite West-to-Rest flight, the 16-hour New York to Hong Kong (from the American century to the Asian century).
Ferguson sets out to refute the reasons why Israel should not attack Iran. He assumes "the Saudis stand ready to pump out additional supplies" of oil (wrong). He assumes a "military humiliation" will lead the regime in Tehran to collapse (wrong). He claims that Tehran will not "become a sober, calculating disciple of the realist school of diplomacy ... because it has finally acquired weapons of mass destruction" (multiple wrong; Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is very sober and calculating, and he has banned nuclear weapons as anti-Islamic).
Ferguson ranks Israel as "the most easterly outpost of Western civilization"; not bad for an isolated, supremacist theocracy/ethnocracy armed with at least 200 (undeclared) nuclear weapons whose favorite sport is to terrorize Palestinians and now Iranian scientists. Talk about a sponsor of terror state springing from the womb of "Western civilization."
Ferguson's toxic fusion of arrogance and ignorance -- about the Middle East, about Persian culture, about Asia, about the nuclear issue, about the oil industry, about, in fact, "the Rest" -- would be just innocuous hadn't he be hailed as a top public intellectual. The best thing about his piece are actually the comments, ranging from "I'm shocked that a research fellow at Jesus College would advocate the bombing of Muslims" to "What's with all these Brits that look to the USA as a platform to re-inflate their dreams of Empire?"