On 60 Minutes tonight, Diane Sawyer interviewed Meir Dagan, former Director of the Mossad. The reason for the interview is that Dagan believes it would be a mistake for Israel (or the United States) to attack Iran regarding its alleged nuclear weapons program. At the beginning of the interview, Dagan stated that he believes the Iranians are rational. “Really?!” Sawyer responded, as though he had just told her he had been anally probed by space aliens from Alpha Centauri.
This is a common belief in the United States: the Iranians are different from other countries; they are insane. The fact that we have heard the same thing many times before (most recently Libya and Iraq and North Korea), only to discover: my God! They’re rational actors; it’s just that they have different goals than we have for them.
Watching the consistently terrific Up With Chris Hayes today, I was struck by a comment that Rula Jebreal made. Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi had said that the Iranians were not rational actors. Jebreal countered this, but went further. She pointed out that for hundreds of years, this is exactly what people have been saying about Jews. The fascists, for example, claimed that the Jews were not like the rest of Europeans because they were all part of some worldwide network of Jews. Even in the United States, people have put down Jews for being more loyal to Israel than the United States.
That was a shocking observation that should send a chill down the spin of all those who want to bomb Iran.