Benjamin Netanyahu is not urging an Iranian attack on Israel. He is begging for it.
He has recently made statements that are parroted and backed up throughout mainstream media that state, clearly, Iran should be attacked. A pre-emptive attack will safeguard Israelis against an Iranian attack against them. Iran is, according to Netanyahu, a threat to Israel and he makes it clear, with no ambiguity whatsoever, that Israel is a threat to Iran. It follows then, that he would have no ethical objection to an Iranian attack on Israel.
It is quite possible that Benjamin Netanyahu presents more serious threat to Israel than he does to Iran.
Pre emptive war or, preventative war, is clearly against International Law. Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter prohibits all members from using or threatening to use pre-emptive war:
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."
Further to this, Article 51 states that self defense is acceptable only if an armed attack has occurred. These principles are vitally important if we intend a future without capricious barbarism.
Detractors will argue that the United States and Israel are modern democracies and rightfully have a role to police the region and the world; most especially the backward and barbaric Middle East. These notions ignore historical and contemporary reality. The Middle East was civilized and at relative peace long before the European tribes got there. And the killing and the oppression that are current in the Middle East is the handiwork of Occidental Empires.
Certainly, the United States and Israel should not be given benefit of doubt considering the death, oppression, and suffering that is occurring and has occurred throughout the Islamic world at their hands.
Aside from International Law and aside from moral and ethical considerations civilized nations should hold to, there is the equally compelling strategic weakness underlying this whole affair from the point of view of the average Israeli citizen. Their Prime Minister is not only proclaiming to the world that Israel can and should use pre-emptive force against any nation that Israel feels a threat from, he is also telling the whole world that doing so against Israel is fair game. This is clearly implied when he issues threats against Iran. In other words, he is telling Iran you'd better build nuclear arms and you better do it quick because we are going to attack you; it's just a matter of time. He is also suggesting to other nations, including nuclear armed Pakistan that attacking Israel is not only a good idea, it's a matter of survival and it's perfectly acceptable.
No serious analyst considers Iran a threat to Israel. Hawkish speech spews from the mouths of simple shills and war mongers, or from consequential players with serious intent. Iran is not realistically in a position to build nuclear weapons and if had them it could never use them against Israel. One reason is that it would be suicide. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) during the cold war it worked between the USA and the USSR for a reason.
The right wing in Israel tell the world that Israel feels threatened over some ambiguous comments made by Ahmadinejad in an interview; comments that were actually not a threat to the nation of Israel. They believe they can justify waging war because possibly, maybe, someday, Iran might have nuclear weapons and if they do, possibly, maybe, someday, they could attack Israel. Think of how threatened Iranians feel at the moment when month after month, week after week, and day after day both Israel and Western powers issue both implicit and explicit threats against them.
The Real Threat
The upshot is - it is a lie. Iran presents no threat to Israel. Israel and/or Washington are intent on waging war against Iran and we are not being told the real reasons for it. We were not told why Iraq and Afghanistan were attacked. As Buffalo Springfield warned in the 60s; 'There's something happening here, what it isn't exactly clear'.
Currently, in the midst of Obama and Netanyahu playing an ominous 'good cop bad cop' routine against Iran, the Israelis are actively planning for war. They are getting absolutely manic about it:
"Israel is to test an advanced anti-ballistic missile system in the coming weeks, inevitably fuelling speculation about preparations for a possible military confrontation with Iran.
The announcement that the first test of the Arrow 3 interceptor system would be performed "in the near future" was made as the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, flew to the US ahead of a crucial meeting with President Barack Obama at which Iran will top the agenda. Netanyahu is expected to press for a clear US commitment to military action if diplomacy and sanctions fail."
In the face of the lies and the wars that follow the lies, we really need to analyze what has occurred and what is occurring. We need to look for patterns. Somethings happening beneath the surface. The real intent may be discovered if we examine action and not words, if we examine outcomes instead of the official rationale.
It may be that the United States had no intention of destroying the Taliban or Al Qeada. If we look at outcomes, we may conclude; on the contrary. The pattern suggests that the Americans aim to empower the clerics throughout the Middle East and to destroy the more secular and rationally based governments. Rational based, quasi democratic and secular lite governments are being toppled in rapid secession. Even America's close ally and friend, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, has fallen to be replaced with what will probably be a more cleric based government. While this may not have been engineered by Washington, it may play into their hands if they are pushing secular governments out in favour of theocracies.
