My SLICK! launch party went well. I read parts of three scenes. One described the aged Sultan of Moq’tar being confused about present-day events but remaining proud that neither Jews nor Israelis live in the sultanate—except for a long list of both who actually maintain residency, as well as monthly visits by an Israeli cardiologist.
Hypocrisy inspires satirists. And where do satirists collect their material? From the world around us. This past week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear bomb. Innocent, peace loving Iran? The Iran that wants to wipe Israel off the map? As Captain Renault (played by Claude Rains) remarks in the classic film Casablanca regarding accusations of gambling at Rick’s Place (owned by Humphrey Bogart), “I’m shocked.” Of course, Major Reynaud gambles at Rick’s all the time.
As expected, Iran vociferously denied the charge, calling it a fabrication emanating from a bullying Washington. And Iran has its allies, even if they remain an arm’s length away. Russia and China—paragons of virtue both—continually seek to counter American influence. They may not like Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but they will use their seats on the UN Security Council to prevent further sanctions or other actions from deterring Tehran. Business is, after all, business. Russia engages in much trade with Iran in the areas of agriculture, telecommunications and aviation. China needs every drop of oil it can get.
The news is quiet today. But Israel, according to the media, is seriously contemplating an attack on Iran. Truth or dare? It’s possible that Israel—if Prime Minister Netanyahu can get sufficient agreement in his cabinet—will actually pull the military trigger, as fraught with risk as such an attack might be. On the other hand, Netanyahu may be goading the U.S. and NATO to launch their own attack, perhaps with Israeli assistance. Or he may be pushing the UN to implement what French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has termed “unprecedented sanctions”—in spite of Russia and China’s opposition—rather than risk seeing a major conflict in the Gulf, which France and Germany oppose.
If an attack does take place, the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East will doubtless continue to reveal their own hypocrisy. Although hardly fond of Israel, Oren Kessler reported in the Jerusalem Post online (11-9-11), they privately support Israel doing the dirty work for them while condemning such action publicly. Saudi Arabia and Egypt fear a nuclear Iran and may feel compelled to go nuclear themselves. But what else can we expect from peace loving nations who are Muslim brothers at heart?
Where do we go from here? Iran states that any attack on its soil will be met with “iron fists.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta yesterday warned against an Israeli attack citing “unintended consequences.” Anyone who has played sports understands the concept of trying to intimidate an opponent. “Woofing” we used to call it.
Let’s hope that woofing is all it is. Because this game may produce a great many losers. And there’s not a satirical sentiment in that statement.
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And a special salute to all veterans. We care!