Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Manufacturing Consent For An Attack On Iran


- Obama's Nuclear Spring

- More News on Israel

- Bill Moyers To Retire; PBS Cancels “Now”


Obama's Nuclear Spring [Israel Lobby's Wishful Thinking & Anybody's Guess]

An Israeli attack on Iran's atomic "weapons plants" rests on one thing – the US president's approval

By Benny Morris

[My comments are in brackets [. . . .]]

[Benny Morris is considered an evenhanded and talented, yet "revisionist," Israeli historian. His earlier works, (like Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 http://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Victims-Zionist-Arab-Conflict-1881-2001/dp/0679744754/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_4) were more truly evenhanded and truthful, but like many of us, he has become more conservative, (and, unfortunately, in his case, protective of the illegal and inhumane Israeli Zionist project) in his older (declining?) years. Even back in July of 2008, he was predicting that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear POWER facilities. See Nader Page comments: (And if you doubt the seriousness of the situation, check out Israeli historian Benny Morris' recent Op-Ed in the New York Times in which he predicts that Israel will bomb Iran within four to seven months. http://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&tab=wm#search/Benny+Morris/11b559689978ef4d) Please keep in mind that Israel, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (Iran signed it, bringing them much grief), has something like 200-500 nuclear bombs. The Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza are occupied illegally by Israel, as are all of the Israeli settlements. See Also: Report Ties Dubious Iran Nuclear Docs to Israel http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article22765.htm and The Grim Picture of Obama's Middle East http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article22777.htm]

November 24, 2009 "The Guardian" --

The talk in Israel, explicit and open – including in the country's leading daily, Haaretz, last week – is about a war in the coming spring or summer. The skies will have cleared for air operations, Israel's missile shields against short- and medium-range rockets will at least be partly operational, and the international community, led by President Obama, will palpably have failed to stymie Iran's nuclear weapons programme. And the Iranians will be that much closer to a bomb.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister [Both War Criminals], will then have to decide if Israel can live with a nuclear Iran and rely on deterrence. But if they judge the risk of a nuclear assault on Israel too great, Israel's military will have to do what it can to destroy Iran's nuclear installations, despite the likely devastating repercussions – regional and global.

These will probably include massive rocketing of Israel's cities and military bases by the Iranians and Hezbollah (from Lebanon), and possibly by Hamas (from Gaza). This could trigger land wars in Lebanon and Gaza as well as a protracted long-range war with Iran. It could see terrorism by Iranian agents against Israeli (and Jewish) targets around the world; a steep increase in world oil prices, which will rebound politically against Israel; and Iranian action against American targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf. More generally, Islamist terrorism against western targets could only grow.

But it is not only Israel's leaders who will have to decide. So will Obama, a man who has, in the international arena, shown a proclivity for indecision (except when it comes to Israeli settlements in the West Bank)
[See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/12/obama-middle-east-policy-stalled]. Will he give the Israelis a green light (and perhaps some additional equipment they have been seeking to facilitate a strike) and a right-of-passage corridor over Iraq for their aircraft? Or will he acquiesce in putting atomic weaponry in the mullahs' hands?

It is clear – and should be by then to all but the most supine appeasers [give me a break!] – that the diplomatic approach is going nowhere [ the diplomatic approach is to tell Iran not to defend themselves against the Israeli nuclear threat--or else], with the Iranians conning and stonewalling and dragging their feet, all the while enriching more uranium. And Tehran is laughing, as it were, all the way to Armageddon. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs know full well that the west will never impose the only sanctions that could work (a complete boycott of Iranian oil and cessation of the export to Iran of all products).

Some in the west blithely hope that the Iranians are aiming for a low-key and shadowy "bomb in the basement", rather than immediately usable atomic bombs, and that this reduces the necessity of a pre-emptive military strike. My guess is that Iran has not taken this giant gamble in order to achieve a dubious, implicit capability: it will not stop short of actual, usable atomic weapons with which to overawe and gain hegemony over its neighbours, deter the west and, perhaps, destroy Israel. [Israel, having already created nuclear weapons with the help of Great Britain and the US, currently uses those weapons and their fabulous conventional military might "to overawe and gain hegemony over its" Arab neighbours. That's just fine with Morris.]

So Obama is fast approaching his moment of truth. His predecessor, George Bush, repeatedly assured Israel that the US would not allow fundamentalist Iran to attain the bomb. The implication was that America itself would prevent this – at the last resort, by military means.

Today that seems highly unlikely. Obama is enmeshed in two wars in Muslim lands, with Afghanistan looking increasingly unwinnable, and Iraq stumbling either toward de facto partition or growing subordination to Shia Iran. With an American public increasingly tired of war, any war, the US president is unlikely to send in the air force, navy and special forces to smash the Iranian nuclear installations.
[Well, you never know what the "Peace President" will do!]

There is a sad double irony here. The Iranians and their proxies are likely to attack American targets whether or not the US is involved in a strike against Iran. [No kidding! It is America that has provided Israel with the weapons it has used to subdue and oppress the Plalestians and other Muslims in the Middle East!] And while Israel's conventional military capabilities are limited and could probably delay the Iranian acquisition of nuclear arms only by a few years, American conventional might – if brought resolutely and efficiently to bear – could completely halt Iran's nuclear project and thoroughly destroy its military carapace in a few weeks of intensive bombing; indeed, the regime itself might collapse like a house of cards, as did Saddam's under the American onslaught of March 2003.

