The United States is obsessed with Iran and Israel. It’s not just the Administration in Washington that enjoys this weird fixation, because many Americans, including all Republican presidential candidates, agree with Israel that Iran is an enemy and must be dealt with in a drastic military fashion. Pending that final solution, the tactics are to try to strangle the country by imposing vicious sanctions and to threaten to cripple the economies of other nations that attempt to maintain commercial links with Tehran. As has been obvious for decades, sanctions on any country have little adverse effect on its leaders, but penalize the poor and weak by making their miserable lives even more dismal than usual.
But destroying innocent lives economically is quite acceptable to the US President and Secretary of State, who are also energetically threatening some countries who will not toe the anti-Iran sanctions’ line, while the Pentagon gets ready for yet another “Shock and Awe” farce, and deploys ever more ships and planes to the Persian Gulf in preparation for war on Iran. They won’t dare to try to bully China or India, of course, because the very existence of the US depends on Chinese economic goodwill, and India is a massive market for US weapons, nuclear technology and other vital items that provide generous profits for American companies. But nations such as Pakistan are in the direct line of fire because they have few means of retaliation.
US Secretary of State Clinton has made it clear that Pakistan will be punished if it continues to engage with Iran about construction of a natural gas pipeline. She cares not a fig that the people of Pakistan urgently need natural gas and, indeed, any sort of fuel that can assist the economy and make their lives easier. The Los Angeles Times records that “more than half of Pakistan’s manufacturers use natural gas to power their factories,” and 21 percent of Pakistani vehicles run on compressed natural gas, but “Pakistan produces only 30% of the natural gas it needs.” The Iran-Pakistan pipeline would provide the country with over 750 million cubic feet of gas per day.
It was reported in February that water levels in Pakistan’s two main power-generating dams are dangerously low. This, and the shortage of natural gas, leads to power cuts all over the country that make people’s lives utterly miserable, but means nothing to Secretary Clinton or anyone else in Washington. The fact that Pakistan’s entire economy is under threat because there is not enough fuel for power stations and industrial plants matters not a bit to the jet-setters of international affairs. They will never experience the slightest inconvenience to their luxurious lifestyles because they are cocooned from the problems experienced daily by so many millions of ordinary people.
Clinton is on record as saying that if Pakistan dares to try to improve its parlous economic state by “beginning the construction of such a pipeline either as an Iranian project or as a joint project . . . it would be particularly damaging to Pakistan because their economy is already quite shaky.” This putrid piece of perambulating filth was then reported as saying that “the US is working to find alternative solutions to the deficit that do not necessitate the building of the proposed pipeline.” Her “solution” to Pakistan’s appalling energy crisis involves a pipeline from Turkmenistan running through Afghanistan : “We think that that is a better alternative, both in terms of predictability and to avoid doing business with Iran.”
Anyone who imagines a pipeline could be built through Afghanistan belongs in the funny farm. But that is no reason to roll around the floor, laughing at the monocular moron who is US Secretary of State. She presents the policies of the most important country on earth and must to be listened to, if only because her statements give a good indication of just where that great nation is heading : down the moral plug-hole.
Washington’s obsession with Israel is understandable because Israel can do no wrong in the eyes of America, and US politicians are puppets in its hands. There isn’t a national politician in the United States who would dare criticize Israel, because if they did their political careers would end very quickly. Now that’s power; real power. When a plainly deranged man like Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu can get 29 standing ovations from a drooling and sycophantic Congress, then matters have become extremely grave, especially when you consider that they gave their own President a mere 25 standers for his last State of the Union Address. Talk about sit-up-and-beg. The US pawn-poodle pollies deserve some crackers, and they’ll get them, of course, in the shape of lots of lovely money from all the Israel-supporting squillionaires who buy politicians like they’re hamburgers.
In the past ten years Washington has vetoed ten UN Security Council Resolutions that condemned Israel for illegal and barbaric actions. On February 18, for example, “The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal, saying that while it agreed that the settlements are illegitimate the resolution harmed chances for peace talks. The other 14 members of the Council voted for the resolution, which demanded that “Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard.”
Israel’s settlements are not only unlawful, they are xenophobic, racist and based on greed. Tel Aviv’s treatment of Palestinians is contrary to international laws, especially those governing collective punishment, and is deliberately designed to make life hell for millions of innocents. But who cares? — Just listen to the Obama speech made at the beginning of this month to AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, and you’ll realize, between gagging at the oleaginous drivel he mouthed, that mighty America is in thrall to a bunch of murderous, land-grabbing avaricious thugs with an enormous arsenal of nuclear weapons.
It is, said Obama, “our common ideals that provide the true foundation for our relationship.” Yes — from Gaza to Guantanamo, from Palestine to Kandahar, the common ideals are there : to imprison people without trial, to subject them to torture, to blitz villages and slaughter children. He didn’t once mention the word ‘Gaza’ in his obsequious eulogy.
What, exactly, has the US got against the Palestinians whose land has been stolen and occupied by Israelis? Well, it’s simple, really: the Palestinians haven’t got any money to give to political campaigners in America or anywhere else. They have no fantastically rich and powerful organization like AIPAC that can buy and alter the ideals and principles of the President of the United States and all the Senators and members of Congress who packed the AIPAC auditorium. They are obsessed with Israel, and who can blame them, when their very careers depend on toeing the Israeli line?
And it goes deeper and wider, unfortunately, because some important sections of the US armed forces appear to be behind Israel to an alarming degree. Take Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, for example, who told reporters that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have prepared military options to strike Iranian nuclear sites. “What we can do,” he announced, “you wouldn’t want to be in the area.” Strangelove lives, apparently. And according to the Jerusalem Post newspaper “When the Jewish Community Centers Armed Forces and Veteran’s Committee presented its Military Leadership Award to Schwartz in 2004, he said he was ‘Proud to be identified as Jewish as well as an American military leader’.”
When the most senior military officer in the US Air Force boasts of an allegiance other than to his country, the Service he serves, and those whom he has the honor to command, there should be alarm bells ringing. This is dangerous stuff.
General Schwartz’s senior civilian adviser until recently was Dr Lana (Ilana) Kass, who was born and raised in Israel and served as a major in the Israeli Air Force. Her three children were born in Israel. According to the now-deleted entry on the US Air Force website she was Schwartz’s “principal adviser on policy and strategy and formulates, develops, implements, and communicates the policies, programs and goals of the Air Force.”
Even the New York Times had to report, on March 17, that information about Iran’s nuclear program “has not been significant enough for the spy agencies to alter their view that the weapons program has not been restarted.” But General Schwartz makes it clear that his Air Force is ready to go to the extent that when it blitzes Iran “you wouldn’t want to be in the area.” What advice is Schwartz going to give to his President who offers unconditional support to Israel, in that “We’re providing Israel with more advanced technology the types of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies”?
Just as Washington is obsessed with Iran to such a degree that it is willing to destroy Pakistan economically if it engages in desperately-needed economic cooperation with its neighbour, so it is obsessed with Israel to the point of national humiliation. The US will support Israel’s bombing assault on Iran because it has no other option. But after that catastrophe, Israel’s puppets in the US Congress and Administration — and the Pentagon — will rue the day they bent their knees to a vile and racist regime that is intent on destroying a country that has never engaged in military conquest and does not seek to do so now. Obsession has a downside. When the US obeys Israel and supports war on Iran the price of oil will go through the roof. And the moral standing of America will go through the floor.
Brian Cloughley’s website is www.beecluff.com