Although an Aug. 30 op-ed by the ethically and morally challenged Robert Fisk at The Independent didn’t reach level of lunacy seen in George Galloway’s claim that Israel supplied Assad with the chemical weapons used to kill over 1400 civilians, it was absurd enough to again prove that anti-Zionist polemicists can find Israeli fingerprints on almost any political phenomena in the Middle East.
Fisk’s essay, Iran, not Syria, is the West’s real target, began thusly:
Before the stupidest Western war in the history of the modern world begins – I am, of course, referring to the attack on Syria that we all yet have to swallow – it might be as well to say that the cruise missiles which we confidently expect to sweep onto one of mankind’s oldest cities have absolutely nothing to do with Syria.
They are intended to harm Iran. They are intended to strike at the Islamic republic now that it has a new and vibrant president – as opposed to the crackpot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – and when it just might be a little more stable.
Iran is Israel’s enemy. Iran is therefore, naturally, America’s enemy. So fire the missiles at Iran’s only Arab ally.
I would have included additional passages used by Fisk to defend his suggestion of Israeli root causes, except that the accusation abruptly ends there. Fisk’s polemical hit-and-run then quickly pivots to another theme in his broad attempt to impute the darkest motives to likely US military action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In addition to the obvious point that Iran, since the 1979 revolution, has been America’s enemy as well as Israel’s, even by the low standards of anti-Zionist agitprop, Fisk’s thesis rests on a comically thin argument. He would have Indy readers believe that the U.S. decision to engage in what will almost certainly be a very limited use of force against a few military targets in Syria, in retaliation for crossing President Obama’s red line over chemical weapons, actually represents a stealth plan to aid Israel.
It’s unclear of course how a few cruise missiles launched against Syrian chemical weapons sites would change the balance of power in the civil war, or even minimally disrupt Iran’s continuing military support for the regime in Damascus, or how any of this would affect Israel’s efforts to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. However, to those preaching to the anti-Zionist choir – and engaging in the facile “who benefits?” causation – such pesky questions regarding empirical evidence are obviously never relevant.
Indeed, here’s what appears beneath the essay, where Indy readers are allowed to express their opinion of Fisk’s allegations:
Fisk clearly understands the simple truth (proven by the continuing popularity of even the most comical Middle East conspiracy theories) that the mere absence of facts or logic is rarely a barrier for those determined to reach a preconceived anti-Zionist conclusion.
- The lies of George Galloway (cifwatch.com)