God-awful choice-makers


God-awful choice-makers
by Niloufar Parsi

I was reading the latest garbage on the Economist on Iran’s nuclear programme. I say ‘garbage’ because it is the same Economist that fully and unequivocally supported Bush’s unprovoked attack on Iraq in 2003; the same Economist that only grudgingly criticized sanctions against Iraq for over a decade prior to that murderous attack; a sanctions regime that led to half a million deaths among Iraqi children - ‘justifiably’ so, according to Mad Albright.

Now the same Economist is pushing for sanctions and a military campaign against Iran. So what I want to discuss is not so much the details of Iran’s nuclear programme, rather the colonial mindset of garbage producers like the Economist and their ilk.

To do that, let me quote the closing paragraph of the said article (Economist, Dec. 5 2009 issue, p. 29):

So which will it be: a war with Iran or a nuclear-armed Iran? Short of a revolution that sweeps away the Iranian regime – ushering in one that agrees, like post-apartheid South Africa, to give up its nuclear technology – sanctions may offer the only hope of avoiding the awful choice’.

First, let me address the sanctions/war ‘apologists’ amongst us: please note that the proposed sanctions/war would actually apply to any Iranian regime. It is irrelevant who governs Iran. What the Economist is saying is that Iran should face sanctions or war unless it gives up its ‘nuclear technology’. And if there is a regime change in Iran, the requirement that Iran must capitulate to the wishes of the West will remain.

So, let us all realise that we are dealing with a pig, despite her lipstick. This particular pig is saying that Iranians may not have nuclear technology of the kind that many other countries have, including Pakistan, Israel, Germany, France, Japan etc. Again, please note, it is not the bomb that is being disputed, but possession of the know-how itself.

This brings me to the second point: the Economist wants Iran to give up its ‘nuclear technology’. What exactly does this mean? I don’t want to open a technical argument here. It is far simpler than that: you either know how to master nuclear technology or you do not. The knowledge exists in human resources first, and materials and equipment next.

How is it possible to ‘give up’ such technology? Other than complete capitulation of national sovereignty and the right to self-govern/self-learn, how is this possible?

Actually, it is worse than that: it is not about self-government even. It is about agreeing to an externally-imposed limit on scientific knowledge. It is about giving up the right to learn physics. I for one am not sure how this is even possible in a practical sense. We would basically have to self-censure our learning and textbooks because some other countries told us to do it.

This brings me to the third point: who gave the Economist the right to assume to know or determine who has the right to such knowledge? Or even the right to such weapons?

Of course the Economist is all about the expression of opinion, and they have the right to roll out their garbage year in year out. But it must be clear to you that I am just using the article as a reflection of western double standards and actual (real) policies. So let me turn to the West directly, and ask ‘who has the right to determine such rights’?

What we have in effect is a club of nuclear powers, a number of which (e.g. Japan and Germany) have nuclear weapons capability and could produce bombs quite quickly at any time.

And let us be clear: Iran is actively being prevented from reaching this level of technology development, rather than bomb possession itself. A small group of countries in the world have decided that Iran does not have the right to possess certain aspects of the science of physics.

Essentially, it is about ‘book burning’.

The futility and stupidity - not to mention the insult - of the exercise must be clear to most of us. Sooner or later, the time is coming when nuclear/chemical/biological weapons can be produced in relatively small laboratories and carried in briefcases: how will the ‘elite’ countries manage the situation then?

They could bomb all schools in other countries perhaps?

This brings us to the question of a remedy for the situation. What can be done? Again, I will refrain from attempting any technical discussion, but will stick to the ‘philosophical’: how does one ‘cure’ a disease - a growing problem such as this nuclear proliferation?

Well there are many ways, but dealing with the symptoms (like headaches or inflammation) does not ‘cure’. It simply relieves the discomfort until the disease is cured - often by the body’s defences alone.

Sometimes, the body’s defences do not manage to cure the disease, yet the symptoms are suppressed by medication for a while until the disease spreads and erupts in a much more severe form with added complications from secondary infections. This I guess is how AIDS or cancer can become uncontrollable.

This latter course is where we are heading on the nuclear issue if we continue to be ‘led’ (or better say ‘force-fed’) by the type of elitist, unfair, self-defeating, garbage ‘advice’ given by the likes of the Economist. Why? Simple: there is no trust in the actions of anyside in this dispute. Unilateral, secretive ‘action’ is totally justified.

Both Iran and her opposition – the Security Council, Israel and Germany - are acting as self-serving, manipulative, power-hungry parties that have no real interest in nuclear disarmament at all. What they are fighting over is who should have nuclear weapons technology, and this is a fight that is bound to have more losers than winners. It can only accelerate the rush to building more nuclear weapons, as these seem to bring privileges and unfair advantages for some nations at the direct expense ofothers. So somebody somewhere will break out of the mould and produce something really nasty without anyone noticing it.

