Israel wants it. So does
Obama, but not until after November elections. Policy now focuses on
winning. Waging more wars can wait, except for Syria, despite strong
public support for Assad's reform agenda promising real change.
On March 15, marking one year since Western-generated violence erupted,
millions of Syrians in Damascus, Aleppo, and other cities nationwide
publicly expressed regime support and anger at outside interference
stoking months of violence. Political analyst Afif Dalleh called the
day "a declaration of victory by all accounts."
Impressive national unity was displayed. It's a bulwark against Western-generated
aggression. One theme above others expressed Syria for Syrians, free
from outside interference. People everywhere feel the same, including
Iranians united against potential Israeli and Washington aggression.
Despite supporting pro-Western Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria regime
change initiatives, NATO member Turkey backs Iran if attacked. Foreign
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said:
"In our area, we do not accept such an operation. We will also react
negatively to such operation."
He added that attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would "wreak disaster
in our region. Before all this happens, there should be serious negotiations."
Left unsaid was that months of Turkish supported anti-Assad violence
also "wreak(s) disaster in our region." Attacking one or both countries
may destroy it and perhaps Turkey with it.
Yet signs suggest it’s coming. On March 15, Haaretz editor-in-chief
Aluf Benn headlined, "Netanyahu is preparing Israeli public opinion
for a war on Iran," saying:
He's stoking fear of an existential threat comparable to Hitler's holocaust.
Claiming it, of course, desecrates and cheapens its significance and
meaning. Nonetheless, he claims Israel's only option is "attack(ing)
Iran's nuclear infrastructure, which is buried deep underground."
Addressing Israel's Knesset, he "urged his colleagues to reject claims
that Israel is too weak to go it alone in a war against a regional power
such as Iran and therefore needs to rely on the United States, which
has much greater military capabilities, to do the job and remove the
Though US support is important, Netanyahu mentioned other times when
Israel acted contrary to Washington's wishes and got away with it. None
equal the potential consequences of attacking Iran, let alone illegally
for fraudulent reasons.
Iran threatens no one. Its nuclear program is peaceful. Israeli and
Washington leaders know it. Attacking a nonbelligerent country is lawless
aggression. The same holds for Syria.
Moreover, Israel had Washington's support for earlier aggressions Netanyahu
mentioned, whatever position US administrations stated publicly. Earlier
prime ministers made sure they got it quietly if no other way to avoid
challenging a vital ally.
"That being the case," said Benn, Netanyahu hinted "he received Obama's
tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran under the guise
of opposition. Obama will speak out against it but act for it, just
as past U.S. administrations speak against the settlements in the territories
but allow their expansion."
Amos Regev, editor of the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom daily newspaper
published a rare front page editorial. It advocated war on Iran titled,
"Don't be cocky and don't be afraid."
Regev's a close Netanyahu associate. Earlier, he served with other inner
circle members between his two prime ministerial terms. His senior political
analyst currently advises Netanyahu and writes speeches for him. Both
men have agendas. Israel Hayom's used to advance them. They reflect
lawless policies Netanyahu and extremists around him promote.
Like Netanyahu, he claimed Iran poses an existential threat. Comparing
it to Germany's holocaust is reprehensible and duplicitous. Regev concluded
saying, "Yes, it's possible to attack - and to succeed." He also urged
doing it with or without America.
Distributed free, Israel Hayom's widely read. In 2010, it surpassed
Yedioth Ahronoth as Israel's largest circulation broadsheet. It first
published on July 30, 2007. Whether endorsing war will enlist more popular
support remains to be seen. Many Israelis oppose it, including current
and former government officials.
Benn suggests it's coming, saying:
"(W)hat looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for
war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war,
and not just a 'bluff' or a diversion tactic."
"Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media
refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since
he's been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself
and the Israeli public."
Benn and others think it's coming but don’t know when. AIPAC's long
been out in front urging it. Among other ways, in late February, Ilan
Berman, vice president of the right-wing American Foreign Policy Council
(AFPC), hosted an American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) briefing
Forty congressional staffers attended. At issue was promoting Iran's
alleged existential nuclear threat and support for global terrorism.
AIEF's an AIPAC affiliate. AFPC's board includes Newt Gingrich, James
Woolsey, Robert "Bud" McFarlane, Thomas J. Ridge, and other hardliners
Berman lied claiming Iran's nuclear program and terrorism promote launching
attacks against Israeli and US interests globally. He also authored
the book titled, "Tehran's Rising Challenge to the United States."
His latest 2009 work is called "Winning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive
Against Radical Islam." His comments and writing leave no doubt where
he stands. They also reveal his immorality and support for lawless aggression.
Published in The Hindu on March 14, Writer Vladimir Radyuhin headlined,
"Iran strike imminent: Russian diplomat," saying:
Russia's Kommersant daily said Moscow UN diplomats believe war on Iran
is "a matter of when, not if. The attack will be mounted before the
end of this year. Israel is blackmailing Obama by confronting him with
a dilemma: either he supports the war option or will lose the support"
of American Jews.
Turkey will host so-called April scheduled Tehran 5 + 1 talks in Istanbul.
Attending with be America, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
Hillary Clinton told Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov to warn
Iran about a "last chance" to avoid attack.
Russian diplomats expect it after talks designed to fail. They also
think launching it will stop military invention against Syria, at least
for now. Pursuing two major regional wars simultaneously is more than
even America can bare with others in Afghanistan and Iraq ongoing, as
well as out-of-control violence raging in Libya.
Interviewed on CNN, top advisor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Mohammad Javad
Larijani suggested Iran's response to an Israeli or US attack, saying:
"Every possibility is on the table," including blocking the Strait of
Hormuz and counterattacking. He also called sanctions unfair, stressed
Tehran's peaceful nuclear program, and said if Western nations want
"more transparency, then we should expect more cooperation."
