Chutzpah, Inc.: "The Brave People of
Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
It is almost a commonplace, at least for the real—as opposed to the cruise-missile—left, that the flow of information, opinion, and moral indignation in the
This chutzpah is in full bloom in a full-page ad in the February 7 New York Times and February 9 International Herald Tribune addressed to Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy, Dimitry Medvedev, Gordon Brown and Angela Merkel: "How Long Can We Stand Idly By and Watch This Scandal in Iran Unfold?" The ad was sponsored by "The Elie Wiesel Foundation For Humanity," and signed by 44 Nobel Prize laureates, 42 of them men and a substantial fraction Jewish. The ad attacks Iran’s "cruel and oppressive regime" for its "shameless war against its own people" and its "irresponsible and senseless nuclear ambitions [that] threaten the entire world," and calls upon Washington, Paris, Moscow, London, and Berlin, the UN Security Council, and "important NGOs" to impose “harsher sanctions” on Iran, and adopt "concrete measures…to protect this new nation of dissidents…." "They must know that we are on their side," the ad implores. "All of us who care must offer our full support and solidarity to the brave people of
This open letter is a shameless and demagogic call for foreign intervention in Iran, for destabilization and subversion, and, above all, for war—although three of the signers (including Wiesel) are past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the text could have been written by the Foreign Office of the state of Israel. Indeed, Wiesel himself is an unabashed protagonist for Israel, having long proclaimed his unwillingness to make a public criticism of that country ("I never attack, never criticize Israel when I am not in Israel"), so that we can rest assured that his "Foundation for Humanity" will never proclaim its solidarity with any humans living under the Israeli boot. The Wiesel Foundation did not sponsor a full-page ad in the New York Times to protest Israel’s shameless and criminal onslaught against the Gaza Palestinians in early 2009, which in just three weeks killed some 340 children, a greater number than the aggregate of protester deaths in post-election Iran. Nor will it sponsor an ad that criticizes the irresponsible buildup of nuclear weapons that Israel has accomplished outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that pose a much clearer threat to the world than that posed by the still nuclear-weapon-free Iran, which is under steady threat of attack by Israel and by a U.S. leadership that says "all options" remain on the table. That Wiesel and his "Foundation for Humanity" could get 43 other Nobel laureates to sign this hysterical, hypocritical, and morally degraded war-call is a sad indication of the state of the reigning Western intellectual culture in 2010.
This ad also raises once again the important question of what the people of
The June 2009 election was declared a massive fraud in the establishment Western media and even on the liberal-left, with many alleging that
The problem with writing-off the official results of Iran’s 2009 election as a fraud or as a stolen election is that both the 2005 presidential election results and a string of opinion polls carried out before and after the 2009 election suggest quite strongly that Ahmadinejad does in fact enjoy majority support among Iranians, and very well could have won outright.
Thus in the June 24, 2005 presidential runoff between Ahmadinejad and the former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani (1989-1997), Ahmadinejad won by roughly a 2-to-1 margin, receiving 62% of the vote, compared to Rafsanjani’s 32% (see Table 1). At the time, no one seriously contended that this result was based on electoral fraud.
Then, during the run-up to the 2009 election, an opinion poll completed by three U.S. groups just three weeks before the vote found that for those Iranians willing to commit themselves, Ahmadinejad would beat Mousavi by better than a 2-to-1 margin (34% – 14%), a slightly higher ratio of victory than the official election results as reported by the Interior Ministry on June 13 (63% – 34%).
Table 1: Iranian Public Opinion Through June 12, 2009
Mir Hussein Mousavi