Fascism alive and kicking, eh?
Not that I had any doubts about it. A number of kilometers to our south there is a fascist regime, which constantly reminds us, with its violations of “our” airspace, that our fate is in its hands, that it is our God: it can allow us to live, or take life away from us with the push of a button. To make it worse, the whole region is home to a dozen or so totalitarian, fascist regimes, all of which were supported by USA (and Israel) at one time; some of them still are.
This entry was triggered by a column by Michael Coren that appeared in Saturday’s Toronto Sun, titled “We should nuke Iran”. Don’t ask me how it is that anyone could actually print such garbage. I am sure that by now, the folks at Little Green
Footballs Fascists are devouring the pages of Toronto Sun for a taste of more columns of this sort.
Coren begins the article by a classical logical fallacy, dismissing those who might disagree with his thesis as unknowledgeable. Then he “boldly” drops the bomb, arguing that a nuclear bomb should be dropped on Iran. But don’t panic, hear it out, the man is actually quite sensible (sic) and assures us that there would be “a limited and tactical use of nuclear weapons to destroy Iran’s military facilities and its potential nuclear arsenal.” If you aren’t reassured, you are not knowledgeable. But since Coren’s assumption is that he is knowledgeable, we can assume that he is aware of Israel’s real (rather than potential) nuclear arsenal. Why is he so obsessed with Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal, then? The answer is simple. For Coren and millions of fascists like him, there are two definitions under fascism in the dictionary. There are “good fascists”, and those are the people who massacre a Canadian family visiting relatives in south Lebanon. Those are supported by the enlightened and civilized West and most importantly by Tories chairman Stephen Harper. Those are also the ones who oppress women, cut the hands of thieves, throw dissenters into dungeons, and execute homosexuals. They are loved by the media, and their acts – “massacres” always placed in quotation marks, making a mockery of the lives of those who have perished by their WMD – are hailed as strategic necessity. Then there are the “bad fascists”, and those are the ones who murder an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist. This necessitates international investigation, talks on nuclear non-proliferation, a clean-up of the human rights record, and so on. This will steal the headlines for weeks, months, years, whereas the aftermath of the merciful acts of the “good fascists” will be mentioned once or twice (if it’s your lucky day). They will never be on the headlines. Hockey, after all, is second to none. Well, none other than a “bad fascist” headline.
Coren then argues that dropping a nuclear bomb is “the only response that this repugnant and acutely dangerous political entity will understand.” There are a number of problems with this statement. First, has Coren tested all the other possible scenarios, and if so, would he enlighten us as to how he arrived to the conclusion that they would fail? Second, the Iranian regime might be “repugnant”, but the Israeli regime is no less repugnant. The Saudi regime is no less repugnant. The Egyptian regime is no less repugnant. The list goes on. It seems Coren is a man with an agenda, and from his complete disinteredness in the repugnancy of a number of regimes, which by far surpass the Iranian regime in their crimes, it seems that this agenda has nothing whatsoever to do with human rights. What, then, is Coren’s agenda? The answer to the question is in that very sentence. The Iranian regime is considered an “acutely dangerous political entity”. There are no clarifications as to whom it is dangerous for. The Saudis? The Sunni fundamentalists? Turkey? The Iranian/Persian people??? Or is Coren solely concerned with the threat it poses to the sectarian patron-protégé order in Lebanon (via HezbAllah), Israel, and the U.S/allied influence in and military hegemony over the region (facilitated by bases in many a dictatorial – but not repugnant by Coren’s standards – Arab regime)? Hard to tell, really, as Coren strangely does not see fit to elaborate.
