‘Comment is Free’: The West’s militarism inspired by “blind support for Israel”

An Oct. 17 essay at ‘Comment is Free’ titled ‘In the Middle East, the prize of peace is now there for the taking not only assigns partial blame for the wars in the Middle East to Israel and its supporters, but takes the imputation of Israeli responsibility a step further, risibly evoking the Roman destruction of Carthage in 146 BCE to illustrate Zionist villainy.

The essay was jointly written by Denis J Halliday (Former UN assistant secretary-general and participant in the 2010 Gaza ‘Freedom Flotilla‘)Hans Christof von Sponeck (former UN assistant secretary-general) and Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the Sandinista-style Marxist  (and president of the UN general assembly between 2008 and 2009) who previously served as Daniel Ortega’s foreign minister.

Brockmann has an especially noteworthy anti-Zionist pedigree, one forged in part by his response to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hate-filled diatribe in front of the General Assembly in 2008 which evoked classic racist canards of Jewish domination. Ahmadinejad’s conspiratorial speech – which accused “Zionists” of “dominating an important portion of the financial…centers [and] political decision-making centers of…the US in a deceitful…manner” – may have earned him wide scorn, but also the warm embrace of Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann
Brockmann embraces Ahmadinejad after his 2008 UN speech.

The ‘CiF’ commentary by Brockmann and his co-contributors addresses the issue of how peace in Middle East conflict zones can be realized and begins by noting how peace has been achieved elsewhere in recent history:

In 1973 Nixon and Henry Kissinger signed the Paris accords that put an official end to the US war in Vietnam. A decade before that, John F Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev resolved the Cuban missile crisis by, on the Soviet side, withdrawing missiles from Cuba, and, on the US side, by promising not to attack Cuba and withdrawing missiles from Turkey.

These events changed the course of history away from endless confrontation and the risk of global war.


Peace is not something to be made between friends but between adversaries. It is based on a recognition of reality. When countries or ideologies are in conflict, there are only two issues: total destruction of one side, as with Rome and Carthage, or peace and negotiations.

So, there are really only two choices: “total destruction of one side, as with Rome and Carthage, or peace and negotiations“.  

Brockmann and his co-contributors continue:

All these developments should be pursued with the utmost energy. The planned second Geneva conference on Syria must include all internal and external parties to the conflict if it is to constitute an important step towards finding a solution to the tragedy of that war-torn country. The unjust sanctions against Iran, as in the earlier case of Iraq, are severely punishing the population and must be lifted as soon as possible.

Who stands in the way of diplomatic solutions to these problems? Brockmann and his co-contributors explain:

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his supporters are staunchly opposed to these moves towards peace.

Other than the Israeli Prime Minister, what is the primary obstacle to achieving similar peaceful results throughout the Middle East? Brockmann and his co-contributors elaborate:

During recent decades, when it comes to the Middle East, the west has forgotten the very notion of diplomacy. Instead, it has followed the line of “total destruction of the enemy“, whether Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, the Assad regime in Syria or the Islamic Republic of Iran. That line has been based on ideology: a mixture of human rights fundamentalism and blind support for the “only democracy in the region”, Israel.

So, the West’s failure to pursue diplomacy in the Middle East (in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Libya), and their adoption instead of an ethos of “total destruction of the enemy” is based, in large measure, on “blind support for…Israel.”

According to these ‘CiF’ contributors, Israel and its blind supporters in the West are in the ‘Roman destruction of Carthage’ camp.

Up to 110,000 have been killed in Arab on Arab violence in Syria since 2011, thousands of Iraqis continue to die as the result of Islamist inspired terror attacks which continue to ravage the country, and ‘Comment is Free’ contributors look around the region and see the ideological footprint of Zionism.

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann is a Marxist ideologue – whose ‘special advisors‘ as UN president included Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk – so the extreme nature of the commentary he co-authored is not surprising. However, the licensing of such hateful anti-Zionist agitprop by ‘Comment is Free’ editors again demonstrates how the Guardian continues to make mockery of their claim to represent ‘liberal’ values.

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