One of these advantages is virtual (though not total) immunity from any serious attack by a foreign power. This is why Iran wants it and Israel is so desperate to ensure that it does not get it. Unfortunately for Israel, any fair-minded person would see Iran’s right to self-defence as long as Israel has such weapons.

Any serious person can see that a realsolution would have to be a multilateral one that does not isolate any particular country for chastisement. That way, any country or group that steps out of line would subject itself to discipline. The current path, however, leaves Iran looking like the victim in the eyes of impartial observers.

Not in the eyes of the Economist, mind you. Then again, what is an economist doing giving advice on global security issues? Perhaps best if they would stick to economics? But they could not even manage to see the financial crisis coming, could they?

Pigs can‘t fly, but with the right lipstick, they obviously can imitate economists who dish out global security advice. God-awful choice-makers.


Recently by Niloufar ParsiCommentsDate
US media double standard
Jul 21, 2010
patriot dog
Jul 13, 2010
the trouble with capitalism
May 24, 2010
more from Niloufar Parsi
Niloufar Parsi

Jaleh jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

i stand corrected :)

it's been a while since we discussed such issue.



Dear Ms. Parsi

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Far be it from me, really an uneducated peasant in the literary and intellectual world vis a vis blog-o-sphere called i.com, to put words in your mouth.

I was just expressing my heart felt feelings about the subject of a nuclear weapon enabled Iran.

An stable, democratically elected, progressive, tolerant, transparent and people centered regime such as the beloved Islamic Republic of Iran MUST have access to all types of nuclear weapons.  God willing, A bombs today and H bombs tomorrow.

Specially since all the technology is home grown and sort of developed free, maybe we can sell this technology to the Russians. 


Dearest Jaleh

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Is it safe to assume you are Azari?

Any relations to our good Capt_Ayhab who seems to be in self imposed exile?


Faramarz Jan,

by Jaleho on

"correct the spelling before readers think the U.S. bombed somewhere in Azarbaizan. " 

Hala, my Japanese doesn't seem to be very good and I don't think it is all that bad to spell the name of cities in the way it is said in Farsi, in particular in informal quick comments in Iranian.com. But between us, a scholar like yourself should be more careful with Farsi names like Azarbaijan ;-)



by shushtari on

all the regular bache akhoonds are here....



Dear Niloufar, My position is same as yours!

by Jaleho on


You said: "final analysis we need to work toward global disarmament rather than iran joining the nuclear race."

I do believe that Iran is pushing for its right in nuclear technology, and I believe in nuclear energy as being the most viable source of energy in the near future. I also believe that the hostility towards Iran be it towards its defense technology, space technolgy or nuclear technology is all in the spirit of preventing the country from reaching its potential by a group of nuclear apartheid bullies.

I beleive that nuclear weapons should be banned and countries who have them should safely get rid of them before lecturing others about the possibility of producing them!

Niloufar Parsi

irandokht jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

i saw (on tv) a woman claiming to be a canadian who had been denied urgent medical treatment for cancer 'because' their healthcare system is a public one. if they can get away with that kind of blatant lie to argue against a better public health system in a country where an estimated 30-50 million have no access to healthcare today, then of course they can away with portraying iran as an 'existential' threat to other countries that are armed to their teeth with nuclear weapons and other sophisticated weapons of mass destruction. 1984?

ps: what a bloody long sentence that was! :)  

Niloufar Parsi

Farmarz khan

by Niloufar Parsi on

which thoughts of mine were you thanking me for? i did not see any reference to my thoughts on the matter in your comment. in fact, i would love to discuss with you any issue that i have raised in the blog. but i ask you to kindly avoid putting words in my mouth or second-guessing what is being said. that we do have a dilemma with the current regime is beyond doubt, and i would be very happy to discuss that further.


Just a quick note Jaleh jan

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Its Nagasaki not "Naksaki". I figured an intellectual such as yourself would like to correct the spelling before readers think the U.S. bombed somewhere in Azarbaijan. 


Niloufar Parsi

Jaleh jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

this is really the core of the problem. the mix of hypocrisy and arrogance is astounding. well, it is until we face the fact that this is really business as usual. i hope we can all wake up and smell the coffee. our dilemma is that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place...

as you know my own position is slightly different from yours in that i think in the final analysis we need to work toward global disarmament rather than iran joining the nuclear race. i hope i have not misrepresented your position there...

for now, however, we should be realistic about what is going on, and avoid falling into the war/sanctions trap.


Niloufar Parsi

Q jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

i see your point. there is also the next step in that line of reasoning: i see a real potential for the nuclear cartel to replace opec in the future. iran wants to join it and the current cartel wants to keep her out. it makes economic sense to join it. not that the 'economists' would even acknowledge that reality...


