Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:32 PM
stockholmer (3,751 posts)
Media Matters: Neocon Arguments For Iran War Are Tired Cliches
Writing in today's Washington Post, columnist Fareed Zakaria does a terrific job http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/history-could-be-a-deterrent-to-iranian-aggression/2012/02/15/gIQA6UVcGR_story.html destroying some arguments for war with Iran. He does it by, of all things, citing history. First, Zakaria takes apart the argument, often made by Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, that the "window" to stop Iran from developing a nuclear capability is closing and that rushing to war — without, of course, knowing how a war would play out — is essential. Zakaria explains that this is one of the oldest justifications for war in the book:
The most famous example, of course, was Germany's decision to start what became World War I. The German General Staff believed that Russia — its archenemy — was rearming on a scale that would soon nullify Germany's superior military strength. The Germans believed that within two years — by 1916 — Russia would have a significant, and perhaps unbeatable, strategic advantage. As a result, when turmoil began in the Balkans in June 1914, Germany decided to act while it had the advantage. To stop Russia from entering a "zone of immunity," Germany invaded France (Russia's main ally) and Belgium, which forced British entry into the war, thus setting in motion a two-front European war that lasted four years and resulted in more than 37 million casualties.
Zakaria then cites the Israeli argument that Americans cannot understand their fears because "Iran is an existential threat to them." But in fact we can understand because we have gone through a very similar experience ourselves. After World War II, as the Soviet Union approached a nuclear capability, the United States was seized by a panic that lasted for years. Everything that Israel says about Iran now, we said about the Soviet Union. We saw it as a radical, revolutionary regime, opposed to every value we held dear, determined to overthrow the governments of the Western world in order to establish global communism. We saw Moscow as irrational, aggressive and utterly unconcerned with human life. After all, Joseph Stalin had just sacrificed a mind-boggling 26 million Soviet lives in his country's struggle against Nazi Germany.
Then there was the mad rush to war in Iraq: Many in Washington in March 2003 insisted that we could not wait for nuclear inspectors to keep at their work in Iraq because we faced a closing window — the weather was going to get too hot by June and July to send in U.S. forces. As a result, we rushed into a badly planned military invasion and occupation in which soldiers had to endure combat in Iraq for nine long and very hot years. In short, millions have been killed in wars that were based on faulty premises and lies. Happily, on the other hand, the ultimate war (a U.S.-Soviet war that might have ended civilization) did not come to pass because policymakers on both sides decided to contain the respective nuclear threat rather than blow up the enemy. It is unlikely that Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) gave much thought to these historical precedents when they decided to introduce a resolution — promoted by AIPAC — that rules out "containing" the Iran nuclear threat in favor of going to war. Their resolution is best described on Lieberman's website: "All options must be on the table when it comes to Iran — except for one, and that is containment." http://lieberman.senate.gov/index.cfm/news-events/news/2012/1/graham-and-lieberman-to-introduce-resolution-ruling-out-containment-of-a-nucleararmed-iran
New York Post: Iranian Nuclear “Engineers Basically Needed Killing”
In an editorial, the New York Post endorses the assassination of civilian Iranian nuclear scientists, adding that the terror group U.S. officials recently confirmed as conducting the attacks might be "far more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than a certain president of the United States we could mention." From the February 10, 2012 edition of the Post:
How's this for astonishing: NBC News is reporting that Israeli spies have been involved in the assassinations of five Iranian nuclear scientists. So far, not so bad. We'd say the engineers basically needed killing. But here's the astonishing part: The source for the story apparently is the Obama administration - albeit through anonymous leaks. The network claims that Israel used members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK), a dissident group the United States classified as a terrorist group in 1998, to ice the engineers.
So who cares whether the MeK is a designated terror group? (Britain and the European Union already removed it from their lists, and there is pressure on America to do the same.) And isn't Iran itself the leading exporter of terrorism in the world? Let's be frank: Were the MeK to play the critical role in derailing an Iranian bomb, it would be far more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than a certain president of the United States we could mention.
So why is the administration making such details public? President Obama did Israel no favors when he pressured it to join his love-peace-and-harmony nuclear summit in 2010, undermining a basic pillar of Israel's security - its undisclosed nuclear program.
Will AIPAC And Bibi Get Their War?
