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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

War?

In the late 1930s, poets and intellectuals in Britain discussed and were concerned with the prospects of war with a tyrannical state known for its regional importance and anti-Semitism; many resisted the terrible implications of the conflict.  Others, such as Churchill, predicted that such a war would have to come, and Britain should be prepared.  In the end, after a phony war, it came, and evil was finally defeated.  Now, in 2012, the West faces a similar shadow over our daily lives: What To Do About Iran?  It is not enough to simply say that all war, especially all wars in the Middle East, are wicked - we know war is dreadful, but some wars are necessary.  Nor is it I think sufficient to take a sort of multicultural-nuclear approach, and accept that, if Israel and indeed Pakistan, as well as India, America, France, Russia, Britain and China, have nukes, then what is the harm of Iran joining this ominous club.  The fact of the matter is, Iran poses an existential threat to Israel, in word and deed.  Iran does not accept that the greatest crime in human history, The Holocaust, happened.  And yes, the slave trade, imperialism, and the potato famine were also forms of genocide.  However, the cruel truth is that Israel came into rebirth with the help of the Allied powers (and their hindrance) because and despite of the Holocaust, and centuries of deplorable European racism and anti-Jewish violence.  Israel learned to protect itself.  Now, that right to protection infringes on a weary world, who do not want an arms race or a war in Iran.  And that is understandable.  Such a war would leave thousands, perhaps millions, of people, dead.  The question now must be - what can the people of Iran do to renounce the direction of their leadership, renounce their nation's Holocaust denial, and denounce the phantasy of a nuclear Iran.  Iran is not Sweden.  It is not a neutral state.  It supports Syrian terror and despotism.  It seeks to destabilise Iraq.  Eyewear does not know what the answer to all this is, but what would like to hear what poets think.  Are they concerned?  I opposed the last war, in Iraq.  This one seems more problematic.  Less clear-cut.  The West must defend itself and its allies from nuclear threat, surely?  And yet, last time, we were told Iraq had the weapons.  And we saw the disaster therein.
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