Christ, the more you dig around in places like Fox News Lite, the more seriously scary wing-nuttery you uncover.
Michael Ehioze-Ediae is a bit of new one on me, although a quick Google search adds membership of the Conservative Christian Fellowship (quelle surprise) and a recent debut on ‘Conservative Home Television’ (produced by Fox News Lite, naturally) to his offical ‘rap sheet’ as “a member of the Editorial teams of CentreRight.com and 18Doughty Street’s news agenda.”
What caught my attention was a current ‘News Agenda’ piece carrying Michael’s byline, which start out mundanely enough with the headline, ‘Time to stop Ahmadinejad‘ and then barrels rather quickly into ‘2. The legal case for war’.
Whoa there. Can we stick to one, err sorry, I mean two wars at a time (Iraq & Afghanistan) here. Isn’t that enough to be going on with?
Still, this kind of thing needs checking out, so what we do find but young Michael reporting on ‘an event organised by the Conservative Friends of Israel” during the course of which “a group of jurists presented their case for international legal action against President Ahmadinejad of Iran.”
They want to prosecute Ahmadinejad? Okay… let’s take a look…
Ah, right. I get it… Michael, do you not think it worth mentioning that the ‘group of jurists’ comes from the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (ILJAJ) and that the report is co-published by the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, so it’s not exactly impartial here is it?
Nevertheless, the IAJLJ is actually an organisation with a decent historical provenence to it, so I thought I’d take a bit of a look at the argument they’re advancing, which rests largely on article 3c of the UN Convention on Genocide, which covers direct and public incitement to commit genocide… and okay Ahmadinejad’s a bit of wingnut, himself, but even so, much of the actual argument in this report is stretching credibility.
But what really doesn’t help, in terms of credibility, is the highly selective ‘evidence’ presented of Ahmadinejad’s alleged incitements in appendix 1 of the report, in which the authors selectively cite an Al-Jazeera mistranslation of what is his most notorious (and routinely misrepresented statement), “As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.” only to later cite another part of the same speech, this taken from a different and much more credible translation, in which the infamous ‘wiped off the map’ comment is accurately rendered as;
“‘Imam [Khomeini] said: ‘This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.’ This sentence is very wise. The issue of Palestine is not an issue on which we can compromise.
(Quick note – MEMRI, who provide the accurate translation, includes amongst its founders, an ex-Israel Military Intelligence Colonel and a number of prominent Neo-cons, so it Ahmadinejad had specificall said ‘wiped off the map’ then you can damn sure that’s what the MEMRI translation would say).
This might seem like hair-splitting, but there is considerable semantic difference between idea of wiping a country off the map and eliminating a regime from the pages of history, and such things would be important in the unlikely event of Ahmadinejad ever finding himself in front of a court on a charge of inciting genocide.
Still what do you expect when you discover also that the “included MPs from the main British political parties such as Michael Ancram, Michael Gove and David Trimble.” (so the ‘main British political parties’ amount to the Tories and the Ulster Unionists???) and also on the guest list was “Benjamin Netanyahu the former Israeli Prime Minister.”
The whole ‘what did he really say?’ thing is well enough elsewhere not to dwell on it too much, but the general gist is that what these jurists are arguing for is for a criminal trial at the Internation Court, which rather leaves me at a loss to understand quite how Michael gets from there to…
2 The Legal Case for War
You fucking what? But, hey, it gets better
Article 2(4) of the UN charter prevents a party from making statements threatening the use of force against another state. Further Article 51 of the same charter permits a state to act in self defence against a state threatening it. It is argued that these legal provisions give Israel the right to attack Iran after its President called for it to be wiped of the map. A call he has made repeatedly. Ahamdinejad has constantly referred to the fact that he was only repeating what the Imam stated. By Imam he means the late Ayatollah Khomeni. This implies that wiping Israel of the map is also a religious duty.
This whole passage is a complete and utter load of bollocks. Article 2(4) does indeed mention threats:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
But article 51, doesn’t and authorises military action only in self-defence and if actually attacked
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
In short, pre-emptive strikes are no a legitmate response to a bit of verbal sabre-rattling. But if that weren’t a bad enough bit of misrepresentation, we then move on to this…
Iran is developing a nuclear weapons programme and it has been estimated by the head of Mossad that it has about 3 years to develop a nuclear weapon. This will give it the ability to carry out its threat.
Just one point to make here, which seems to completely escaping most pundits. In order to nuke Israel, Iran must also be prepared to nuke Islam’s third most holy site (the Al Aqsa Mosque) after Mecca and Medina, the location from which Mohammed, according to Islamic tradition, ascending to heaven in the company of the Archangel Gabriel for quick tour, during which he received the commandments (including the five daily prayers) before nipping back down to Mecca to pass them on to the faithful.
In other words, an act that, broadly speaking, could be matched by Christians only if the Vatican decided to nuke somewhere like Bethlehem.
I don’t know about you but from where I’m sitting that does rather work against the idea of Muslims deliberately irradiating the fuck out of Jerusalem, however much they might have in for the Israelis, because somewhere in this I think they’d quite like the Mosque back, and undamaged as well.
Still accuracy clearly isn’t Michael’s forte as he then goes on to state:
Ahmadinejad’s behaviour follows the same pattern as Hitler of Nazi Germany. He stated in his book Mein Kampf that he intended to exterminate the Jews and he carried out this threat by killing 6 million Jews. We must therefore act before history repeats itself.
Sorry, Michael, wrong again. Mein Kampf was published in two volumes in 1925 and 26 and while old Adolf did have plenty to say on the subject of Jews and most (all) of what he did say was pretty in your face, he never actually got around to stating that he intended to exterminate them in either volume – with fourteen years to read through it before World War II kicked off, I do reckon someone might just have noticed the bit about extermination rather before whole shooting match actually kicked off.
You haven’t actually read Mein Kampf, have you? Which is not such a bad thing in some respects, although I would suggest you do, as a matter of historical interest, before you start telling people what’s in it, just so you can avoid any more blatantly stupid mistakes like this one.
Or indeed, this one…
As Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the audience yesterday, when Hitler started his campaign against the Jews, people thought it was just a Jewish problem. How mistaken they were! The whole world was drawn into a war with Nazi Germany.
Does this one even need a history book to sort out? Would a copy of Fawlty Towers on DVD not do just as well?
Basil: Now, wait a minute. Well, I got a bit confused here. Sorry! I got a bit confused, ’cause everyone keeps mentioning the war. So, could you— what’s the matter?
Elder Herr: It’s all right.
Basil: Is there something wrong?
Elder Herr: Will you stop talking about the war?!
Basil: ME?! You started it!
Elder Herr: We did not start it!
Basil: Yes you did — you invaded Poland.
To be fair, I can see what Netanyahu was actually saying, which was that we might have avoided World War II, and everything that went with it, had we paid a bit more attention to what Hitler was up to with the Jews, which is fair comment, although you could just as easily make the same observation about his violating the Treaty of Versaille in 1935 by introducing conscription, moving troops in the Rhineland in 1936, supporting Franco in the Spanish Civil War and annexing Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. So, on the whole, we missed quite a few pointers when it came to Adolf, not just the shitty attitude towards his own Jewish population.
The point here is simply that if you’re going to try pumping out propaganda then its as well to ensure that your schtick isn’t shot though with basic and easily check factual innaccuracies, especially when you trying to pitch a case for going to war – Mmm, where else have I heard that before, I wonder… – and that’s when people tend to start checking up on your comments.
So there you go – another completely impartial and anti-establishment offering from Fox News Lite – good stuff, eh?