Niloufar jan

by IRANdokht on

Dast be delam nazar! this whole "health care reform" mess is enough to disillusion even someone as naive and gullible as me...




BTW Niloufar Jan,

by Jaleho on

regarding your other quote:

"who gave the Economist the right to assume to know or determine who has the right to such knowledge? Or even the right to such weapons?"

We have been used to the arrogance of the US, the only country who has ever used nuclear weapons in an evil manner in Naksaki and Hiroshima to evaporate human, yet has the gall to talk from a moral podium telling how others shouldn't have nuclear weapons, lest they use it in an immoral way!

I also find this flagrant disgusting arrogance less vile than the straight face with which the same powers have been saying that certain countries should not have the knowledge to use unclear technology!


GREAT BLOG, thanks!

by Jaleho on

Dear Niloufar, thank you for decoding the nuclear appartheid point of view, and making it extremely clear!

You said:

 "It is about agreeing to an externally-imposed limit on scientific knowledge. "......and

"Essentially, it is about ‘book burning’."

That's the core which is arrogantly and shamelessly advocated, no ORDERED, by the nuclear apartheid group to Iran, and some Iranians are willing to sheepishly accept it. 




Economist is the Jewish mouthpiece

by Faramarz_Fateh on

Economist is controlled by AIPAC, Jews and ZioNazis and should be closed down.

Having access to nuclear weapons is not only the right but an obligation for the Islamic Republic regime.

A government which takes such good care of its citizenry MUST have nuclear weapons so that it can God willing export its brand of free democracy to ALL countries of the world especially the pigsty called Israel.

Thank you Ms. Parsi for your thoughts. 


Well put

by Abarmard on

All technologies are natural rights of Iranians to discover. This has nothing to do with Iranian internal policies. Economist works from a point of view aligned with world bank ideologies and their words should be taken in reverse. What's generally good for people, is bad for economist!

Thanks for the blog.


Niloufar, don't forget what the Economist is

by Q on

This kind of advice makes people millionaires. Mostly oil companies and defense contractors.

Your point is interesting, but I have another theory.

That Iran really wants nuclear power for domestic self-sufficiency so it can make $Trillions more in the coming end-of-oil world crisis in the next 30 years. The West and Saudis want to prevent it from making this money. Either they have to take the oil, or they have to keep it off the market so that their own profits go higher.

To take it they need to spend $Trillions on a new war or another way to take (at least a part) of the profits is to make peace with Iran and open its market. That's what Israel is really afraid of.

Niloufar Parsi

Irandokht jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

mersi az lotfet :)

i have come across some of those characters you mention. seems like the US is in some form of political decay. this is clear in the moronic anti-healthcare reform campaign that is rife with sheer lies. palin personifies this worrying trend.


Niloufar jan

by IRANdokht on

Great blog! You made very valid points. I am afraid after the "surgical attacks" on the nuclear plants are over, these same analysts may start speaking of the knowledge base of nuclear physics and justify eliminating Iranian scientists.

As you mentioned in your comment to MN khan, the progressives in US have a very steep uphill battle.

You asked: who gave the Economist the right to assume to know or determine who has the right to such knowledge? Or even the right to such weapons?

As outrageous as it seems in this country the elements in media have already crossed the line to take a leadership role in politics. I don't know if you were introduced to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck while in US. These far right extremists in the media created and cheered on the teabaggers rallies to the point that even the liberal media is calling teabaggers a grassroots movement! Never underestimate the illiteracy and ignorance of the masses who are fed BS on a daily basis...

Thanks for posting this outstanding article.



Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

this is a topic that is highly relevant today. i invite you to add your own thoughts to it.

Niloufar Parsi

MN khan

by Niloufar Parsi on

thanks for the encouragement. you make 3 excellent points.

on the first one, however, let me add that the 'who' is more a colonialist, condescending culture mixed with a good deal of ignorance and a lack of foresight or imagination that still dominates much of western media and political discourse rather than anything else.

my visit to the US this week has opened my eyes better to the contradictions in the political culture here and the enormous challenges faced by progressive groups in USA.



NP: did you just figure that

by vildemose on

NP: did you just figure that out??

Mola Nasredeen

1. Western media, owned and controlled by you know who

by Mola Nasredeen on

act as pimp for the world's centers of power. Economist magazine is no different.

2. Nuclear energy is going to be a hot commodity in the near future and of course the developed countries try to have the monopoly in this field too hence all the BS about Iran's nuclear technology.

3. It's about selling arms to Middle East countries. They are scaring the reactionary regimes such as United Arab Emirates who pruchased 16 billion dollars worth of arms from United States last year to protect itself from Iran!  

Good blog Ms Parsi, thank you.