Unrelenting a human rights and world peace advocate as Coren is, he terms the nuclear massacre he dreams of a “tragedy”, practically echoing what Shimon Peres once said referring to the Armenian Holocaust, “It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through, but not a genocide.” Yes, he says, people will die, “[b]ut not many”. A consolation. The lives it will save will be in the millions, he argues. The logic has been accorded legitimacy for centuries. What is the burning of a few thousand [heretics] at the stake when the aim is to save the souls of millions? The end justifies the means. Machiavellian ethics to the bone. Literally. The “civilized world” against the world of barbarians who must be subdued and civilized against their will. For their own good. Or so it goes. This is not fascism. This is liberation. And we all know that there are no ifs or buts when it comes to killing in the name of liberation (from whatever it might be, real or perceived). Coren argues that it would be more appropriate to question if there is any sensible alternative (and he assures us the answer will be no – but does not elaborate) than to be disgusted at the barbarism advocated. Even as he drums the tunes of war, he claims that the Iranian regime is obsessed with waging war against its perceived enemies. Its motives are unquestionable, he insists, yet he fails to elaborate as to how he arrived to that conclusion. Something tells me that logical argumentation is one of Mr. Coren’s weakest points. In yet another demonstration of his double standards, he points out that Iran spends billions developing missiles and weapons. Yet what is he implying by stating this fact? That Iran should be prohibited from doing so, but not Israel? That the Iranian regime becomes a dangerous political entity once it adopts such aspirations, but not the Israeli government? How does the Iranian regime differ from Israel? Israel’s human rights record is quite damning, more damning than that of Iran. The only real difference that I can think of is that Iran has used verbal threats and so far acted on none, whereas Israel has threatened a lot and remained true to these threats, massacring and destroying anything that stood in its way. The only fault of many of its victims was that they were moving. A country that is afraid of its own shadow can claim to have achieved victory but will know it will never win.
In a predictable albeit disgusting comparison to the Nazis, he argues that Iran, unlike the Nazi regime back in the 30s, has no “aggressive enemies” in the region. This is mind-boggling. It is evident that Coren has tried too hard to bring Nazism into the article somehow, however stupid it might actually sound. It seems that Mr. Coren, who places great emphasis on fighting fascism, needs a lesson or two in Nazi instigation, aggression, and occupation. But perhaps that would hit too close to home. Israel, after all, is considered a civilized nation. Surely the concept of lebensraum (living space), which formed the core of Nazi ideology and driving force, is an inalienable right? Moreover, isn’t threatening to nuke Iran an aggressive enmity enough to convince it that it needs the nukes to begin with? How would anyone in his/her right mind interpret the double standards that Coren endorses?
Then comes a ritual bashing of Ahmadinajad. The problem is that he controls a brutal police state (bad fascist compared to the good fascist leaders of, say, Egypt, or KSA, or Jordan), “finances international terror” and “provokes bloody [?!] wars in foreign countries” (bad fascist compared to the good fascists who practice and/or fund terrorism all over the world, from Palestine to Iraq to Afghanistan to Vietnam to Grenada and on and on it goes; or maybe I am geographically ignorant – perhaps Mr. Coren would explain to me where Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Grenada, and a whole lot of other countries are located in relation to the United States of America). He then argues, parroting the racist claim often voiced by Israelis that “Arabs only understand the language of force”, that Iran and its allies (only good fascists are supposed to have allies) “only listen to power and threat”. From the safety and luxury of his house in Canada, Mr. Coren beats the drums of war and decides that it is better (for the Middle Easterners) to undergo limited suffering than for everyone to suffer in five years. Somehow I doubt that had he been sitting anywhere in the Middle East he would have been advocating nuclear armageddon.
He closes (I do not want to say concludes, because there is no conclusion as there is no logical sequence of argumentation; there is only one idea, and everything else is manipulated in support of that) the article by directing a cheap shot at “post Christian churches” (?!) and “the Marxists” (as if there is only one interpretation of Marx and no diversity in Marxist movements). Yet another instance of fallacious reasoning. An example of ad hominem fit to be printed in a philosophy / logic 101 textbook. The “same sort” (same sort???) of people “moaned and condemned in 1938”, he points out, in another reference to the Nazis. I only wish that, for all his obsession with the Nazis and for the sake of his alleged dedication to fighting fascism, Mr. Coren would take a closer look at the history of WWII. Had he done so before philosophizing about the Nazi regime, he would’ve heard of the appeasements of Hitler by the conservative Chamberlain, or of Operation Barbarossa and its implications. But perhaps I am expecting too much of a fascist who talks about “post-Christian churches” and fantasizes about apocalypse.