This is not going to happen. Nevertheless Obama will soon have to decide whether to give Israel a green light, and how brightly it will shine. And soon. For spring is fast approaching.

We live in interesting times.

It will be instructive to see what Obama does regarding the escalation of the illadvised war in Afghanistan. If he chooses to escalate, which is the conventional media wisdom, it is likely that Obama will go along with Israel, and his Jewish advisors, and support an Israeli attack on Iran (If he doesn't allow the American military to do it themselves). It is not clear, however, that Netanyahu actually needs a "green light" from Obama to proceed with an attack, as his government has ignored Obama's supposed objections to the continued expansion of illegal settlements. When it comes to Middle East policies affecting Israel, Obama, as well as the last few administrations, have chosen cowardly subservience instead of moral leadership.


New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind led a group of fifty American Jews to buy property in illegal Israeli settlement

Democracy Now! Nov. 20, 2009

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind led a group of fifty American Jews to buy property in the nearby settlement of Nof Zion, also in East Jerusalem. During a tour of settlement real estate projects, the Democratic Assemblyman said, quote, “Rather than buying second homes in Florida, we want people to buy in Israel.”

DOV HIKIND: To own something in the land of Israel is something very special. I have been dreaming about that all my life, and finally here’s a place that I am in love with. I don’t want to interfere with anyone. I don’t want to displace anyone. I don’t want to kick anyone out of their home. I have no hate, no malice in my heart. I want to live here, and I’m trying to work that out.

[Yes Dov, please try to work that out. So what that if to make room for you and your Jewish friends, Israel has to evict the Palestinians living there, and bulldoze their homes, often on the best available land. You and your friends are worth it, superior so to speak. So very special, Right? Jerusalem was originally proposed by the UN to be a neutral international city for all three religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), and the Palestinians have long sought to establish East Jerusalem as their Capital in an ever elusive "Palestinian state." Israel, in opposition to UN resolutions, has made Jerusalem the center of their national affairs, and has continued to annex Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem and in other Palestinian areas of the "West Bank."]

Bill Moyers Journal
October 23, 2009
The Goldstone Report On Israeli and Hamas War Crimes

Transcript: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10232009/transcript3.html?print
The Journal: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html

. . . . "There could not have been a more thankless job in the world this year than investigating allegations of war crimes between Israelis and Palestinians. You're about to meet the man who shouldered that task after others had turned it down. And sure enough, he is at the center now of a raging controversy.

Judge Richard Goldstone was born and raised in South Africa, where he came to prominence investigating the vicious behavior of white security forces during apartheid. . . .

Time and again he has placed himself in harm's way and smack in the middle of controversy, but a few months ago he took on what was to become the greatest challenge of his legal career. It came after years of Hamas militants firing their missiles from the Gaza strip into southern Israel. Israel retaliated last December with Operation Cast Lead: 22 days of military action targeting Gaza, those 139 square miles between Israel and Egypt that are recognized as Palestinian territory. More than twelve hundred Palestinians died. Three Israeli civilians were killed and 10 soldiers, four of them the result of friendly fire.When Israeli forces withdrew, Gaza was left devastated and reeling. Not only had military targets been destroyed but thousands of homes as well as hospitals, schools and mosques. The United Nations Human Rights Council called for an investigation. And Goldstone agreed to lead it, but only after expanding the fact-finding mission's mandate to include charges against Hamas as well as Israel.

Over the next several months, Judge Goldstone and his team would thread their way through a minefield of accusation and denial.

In September, he submitted their report, 574 pages, scorching in their detail. The report accused both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. While condemning Palestinian rocket attacks, the report's harshest language was reserved for Israel's treatment of civilians in Gaza.

RICHARD GOLDSTONE: These attacks amounted to reprisals and collective punishment, and constitute war crimes. The government of Israel obviously has a duty to protect its own citizens. That in no way justifies a policy of collective punishment of a people under effective occupation, destroying their means to live a dignified life and the trauma caused by the kind of military intervention the Israeli government called Operation Cast Lead.

The report and the angry debate surrounding it have exposed Goldstone to strident and bitter criticism. Nonetheless, late last week, the UN's Human Rights Council officially endorsed his findings.Richard Goldstone joins me now. Currently a visiting professor at Fordham Law School in New York, last spring he received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for International Justice. His books include "For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator."


In another development, Bill Moyers is "retiring" from PBS and his show, Bill Moyers Journal, and PBS is canceling another newsworthy Friday Night program, "Now" by David Brancaccio. Not much reason to watch PBS to find alternative opinions anymore.

Bill Moyers To Retire; PBS Cancels “Now”

And in media news, Bill Moyers has announced his retirement from weekly television. The last broadcast of his show Bill Moyers Journal will air on April 30th 2010. That day will also mark the final episode of “Now” hosted by David Brancaccio, which has been canceled by PBS.

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