On BBC Question Time last week a panel which included the comedian Russell Brand, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips was always going to be entertaining.
It was all going well for Melanie Phillips with both Brand and Johnson saying what a nice person she was personally; then someone asked a question about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Mel could not resist a fusillade against that country.
Unfortunately, in mentioning Iran’s nuclear intentions, she let slip the word ‘Israel’, the passepartout to frenzied delusional politically correct zeitgeist–embracing stupefaction. Cries of ‘paranoid’ and much booing followed.
It did not help that Phillips often comes a close second to David Icke when it comes to provoking audiences’ derision, but only when she speaks about Israel.
Interesting, isn’t it, that the rest of the evening she was a paragon of sense and considered response with audience tacit approval.
When it came to Iran she failed to make her point dispassionately. A British audience does not like what it perceives as hysteria. Melanie needs to improve her presentation when it comes to issues about which she is really passionate such as Israel or Iran and the threat it still poses. Saying that Iran needs to be ‘neutralised’ is not language likely to win an argument in today’s PC climate.
The idea that a country’s leaders want to bring about Armageddon because of a religious belief in the Mahdi is about as credible to a Question Time audience as Icke’s reptiles.
But that’s the point – is it that far-fetched?
In fact Johnson and Ed Davey seemed naïve in the extreme about Rouhani’s moderateness and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
They are not alone. On Twitter Zbigniew Bzrezinski just tweeted:
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is disappointed that a moderate won the Iranian elections. I wonder why?”
This was retweeted by none other than Javier Solana former Secretary General of NATO and the Council of the European Union.
Now you could see the tweet as ambiguous. It could be viewed as supporting Netanyahu’s scepticism. But it does not. It is suggesting that Netanyahu is disappointed because a ‘moderate’ undercuts his argument to attack Iran, which Bzrezinski does not support.
So these two highly influential and, presumably, well-informed politicians cannot see what is so blindingly obvious about Rouhani.
Firstly he is clearly playing ‘Mr Nice Guy’ precisely to fool gullible Westerners and relieve the pressure of sanctions on Iran.
Secondly he is no moderate. He is only moderate like Goebbels was a moderate Nazi compared to Hitler. He is implicated in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Community Centre in Buenos Aires and his son apparently committed suicide because his father was too extreme.
But it hardly matters because he is just a puppet of the Supreme leader Khamanei. It is he not Rouhani who decides policy. And Khamanei selected him as a proper candidate for the presidency. In other words, he is pre-approved by a religious despot.
But let’s get back to the proposition that Iran intends a bomb in order to annihilate Israel.
Would Iran bomb Tel Aviv? Does that make sense? Or is the threat enough to big-up Iran in the region so it establishes itself as the major power. Is the bomb not a national testosterone implant?
If Iran were to nuke Israel it would have to figure in the fall-out both literal and figurative.
If Israel is to be removed to give the Palestinians back their land and create a Palestinian state (something I believe would never happen if Israel were eliminated) nuking the land that Palestinians claim and rendering it uninhabitable for decades or centuries does not seem a good strategy.
If the Iranians decide to leave Jerusalem standing,it still deprives the Palestinians of their state in any realistic form unless millions want to ‘return’ to die of radiation.
An what of the reaction of Russia, India and the United States to a country ready to use a nuclear weapon? Surely the US at least would see it as an act of war and NATO would surely react.
But, according to Melanie, this logical, reasoned calculation does not apply to Iran because it has taken leave of its political senses and subordinated them to religious belief and necessity.
Is Melanie destined to become the Cassandra of the West crying ‘I warned you’ as night descends on Western civilisation?
Only time will tell.