Iran nuclear deal debate : nukes for all

Grass was right, says Jakob Augstein. The Middle East was a confused region, Netanyahu was a nutcase and an Iranian nuclear bomb was the solution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyu shows an illustration on Iran's nuclear program

Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2012 Photo: reuters

Jakob Augstein is a reliable writer when it comes to the Middle East. Unforgotten his appearance on Anne Will: When Angela Merkel told the Knesset in 2008 that Germany’s historical responsibility for Israel’s security was part of Germany’s raison d’etat, Augstein asked if that were so, would the Bundeswehr soon be stationed on the Gaza border?

Now, in his Spiegel column, Augstein has taken Donald Trump’s denunciation of the Iran agreement as an opportunity to rehabilitate Gunter Grass and his poem "What Must Be Said": "If only one had listened to Gunter Grass."In order to push immediately afterwards, Grass wrote there some rather confused things.

The little bit of peace

"The nuclear power Israel endangers the already fragile world peace", Grass had written. This is wrong, Augstein writes. Not because Israel does not endanger world peace, but because even in the spring of 2012, when the poem of the old master was published, there was no world peace that could have been endangered: "In the world there is always war somewhere. And the little bit of peace has not been threatened by Israel any more than by, say, the U.S., Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or other countries."

After all, that’s a realization for a change. Now, however, it should be noted that in September 2012, Benjamin Netanyahu "stoked fears of an Iranian nuclear bomb" before the UN General Assembly when he "rubbed a bomb poster in the faces of the stunned delegates." This, Augstein says, was "an appearance ripe for Khrushchev".

Perplexed plenary session

So the delegates were baffled. Iran’s nuclear program had apparently never been heard of at the UN General Assembly before the Israeli prime minister’s appearance. But now Bibi came and stoked fears of an Iranian nuclear bomb. So there was this fear somehow, otherwise the new Khrushchev could not have stirred it up. The perplexed reader asks himself now already slowly: Well, which then now?

"Netanyahu has prevailed with his view of things. That, by the way, is the greatest success a politician can have: that he adapts the outer world to his inner world," Augstein writes further. How must one understand this now again? Let us tentatively translate this sentence this way: In Netanyahu’s inner world, Israel is threatened by Iran’s nuclear program. In the outer world, also called reality, but not. But the cunning Bibi succeeded with his bomb poster to catch off guard the baffled world public, which has since confused Netanyahu’s inner world with reality.

Inside, outside, doesn’t matter

Further in the text, "No one was more pleased with Trump’s decision than all the hardliners, wherever they sit."Among these hardliners Augstein counts the Iranian Mullah Ahmad Khatami, "who immediately seized the opportunity and gave free rein to his fantasies of an Iranian bombardment of Tel Aviv and Haifa".

Didn’t we just learn that the threat to Israel from Iran’s nuclear program only exists in Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner world? Or is it that the threat to Israel from Iranian long-range missiles exists only in Ahmad Khatami’s inner world? Anyway, the distinction between the inside and the outside should perhaps not be overstated.

A kind of madness

"In any case, Benjamin Netanyahu believes that the confrontation with Iran should be sought ‘better now than later’ – but he’s been saying that for years," Augstein continues to write. True, that’s how it is. Does our author now return to the safe ground of facts? Yes, but only briefly, he is already one step ahead of us: "Such people" (meaning people like Khatami and Netanyahu) "live in the logic of conflict. Over there stands the enemy, and the enemy must be destroyed. And firstly because you have to defend yourself. Second, because one is in the right. And thirdly, because it is the enemy. And those who do not understand all this, is also the enemy."

So both the Iranian regime and the Israeli government imagine their enemies must be destroyed because they are their enemies. Accordingly, the conflict between Iran and Israel is a kind of tautological madness. This, however, is a shrewd analysis of the conflicts in the Middle East: These nutcases are just imagining things!

With Netanyahu, perhaps this shouldn’t surprise us, since his inner world maintains a difficult relationship with the outer anyway, as we’ve learned.

A good idea

That would have been a nice ending for Augstein’s column. But the steepest thesis is yet to come! "The Middle East is such a confused region that it may be a good idea for all the countries there to arm themselves with nuclear weapons." How does he get there now again?

Augstein read this in a text by the "famous American political scientist Kenneth Waltz," who thought that the Iranian bomb served stability in the Middle East: "Power wants to be balanced. What is surprising is that in the Israeli case it took so long for a potential counterweight to emerge."

