No "wipe Israel off the map". No nuclear weapons program. No 'yellow armbands for Jews'. No Iran meddling in Iraq. These were all LIES. Cooperation with the IAEA.
Why are they planning to attack the country ... ?
So as you can see, the Bush/PNAC Regime has created several pretexts it can use to feign justification for the impending attack. The only question now is 'which one will they use?'.
By Linda S. Heard
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Feb 22, 2007, 00:48
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Some years ago, I was lucky enough to buy my dream car. It was a low white sports model with pop-up headlights. Within 10 minutes of my gleefully driving it out of the dealer’s showroom, I found myself wedged in traffic with a four-wheel-drive slowly backing into me.
The driver was seated high up. He couldn’t see me and was oblivious to my frantic use of the horn. You can guess the rest. Whenever I think of Iran I’m reminded of that trauma and my inability to prevent it.
Think about it! As the world goes about its business as usual, the US could well be on the brink of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities using nuclear-tipped bunker busters.
Evidence there is such a plan on the table is coming thick and fast but there is nothing we can do about it. Just as I did on that fateful day my new car was mangled, we can only shout to the wind and await the fireworks.
One of the most disturbing things is the way the new US Defense Secretary Bob Gates keeps insisting his country has absolutely no plans to attack Iran.
Dan Plesch, one of Britain’s leading commentators on defense and security doesn’t believe him. “American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day,” says Plesch.
“They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran’s military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons.”
Professor of International Law Francis A. Boyle doesn’t believe him. He wants George W. Bush and US Vice President Dick Cheney impeached before they can start a wider war in the Middle East.
“I believe that they [the neoconservatives] would like the opportunity to break the taboo of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and indicate to the world -- we here in the United States are fully prepared to use nuclear weapons and we just used them against Iran,” he recently said on Talk Nation Radio.
Former UN weapons inspector, turned peace activist, Scott Ritter isn’t swallowing Gates’ assurances either. Here’s what he said on the subject during a recent lecture: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to war with Iran. It’s going to happen. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.”
The UN can’t do anything because George Bush knows there is no way such a drastic course will get past Russia and China.
Some Democratic members of Congress are trying to do something. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others want to force Bush to get the permission of lawmakers before he embarks on further preemptive wars. But in the absence of a backbone, Congress, with its slavish adherence to anything in the perceived interests of Israel, is unlikely to put up a fight.
Still struggling to find a way out of the Iraq fiasco, the US president knows he’s virtually on his own with this one. His lame duck buddy, Tony Blair, is in no position to link arms this time around, while Russia’s Vladimir Putin isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to America’s aggression and its ambitions to dominate the planet.
So he would have to be stark staring mad to bomb Iran against such opposition and in light of the political, humanitarian and economic mayhem that such an attack would trigger. Wouldn’t he?
In truth, there could be method in his madness. Various papers penned by his neocon friends before he took office (“Clean Break” and the Project for the New American Century’s “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”) make clear the Bush administration’s end goal, which is control of this region and its resources to stem the rise of competitors.
There were basically two obstacles to that goal: Iraq and Iran. Iraq has been dealt with and now there is only one. Bush has vowed that he will not leave office with the prospect of Iran achieving a nuclear arsenal any time soon.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has repeatedly called Iran an existential threat to Israel and promised to thwart Iranian nuclear ambitions. The Iranians say they have no intention of dismantling their enrichment program. So in this case, something has to give.
But if attacking Iran is indeed his intention, how will Bush go about selling the idea to a skeptical public?
The answer is he can’t. This obstacle leaves him with two options.
The first option would be to give Israel the green light to start bombing under the pretext Iran represents a danger to its very existence. As a close ally, the US would thus be obliged to join the fray.
The second option would involve the US launching what is known as a “false flag” operation, whereby it might bomb one of its own ships or planes and accuse the Iranians of striking first. There are precedents for this.
For more on False Flag operations, you can Google “Operation Northwoods,” “The Gulf of Tonkin,” the “USS Liberty” or “The Lavon Affair.”