Syrian rebels are positioned to oust Bashar Al Assad of Syria; another more or less secular leader with a measure of control of the nation that may be unacceptable to Washington. It is worth noting that Assad, a Bathist (as was Saddam Hussein) has been somewhat resistant to American style economic liberalization.
To suggest the United States simply reacts like the hapless buffoons they appear to be would be to make an enormous error in judgment. They certainly have a game plan. Naturally, it isn't shared with the public. We can almost predict the aims of Washington by watching Anderson Cooper on CNN. Whenever his handlers tell him to put forth a full righteous sneer at a particular leader or government, you can almost be sure that leader will soon be dead. He sneered at Gaddafi and various others. It appears to be a death sneer. And now he is sneering at Assad.
There is speculation that the Americans are supporting the uprising and may be behind the uprising in Syria. It's hard to say. What is easy to say is that it fits into a larger pattern.
Within that pattern, the Taliban are stronger than ever. Al Qeada, an element foreign to Iraq and an element that Saddam Hussein would have summarily executed with brutal force, is now operating in Iraq on a large scale. They will soon gather strength in Syria. That is, if this pattern has merit.
Washington's reasons for courting and facilitating emerging regressive Islamic dictatorships over secularists are unclear. It is likely the same reasoning that places politicians in Washington and London in lock step with the vicious established religious dictators of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait and so on.
If the pattern continues, all hints of rational based and possibly progressive elements to governments in the Middle East will be wiped out in favour of a return to regressive and absolute feudal rule. The destabilization of Iran through internal dissent, a government that is both ruled through democratic elections as well as the Leader of the Revolution, or, Supreme Leader, may be seen as futile. Assassination may also be futile and pointless. Destabilization through war (for whatever reason) may get them to their objectives. America had a measure of control of Iran under the CIA installation of the Shah that was comfortable for them. The combination of a cleric and a democratically elected government may be impossible for them to control.
Although it is difficult to imagine what the end game may be, if these observations of patterns have any merit, it would also suggest that promoting tremendous instability into the region is another desired outcome. An era of destabilization rife with terrorism and competing religious factions waging civil war against each other may be in the cards. An environment like that would ostensibly require strict control and those controllers (dictators) may be the optimal choice for Washington.
Where Does Israel Fit?
Israel is standing in quicksand if this pattern is what it appears to be.
As it is, the demise of Mubarak, the destabilization of Syria, the ongoing abuse of Palestinians and so on do nothing to secure the safety of the Israeli people. As is often the case, what is promoted as security is anything but. The ongoing destabilization of the region and the empowerment of clerics are doing nothing to help long term Israeli security. Attacking Iran may push their situation over a tipping point.
If the people of Israel think that Washington is loyal to anything or anybody, they need to really examine history. They need to examine what happened to various puppet/minions, from every corner of the globe when they are no longer useful to the designs of Empire. Loyal - they are not. Ruthless - they are. When your enemies are more useful to them than you are, you are finished.
The right wing in Israel has been shocked by what they see as America's betrayal of Mubarak. They shouldn't be. America bears no loyalty, not even to its own working classes. The state made no apologies when it facilitated the export of millions of American jobs offshore for profit. They are beholden only to those that have bought and paid for the President and Congress. And when you, dear Israeli citizen, are no longer useful, you too will be shocked. Between now and then, reach out to your Palestinian brothers and sisters, to your Iranian and Arab comrades. They need you and the day is coming when you will need them. Say 'no' to war against Iran.
Eventually, we may see an aging, sneering, Anderson Cooper outraged at Israel's considerable crimes against humanity. Don't give him anything to sneer at.
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Other articles in Editorial
Alan Hart and What It Takes to Struggle On 17 May 2013
On Political Precondition 16 May 2013
The Counterfeit Left 12 May 2013
In Praise of Richard Falk 06 May 2013
The Truth Tellers Lament in a Time of Darkness 02 May 2013
Freedom and High Anxiety in the USA 22 April 2013
Divestment at UCSB 16 April 2013
Israeli Massacre of Deir Yassin 15 April 2013
In Defense of Amira Hass 13 April 2013
|William A. Cook|