Stephen Lendman, Contributor
America and Israel wage aggressive wars of choice. Enemies don’t exist, so they’re created. Belligerence is standard practice. Reckless irresponsibility defines their thinking.
Ravaging countries to control them is policy. Rule of law principles and human lives don’t matter. Wealth and power alone are prioritized. So is thinking might is right and what we say goes.
War against Syria rages. No end in sight is imminent. Iran is next. Managed news condones what should be condemned. Fiction substitutes for facts. Unconscionable policy is reported nonchalantly. Wrong is portrayed as right.
On August 18, Haaretz asked “Will Israel attack Iran? The voice of experience vs. an insider’s view,” saying:
“Since no one knows for sure what (Netanyahu and Barak) will decide….perhaps they don’t know for sure….”
Maybe well-connected Israelis have clues. Writer Anshel Pfeffer left them unnamed. He called them “knowledgeable” about what may be imminent.
“Of course there’s going to be an attack,” said one. “(I)t’s already happening, all the pieces are in place. This is for real.” He’s involved in current policy decisions. He’s “junior by decades” to the former insider non-believer.
The older, perhaps wiser, man “has been on close terms with” Netanyahu and Barak for decades. Other former experienced insiders also express skepticism. Younger men and women in government are up to speed on policy.
How have Netanyahu and Barak governed before? Neither leader initiated war as prime minister. As defense minister, Barak opposed attacking Syria’s alleged nuclear site in 2007. He also was against expanding Cast Lead. As prime minister, Netanyahu also stopped short of initiating war.
For months, Israeli and Western media hyped a nonexistent Iranian “threat.” A “window of opportunity” to confront it is “closing” keeps repeating.
On the one hand, rhetoric may be more bark than bite. On the other, manipulating people to support war may force Netanyahu and Barak to wage it.
So far, action hasn’t followed bombast. “But since an unprecedented amount is being said and done in preparation for an attack, the bluff could well materialize into a concrete action and experience give way to a new reality,” said Pfeffer.
Haaretz writer Amir Oren headlined “Former Israeli intelligence chief: On Iran, Netanyahu and Barak dangerously stoking flames of war,” saying:
Major General (res.) Uri Saguy formerly headed IDF Operations Directorate as well as military intelligence chief earlier. He decided to go public against “orchestrated and purposely timed (anti-Iranian) hysteria that puts the country into a state of anxiety, artificial or not.”
His outspokenness is significant. He’s “outraged,” he said, “by the zero degree of responsibility shown by the person who is interviewed or who leaks information, although I can’t say I am surprised by this.”
Analyses are one thing. Someone who analyzes something in one way today could be voicing the total opposite opinion a month and half from now, with the same self-confidence and persuasive ability. Responsibility is another thing.
When something goes wrong, the blame will be laid on someone else….It would be a mistake if Israel uses force, certainly now, in order to thwart the Iranian nuclear potential.”
He’s saying Netanyahu and Barak are irresponsible. They can’t be trusted. They’re endangering Israelis and regional neighbors. As prime minister, Netanyahu made no “important” decisions. Choices he and Barak made were wrongheaded and ill-considered.
He can barely contain himself on Netanyahu. “That man,” he calls him. He “hasn’t succeeded in most of the strategic tests he’s been subjected to. When I listen to him, I hear echoes of people who lost their parents in mysterious circumstances and then shout about being orphans.”
He’s also outraged about suggesting an “existential threat,” letting emotion override reason, and Israel’s willingness to go it alone no matter what other nations think.
He worries about overreaching and bringing down a “house of cards.” At the same time, he said:
Do I agree that Iran should have a bomb? No, I don’t personally agree, but it doesn’t depend only on me and therefore not only will an attack not advance the achievement of the goal, it also entails long-term dangers.
Key also is diplomacy and peace, not war. “If we had peace accords” with regional countries and Palestinians, no confrontation with Iran would exist. Nor one with Syria. Assad sought peace, but was spurned.
Saguy calls making peace with neighbors “a diplomatic and moral obligation.” Relying on militarism is self-defeating. Instead of filling a hole, Israel’s digging a deeper one. Doing so assures bad outcomes.
On August 16, Barak addressed Israel’s Knesset. He endorsed attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. He assailed anti-war opponents. At the same time, Netanyahu criticized Shimon Peres for saying Israel can’t go it alone.
Former IDF deputy chief of staff Uzi Dayan sees a window of opportunity to avoid war. Netanyahu/Barak bluster has a purpose, he believes. They want tougher sanctions and Washington leading an attack. They’ll act alone only as a last option. So far they haven’t decided either way.
Reports suggest US officials disappointed both men. In private meetings, discussions didn’t produce results Israel wants. Getting US support and guarantees are prioritized. Electoral politics in America takes precedence.
Post-election until January’s inauguration and a new Congress convenes leaves a void of sorts. If Netanyahu/Barak bombast is more bark than bite, is either leader or both able to back down after months of “existential threat” hype?
On August 17, former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin headlined his Washington Post op-ed “For peace with Iran, prepare for war,” saying:
Netanyahu/Barak logic believes Israel’s choice is between “the bomb and the bombing.” So far, sanctions, covert actions, and threats haven’t deterred Iran. Yadlin added an alleged “zone of immunity” preventing an effective Israeli strike.
He wants Obama to visit Israel and say America is committed to military action if other alternatives don’t halt Iran’s nuclear program.
He also wants him to tell Congress that he reserves the right to strike, increase US regional force strength, give Israel more advanced technology and intelligence, publicly hype an alleged Iranian threat, and commit to protecting Israel and regional security.
In other words, he wants ironclad US assurance that Washington and Israel agree on Iranian policy. No matter that Iran poses no threat. Military aggression is illegal, and initiating it puts millions of lives at risk.
His convoluted logic also claims preparing for war is the best way to avoid it. Unmentioned was urging peace through diplomacy, reason, conflict resolution, and knowing wars beget endless ones.
They don’t solve problems. They create them. Attacking Iran is madness. Israel will be gravely harmed. So will America, regional countries, and others if economic consequences prove dire.
Responsible leaders don’t take these risks. They also follow fundamental rule of law principles, urge peace over conflict, and work cooperatively with neighbors and allies. Doing otherwise assures outcomes no one should tolerate.
A Final Comment
On August 17, Iran’s President Mahmoud Armadinejad addressed regional concerns on International al-Quds Day. Since 1979, it’s been commemorated on Ramadan’s last day.
It expresses solidarity with Palestinians. It opposes destructive Zionist policies. It’s also against Israel’s control of Jerusalem. Quds is the city’s Arabic name.
Ahmadinejad called Zionism a tool for imposing Israeli regional hegemony. He’s right. Zionism isn’t Judaism. Longstanding Israeli policy calls for for dividing, controlling, and at times waging war to achieve it.
He said the “existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity.” Destructive policies harm everyone. Jews aren’t exempt.
Ahmadinejad criticized Israeli policy, not Judaism. He doesn’t advocate “wip(ing Israel) off the map.” He called its agenda self-destructive. Many others agree. Living by the sword assures dying by it.
Israel is a modern-day Sparta. Confronting over cooperation is lose, lose. Wars make enemies, not allies or solutions. Western double standards fuel conflicts. Ahmadinejad’s “New Middle East” excludes US/Zionist influence. Achieving peace depends on it.
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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/