Also pertinent is the leaked White House memo that records a pre-Iraq war discussion between Bush and Tony Blair on ways to goad Saddam into making the first move.
One idea involved sending a US military jet painted with United Nations colors over Iraq in the hope the Iraqis would be stupid enough to shoot it down.
Interestingly, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, once a fervent advocate of full spectrum US domination, recently warned a Senate committee that the Bush administration might resort to such tactics. A false flag operation would allow the US to play victim and frame any attack on Iran in a defensive light. Just as it did before going into Iraq, the White House is demonizing the Iranian leadership.
It is making accusations that Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents and death squads with sophisticated weapons and aiding the Taleban in Afghanistan. Dubious intelligence reports are being produced concerning Iran’s nuclear status. It’s happening again. Or is it?
On the surface it looks like it. Bush has appointed an admiral to run the show. US aircraft carriers, strike forces and submarines are congregating in the region and the US asked permission from Turkey to launch an attack on Iran from its Incirlik Air Base, according to the UAE daily Al-Bayan. Turkey is said to have refused.
There is another possibility, although to my mind not a probability. This could all be a giant bluff on the part of the US in the hopes Iran will look at the devastation wrought on Iraq and roll over. At this stage there is no way of knowing.
My beautiful sports car was eventually repaired and looked as good as new but if the neocon war wagon is allowed to trundle over this region, it and the world will be scarred forever.
Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at heardonthegrapevines (at) yahoo.co.uk.
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
US 'Iran attack plans' revealed
USS John C Stennis is being deployed to the Persian Gulf
US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.
It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.
The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment.
The UN has urged Iran to stop the programme or face economic sanctions.
But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran.
That list includes Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies.
The Natanz plant is buried under concrete, metal and earth
Alternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.
Long range B2 stealth bombers would drop so-called "bunker-busting" bombs in an effort to penetrate the Natanz site, which is buried some 25m (27 yards) underground.
The BBC's Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison says the news that there are now two possible triggers for an attack is a concern to Iranians.
Authorities insist there is no cause for alarm but ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says.
Earlier this month US officers in Iraq said they had evidence Iran was providing weapons to Iraqi Shia militias. However the most senior US military officer later cast doubt on this, saying that they only had proof that weapons "made in Iran" were being used in Iraq.
Gen Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said he did not know that the Iranian government "clearly knows or is complicit" in this.
At the time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the accusations were "excuses to prolong the stay" of US forces in Iraq.
Middle East analysts have recently voiced their fears of catastrophic consequences for any such US attack on Iran.
Britain's previous ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC it would backfire badly by probably encouraging the Iranian government to develop a nuclear weapon in the long term.
Last year Iran resumed uranium enrichment - a process that can make fuel for power stations or, if greatly enriched, material for a nuclear bomb.
Tehran insists its programme is for civil use only, but Western countries suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
The UN Security Council has called on Iran to suspend its enrichment of uranium by 21 February.
If it does not, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms this, the resolution says that further economic sanctions will be considered.
Iran - Ready to attack, American preparations for invading Iran are complete,
by Dan Plesch
Global Research, February 19, 2007
New Statesman - 2007-02-18
American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran could be implemented any day. They extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD facilities and will enable President Bush to destroy Iran's military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons.
British military sources told the New Statesman, on condition of anonymity, that "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" as soon as Saddam Hussein was kicked out of Baghdad. It continued this strategy, even though it had American infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq.
The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerised plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).
The Bush administration has made much of sending a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. But it is a tiny part of the preparations. Post 9/11, the US navy can put six carriers into battle at a month's notice. Two carriers in the region, the USS John C Stennis and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower, could quickly be joined by three more now at sea: USS Ronald Reagan, USS Harry S Truman and USS Theodore Roosevelt, as well as by USS Nimitz. Each carrier force includes hundreds of cruise missiles.
Then there are the marines, who are not tied down fighting in Iraq. Several marine forces are assembling, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and, yes, hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979.
Today, marines have the USS Boxer and USS Bataan carrier forces in the Gulf and probably also the USS Kearsarge and USS Bonhomme Richard. Three others, the USS Peleliu, USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima, are ready to join them. Earlier this year, HQ staff to manage these forces was moved from Virginia to Bahrain.