The "equation is simple." Both sides must deal fairly with the other
to resolve disputes equitably. Iran offers "full transparency (with)
permanent human monitoring" in return for Western nations affording
it all rights under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions.
Scurrilous Israeli Claim about Alleged Iranian Military Site Developing
On March 13, Haaretz published an AP report it should have denounced.
Headlined, "Israeli official: Satellite images back our claims Iran
is developing nuclear weapons," it said:
An unnamed official claims pictures "reinforce what Israel has been
saying all along....the Iranian nuclear program is not benign."
"He spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal government response."
His anonymity exposes his duplicity to hype fear spuriously.
Iran's perhaps the world's most closely monitored and surveilled country.
For years, Washington's done it from space and covertly on the ground.
Yet the latest March 2011 annual US intelligence assessment said no
evidence suggests an Iranian nuclear weapons development program.
IAEA inspectors say the same thing. They monitor Iran's nuclear facilities
closely and operate cameras in them 24 hours a day. If weapons development
were ongoing, they'd have said so long ago.They haven't because no program
exists, nor is one likely planned.
Nonetheless, AP said satellite images showed "trucks and earth-moving
vehicles at Iran's Parchin military site. Diplomats said the images
suggested the trucks could be carting away radioactive material created
in nuclear testing."
They could have been removing garbage, doing routine maintenance work,
or numerous other operations all commercial and government facilities
perform. AP failed to say so.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast dismissed Parchin
allegations as scurrilous propaganda, saying:
“Those who have technical knowledge on nuclear issues would know that
such propaganda is unjustifiable as evidences are irremovable from an
area with nuclear activity.”
He's right. Earlier US nuclear facility remediation efforts fell way
short of planned objectives. Removing all hazardous material isn't possible.
Enough remains to be easily detectable.
Mehmanparast added that Iran's agreeable to IAEA Parchin inspection.
However, doing so should conform to agreed procedures. No country would
accept less. Nor should broadsheets like Haaretz publish fraudulent
allegations used to justify waging war.
Anti-Iranian Scoundrel Journalism
Fareed Zakaria's a pro-Western commentator, Time and Newsweek contributor,
and host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS. On March 14, his Washington Post
op-ed headlined, "Deterring Iran is the best option," saying:
Deterrence works. MAD avoided possible Cold War nuclear confrontations.
"Anguish over the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon is understandable.
It would be better for Israel, the Middle East and the world if Tehran
does not acquire such weapons."
Zakaria knows, or should, that Iran threatens no one, and it's nuclear
program is peaceful. Suggesting otherwise is confrontational and hostile.
So is saying America's effort "in collaboration with almost the entire
international community, to prevent this from happening and to put tremendous
pressure on Tehran, is the right policy."
"But were Tehran to persist, were its regime to accept the global isolation
and crippling costs that would come from its decision, a robust policy
of containment and deterrence would work," no matter how lawless, wrongheaded,
Scoundrel media feature views like Zakaria's and worse ones. Levelheaded
sounder ones are suppressed. No wonder polls show most Americans favor
confrontation with Iran belligerently. An ignorant public's easily swayed
to accept policies harming their own interests. Ignorance isn't bliss.
It's dangerous on issues mattering most.
Scoundrel Media Suppressed Views
Distinguished figures like James Petras and Immanuel Wallerstein aren't
welcomed by scoundrel media bosses. On March 15, Petras and Robin Eastman
Abaya headlined, "Israel's Willing Executioners: AIPAC Invades Washington,"
Internal rot reflects "a country, like the United States....in decline.
(It) results when a nation is betrayed by craven leaders, who crawl
and humiliate themselves before a minority of thuggish mediocrities
pledged to a foreign state without scruples or moral integrity."
Days earlier, former British MP George Galloway explained "The annual,
ritual humiliation of US presidents" and other top officials. They grovel
obsequiously in tribute to what they should condemn.
AIPAC, said Petras and Abaya, supports Israel's agenda "to pursue an
unprovoked war, either initiated by the US or as part of a US-backed
Israeli sneak attack, against the sovereign Islamic Republic of Iran."
It's targeted for maintaining sovereign independence in a region America
and Israel want to dominate. Claiming a nuclear threat is a red herring,
but scoundrel journalists claim it fraudulently and repeatedly to enlist
public support for what no one should accept.
Attacking Iran poses enormous risks warmongers ignore. Overall, imperial
lawlessness endangers world peace and security more gravely than since
In February, Wallerstein's article headlined "Israel: Its Fantasies
and Its Realities," asking:
Why would Iran, with or without nuclear weapons, threaten Israel? "(N)o
one in any position of responsibility, in Israel, in the United States,
or elsewhere....believes this. They only say they do" disingenuously
to hype fear and condition public sentiment for war.
"Why on earth would Iran bomb Israel? They would kill at least as many
Arabs as Israelis, if they did. They would be subject to immediate retaliation
by Israel, which is well-armed (with) nuclear weapons. Iran bombing
Israel is a fantasy that no responsible leader believes."
A Final Comment
Fear's hyped because Iran's regional influence is growing. Moreover,
if Tehran had nuclear weapons, the region's geopolitical balance would
shift dramatically in its favor even with no intention to use them.
In contrast, Israel and Washington would lose out.
At the same time, attacking Iran is not only unconscionable and counterproductive,
it threatens potential global war. Leaders willing to risk it deserve
impeachment and removal. War with Iran is all lose, no gain, and potential
annihilation if things spin out of control.
Yet warmongering leaders and scoundrel journalists promote it for regional
dominance, not national security existential threats.
If observers like Russian diplomats are right, public sentiment must
stop what no one should tolerate, and do it before it's too late. The
time's short and running out.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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