Saturday, August 26, 2006

Give War a Chance: Israel to "Go it alone"?

The seemingly irreversible drive into a larger regional disaster continues. With all signs indicating the danger ahead, the huge cliff we're approaching now in plain view, the drivers of our metaphorical vehicle remain determined to "stay the course" and even put the pedal to the metal.

The following was published Thursday in the Jerusalem Post:

Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel "may have to go it alone," The Jerusalem Post has learned.

One senior source said on Tuesday that Iran "flipped the world the bird" by not responding positively to the Western incentive plan to stop uranium enrichment. He expressed frustration that the Russians and Chinese were already saying that Iran's offer of a "new formula" and willingness to enter "serious negotiations" was an opening to keep on talking.

"The Iranians know the world will do nothing," he said. "This is similar to the world's attempts to appease Hitler in the 1930s - they are trying to feed the beast."

He said there was a need to understand that "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself.

Having said this,
he did not rule out the possibility of US military action, but said that if this were to take place, it would probably not occur until the spring or summer of 2008, a few months before President George W. Bush leaves the international stage. The US presidential elections, which Bush cannot contest because of term limits, are in November 2008.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in a meeting in Paris with French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy Wednesday, said Iran "poses a global threat" and needed to be dealt with by the whole international community.

The first thing they need to do is stop the enrichment of uranium," Livni said. "Everyday that passes brings the Iranians closer to building a nuclear bomb. The world can't afford a nuclear Iran." She said the Iranian reply to the Western incentives was just an attempt to "gain time."

The possibility of Israel using this conflict as a pretext to acting alone has been discussed here before. Indeed this has been the plan all along. Far from reacting to the supposedly shocking intransigence of Hezbollah, Iranians or Syrians, our leaders in the US and in Israel carefully engineered this situation to bring us exactly to the point we've reached today. If Dick Cheney's foreshadowing of this development, uttered a more than a year and half before Hezbollah's cross-border raid of July 12th, is not evidence enough of premeditation on the part he US and Israel then the revelations published in the San Francisco Chronicle last month, detailing the extent of the pre-war preparation and coordination between the two governments provides another layer of evidence. And, of course, there was also the spectacle of our "War President" literally announcing to the world that this is all the result of "American policy" (I may have mentioned that here once or twice).

I must reiterate, for Iran to enrich uranium is perfectly legal and within their sovereign rights. It violates no laws or treaties. Despite the insistence by our governments and news media on omitting this fact from their statements on this matter, it remains true.

But there is something else even more instructive as to what's really going on here. Doesn't this all sound eerily familiar? The comparisons of the new enemy to Nazi Germany? The alarmist rhetoric over a nuclear weapons threat for which no evidence whatsoever has ever been produced? The characterization of negotiations as a stalling tactic? Does any of this ring a bell? We fell for this scam once before. We will pay for that avoidable mistake well into the foreseeable future. If we fall for this again... how did the man put it?

"Fool me once, shame on.. shame on you. Fool me... (???) ... can't get fooled again".

For once we agree.


Brian said...

Maybe if Iran were smarter and start pretending like they were pro-West (for about 10 years of no threat slinging), then they wouldn't have any problems continuing with their "peaceful" nuclear work.

Lets face it... they want to obtain enriched radioactive material... and this is the start of the manufacturing of it.

FearItself said...

Is being "pro-Western" a prerequisite for living in peace?

As I said in the post, it is perfectly legal and within their rights to obtain and produce enriched nuclear material.

Brian said...

You are right... the world should let Iran continue nuclear development. And, who knows what happens in five years. We learn that Ahmadinejad watches Daffy Duck for political motivation, we will be scratching our heads as to the cause of the Israeli region being filled with water from the Mediteranean. All the tell tale signs were there, but life goes on.

Does this sound like a current familiar problem that is taking place because of world (including the U.S.) negligence on the other side of that very same continent?

I do not think peaceful governments can let non-peaceful (to quote: "wiped off the map") ones develop in this way.

There are ways to go about ending it, but nevertheless, it needs to end. Peaceful ends are FAR preferred over missle launches (in my book at least).

FearItself said...


It's not up to "the world" (insert "US" where ever Bush says, "the world") to decide whether or not to "let" Iran develop nuclear technology. They have that right under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty so long as they refrain from producing weapons-grade material. The only role "the world" has to play is to insure that the NPT is complied with via IAEA inspections of the kind that obviously worked so well in Iraq.

Iran had been allowing the IAEA inspections to take place in compliance with the NPT. The reason we don't have that today is BECAUSE OF, not in spite of, Bush war-mongering. Before Ahmadinejad's election last year Iran had a much less confrontational President by the name of Khatami. Guess how Khatami lost to Ahmadinejad? Ahmadinejad beat him over the head with a "strong on defense" campaign (stop me if this sounds familiar). How was he able to do that? Well there was this SUPERPOWER on the other side of the world that named Iran as part of some fantasical "Axis of Evil", invaded two their immediate neighbors and talked openly of Iran being "next" and openly discussing the use of "mini-nukes" against them. So to Iranians, years of Khatami's concilliatory approach to that SUPERPOWER started to look like "APPEASEMENT" and "weak on defense" (stop me if this sounds familiar).

That's how politics works here, right? Why would it work differently in Iran? Faced with an existential threat people rally in nationalism behind a charismatic nationalist figure who promises "I'll protect you". That's why we have that guy to deal with now. Our sabre-rattling has strenghtened the political position of hard-liners in that country. It hasn't weakened the Iranian regime, it's strenghtened it. Faced with a threat like that, they'll respond defensively. I'll say it again. People don't like being bombed.

But don't put too much emphasis on Ahmadinejad. The Supreme Council holds the real power in Iran. Presidents come and go but the Supreme Council is always there (you didn't think Iran was a real democracy, did you?). If Iran was willing to comply with NPT before it could be willing to do so again. But that wont happen if we convince them that we're going to bomb them no matter what they do. Of course, that's exactly what our leaders are going to do. Ergo their behavior and Iran's response to it.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

PS - You shouldn't rely on news report s about the things Ahmadinejad says. Read his actual words for themselves. He never said that Iran intends to wipe anyone from the map. He was quoting Ayatollah Khomeini who said that the occupation regime of Israel should "fade from the page of time". The now-famous "quote" is a mistranslation, an intentional one, I think.

Brian said...

You are hitting on technicalities and missing the big picture... He may not have been the original one to say "wiped off the map"... but he says that he agrees with it immediately after he blurts the words out of his mouth.

Ahmadinejad has made numerous references regarding the holocaust and how it was largely exaggerated.

In the end, he has hostile intentions, and whether it is his... or the "real" rulers of Iran, what difference does it make? So many of these anti-Semitic and "hateful" remarks come out of his mouth... what does Iran expect the world to think?

The Afghanistan conflict HAD to happen, I think that most people can agree with this... Bin Laden declared war a long time ago, and finally the US listens to the threat (after 9/11).

Iraq did not HAVE to happen, but Saddam left little choice due to his lack of knowledge even about his own crumbling regime. The US just did not know how crumbling it was at the time.. if it did, the US probably would have just left it alone.

Ok, Iran is surrounded. So what? It is on two of seven sides. Poor excuse for even contemplating the fact that Western powers are trying to take over the country. Iran has in its hands its own destiny... are they going to be peaceful and stop with the open threats, or are they going to try and become a first world nation.

Whenever I refer to Iran, I always refer to the people in charge, not the people themselves. There are tens of thousands of accounts of the mistreatment that goes on in this country, and the general population is not responsible for it, just victims of it.