Vice-President Dick Cheney has had something of a love affair with the US marines, and this may reach its culmination in the fishing villages along Iran's Gulf coast. Marine generals hold the top jobs at NATO, in the Pentagon and are in charge of all nuclear weapons. No marine has held any of these posts before.
Traditionally, the top nuclear job went either to a commander of the navy's Trident submarines or of the air force's bombers and missiles. Today, all these forces follow the orders of a marine, General James Cartwright, and are integrated into a "Global Strike" plan which places strategic forces on permanent 12-hour readiness.
The only public discussion of this plan has been by the American analysts Bill Arkin and Hans Kristensen, who have focused on the possible use of atomic weapons. These concerns are justified, but ignore how forces can be used in conventional war.
Any US general planning to attack Iran can now assume that at least 10,000 targets can be hit in a single raid, with warplanes flying from the US or Diego Garcia. In the past year, unlimited funding for military technology has taken "smart bombs" to a new level.
New "bunker-busting" conventional bombs weigh only 250lb. According to Boeing, the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb "quadruples" the firepower of US warplanes, compared to those in use even as recently as 2003. A single stealth or B-52 bomber can now attack between 150 and 300 individual points to within a metre of accuracy using the global positioning system.
With little military effort, the US air force can hit the last-known position of Iranian military units, political leaders and supposed sites of weapons of mass destruction. One can be sure that, if war comes, George Bush will not want to stand accused of using too little force and allowing Iran to fight back.
"Global Strike" means that, without any obvious signal, what was done to Serbia and Lebanon can be done overnight to the whole of Iran. We, and probably the Iranians, would not know about it until after the bombs fell. Forces that hide will suffer the fate of Saddam's armies, once their positions are known.
The whole of Iran is now less than an hour's flying time from some American base or carrier. Sources in the region as well as trade journals confirm that the US has built three bases in Azerbaijan that could be transit points for troops and with facilities equal to its best in Europe.
Most of the Iranian army is positioned along the border with Iraq, facing US army missiles that can reach 150km over the border. But it is in the flat, sandy oilfields east and south of Basra where the temptation will be to launch a tank attack and hope that a disaffected population will be grateful.
The regime in Tehran has already complained of US- and UK-inspired terror attacks in several Iranian regions where the population opposes the ayatollahs' fanatical policies. Such reports corroborate the American journalist Seymour Hersh's claim that the US military is already engaged in a low-level war with Iran. The fighting is most intense in the Kurdish north where Iran has been firing artillery into Iraq. The US and Iran are already engaged in a low-level proxy war across the Iran-Iraq border.
And, once again, the neo-cons at the American Enterprise Institute have a plan for a peaceful settlement: this time it is for a federal Iran. Officially, Michael Ledeen, the AEI plan's sponsor, has been ostracised by the White House. However, two years ago, the Congress of Iranian Nationalities for a Federal Iran had its inaugural meeting in London.
We should not underestimate the Bush administration's ability to convince itself that an "Iran of the regions" will emerge from a post-rubble Iran.
Dan Plesch is a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
Desperately Squirming Away From A Lie, Bush/PNAC Find Scapegoat
Straying From the Script
A U.S. briefer overstates Iran's meddling in Iraq, setting off a Washington tempest.
Meanwhile, in an ultimate twist of irony, US weapons were used in terrorist attacks inside Iran. Seymour Hersh's work for the New Yorker details the covert war the US is running into the country from the neighbouring 'Stans.
Second US carrier arrives off Iran
From correspondents in Manama
A SECOND US aircraft carrier arrived in Middle Eastern waters today as promised by US President George W Bush amid an escalating crisis with nearby Iran over its nuclear program.
There is no such 'crisis'. The Fascists in DC and Tel Aviv are simply attempting to foment war with Iran. It's been interesting to watch the media desperately struggling to refer to the situation within the Bush/PNAC Regime's Framing, especially as their LIES continue to be exposed.
