The West’s ‘Rational Iran’ Fest

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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We’ve been treated lately to an Iran-rationality fest. In February it was U.S. chief of staff Martin Dempsey saying Iran’s government was a “rational actor.” In March it was Israel’s disgruntled ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan saying “The regime in Iran is a very rational regime.”

Just last week Israel’s serving chief of staff, Benny Gantz, took up the slack by saying that “the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” And the next day another disgruntled Israeli, ex-Shin Bet (domestic security) chief Yuval Diskin, suggested who might really not be rational, saying that Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak—both at least verbal hawks on Iran—were “two messiahs” who make decisions out of “messianic feelings.”

The New York Times, one could say, ate it up. A day after Diskin’s pronouncements, it ran a piece called “Experts Believe Iran Conflict Is Less Likely,”claiming that the “threat of tighter economic sanctions,” the “revival of direct negotiations,” and a “growing divide in Israel between political leaders and military and intelligence officials” had led “American officials and outside analysts” to believe that the “chances of war in the near future have significantly decreased.”

And the Los Angeles Times has reported that the U.S. was signaling a “major shift on Iran[s’] nuclear program,” with Obama administration officials saying they “might agree to let Iran continue enriching uranium up to 5% purity, which is the upper end of the range for most civilian uses,” if Iran agrees to strict inspections and safeguards.

As the article notes, such a deal would be anathema to Jerusalem and probably most of Congress, since allowing Iran to continue any uranium enrichment means leaving the door open to clandestine work toward the bomb. Israel’s national security adviser Yaakov Amidror has, in fact, been dispatched to Europe for “extremely sensitive” talks on the possibility of such a deal emerging.

The Los Angeles Times article, however, quotes Michael Singh, former top Iran adviser to President George W. Bush, saying “There have been many signals lately that the red line has shifted and they’re no longer pushing for full suspension” of Iran’s uranium enrichment—a shift that Singh “strongly opposes.”

The problem with the Iran-rationality fest is that Iran refuses to join in.

This week Iran’s English-language Fars News Agency website—regularly scoured by Western Iran-observers—has run a report rather brazenly titled “Iranian Navy Able to Deploy Vessels Three Miles off New York Coasts.”

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  • aspacia

    Jack Job is insane and the West should not negotiate with this mad man. We made this mistake with Hitler.

  • Schlomotion

    When the Israel Lobby can have a war against Iran without a real opponent, without the US, without an air base, without Mossad, without a chief of staff, without Shin Bet, without a populace, only with Netanyahu and Ehud Barak's celestial visions and visitations, when the Wall Street Journal declares rhetoric to be "one of the most serious crimes under international law," you know that this is a blogger and journalists' Chickenhawk War waged from an armchair, trying to poison the enemy with penmanship. If you can't win against the argument of "Iranian rationality," Mr. Hornik suggests an all out assault on "rationality" as such, blaming rationality for Auschwitz and Treblinka. In other words, Hornik is an anti-Western Irrationalist who tries to force us to decide between Zionism and Nihilism.

    Under Jewish Irrationalism (Nihilism):

    The world is devoid of rational structure, therefore all Jews need to live in a 1st Century castle.
    Reason is inherently defective, therefore all reason must be met with Hasbara.
    All countries should not have access to science, because science is magic powers to control others with fireballs.
    There are no objective standards, only standards under which Jews proliferate.
    The Enlightenment simply creates too much freedom and allows terrorists to blend in with us.
    History simply represents the place where one PR agency lost the advertising war.
    If you can't falsify something, then at least refute it (a return to Phariseeism).

    • Brian H

      Repulsive and stupid, but revealing. Thanks — I think.

    • Ghostwriter

      And you are an anti-Jewish Irrationalist,Shlobrain.

      • Schlomotion

        Do tell.

  • WildJew

    When genocidal / apocalyptic (totalitarian) regimes issue martial threats, these are not peaceful regimes by any means.

    • Brian H

      Yes, the Achilles heel of civilized nations; they can't quite believe that the sociopaths REALLY mean what they say. Despite repeated historical demonstrations that they will do exactly what they promise (in terms of aggression, suppression, destruction). What we learn from history is that we are incapable of learning from history. "It's different, now!' is the perpetual delusion.

  • Marty

    This sort of behavior must be known as the rationality of irrationality. The sociopathic leadership in tehran remains determined to destroy Israel, islamize as much of the planet as possible, terminate western civilization, democracy, and human rights. After satisfying their genocidal impulses, the mullahs want the credit for plunging the world into a permanent and cruel dark age and deprive the human race of science, music, humor, art, and progress. Instead, the United States and the West should be working as hard as possible to cause the disintegration of iran into various ethnic and religious statelets and the end of the regime through enhanced assassination methods.

