It’s no secret Israeli PM Netanyahu is using his extensive reach and political power to help bolster the Republicans in an effort to ensure that Barack Obama is portrayed as an anti-Israel, terrorist-supporting waif. Never mind that Obama has done more for Israel on almost every front than any other President in history. Bibi has spent his entire Likud political career opposing the formation of an independent, contiguous Palestinian state and he knows that the GOP supports him in that cause. Sure, he said the words “two states” in 2009 but so what? He also bragged about using the Oslo Peace Process for the sole purpose of expanding Israel’s control over the territories via settlement expansion, all under the guise of Israel’s “security” needs. So long as Israel uses the word “security” in a sentence, the US simply drops on it’s knees and capitulates to whatever Israel wants. And naturally, the lily-livered Democrats have no intention of opposing Bibi’s attempt to unseat their President. No, in fact, they have, for their part, largely spent the last four years undermining their President’s foreign policy in order to prove they are the most pro-Likud leaders in Congress. Fabulous.
In light of all that, this article in Salon is interesting:
After being elected in large part because he’d opposed a “dumb” war in Iraq, President Obama finds himself confronting an even dumber one in Iran. Exponentially dumber, actually.
Dumb because like the targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists rarely cited by columnist commandoes, bombing raids alone can’t achieve the alleged goal: preventing the Ayatollahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Slow them down, probably. Stop them, no. Short of a full-scale invasion and occupation of a nation three times larger than neighboring Iraq in population and five times larger in land area, that can’t be done. Global disapproval didn’t stop North Korea, Pakistan or, for that matter, Israel.
Exponentially dumb because it could set the entire Middle East aflame.
You’d think the Israelis, of all people, would recognize that threatening a people with death and destruction hardens their resolve. Yet the New York Times reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “told visitors that he believes the Tehran government to be deeply unpopular, indeed despised, and that a careful attack on its nuclear facilities might even be welcomed by Iranian citizens.”
Yes, and Dick Cheney predicted that U.S. forces invading Iraq would be greeted with candy and flowers. “Most analysts [in Jerusalem] and abroad,” the Times noted cautiously, “take a different view.” Indeed, historical examples of civilian populations cheering on aerial bombardments are rare, if not nonexistent. Despite his and Cheney’s obvious affinities, one would expect Netanyahu to be made of saner stuff.
But when articles invoking the Holocaust and urging “creative destruction” in Iran appear on the same day (Feb. 7) in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Bloomberg News, a skeptical observer might be forgiven for suspecting a well-coordinated propaganda campaign.
Writing in Beirut-based Al-Akhbar, American journalist Max Blumenthal dates its inception to a Jan. 3 article in Israel Hayom revealing that Israel’s National Security Council — basically Netanyahu’s closest political allies — had concluded that “U.S. President Barack Obama is ‘naive’” and fails to understand Israel’s precarious position. Deemed a Likud Party organ, the newspaper is owned by multibillionaire Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who bankrolls Netanyahu and serves as Newt Gingrich’s Sugar Daddy too.
Netanyahu appears to see an Obama second term as an impediment to further Israeli expansion into the West Bank — or “Judea” and “Samaria,” as Likudniks style it — and has cast his lot with the Republican right. He’s made public appearances with notables like Glenn Beck and “End Times” evangelist John Hagee. Adelson himself has pledged his vast resources to Obama’s defeat.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama reiterated his determination to prevent Iran’s getting nuclear weapons. He said he was “taking no options off the table.” But he also expressed hope that international sanctions could lead to a peaceful resolution.
On cue, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen called this “startlingly naïve.” Only a fool or a Frenchman, the same pundit once opined, could doubt the existence of Saddam Hussein’s WMD. Bombs away!
Salon’s Glenn Greenwald has been diligently covering the issue and in particular, how the mainstream media have been cheer-leading for war with Iran by helpfully fear-mongering and spreading whatever baseless propaganda the U.S. and Israeli government want the uninformed electorate to have. That the media provides total anonymity to these government sources is truly incredible under the circumstances. That the march to war with Iran follows the exact same flawed, ginned-up, misleading path to war with Iraq, is also incredible.
Perhaps when people are asked if they support war with Iran they should also be asked “is war with Iran such a vital American interest that you believe that you or your children (18 or older) or other family members should be part of a draft?” Because we all know that Americans (not in the military) support wars against Muslim Brown People in far away places with the explicit understanding that absolutely no sacrifice will ever be asked of them.