Barack Genuflects Before APAC
Barack Pledged to support Bibi in An Attack on Iran
Is it De Ja Vu Again? Notes on the Road to War
I have never witnessed a more blatant example of the arrogance of power than the Israeli/American ultimatum to Iran. Driven by the imperatives of domestic politics in both countries, the terms of this ultimatum were stated in no uncertain terms by President Obama in his speech before the powerful Jewish organization, APAC….and it was a de-facto declaration of war. “When the chips are down I have Israel’s back!” declared the president.
Barack went on to say he was not interested in containing a nuclear armed Iran; his policy is to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon. He said all options are on the table; including the full range of our nation’s diplomatic, economic and military resources. He also said “I will not hesitate to use force to defend American interests.” Thus the die is cast, and the saber rattling is approaching the decibel level before Bush’s march of folly in Iraq.
On the face of it the demand that Iran cease its nuclear research and development is both hypocritical and an insult to their national dignity. It ignores Iranian national security interests on the one hand, and tells them in no uncertain terms that they are a second rate nation who will not be allowed to exercise the privileges that the US and Israel consider their natural right as sovereign nations. No matter what kind of self-righteous preachment or diplomatic mumbo jumbo the US and Israeli governments employ to make their case in the court of public opinion, this is what it boils down to.
It is the height of duplicity for the US and Israel to have a hissy fit about the possibility that the Iranians are building a nuclear weapon when Israel has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the Arabs and Iranians in a fortnight. And what’s more, the Israelis are already waging a covert war against Iran with American assistance. Although they are rarely reported because they are secret, these are real acts of war nonetheless!
They have assassinated several Iranian nuclear scientists in daring James Bond type hits that everyone who pays attention to these matters knows could only have been pulled off by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad. And the fact that it Furthermore, CBS Sixty Minutes recently did an in-depth report detailing how a brilliantly designed computer virus blew up an Iranian nuclear reactor. The report featured an international group of distinguished computer scientists who specialize in cyber security, and they concluded the diabolical virus was almost certainly designed by US and Israeli intelligence agencies.
The urgent question for all Americans is whether a war with Iran will serve American interests. This is an extremely complex question. The consequences of such a war will have to be considered from the perspectives of foreign relations and domestic policy in order to grasp the full picture. In terms of foreign relations the immediate consequences include several possibilities.
The most immediate consequence would be the disruption of the flow of oil and a dramatic rise in the price of gas and other petroleum based products. This would arrest the progress of our economic recovery, which is already fragile and constructed on a shaky foundation. Tranquility, not chaos, is what is needed in the Middle East.
The Iranians will surely resist, and they will be assisted by their well-armed Shite brethren in Iraq, whom the US put in power as a result of George II’s misbegotten military adventure there. And they are armed with the latest American weaponry – thanks to US military assistance. Furthermore Iran is reaching out to Islamic theocrats in an ecumenical manner, putting aside internal theological disputes in order to form a unified front against the “Great Satin” i.e. the USA, which has emerged as the foremost enemy of Islam.
Despite the efforts of those actually tasked with conducting US foreign policy to characterize American waged wars in Muslim countries political…the Jihadists insist that the US is at war with Islam! And the leading Republican candidates for their party’s presidential nomination are doing their best to convince the moderates in the Muslim world that most Americans also believe they are in a war against Islam.
The Iranian Regime recently hosted a conference of militant Islamist, and Muslims of many stripes from all over the world were present. There could be no greater catalyst for the rapid development of a new militant Pan-Islamic movement than a joint American/Israeli invasion of Iran. The invasion would also imperil the stability of the remaining pro-American leaders in the region; who would be trapped between the Devil and the deep blue sea.
If they support the US they will be facing overthrow by the populace, and if they don’t support the US they will face the wrath of the US people and their representatives in Congress, who appropriate foreign aid. And at the moment the Congress is in the hands of right-wing Republicans; impassioned Christian soldiers who act as if they are ready to wage war with the entire Islamic world at once. Needless to say, it does not require a gift for prophecy to predict that this will be a real mess!
The Islamic world is in upheaval, old regimes are being overthrown and forces set in motion by an American/Israeli invasion will result in the fall of even more regimes. No one can predict what new leadership structures or institutions of government will emerge from this turmoil.
Yet it is enough to know that there is a strong, organized, Islamic element among the rebels in each of these populist uprisings to recognize the danger they pose. In every country the secular democratic forces fighting to modernize their nation, so they can compete in the 21st century, are already at a disadvantage.
The secular Democrats are promoting values that are highly prized only by the educated elite – many of whom have spent time living in western democracies – thus their core concepts are alien and poorly understood by the masses of their people. I warned that the Islamist could seize control of the revolt in Egypt – while the cheerleaders in the west assured us the Muslim Brotherhood was passé and impotent and other Islamists without much influence – and it has come to pass. I remembered something the other pundits seemed to forget. The overthrow of the Iranian Shah was also engineered by secular intellectuals; but the theocrats quickly took control, executed many of the secularists, and established Sharia Law.
Alas, a cry for war is rising from much of the commentariat in commercial media. It is manufacturing a pro-war hysteria among the public. People like Joe Scarborough who host MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” – a charming sophist whose claim to fame is that he looks like the old cowboy movie star John Wayne – are cheering the President’s militant stance, although he has been damming Barack for not pulling all American troops from Afghanistan. Joe practically called for the dismissal of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because he said “Iran is a rational actor in international affairs.”
The General’s intention was to quell the crazy narrative spun by hysterical warmongers who are painting the Iranian leadership as madmen willing to commit national suicide by launching a nuclear attack against Israel. There is absolutely no evidence to support such a conclusion; I believe the US is far more likely to commit national suicide over Israel than Iran committing suicide over the Palestinians! The attempt to paint the Iranian regime as irrational and therefore a danger to US interests is a transparent move to politicize intelligence regarding the threat from Iran in order to justify a “preemptive attack.”
This is the same path that led to war in Vietnam and Iraq, two nations that had also committed no offense against the US. Yet we squandered massive amounts of American blood and treasure there, while maiming or killing millions of innocent bystanders. Alas forces that lead to war have already been set in motion.
The momentum of events may well overwhelm President Obama’s resistance and we shall soon find ourselves in yet another major war with a Muslim country. Indeed, if the Israeli’s decide to attack Iran, President Obama could find himself in the same predicament as Abe Lincoln when he reflected on the consequences of the Civil War and exclaimed: “Clearly I have not controlled events…but events have controlled me.” It’s De Ja Vu all over again!
Harlem, New York
March 9, 2012