[News] Iran - The return of the Keyboard Warriors

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 10 16:37:32 EST 2012

The return of the Keyboard Warriors
By Pepe Escobar

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
Exhibit A is an op-ed piece at the Wall Street Journal [1] - similar 
to countless others popping up virtually everyday not only in this 
Masters of the Universe vehicle but also in the Washington Post and 
myriad rags across "Western civilization".

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. [2] 
Everybody in Iran has known this for months.

As a climax, still another fallacy - "the Islamic Republic means to 
destroy Israel" - unveils the real agenda; "the broader goal of 
ending the regime." Oh, if we could only have our Persian gendarme of 
the Gulf back.

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, [3] 
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 

Former US vice president Dick Cheney would have been proud to hire 
Ferguson as an apparatchik, as he states that "preventive war can be 
a lesser evil" and duly advocates "creative destruction".

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?"

If this is what passes for intellectual analysis in the upper strata 
of the Anglo-American axis, no wonder the whole business of Empire is doomed.

Far more insidious than The Invasion of the Keyboard Warriors is its 
effect on the warrior-in-chief, US President Barack Obama. Recently, 
Obama has been conducting product placement for Robert Kagan's new 
book, The World America Made. Kagan, a neo-con stalwart, advises Mitt 
Romney - who may, or may not, become the Republican presidential 
nominee, assuming he wins over the visceral repulsion he provokes in 
extreme right-wing circles.

As Andrew Levine from the Institute for Policy Studies has shrewdly 
observed, [4] Obama the neo-con may be a very clever move to pre-empt 
Mitt and win even more votes. But it may be an exercise in 
transparency, as Obama, even before his State of the Union address, 
has been reciting Kagan to the letter, as in forget Asia, this will 
be another American century, and I will be at the helm; thus 
remember, it is I that coined the only change you can believe in.

And that's when this really becomes a scary movie; if Obama the 
neo-con concludes that to get to his new, dominant American century 
first he needs to do some vacuum-cleaning in Southwest Asia, blowback 
or not, he'll do it - to the delight of the Keyboard Warrior brigade.

Should Israel Bomb Iran? by Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, February 7.
teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. 
officials tell NBC News, February 9.
and Iran on the Eve of Destruction in a New Six-Day War February 6.
4. <http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/09/why-the-neo-con-turn/>Why 
the Neo-Con Turn? by Andrew Levine, Counterpunch, February 9.

Pepe Escobar is the author of 
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 
2007) and 
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent 
book, just out, is 
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeusa at mac.com

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