FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Will Israel Attack Iran?

Last week the New York Times reported on an interesting telephone conversation in January between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  According to the report, Obama tried to convince Netanyahu, with some success, that the time was not right for military action against Iran.

The Times report noted that “Senior Israeli officials, including the foreign minister and leader of the Mossad, have traveled to Washington in recent weeks to make the case” that Iran would very soon reach the point where bombing could no longer disrupt its nuclear program. The argument is that once Iran moves enough of its equipment and materials to impregnable underground facilities, these could no longer be destroyed with even the biggest bombs. So Israel must strike soon, perhaps as early as a few months from now, these officials argued.

For Brazilians or Americans who do not follow this issue closely, a process of mass brainwashing is taking place through the major media.  Iran, which even the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has acknowledged is not pursuing a nuclear weapon, is portrayed as hell-bent on getting one. And why? So they can nuke Israel and become the first nation on Earth to commit mass suicide, since Israel has enough nuclear weapons to kill every Iranian several times over. It all makes sense, if you assume that mass suicide is Iran’s deepest national aspiration.

However, most experts believe that Iran is seeking not nuclear weapons, but the capacity to produce them. This is a capacity shared by Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and other countries with civilian nuclear reactors – whocould produce nuclear weapons within a matter of months. Iran, like these other countries – and unlike Israel – is in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and will remain so even if it develops such a capacity.

Back to the U.S.:  The good news is that Israel will not attack Iran before the U.S. presidential election. Many people see Obama as a pushover – he got rolled by his generals in Afghanistan, by Wall Street on financial reform, etc.  But woe unto him who tries to mess with Obama’s re-election.  He will crush them. And a war with Iran – no matter who starts it — is much too risky for an election year. It’s a safe bet that Obama reminded the Israelis who is boss, and who gives billions of dollars annually to whom.

To drive the message home, last week two unnamed Obama Administration officials told the press that Israel was funding and training Iranian terrorists to kill nuclear scientists, including five murdered since 2007. This “leak” was another way of showing the Israelis that Obama is serious, and perhaps also that he doesn’t want assassinations at this time, which could increase the chances of escalation and war.

The bad news is that the Obama Administration, with help from the major media, is still preparing the groundwork for a possible war with Iran in the future – just as President Bill Clinton paved the way for his successor to invade Iraq.  Members of Congress, pushed strongly by the lobby-group AIPAC and neo-conservatives, are also attempting to make war inevitable by making diplomacy impossible.  And that is a war that the world needs to prevent.

Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: the Phony Crisis.

This article originally appeared in Folha de São Paulo (Brazil).

 

More articles by:

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. and president of Just Foreign Policy. He is also the author of  Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
February 28, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Socialism Question
Vijay Prashad
Witnessing the Hell a Migrant Can Face
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Knives Out
Andrew Levine
Bloomberg: What Is He Good For?
T.J. Coles
The Space Force Becomes a Weapons System, Arms Companies Profit
Henry Giroux
Cult-Like Ignorance is Death: Trump and the Coronavirus
Paul Street
The So-Called Party of the People: From Nevada to South Carolina
Matthew Stevenson
Carolina and Super Tuesday on My Mind
Robert Hunziker
Forever-Chemicals Tap Water
Pete Dolack
No Thinking Please, We’re Red-Baiting
Nick Pemberton
If Bernie Sanders Is Unelectable, Then What The Hell Are The Rest Of You?
Jacob Hornberger
Immunity for Killings by Immigration Police
John Curiel – Jack R. Williams
Analysis of the 2019 Bolivia Election: No Evidence of Irregular Trends or Fraud
Ramzy Baroud
Israel at the Cusp of a Bleak Era
Ron Jacobs
Bloomberg’s Billionaire BS
Farzana Versey
Who Will Douse Delhi’s Flames?
Joseph Natoli
Dispelling the Darkness
Marshall Auerback
Boris Johnson, Not Donald Trump, is the Real Blue-Collar Conservative
Steve Early
VoteVets for Buttigieg:  Who’s Really Keeping Us in the Dark About Campaign Funding?
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: Those Meddling Kids …
Arshad Khan
Trump Visits Modi and Delhi Erupts in Anti-Muslim Riots
Karen J. Greenberg
How Democracy Ends
Tom Clifford
Corona and Flu in Beijing: a Report From the Chinese Capital
Scott Tucker
Pete Buttigieg: The Energizer Bunny of Hegemony
Victor Grossman
Breakthroughs Against the Rightwing Menace in Germany
William Hartung
It’s Time to Debate Pentagon Spending
Seth Sandronsky
Struggling for Shelter: Resistance to California’s Housing Crisis Grows 
Daniel Warner
The UN, Homeostasis and China
Eve Ottenberg
Police Torture in Chicago
Kenn Orphan
The Ruling Class Will Stop at Nothing
Sean Reynolds
A Difficult Peace
W. T. Whitney
For the Climate: Protecting the Commons and Fixing Democracy
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Political Offences and Legal Restraints
Dedrick Asante-Muhammad – Jamie Buell
Does This Economy Work for Black Americans?
Tracey L. Rogers
Reflections on “Black Excellence”
Jill Richardson
Stop Calling Harmful Bigotry “Religious Freedom”
Barbara G. Ellis
Don’t Depend on FEMA to Save Us From Global-Warming’s Armageddon
Mike Garrity
Why We Sued Trump’s BLM Over Its Sagebrush-Juniper Burning Project in Montana
Christopher Brauchli
The Modi/Trump Anti-Muslim Alliance
John Kendall Hawkins
Science and the Turf Wars of Consciousness
John Peeler
Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Nicky Reid
Socialism Without Anti-Imperialism: A Different Flavor of Tyranny
Louis Proyect
Spies, Lies and Videotapes
David Yearsley
The Beef with Kobe
Andrew Stewart
How Netflix And “Manning Marable” Killed Malcolm X (The Third Time)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail