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Nuking Iran

Are Bush’s Wars Winding Down or Heating Up?

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Most Americans believe that Bush’s Iraqi misadventure is over. The occupation has lost the support of the electorate, the Congress, the generals and the troops. The Democrats are sitting back waiting for Bush to come to terms with reality. They don’t want to be accused of losing the war by forcing Bush out of Iraq. There are no more troops to commit, and when the "surge" fails, Bush will have no recourse but to withdraw. A little longer, everyone figures, and the senseless killing will be over.

Recent news reports indicate that this conclusion could be an even bigger miscalculation than the original invasion.

On January 7 the London Times reported that it has learned from "several Israeli military sources" that "Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report.

The Times reports that "Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack."

In other news reports Israeli General Oded Tira is quoted as follows: "President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure."

General Tira gives the Israel Lobby the following tasks: (1) "turn to Hilary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran," (2) exert influence on European countries so that "Bush will not be isolated in the international arena again," and (3) "clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabis so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran."

Israel’s part, General Tira says, is to "prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of air bases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran."

British commentators report that "the British media appears to be softening us up for an attack on Iran." Robert Fox writing in The First Post (January 6) says, "Suddenly the smell of Britons being prepared for an attack on Iran is all pervasive."

On January 7 the Jerusalem Post reported that Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Israeli newspaper that "iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable" and that "the use of force against Teheran remained an option." The Jerusalem Post notes that "Hoyer is considered close to the Jewish community and many Israeli supporters have hailed his elevation in the House." Hoyer was the Israel Lobby’s first victory over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who preferred Rep. John Murtha for the post. Murtha was the first important Democrat to call for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

On November 20 the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that President Bush said he would understand if Israel chose to attack Iran.

Bush showed that he was in Israel’s pocket when he blocked the world’s attempt to stop Israel’s bombing of Lebanese civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Many commentators believe that the failure of the neoconservatives’ "cakewalk war" has destroyed their influence. This is a mistaken conclusion. The neoconservatives are long time allies of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party and are part of the Israel Lobby in the US. The Israel Lobby represents the views of only a minority of American Jews but nevertheless essentially owns both political parties and most of the US media. As the neoconservatives are an important part of this powerful lobby, they remain extremely influential.

The Lobby works to increase the neoconservatives’ influence. To appreciate the Lobby’s influence, try to find columnists in the major print media and TV commentators who are not apologists for Israel, who do not favor attacking Iran, and who support withdrawing from Iraq. Recently, Billy "One-Note" Kristol, a rabid propagandist for war against Muslims, was given a column in Time magazine. Why would Time think its readers want to read a war propagandist? Could the reason be that the Israel Lobby arranged for Time to receive lucrative advertising contracts in exchange for a column for Kristol?

Neoconservatives have called for World War IV against Islam. In Commentary magazine Norman Podhoretz called for the cultural genocide of Islamic peoples. The war is already opened on four fronts: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iran.

The Bush administration has used its Ethiopian proxies to overthrow the Somalian Muslims who overthrew the warlords who drove the US from Somalia. The US Navy and US intelligence are actively engaged with the Ethiopian troops in efforts to hunt down and capture or kill the Somalian Muslims. US Embasy spokesman Robert Kerr in Nairobi said that the US has the right to pursue Somalia’s Islamists as part of the war on terror.

For at least a year the Bush administration has been fomenting and financing terrorist groups within Iran. Seymour Hersh and former CIA officials have exposed the Bush administration’s support of ethnic-minority groups within Iran that are on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Last April US Representative Dennis Kucinich wrote a detailed letter to President Bush about US interference in Iran’s internal affairs. He received no reply.

The Israeli/neoconservative plan, of which Bush may be a part or simply be a manipulated element, is to provoke a crisis with Iran in which the US Congress will have to support Israel. Both the Israeli government and the American neoconservatives are fanatical. It is a mistake to believe that either will be guided by reason or any appreciation of the potentially catastrophic consequences of an attack on Iran.

US aircraft carriers sitting off Iran’s coast are sitting ducks for Iran’s Russian missiles. The neoconservatives would welcome another "new Pearl Harbor."

The US media is totally unreliable. It cannot go against Israel, and it will wrap itself in the flag just as it did for the invasion of Iraq. The American public has been deceived (again) and believes that Iran is on the verge of possessing nuclear armaments to be used to wipe Israel off the map. The fact that Americans are such saps for propaganda makes effective opposition to the neoconsevatives’ plan for WW IV practically impossible.

Large percentages of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attack. Recent polls show that 32% still believe that Iraq gave substantial support to al-Qaeda, and 18% believe that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attack. WXIA-TV in Atlanta posted viewers comments about Hussein’s execution on its web site. Atlantan Janet Wesselhoft was confident that Saddam Hussein is "the one who started terrorism in this country, he needs to be put to rest."

Even the London Times is in the grip of Israeli propaganda. In its report of Israel’s plan to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, the Times says that Iranian president "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that ‘Israel must be wiped off the map.’" It has been shown by a number of credible experts that this quote is a made-up concoction taken completely out of context. Ahmadinejad said no such thing.

In a world ruled by propaganda, lies become truths. The power of the Israel Lobby is so great that it has turned former President Jimmy Carter, probably the most decent man ever to occupy the Oval Office and certainly the president who did the most in behalf of peace in the Middle East, into an anti-semite, an enemy of Israel. The American media, from its "conservative" end to its "liberal" end did its best to turn Carter into a pariah for telling a few truths about Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians in his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.

If truth be known, there is nothing to stop the Israeli/neoconservative cabal from widening the war in the Middle East.

As I previously reported, the neoconservatives believe that the use of nuclear weapons against Iran would force Muslims to realize that they have no recourse but to submit to the Isreali/US will. The use of nuclear weapons is being rationalized as necessary to destroy Iran’s underground facilities, but the real purpose is to terrorize Islam and to bring it to heel.

Until the US finds the courage to acquire a Middle East policy of its own, Americans will continue to reap the evil sowed by the Israel Lobby.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com