Iraq, Iran, Israel

Iraq, Iran, Israel
: During the imprisonment of Iranian blogger Sina Motallebi, I linked frequently to Pedram Moallemian at Eyranian because he started the petition to free Motallebi (he also started a petition to “stop the hate” when he saw Nazi references on some Persian weblogs). He is one of a now-large group of Iranian bloggers I read daily and hope to get to know under the Tony Pierce dictum (below).

Lately when I’ve read and linked to Pedram’s blog I’ve had a twinge of difficulty as he, more and more, makes anti-Israeli asides. On one level, of course, I accept that; everyone’s entitled to an opinion, including opinions critical of Israel.

But two things have troubled me.

Today, Pedram takes me to task as a “member of the far right end of the political spectrum” (ha!) because I attack Yasser Arafat over his halfway condemnation — and thus, halfway endorsement — of suicide bombers. Arafat has murdered civilians and used his own people — his own youth, for God’s sake — as weapons, as human bombs. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, Pedram, and mine is that Arafat is slime.

More often, Pedram attributes U.S. actions regarding Iraq — and more to his point, regarding Iran today — to the work of “the pro-Israeli group in Washington DC” and “hard-line American Jews.”

Pedram, not everything is about Israel. Not everything is about the U.S. What this is about, in the end, is local issues of freedom and human rights and democracy and responsibility.

As for Iraq: No matter how and why we got there, no one can regret the disposal of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. That was vital for Iraqis, not Americans, not Israelis, but Iraqis.

As for Iran: I don’t want to see us inserting ourselves into Iran, considering our troubled history there. But you want to see change, there, Pedram, for you you are involved with opposition groups. There is ample reason for change. And it is best if it occurs from within. This is not Israel’s issue. I hope it does not become America’s issue. It is Iran’s issue.

I say all this in an effort to keep the dialogue going here in the Blogosphere. I’ve been excited to see bridges being built from person to person, country to country, culture to culture and I don’t want to see them blocked and bombed through glib assumption and accusation. We’re going to disagree; in fact, disagreeing is the best thing we can do so long as we keep on talking. So I’ll keep on disagreeing with Pedram and keep on linking to him.