The bomb for all

It’s not quite simple, but let’s try to summarize Jakob’s Augstein’s thought process again: 1. Gunter Grass wrote a confused sentence, but we would have been better off listening to it: "The nuclear power Israel endangers the already fragile world peace." 2. The Iranian nuclear bomb is not a real threat. It exists only in the mind of Benjamin Netanyahu. 3. Bibi has led people to believe that the Iranian nuclear bomb is a real threat. 4. There are Iranian mullahs who want to bomb Tel Aviv. With which bombs is not so important. 5. The Iranians and the Israelis imagine that they are enemies. 6. Iran’s nuclear bomb must be built as soon as possible.

I am glad that Jakob Augstein is not chancellor, but Angela Merkel is. She had also said in her speech to the Knesset, "It is not the world that has to prove to Iran that Iran is building the atomic bomb. Iran must convince the world that it does not want the atomic bomb." This is how succinctly, how simply, how logically the problem can be summarized.

Error on discovered?

Gladly as a reader comment under the text on taz.en or via the contact form.

  • 15. 5. 2018

Ulrich Gutmair

Cultural editor


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Iran nuclear deal debate : nukes for all

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Readers’ comments

    16. 05. 2018, 14:17

In a nutshell: Jakob Augstein is a nutcase.

Thanks to Ulrich Gutmair for this Jakob Augstein decryption novel.

Why do USA, EU, Russia, Saufi Arabia, Iran credit crises, arms spiral in the Middle East and elsewhere??, because peace, reconstruction, development on financial markets, different war, crises, do not get credit to generate growth by arms boom Different from the Cold War 1948-1989 when the military-industrial complex of the superpowers USA. Whereas the USSR was financed by state credit spending at the expense of consumption, today this is financed at the expense of third states, regimes like Assad in Syria, which request military aid or this is imposed on them under pretext. is this model of refinancing own defense costs by third countries after Nine Eleven 2001 under the slogan "War against International Terrorism" at the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, in Syria, Mali, Congo, off the coast of Somalia, remained the model of every previous federal government?

Does Jakob Augstein bring his inner "cold war"? on tropp, raises former belief in power of mutual deterrence through nuclear weapons like Phoenix from shining ashes? Thereby it never worked, only imposed on the nuclear powers much unnecessary resource consumption, problems of disposal of military radioactive nuclear waste, costs since 1948

If deterrence were effective, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would have been signed by then nuclear powers U.S. USSR. England, France, China have been enforced. The opposite is true in violation of the treaty. Where are the plaintiff states against nuclear powers?? After all, 122 states managed to enforce the ban on nuclear weapons in the UN in 2017, international law becomes when 55 states have ratified the ban. Today we have additional nuclear powers India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, only Ukraine, South Africa have renounced their achieved nuclear power status.

There is an insanity raging in the Middle East, that is the insanity of lending arms spirals, crises, war as a permanent state, to the detriment of the region in favor of selective growth of certain industries in the U.S., the EU, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States.

Jews were often objects of obscure desire of powerful people for foreign purpose under pressure, in need brought poisoned gifts for own "protection accept.Like 2018 Trump’s suspension of Iran deal under hoorah Benjamin Netanyahu to "protect" Israel, and only feeds anti-Semitism in the region in Europe. Is that owed to the Trump attempt, anyway planned sanctions with danger of the outbreak of new conflicts, aggravation of existing ones against Iran, Russia, China, EU direction USA "Splendid isolation" as owed 1919 -1941, US entry into the 2.World War II,after japan oil-US supply freeze, following Japan attack on US base Pearl Habour 7. 12.1941, not economic, in the U.S. Congress majorities certain, more likely to be justified by security policy as in the Cold War?

Ulrich Gutmair could also write about John Bolton, Trump’s new security advisor:

John Bolton has quite a wonderful track record on the Middle East. In the linked article, Jose Bustani, the former head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), tells how John Bolton asked him to resign in 2002 and threatened him ("We know where your children live.") , after Bustani managed to persuade Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi to join the OPCW and allow inspections. Iraq’s accession to the OPCW was an obstacle to the planned war.

"Jose Bustani: . then he showed up in The Hague, and he came to my office, and he said, "Cheney wants you out. You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with the decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you."

MH: Retaliate. What did he mean by that? Did he say?

Jose Bustani: I didn’t ask! And I said, "Well, I’m not ready to do that. I have no reason to do that. Secretary of State Colin Powell has written me a letter praising my mandate so far, so I cannot understand why it is that I have to leave the organization?" And he said, "You have to be ready to face the consequences, because we know where your kids live." In fact, I had two sons in New York."

