Tuesday, September 04, 2007

War with Iran? Coming soon.

Nowadays it's not at all difficult to find something in the news to scare you. Recently it's that ever-intensifying drumbeat prodding our troops toward Iran. A year ago it was virtually unthinkable (to me) that Bush could garner support for a pre-emptive invasion on yet antother country. But alas, certain media outlets are starting to sound out the possibility. One of the things that makes this oh-so-possible is the strength of pro-Israel lobby (led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Our main "ally" in the region is blatant in their desire to see us bomb the hell out of the next nation in the "Axis of Evil". Anything that destabilizes their biggest military threat is welcome, as far as they are concerned.

Perhaps the most disconcerting prospect for an executive branch push-to-war is the potential appointment of Joe Lieberman (Senator from Connecticut) to the Attorney General's office. If you've been following his political carreer since he was the running mate of Al Gore in the 2000 presidential campaign, you might actually think that his loss would be a mixed blessing for the Democrats. It is true that Lieberman has largely fallen out-of-touch with his former party mates, and has assumed the role of flack for Bush and Co. Unfortunately, Ned Lamont was unable to beat out the incumbent in the midterm general elections- so for the meantime the Democrats have formed an uneasy truce with Lieberman. The Senator still throws in with the boys-in-blue. But that could soon change.

As you are no doubt aware, the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate by a tally of 51-49. That means that if Lieberman were to accept Dubya's offer to officially join the dark side, the Republicans would regain control. Why is that? Because the governor of Connecticut (a Republican) would appoint a successor. Representation in the Senate would then be technically tied, but Dick Cheney would tip the scale over to the GOP. Would Lieberman do it? It's difficult to say. He is vocal about his desire to expand the war in the Middle East. His complete submission to the aims of AIPAC provides an additional glimpse into his true allegiances. Will he be content to sit on the sidelines and add his voice from Congress in support of the President? Or will he be seduced into the Bush Cabinet? We'll likely find out soon.

In the meantime we are going to be forced to listen to claims of WMDs and support for terrorists. The rhetoric is going to sound awfully familiar to what we heard in 2002. Some are going to naturally wonder how we ended up in the exact same place after spending hundreds of billions of dollars in a misguided war in Iraq. But there will also be an accompanying spike in "patriotic" support for Bush. We will once again be informed that we can disagree with politics, but we have to "support the troops". What's so ironic is that this admonishment does exactly what Ann Coulter always accuses the Democrats of doing- it hides policy behind unassailable frontmen. If we have to "support the troops", then how can we possibly hold Bush and the GOP responsible for their arguably criminal foreign policy? They have made valid criticism of their actions seem disloyal, and insensitive to the dangers of good old American boys who are willing to make the "ultimate sacrifice". The only check the Congress has on our warmongering President is to eliminate funding for the war. So what are "our representatives" supposed to do?

Take a good look at any of these new adverts sponsored by "Freedom's Watch". They are literally rolling out mutilated vets of the Iraqi War in order to elicit your sympathy, and make you less critical of their message and aims. Who are these folks? They are the neo-cons and other rightwing nuts that brought us into the mess in Iraq. They are the spiritual brothers of FoxNews, the American Enterprise Institute, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, etc. Their methods involve invoking the age-old shadows of invisible enemies to inspire the type of fear that will allow them to advance their agenda without having to answer for their activities. They get their talking points straight from Dick Cheney, and they have indelible connections to the defense industry. Is it any wonder that they are working to foment World War III?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADL launches Campaign to promote US war on Iran

One of the primary points of the recent Mearsheimer-Walt book "The Israel Lobby" [1] is that the lobby frequently pushes for policies and actions that not only are not in the best interests of the United States, but often not really in the long term interests of Israel either. As though on a mission to prove the point, the Anti-Defamation League – an integral component of the Mearsheimer/Walt defined Israel Lobby – has announced a public relations campaign to promote a U.S. attack on Iran.

Although the vast majority of Americans are opposed to a U.S. attack on Iran [2] – a fact that has been a problem for many leaders of the Israel Lobby [3] – roughly 71% of Israelis actively support the idea of the U.S. attacking Iran [4]. This fact, coupled with the fact that a "nuclear Iran" has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the ADL ostensible mission of fighting anti-Semitism in the United States, completely reaffirms the Mearsheimer/Walt contention that the ADL is part and parcel of the Israel lobby and all its proclamations should be viewed in that context.

