Derschowitz spouts propaganda in the WSJ and even I can refute him.

Wow. Alan Derschowitz is so far out in lala land that even an amateur blogger like me can refute him.  Take his most recent article which was surprisingly published in the Wall Street Journal, a paper that should have a more rigorous system for letting article show up on its pages, though of course now it is owned by Rupert Murdoch so….

Dershowitz starts off with this:

There are several ways in which Iran could use nuclear weapons. The first is by dropping an atomic bomb on Israel, as its leaders have repeatedly threatened to do. Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran, boasted in 2004 that an Iranian attack would kill as many as five million Jews. Mr. Rafsanjani estimated that even if Israel retaliated with its own nuclear bombs, Iran would probably lose about 15 million people, which he said would be a small “sacrifice” of the billion Muslims in the world.

I can find no reference to this alleged 2004 statement.  The statement everyone applies to Rafsanjani to scare people with is from his speech in 2001 where he said:

The colonialists will keep this base as long as they need it. Now, whether they can do so or not is a separate issue and this is my next point. Any time they find a replacement for that particular instrument, they will take it up and this will come to an end. This will open a new chapter. Because colonialism and imperialism will not easily leave the people of the world alone. Therefore, you can see that they have arranged it in a way that the balance of power favours Israel. Well, from a numerical point of view, it cannot have as many troops as Muslims and Arabs do. So they have improved the quality of what they have. Classical weaponry has its own limitations. They have limited use. They have a limited range as well. They have supplied vast quantities of weapons of mass destruction and unconventional weapons to Israel. They have permitted it to have them and they have shut their eyes to what is going on. They have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and long-range missiles and suchlike.

If one day … Of course, that is very important. If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists’ strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iran/2001/011214-text.html

It’s important to take these quotes in context.  Here, Rafsanjani is pointing out how the US is arming Israel with all sort of unconventional weapons and turning a blind eye to the possession of nuclear weapons in Israel.  He then says that IF the islamic world someday had nuclear weapons too, the US colonialist policy would come to a stand still because of what a nuclear weapons could possibly do to Israel.  He is not threatening Israel.  He is not saying we are trying to develope nuclear weapons so we can drop it on Israel.  He is trying to show how things would be if the other side developed nuclear weapons as well.  If you can find any other Rafsanjani alleged threats against Israel let me know please.

He goes on:

The second way in which Iran could use nuclear weapons would be to hand them off to its surrogates, Hezbollah or Hamas.

Do you really think that Hamas or Hezbollah would commit national suicide to drop a nuclear weapon on their neighbor?  Would Israel drop a nuclear weapon on Gaza? All moral consideration aside, it would be completely irrational as you would kill yourself too. Just not going to happen.

Next Derschowitz says:

The second way in which Iran could use nuclear weapons would be to hand them off to its surrogates, Hezbollah or Hamas. A third way would be for a terrorist group, such as al Qaeda, to get its hands on Iranian nuclear material. It could do so with the consent of Iran or by working with rogue elements within the Iranian regime.

This is his way of scaring people since so far, there has been no conclusive evidence that Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.  Iran is no friend with Al Queda. Many believe that the enemy of the Iranian state, Jundullah, is in cahoots with Al Queda.  Al Zawahiri has denounced Iran numerous times.  See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayman_al-Zawahiri#Relation_with_Islamic_Republic_of_Iran

Der then says:

But there are other ways in which a nuclear-armed Iran would endanger the world. First, it would cause an arms race in which every nation in the Middle East would seek to obtain nuclear weapons.

I think that middle-eastern nations threatened by Israel already have a good reason to get into a nuclear arms race don’t you?  Make the middle east a nuclear weapons-free zone and see then if you have nuclear weapons on anyone’s agenda over there.  Incidentally, Iran has supported the concept of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the middle east but has been opposed by Israel and the US.

He then goes on with his scare-mongering which needs no specific rebuttal here as it is based on the idea that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons full speed ahead.  He goes on to say that Obama would be remembered like Neville Chambelain for letting Hitler get out of control.  He says:

History will not treat kindly any leader who allows so much power to be accumulated by the world’s first suicide nation—a nation whose leaders have not only expressed but, during the Iran-Iraq war, demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice millions of their own people to an apocalyptic mission of destruction.

Again, Der is twisting history to an unrecognizable pulp here.  Iran has never attacked anyone in it’s entire existence.  Iran was attacked by Iraq in the above-mentioned war and the US supplied Iraq with weapons and technology to massacre Iranians.  If anyone in the region can be thought of as a loose cannon, likely to attack another nation based on past behavioral patterns, it is the US and Israel! 

Der is easy to rebutt, but he gets to splash his trash on the pages of the Wall Street Journal and I get a few hits here on the radical mormon. Oh well, at least I do my part to bring works of darkness to light and renounce war and proclaim peace.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704869304575110042827617582.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

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4 Responses to “Derschowitz spouts propaganda in the WSJ and even I can refute him.”


  1. 1 Joseph April 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I never really liked the Wall Street Journal. But it definitely lost a lot of credibility once Rupert Murdoch bought it. I’ve noticed that while the format, fonts, and everything else look the same as before, making it “look” like a serious newspaper, the content is looking more and more like the tabloid journalism trash on Fox News and anything else affected by Murdoch.