    16. 05. 2018, 14:21

Wow. Bolton has always been a bad warmonger and it is a disaster that he is now back in a position of responsibility.

But if these statements are true, the guy should be arrested without any ifs and buts !

Very cool analysis. And Iran will soon prove that it not only has the atomic bomb, which many know but the media would rather not admit, but is also using it.

I don’t think anything of Grass, I also don’t think anything of the Iranian atomic bomb. Grass was certainly a very critical critic, but for me he exaggerated many things and therefore could not convince me in many things.

    16. 05. 2018, 05:35

@Alfredo Vargas That’s because you don’t know his works, his philosophy and his real opinion at all, and you must have read your information about this person somewhere, maybe from Bild or Springer Verlag!

""It’s not the world that has to prove to Iran that Iran is building the atomic bomb. Iran must convince the world that it does not want the nuclear bomb."

The problem can be summed up so succinctly, so simply, so logically."

This is anything but logical. The prosecutor no longer has to prove that the suspect is guilty, but the suspect himself that he is innocent ?

Holy simplicity – what the taz considers printable!

Didn’t we just learn that the threat to Israel from Iran’s nuclear program exists only in Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner world? Or is it that the threat to Israel from Iranian long-range missiles exists only in the inner world of Ahmad Khatami? Anyway, the difference between the inside and the outside should perhaps not be overestimated

I am glad that Jakob Augstein is not chancellor, but Angela Merkel is. She had also said in her speech to the Knesset, "It is not the world that has to prove to Iran that Iran is building the atomic bomb. Iran must convince the world that it does not want the atomic bomb."So briefly, so simply, so logically one can also summarize the problem.

That Iran, in the case of a war between Israel and Iran, without a previous attack by the USA on Iran, would be very well able to destroy Israel with conventional weapons, can already be read off by the size of the dwarf state of Israel, and it is unlikely that the isr. Iron dome can repel a massive missile attack by the Iranians. That a lot of damage will be caused in Iran by the nuclear counter-attack of Isarel is of course also clear, but you should read the views of Mr. Rafsanjani (former President of Iran). President of Iran) in the context of a newspaper interview from the early 2000s. therefore Iran, being an enemy, is always a threat to Israel, but it is not a threat to the world, and this is exactly what Augstein is talking about when he says that Nethanyahu has adapted the UN to his view (Iran=threat to Israel and thus a threat to the whole world).

To 2 So as far as I can see, Iran does not have to prove anything, and last but not least to the Israelis, whom it considers as its enemies, which I understand due to the historical facts. And man am I glad that you and Ms. Knaul are only journalists, and fortunately do not hold any important position

Great analysis! Thank you.

"It is not the world that has to prove to Iran that Iran is building the atomic bomb. Iran must convince the world that it does not want the atomic bomb."So briefly, so simply, so logically one can summarize the problem also.

And I always thought that the burden of proof was on the prosecution!?

But seriously: We should accept that Israel, as the only state in the Middle East, possesses every possible arsenal and can thus put its neighbors under constant pressure, a state whose only legitimacy – which is now a fact, there must be no talk of destroying Israel, Bibi and his ilk already manage that themselves – lies in the desire of the WW2 victorious powers, the "Jewish question" finally a "humane" Final solution to give, d.h. to finally get rid of the Jews.

    15. 05. 2018, 19:03

@memoirecourte That one cannot prove a negative, we know yes, exactly therefore that is imposed on the Iranian government – with it it is guaranteed that until Iran to the installation of a vassal government the irrational evil is.

As far as I know, Gunter Grass was talking about German arms exports for the "self-defense of Israel", which went uncontrolled into all world.

"would send another submarine to Israel as reparations

should be delivered, whose speciality

is to be able to direct all-destroying warheads to places where the existence of a single atomic bomb is unproven,

but as apprehension wants to be of evidential value, I say what must be said."

Also the Heckler&Koch weapons to Mexico will come up in court today. Good so.

Add to that the automotive mafia (s. the ship of fools by Peter Lenk). It becomes clear that with our "democracy" there is not according to the law!

With this, according to Aristotle, one cannot speak of democracy! Mrs. Merkel herself calls our form of government "market-conforming democracy delegated to the industry and banks.

"Honi soit qui mal y pense" such embarrassments were called by the English. The non-governance shows itself as a shot in the knee!

Is the TAZ now playing itself up as a Trump postilion that it reproduces his lies about Iran’s allegedly continuing nuclear program?

What is "madness" about this? They are calculating that they will be allowed to do so. So far, this has worked exactly the same way (Iraq, Libya, . ):

[General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years]

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