Today's press release by the ADL says in part:

"Over the next few weeks and months, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will roll out a public awareness and advocacy campaign aimed at focusing attention on the gathering threat of a nuclear-armed Iran to Israel, the Middle East and the world. With the slogan, 'No Nuclear Iran,' the campaign focuses on Iran's clear and present threat to Israel, America and the global community through high-profile eye-catching posters, advertisements in national and community newspapers, and other awareness initiatives using e-mail and the Internet to spread the word." [5]

Although the press release, and thus presumably the campaign itself, does not explicitly call for a U.S. attack on Iran, Abraham Foxman and the ADL are already on record calling for "a military response" to Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. [6] Despite the fact that there remains absolutely no tangible evidence that Iran's nuclear program is military in nature [7], Israel simply won't accept the facts of the situation or the complete lack of evidence as a counter-point to its unfounded assumptions. [8] The entire case for an Iranian nuclear weapons program is based on the "common sense" argument; namely with Iran being almost completely surrounded by nuclear powers (U.S. in Iraq & Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia, and Israel) they would be foolish not to develop their own nuclear weapons program. That is the extent of the case.

Nevertheless, the ADL campaign: "has three key objectives:

> Moving the Iranian issue to the top of the agenda for the Jewish community as both a political and social justice issue of the utmost urgency;
> Making the broader public aware of what a nuclear-armed Iran will mean for all of us and why its drive toward a nuclear weapon capability must be stopped;
> Alerting and educating the U.S. and international communities to specific actions, including stronger sanctions, that may be taken to deter Iranian nuclear proliferation." [9]

Such a campaign cannot possibly have any other purpose than to mislead the American public into thinking that there is some purpose or justification for a U.S. attack on Iran. The Oxford Research Group, which correctly predicted the outcome of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, has issued a comprehensive briefing that concludes:

"An attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would signal the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably grow to involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, as well as the USA and Iran. The report concludes that a military response to the current crisis in relations with Iran is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further. Alternative approaches must be sought, however difficult these may be." [10]

In fact, just as Mearsheimer and Walt suggest, an attack on Iran may very well not prove to be in Israel's best interest either, despite Israeli public opinion. Even discarding the supposed nuclear threat, Iran has other means of striking Israel:

"The Qatari newspaper Al Watan on Sunday quoted diplomatic sources in Damascus as saying that Iran has marked 600 targets in Israel for missile strikes in case it is attacked. The report said the targets are within reach of Iranian missiles and would be completely destroyed if Israel should attack Iran or participate in an American attack on the country. Iran's warning refers to talk in Israel and the United States of a possible military strike to prevent the Islamic republic from attaining nuclear capability." [11]

The new ADL campaign must be seen as a validation of the Mearsheimer/Walt contention that the Israel lobby is dominated by extreme right-wing ideologues that do not represent the best interests of Americans in general – obviously including the majority of Jewish-Americans – and probably doesn't represent Israel's best interest either.

Just say "No!" to a U.S. attack on Iran – and American groups like the ADL that are actively promoting one.

Admin of "Why Would the U.S. Attack Iran?"


[1] John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," 2007, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, http://www.israellobbybook.com/

[2] For a collection of recent polls, see: PollingReport.Com http://www.pollingreport.com/iran.htm

[3] James D. Besser, "Jewish Leaders Caught In Iran Bind," The Jewish Week, 31 August 2007, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=14460

[4] Aluf Benn, "Poll: 71% of Israelis want the U.S. to strike Iran if talks fail," Ha'aretz, 18 May 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/860903.html

[5] ADL Press Release, "ADL Campaign Says 'No' to Nuclear Iran," Anti-Defamation League Website, 5 September 2007, http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5124_00.htm

[6] "Declarations by the international community that Iran cannot be allowed to possess nuclear weapons must be made credible by action. Pressure must be brought to bear on Iran in every way possible in order to convince Tehran to give up on its nuclear program — and if all else fails, a military response must remain an option."
Abraham Foxman, "Take Tehran at Its Word," The Forward, 4 November 2005, reproduced online by the ADL at: http://www.adl.org/ADL_Opinions/Anti_Semitism_Arab/Forward_110405.htm

[7] Atul Aneja, "IAEA says no evidence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons plan," The Hindu, 2 March 2006, Reproduced online by Global Research at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?c..viewArticle&code=ANE20060302&articleId=2055

[8] AFP/Reuters, "Israel 'not fooled' by Iranian nuclear assurances," ABC News, 27 August 2006, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/08/27/1725073.htm

[9] ADL Press Release, "ADL Campaign Says 'No' to Nuclear Iran," Anti-Defamation League Website, 5 September 2007, http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5124_00.htm

[10] Paul Rogers, "Iran: Consequences of a War," February 2006, Oxford Research Group, http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefing_papers/iranconsequences.php

[11] Yoev Stern, Barak Ravid, and Yossi Melman, "Report: Iran has 600 targets for missile strike in Israel if attacked," Ha'aretz, 15 July 2007, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/881985.html

10:48 PM  

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