These are strange times for those of us who follow the debate about a possible war with Iran. It is clear that the Israeli government and its neoconservative camp followers here in the United States are increasing pressure on President Obama to either attack Iran or let Israel do it (in which case we would be forced to join in). But the idea of another war in the Middle East is so outlandish that it seems inconceivable it could actually occur. Still, the conventional wisdom holds that it can, because this is an election year and the assumption is that no one will say no to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
War enthusiasm will rise to a fever pitch by March, when AIPAC holds its annual policy conference. Netanyahu will, if the past is any indication, bring the crowd of 10,000 to its feet by depicting Iran as the new Nazi Germany and by coming very close to stating that only war can stop these new Nazis. Other speakers will say the same. The few who mention the idea of diplomacy will be met with stony silence.
From the convention center, 10,000 delegates will be dispatched to Capitol Hill with two or three "asks" for Members of Congress. One will, no doubt, be that "containment" of a nuclearized Iran be ruled off the table (leaving war as the only remaining option should Iran get the bomb). Another will likely be that the U.S. stop all dealings with the Palestinian Authority should Hamas and Fatah permanently reconcile. A third could apply either to Iran or Palestine and will inevitably demand fealty to whatever Netanyahu's policy of the moment happens to be. I've sat in on those meetings where the AIPAC "asks" are developed, and it was always clear that the substance didn't matter all that much.
The goal of the "asks" is ensuring that Congress follow the script. Invariably at least one of these AIPAC goals will be put into legislative language and quickly pass both chambers of Congress. In fact, usually the "ask" is already in legislative form, so that the AIPAC citizen lobbyists can simply demand that their legislators sign on as co-sponsors (if they haven't already done so). Once the AIPAC bill has the requisite number of co-sponsors, the House and Senate leadership brings it to the floor where it passes with few dissenters. All hell breaks loose if a member of Congress objects. One Member of Congress has actually described what happened when she voted no on an AIPAC "ask." Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) refused to support a bill (opposed by the State Department) that would have essentially banned all U.S. contacts with Palestinians. AIPAC was not pleased with her recalcitrance............
AIPAC: The Israel Lobby (Marije Meerman, VPRO Backlight - Netherlands)
For many years now the American foreign policy has been characterized by the strong tie between the United States and Israel. Does the United States in fact keep Israel on its feet? And how long will it continue to do so? In March 2006 the American political scientists John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Steve Walt (Harvard) published the controversial article 'The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy'. In it they state that it is not, or no longer, expedient for the US to support and protect present-day Israel.
The documentary sheds light on both parties involved in the discussion: those who wish to maintain the strong tie between the US and Israel, and those who were critical of it and not infrequently became 'victims' of the lobby. The question arises to what extend the pro-Israel lobby ultimately determines the military and political importance of Israel itself. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (Colin Powell's former chief-of-staff) explains how the lobby's influence affects the decision-making structure in the White House.
With political scientist John Mearsheimer, neocon Richard Perle, lobby organization AIPAC, televangelist John Hagee, historian Tony Judt, Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth, colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Democrat Earl Hilliard, Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy and investigative journalist Michael Massing.
For more information visit http://tegenlicht.vpro.nl/backlight/the-Isreal-lobby.html
6 replies, 1991 views
Media Matters: Neocon Arguments For Iran War Are Tired Cliches (Original post)
Response to onethatcares (Reply #2)
Sun Feb 19, 2012, 02:06 PM
HopeHoops (47,675 posts)
3. Well, and N. Korea, China, and - D'OH! Israel!!!!
Can't have any of that now, can we? But wait - Iran has oil. Keep repeating that - "Om. Om. Om. Iran has oil. Om. Om. Om."
Response to onethatcares (Reply #2)
Sun Feb 19, 2012, 04:04 PM
stockholmer (3,751 posts)
5. JSOC's 'Task Force Orange' is already on the case (groundwork for invasion and seizure of Pak nukes)
Response to stockholmer (Original post)
Sun Feb 19, 2012, 03:02 PM
leveymg (36,418 posts)
4. Here's another historical parallel with WWI - the triggering event, assassination of the Archduke,
was carried out by a Serbian terrorist group bankrolled by a faction of the Okhrana (Imperial Russian secret service) that was probably loyal to and secretly working for Germany. See, http://journals.democraticunderground.com/leveymg/211
World Wars can and are started by complex conspiracies with unforeseeable outcomes. That is why the US needs to be defusing, deescalating, and standing down forces, not escalating tensions, doubling-down, taking sides, and drawing non-enforceable lines.