  • Brian H

    Iran's leadership is rational — once you acknowledge their goals and internal standards. Destruction of the Jews and ushering in the return of the 12th Imam (whom Dumbjob hints is really himself) are both rationally advanced by stimulating nuclear war in the ME. That the country would "burn" was of no concern to Iran's original revolutionary mullahs and ayatollah, and probably is at most secondary to the current inheritors.

  • MarcH

    Very good piece. You did well to remind folks of the comments of the IRGC navy admiral regarding NYC.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How many observers have ever been in Iran, none maybe and how many would there be for a_limited production of nuclear material, probably none. This effort to accommodate Iran's leaders_and blindfold themselves with papers that have no other effect than identify willfully sightless_leadership reveals a failure in determination. Iran will go on to produce nuclear bombs with_the help of Russia and China and North Korea and Washinton and an efete EU. Israel will be_up the creek without paddle, boat nor water but maybe if lucky a warm beer and roadmap out of_Israel. What madness to believe anything coming out of Tehran, they do as they want and the
    World is next……………………….William

    • WilliamJamesWard

      The Trolls are out………….William

  • Poyani

    Hey … who needs Shin Bet, Mossad, CIA, etc experts when we have David Hornick? I mean, he read that whole article by the three-stooges in the Wall-Street Journal, all by himself, and regurgitated the words verbatim.

  • Whore-o-wits

    Quite a Nazi-fest on this site! But then again, this little Nazi-fest has been going on for years now.

  • Ronald Johnston

    Anybody who thinks we can deal with terrorists like Iran and Syria is delusional. These people need to be deprived of any ability to leave their countries and isolated from all other countries! If we pursued this policy, all the other islamic countries would have to abide by this policy or face the same fate!!!!

  • Ghostwriter

    And who ever said the mullahs in Iran were ever rational people?

  • StephenD

    I tried to post this yesterday.

    Rational?!? Ahmadinejad wants to usher in the return of the 12th Imam who he believes has been hiding since the 10th century.
    The 12th Imam, according to some Shia Muslims, is a great spiritual savior named Muhammad al Mahdi.
    Mahdi was born around 868 A.D. at a time of large persecutions of Shiite Muslims. In order to protect him, his father, the 11th Imam, sent him into hiding. Mahdi appeared briefly in public as a child, but when his father died, he went back into the shadows. Even today, Shiites believe he continues to guide Muslims. (cont'd)

  • StephenD

    Mahdi’s followers are often called ‘Twelvers’. Some devout Shiite Muslims believe him to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed.
    Ahmadinejad is also someone who believes he has been told by the prophet Mohammed that he is the chosen one to hasten the return of the Muslim’s messiah by creating chaos throughout the world. Combine all of this with a world full of countries, except for Israel, who is unable or unwilling to stop this madman and we have all the ingredients of a very serious situation.
    Is the West so utterly opposed to action we will believe a madman that tells us sweet little lies? This guy is nuts! We should respond accordingly.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      So a Maddinnerjacket believes his holy poptart is coming up out of the well as soon as he creates
      enough chaos and destruction, like and atomic war afterwhich Mullas will rule and of course he
      will be set forever as the main man. Yeah nuts, Sat Bhit lunatics and Mullah Obama and gang
      are in with them helping the Muslim Brotherhood take over and Hillary gets a big black death rag
      to wear, how will Bill look in a turban and pajamas in his harem, this is probably all the inducemnt
      Bill needed to cooprate, that and millions of oil dollars……..America sold into slavery……….William

  • http://www.madisdead.blogspot.com Mladen Andrijasevic

    Here is a blog discussing the opinions of those scholars and politicians who believe that Iran is NOT rational: MAD is Dead http://www.madisdead.blogspot.com/2011/07/mad-is-http://www.madisdead.blogspot.com/2011/10/mad-det

  • Irandissident

    The current Iranian constitution, in its preamble, explaining the rationale behind the constitutional articles, under the heading of "an Ideological Army", calls for a "Global Jihad" as the aim of the revolution and assigns the task to the army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. This is a clear and plain military Jihad; none of that propaganda about a "spiritual" trip !

    They have and will act rationally to attain this goal, by deceiving the world and for buying time.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    jimmy carter "worst US president EVER" is the antichrist.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Crazy people always consider other crazy people-rational.