Friday, 15 July 2011

Response to: 'A History Lesson for William Hague'

HuffPost UK published a Tom Stevenson article entitled 'A History Lesson for William Hague'
(available here: 

This is my response:

Your piece makes an articulate and almost informed case as to why the UK shouldn't delve into the internal domestic affairs of the state of Iran, but what you overlook is the actual point at stake here which is that:
Concerns over Iran's nuclear program are not directed at Iran's INTERNAL domestic politics or affairs, rather at the effect of the acquisition of such a capability will have on Iran's EXTERNAL international relations. Quite skilfully, you have drawn the focus of the debate onto whether 'we' have the right to interfere in Iran, and thus removed the focus  from what is really at stake here; whether the peoples of the Middle East have the right to live at liberty and in a secure and stable region.

Consequently your article is both flawed and one sided, not a position I believe that you have deliberately formulated, rather more likely the unseen Foucaultian indoctrination which seems to stem from reading far too much pro-Palestine, anti-Israel, anti-Western rhetoric in left-leaning publications these days. It might be worth recognising at this point that whilst Israel is certainly guilty of some levels of human rights violations it remains, at present at least, the only democratic country in the Middle-East.

In your article, you briefly discuss '...the US and Israel...' as being in possession of  '...huge nuclear arsenals and extensive records of aggression...' and thus question; '...if Hague cared about peace in the Middle East as he says, he would not be silent on these threats'. Threats to whom may I ask? Israel has never threatened to use her nuclear weapons aggressively, rather they are held as deterrence (for further information on the key differences here, please research Nuclear Deterrence Theory).

Whether you or indeed I like it, Israel is the regional hegemon in the Middle-East; a position it occupies despite huge international and journalistic pressure from those such as yourself, and despite having a population of less than 8million souls. There are 2 reasons for this vital hegemony:
1.) Israel proved itself very adept in conventional warfare in 1967 and 1973 thus establishing itself as an effective regional power
2.) It has either developed or acquired a modest Nuclear arsenal in order to ensure that it does not require to fight any more such conventional conflicts, thus ensuring regional stability.

The net result of this hegemonic position has been long decades of Middle Eastern stability within Israel's sphere of influence, thus avoiding the kind of massed slaughter as witnessed in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. Some relatively minor interventions in Lebanon and the 'occupied' territories have indeed occurred but so too has Israel demonstrated its enormous capacity for restraint; not least during Iraq's Scud missile attacks on Tel Aviv during 1990 and 1991. One wonders whether a nuclear armed counter-hegemonic Iran would have shown quite so much restraint?

If you want 'a lesson from history', perhaps you should look at what happened to us here in the West during the 1973 oil crisis which occurred as a direct result of a challenge to Israel's hegemonic position.  A nuclear armed Iran would create:
At best, a new cold war in the region, forcing oil prices up and up (and thus food, textiles and heating)
At worst, an aggressive nuclear armed state capable of a new holocaust which would not only see death and destruction in the Middle-East, but starvation and mass anarchy in the entirety of the developed world.

So sorry  to '...scare [you] with stories of a demon in the East.'.

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