Elie Wiesel’s Ignoble Recruits
By John V. Walsh | February 15, 2010
Is there nothing that is safe from debasement by the propaganda machine of the U.S. and Israel? A full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times of Feb. 7 provides the answer. Sponsored by Elie Wiesel’s modestly named Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and signed by 44 Nobel laureates, 35 of them in the physical sciences, it urges brutal and lethal actions against Iran.
Before getting to the cruel prescriptions that Wiesel and his recruits offer for Iran, let us consider their reasoning, such as it is. In a single brief topic sentence they assert their central claim that the Iranian government “whose irresponsible and senseless nuclear ambitions threaten the entire world continues to wage a shameless war against its own people.” Two charges are fired off in this brief sentence, and it is all too easy to conflate them. So let us take them one at a time, as is the habit in science when one wishes for clarification.
The first charge deals with Iran’s nuclear “ambitions,” but the ad does not say what these ambitions are. And then it asserts without evidence that such “ambitions” threaten “the entire world.” This is certainly a very grave charge, and some scintilla of evidence should be offered for it. But none is provided, not one word, not even a footnote or reference in this spacious advert. Yes, such allegations are made repeatedly and vehemently by government figures in Tel Aviv and Washington and by many segments of the U.S. and Israeli press. But what is the evidence for these allegations? Many of them turn out to be false as exemplified by a recent AP story, which was pulled after being exposed on Antiwar.com by Jason Ditz. Many of the same voices that now warn that Iran is a nuclear threat “to the entire world” assured us not long ago that Saddam Hussein was connected to al-Qaeda and that he had weapons of mass destruction, both of which turned out to be shameless lies. And is it not strange that Russia and China, so proximate to Iran, are not obsessed, as is the U.S., about this threat to “the entire world”? The signatories of the ad ought not to make such intemperate and incendiary assertions without at least a reference to unimpeachable evidence. No such reference is provided. Is this the proper standard of thought and reason that a Nobel in the physical sciences implies?
The second claim wrapped up in the topic sentence is that the Iranian government is engaging in a “shameless war on its own people.” This too is quite a striking charge, going far beyond the usual charge that the recent Iranian elections were rigged, which in fact may not be the case. In what does this “shameless war” consist? Certainly there are human rights abuses, and striking ones, in Iran, just as there are in many countries who are U.S. allies, but that does not amount to a government making “war on its own people.” The U.S. and Israel make charges against Iran almost daily, and so Iran is certain to be demonized in our elite press, which so often functions as stenographer for the government. The same media treatment was given to Iraq so very recently, and it is amazing that this fact did not deter the signatories from the intemperate statements in this ad. Earlier, during the presidency of Bush I, we were treated to stories of infants being pulled from incubators and discarded on hospital floors in Kuwait by Iraqi troops during the run-up to the U.S. attack on Iraq in the first Gulf War. These charges uttered by Bush I himself were lies, concocted by a P.R. firm, as we later learned.
Given that there are human rights abuses in Iran, although we do not know their extent, two questions arise. Who are we to criticize Iran when our own government has been abducting, secretly detaining, and torturing people all over the planet? Historically, the CIA overthrew the duly elected Iranian government of Mossadegh in the 1950s and installed the shah, whose brutality was legendary and who was eventually ousted in 1979. Today the CIA is still engaging in “extraordinary renditions” under Obama as it did under Bush and probably before. And Israel is equally guilty of crimes against humanity with the apartheid order it is imposing in the occupied territories, as Jimmy Carter demonstrated in his recent book, this being the most egregious of human rights violations, since it is based on ethnicity.
Now let us turn to the vicious prescriptions called for by Wiesel and his recruits. They first call for “harsher sanctions” without any mention of restrictions on such sanctions. We already know that sanctions as practiced by the U.S. are a recipe for massive death and destruction. We know what the years of sanctions did to Iraq under the presidencies of Clinton and Bush II. When Madeleine Albright was informed in a notorious TV interview that 500,000 Iraqi children had died due to those sanctions, she did not deny it but replied, “This is a very hard choice, but … we think the price is worth it.” Do the signers of this ad agree with Albright’s assessment in the case of Iraq and now Iran? Sanctions are far from harmless, and they fall hardest on the helpless and rarely on the powerful. In 2000 Christian Aid stated:
“The immediate consequence of eight years of sanctions has been a dramatic fall in living standards, the collapse of the infrastructure, and a serious decline in the availability of public services. The longer-term damage to the fabric of society has yet to be assessed but economic disruption has already led to heightened levels of crime, corruption, and violence. Competition for increasingly scarce resources has allowed the Iraqi state to use clan and sectarian rivalries to maintain its control, further fragmenting Iraqi society.”
And yet Wiesel’s recruits call for sanctions almost casually. They would do well to read Brian Cloughey’s essay on “The Evil of Sanctions,” and the sources to which he refers.