    The Iran issue cannot easily be dismissed, however. I seriously doubt they are not seeking nuclear weapons (why wouldn’t they, with Israel next door?). And they and their neighbors are run by religious zealots that I am afraid would not be very rational in thinking out the results of starting a nuclear war. It’s what God’s gonna do anyway, right? Yes, it would be irrational, but Hezbollah isn’t a group I think of as a prime example of rationality. Of course, the same could be said of Israel under Netanyahu, or the U.S. under George W. Bush (who is thankfully gone, but could be replaced by another nut job Republican who either is a part of or willing to bow to the religious right). It all seems pretty scary.

    Of course, Dershowitz’s claim that Al Qaeda would get nuclear weapons from Iran is ridiculous. I almost said laughable, but the failure to understand that the rift between Sunni and Shiite Muslims is much more than just superficial has caused such disastrous policies and bloodshed in Iraq that laughing is not even close to an appropriate response. Anyway, the suggestion of even a chance of Shiite controlled Iran allowing Sunni Al Qaeda Muslims to have nuclear weapons is definite proof that Dershowitz shouldn’t be published by any even remotely respectable publication. Of course, Al Qaeda can get nukes from Pakistan anyway.

    I would like to see a better citation for Al Zawahiri criticism of Iran than Wikipedia (I could go on to Wikipedia right now and make up some good quotes), but as I mentioned before, the obvious and irreconcilable rift between Shiite Iran and Sunni Al Qaeda is so obvious a Kindergartner could tell Dershowitz he’s a moron.

    Anyway, while I agree Dershowitz’s arguments are weak, the concern that Iran or any other Middle-Eastern country might not be very rational in their use of nuclear weapons is real. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a liar and an idiot. But war with Iran would be a disaster. Let the people of Iran overthrow the idiots in their government (as they demonstrated a willingness to do last year).

    I very much agree that a nuclear-free Middle-East (or even better yet, world) would be the best solution. I don’t trust Israel with nuclear weapons any more than I trust anyone else around there with them. And, as you say, if Israel didn’t have them, the other countries would probably work a lot less hard to get them. As long as Israel has nuclear weapons, someone else is going to get a hold of them as well.

    I also agree that Dershowitz ruins the reputation of any publication he writes for!

  2. 2 Joseph April 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Oh, and the last quote from Dershowitz is annoying as hell. That kind of taunting has led to far to many bad decisions in the past couple of decades. I’m sick and tired of idiots like Dershowitz trying to predict who history is going to be kind to or not kind to. Georg W. did everything the “history will not be not kind to” soothsayers said he should do so history would be kind to him, and history is really NOT going to be kind to that moron. That can be determined now because he is history.

    Any time someone says “history will not be kind” I know I can ignore everything else they say. History isn’t going to be kind to any of us. We’re all bungling around making plenty of mistakes for future generations to condemn, but dimwitted, pretentious, annoying twits like Dershowitz have no business evaluating the present, much less predicting the future!

  3. 3 theradicalmormon April 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    The jury is out for me on the question of whether or not Iran is really involved in a nuclear weapons program. I haven’t seen any evidence pointing towards weaponization as everything I’ve seen could also be used for a civilian energy program. I don’t trust the laptop information provided by a US supported terrorist group in Iran, which is where the US apparently gets its information on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. I also don’t trust anything A. Q. Khan says.

    As you say, it would make sense for them to weaponize as Israel is next door and frequently threatens Iran with military action. However, I am still leaning towards a belief that Iran is not weaponizing. Maybe I am wrong.

    On the issue of Iran’s religious zealots acting irrationally and starting a nuclear war, I don’t see a pattern of irrational behavior which would suggest that they would do such a thing. They seem to be perfectly happy with the concept of self-preservation and show no propensity towards national suicide.

    Hezbollah is also fairly level-headed as far as I can tell. They hold political sway in Lebanon and appear to be a legitimate resistance force against the Zionist military regime. Any action by them seen as irrational in the west is likely a reaction to an Israeli provocation such as arrests via cross-border raids and placement of Lebanese and Palestinians into secret prisons where they are held indefinitely as “administrative detainees,” without due process.

    If you go to the wiki link on Al Zawahiri, the links are provided in the footnotes.

    I look forward to a time when there will be no nuclear weapons in this world anymore as well. I think that there needs to be no perceived need for nuclear weapons in the minds of imperialists and smaller nations with regional ambitions alike. I am afraid though that such conditions will not exist until the millenium. Only when we turn from our Gods of steel and iron will this occur I think.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. 4 Joseph April 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    theradicalmormon,

    You make some good points. I don’t know that I would call Hezbollah “level-headed”, but compared to many U.S. hawks they might be. I’m much less afraid of Hezbollah or Iran’s leadership getting nukes then I would be, say, of Sarah Palin ending up in the White House with her finger on the button. And I’m no more nervous about Ahmadinejad, worthless jerk that he is, of having nukes then I am of Netanyahu, also a worthless jerk. I’m reminded of Hugh Nibley pointing out in his essay “Great are the words of Isaiah” that the world is run by overconfident (prideful) idiots who just act like they know what they are doing (my paraphrase).

    Ultimately the citation on Al Zawahiri isn’t terribly important, since as I mentioned before, that Shiite Iranian Muslims would not be very likely to give nukes to Sunni al Qaeda Muslims is pretty much a no-brainer.

    Let me be clear. I think war with Iran would be a disaster. Dershowitz really is an idiot. I agree with your main points. And you’re probably right, Iran just is not showing much evidence right now of a nuclear weapons program.

    And it’s always a pleasure to drop by your blog. Thanks for letting me comment.


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