- By Joseph J. Honick
History, as someone probably said many times, has a way of repeating itself for those who paid no attention before. The rhetoric of Iranian president Ahmadinejad should be assessed with history in mind, particularly that of Adolf Hitler.
As a collector of old newsmagazines, I’ve often found political hypocrisy from many well known in terms of later actions by those preaching peace and then waging nasty wars. And, as I listened to the Iranian president speaking to the so called United Nations a few days ago, I was driven to look up Hitler’s speech in the Berlin Kroll Opera House in 1935.
The report appeared in TIME magazine of June 3 of that year. The writer said “Keynote of the whole speech was in one sentence: ‘For the next ten or 20 years Germany will be occupied with her domestic program. Germany needs peace and wants peace.’ “
The period cited by the Nazi leader included perhaps the worst devastation of nations, cities and worst of all innocent men women and children ever perpetrated by one country and its mad and lying dictator.
Among Hitler’s 13 point presentation presented in passionate almost hoarse fashion:
“Germany will observe all treaties now in force….”
“Germany will participate in collective cooperation to secure peace providing only that the possibility of treaty revision is allowed”
“Germany will sign non-aggression treaties with all her neighbors except Lithuania…”
“Germany suggests the immediate limitation of all offensive weapons aimed at non-combatants…”
And these were just a few of the straightfaced assurances to the world Der Fuhrer wanted no business with war.
Comes now the Iranian president who claims he and his nation merely want to produce peaceful nuclear efforts and are the innocent targets of major powers who see his efforts quite differently. The most prominent target of his declarations of course were and will remain the State of Israel whose intelligence folks tell a much different story from that of Ahmadinejad. Heightening the Israeli concerns are the Iranian’s further declaration of the need to destroy Israel and Jews everywhere as a matter of urgent necessity, a claim also supported by his nation’s religious leader.
While Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, is hardly the most adept public relations or diplomatic genius, he does recall clearly when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was doing his own nuclear buildup and similar dialogue was occurring and about the same commentary from the Iraqi boss. Then as now, Israel’s hand was forced, and she independently knocked out the nuclear operation, possibly saving hundreds — if not thousands — of lives were the quite unreliable Hussein felt desperate.
So what Netanyahu recalls as well is that among the first to come down on Israel for this action was none other than the American president Ronald Reagan, and, of course, the reliable United Nations which has never had a problem in mustering quick resolutions of condemnation of Israel.
In the end, it is difficult to miss the rhetorical model used by Ahmadinejad to assert, on the one hand, he is merely an innocent target of Zionists and the big bad United States and the Brits…and the clear threat to not only Israelis but, with religious support, to Jews everywhere. In countries like Iran, the folks like Ayotolah Khomeini are more powerful than military chaplains in the West who merely pray for the safety of our men and women in uniform.
It is difficult to miss the population comparisons between the two nations” almost 75 million in Iran and just under 8 million for Israel.
In the end, it would be useful for those who reflexively blame the Israelis for almost everything that goes wrong in the Middle East to compare the language of the Nazi dictator who claimed only most peaceful desires and the litany of threats to Israel cloaked in expressions of innocence by the Irani boss. It is also important to make more public the fact Iran supplies military advisory assistance to the murderous Syrian President Assad, a fact that has gained the most minimal media coverage.
How and whether the United States can, after the current election, re-emerge as the world’s leader may well determine the future of the entire ‘muddled Middle East and more.
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Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government, based in Bainbridge Island, Washington. He writes for many publications, including www.huntingtonnews.net. Honick can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org