But Wiesel’s recruits do not stop there. They go on to call for “concrete measures” to protect the “new nation of dissidents in Iran.” But these concrete measures are not spelled out. What could they be? There are only two that appear on the lips of those who are demonizing Iran these days in Tel Aviv and Washington: “sanctions” and “war.” This ad will certainly be used by those who wish to attack Iran, as Israel has threatened to do. Do the signers understand this? Since they are intelligent men and women, they must. Are they then calling for war?
In signing onto Wiesel’s statement, the laureates have put themselves in very questionable company. Although he claims to speak out for “human rights,” Wiesel is very selective in the cases he chooses. He has not and will not criticize Israel and its apartheid policies; in fact, he attacks those who do. In an interview with Ha’aretz wherein Wiesel announced his ad campaign, he blasted Judge Richard Goldstone, saying his report on the Israeli offensive in Gaza was “a crime against the Jewish people.” Goldstone’s report is in fact quite mild, but it makes clear that the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians of Gaza are atrocities much like those in Sabra and Shatila years ago. Do Wiesel’s recruits know that his view of human rights is quite selective?
One cannot know the motives that drove Wiesel’s recruits to sign such a thoughtless and cruel document. Certainly the document reflects the wave of propaganda on Iran to which we are all subjected. But that is no excuse. These are, after all, intelligent men and women who should see through such propaganda, given our recent and historical experience. Certainly this writer holds many of these signers in great regard, and one can only hope that their signatures were obtained without time to examine the matter properly. If so, a retraction is in order. Finally, one cannot help but wonder whether Wiesel’s recruits felt that signing on to such a statement would be fine now that Obama is in charge and he is a man they can trust. If so, this is another sign of the gift to the Empire that is Obama.
In the end Wiesel’s signers, Nobel laureates though they may be, are of small stature next to those giants of science, humanitarians as well as thinkers, who were unafraid to take on authority in their work and in their role as citizens. Einstein, Galileo, and many others must be tossing in their tombs over Weisel’s handiwork.
3 Comments »
or go to
From the Archives
Building on an over five-year, almost entirely fictional narrative about a popular uprising in Syria, recent developments on the ground in Aleppo have triggered a new propaganda blitz complete with a new set of provable lies. The following are ten facts about Aleppo that must be accepted by any objective, informed and rational observer regardless of one’s political views and opinions regarding Syria. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- Hundreds inspired at the launching of the Palestinian Youth Forum September 25, 2016
- World Week of Peace 2016 September 24, 2016
- Continuing injustice: One year since extrajudicial execution of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun September 22, 2016
- Clinton Foundation Deal Opens Italy’s Anti-Trump Front September 26, 2016
- AP interview with Bashar al Assad September 25, 2016
- thermite or no thermite? – the saga of the red-gray chips September 25, 2016
- Guardian sells space to war-profiteers to promote war September 24, 2016
- Agriculture: Trade Wars and Food Wars. Obama and the Multi-Nationals September 19, 2016
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
rediscover911com on This Florida Public School Pri… Brian Harry, Austral… on President Trump would ‘recogni… Brian Harry, Austral… on Another Kerry Rush to Judgment… Brian Harry, Austral… on Israel wants Syria destroyed a… Brian Harry, Austral… on North Korea: Rogue Aggressor o… kznwatch on BBC Quietly Owns Up to Blatant… rediscover911com on Israel wants Syria destroyed a… traducteur on Israel wants Syria destroyed a… traducteur on Guardian sells space to war-pr… Brian Harry, Austral… on Corbyn re-elected in landslide… Brian Harry, Austral… on How One Man Held off Nuclear… Greg Bacon on Guardian sells space to war-pr… traducteur on Corbyn re-elected in landslide… Unpogo on Pathetic Fail #2: Abby Ohlheis… RoHa on The “12 Commandments” of the I…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,704,208 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- President Trump would ‘recognize Jerusalem’ as Israeli capital September 25, 2016
- This Florida Public School Principal Is Into Forcing Patriotism At Athletic Events September 25, 2016
- Former hunger striker Malik al-Qadi released by Israel, transferred to Palestinian hospital September 25, 2016
- Syrian and Palestinian Units liberate Handarat Refugee Camp from Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham September 25, 2016
- Israel wants Syria destroyed as presaged by the Oded Yinon plan September 25, 2016
- Another Kerry Rush to Judgment on Syria September 25, 2016
- North Korea: Rogue Aggressor or Cornered Victim of Aggression? September 25, 2016
- Syria FM censures exploiting humanitarian sufferings of Syrians September 24, 2016
- Obama implicated in Clinton email scandal – New FBI docs September 24, 2016
- Hillary’s Secret ‘Ideas for Regime Change’ Program Gave Rise to Arab Spring September 24, 2016
- President al-Assad’s interview given to Associated Press September 24, 2016
- Guardian sells space to war-profiteers to promote war September 24, 2016
- Canadian firm sells Bahrain software to censor Internet September 24, 2016
- How One Man Held off Nuclear War September 24, 2016
- Corbyn re-elected in landslide win as Britain’s Labour leader September 24, 2016
- Russia Hopes Next US President to Push for Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban September 24, 2016
- Your Time Is Up “Professor” Wadhams September 23, 2016
- NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype September 23, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Book Review Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.