American PLans For Iran Attack Revealed
American preparations for invading Iran are complete, Dan Plesch reveals. Plus Rageh Omaar's insights from Iran and Andrew Stephen on fears George Bush's administration will blunder into war
Scott Ritter "We Stand At The Edge of the Abyss"
Congress has given Bush a green light to attack Iran, and he's going to use it. American plans for war focus on limiting the rise of China and India
Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike
By Con Coughlin in Tel Aviv
Last Updated: 3:31pm GMT 24/02/2007
# Cheney step the rhetoric against Iran
# American armada prepares to take on Iran
# Con Coughlin: Ready for war
# Vicki Woods: Iraq inquiry could stop Iran war
# In pictures: On board the USS Eisenhower
# Audio: Damien McElroy on the deck of the US flagship
Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
U.N. calls U.S. data on Iran's nuclear aims unreliable
Tips about supposed secret weapons sites and documents with missile designs haven't panned out, diplomats say.
By Bob Drogin and Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writers
February 25, 2007
VIENNA — Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.
UK doubles naval presence in Persian Gulf
By Damien McElroy in Manama, Bahrain
Last Updated: 4:04pm GMT 25/02/2007
# US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran
Britain’s senior naval officer in the Persian Gulf has revealed that Royal Navy deployments in the region have doubled since October in a build-up that matches the rapid escalation of American maritime firepower.
Report: 3 Gulf states agree to IAF overflights en route to Iran
By Yoav Stern and Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondents
Three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Sunday.
US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack
Michael Smith and Sarah Baxter, Washington
SOME of America’s most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defence and intelligence sources.
February 24 / 25, 2007
"An American Strike on Iran is Essential for Our Existence"
AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran
By GARY LEUPP
Former CIA counterterrorism specialist Philip Giraldi, comparing the propaganda campaign against Iran to that which preceded the war on Iraq, has recently declared, "It is absolutely parallel. They're using the same dance steps-demonize the bad guys, the pretext of diplomacy, keep out of negotiations, use proxies. It is Iraq redux." He's only one of many in his field (including Vincent Cannistraro, Ray McGovern, and Larry C. Johnson) doing their best to expose the Bush-Cheney neocon disinformation campaign according to which Iran is planning to produce nukes in order to commit genocide, while abetting terrorists in Iraq who are killing American troops.
Their efforts, and those of many others, are producing results. The mainstream corporate press is far more skeptical about administration claims pertaining to Iran than they ever were towards the equally specious claims made about Iraq on the eve of the 2003 invasion. The American people are now inclined to distrust claims made by nameless officials about Quds Force-provisioned IEDs and EFPs, etc., supposedly smuggled by "meddling" Iranians into Iraq. Unfortunately the Congress dominated by Democrats elected in a popular expression of antiwar sentiment has not taken a firm stance against an attack on Iran based on lies. Maybe given the nature of the power structure it simply can't.
Giraldi matter-of-factly sums up the unfortunate politics of situation.
"The recent formation of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus should. . . .be noted as well as AIPAC's highlighting of the threat from Iran at its 2006 convention in Washington, an event that featured Vice President Dick Cheney as keynote speaker. More recently, Senator Hillary Clinton addressed an AIPAC gathering in New York City. Neither was shy about threatening Iran. AIPAC's formulation that the option of force 'must remain on the table' when dealing with Iran has been repeated like a mantra by numerous politicians and government officials, not too surprisingly as AIPAC writes the briefings and position papers that many Congressmen unfortunately rely on."
In other words, the American Israel Political Action Committee is the main political force urging---indeed, demanding---U.S. action. That's the AIPAC already under scrutiny for receiving classified information about Iran from Lawrence Franklin, former Defense Department subordinate of Douglas Feith. (That's the neocon Feith who supervised the Office of Special Plans---headed by Abram Shulsky, the neocon specialist on Leo Strauss who currently heads up the Iran Directorate at the Pentagon---that shamelessly cherry-picked intelligence to support the Iraq attack. That's the Franklin who worked in the OSP, and was sentenced last month to 13 years in prison. Feith has not been indicted on any charge and continues to insist in defiance of reason and even a Pentagon internal investigation finding it "inappropriate" that his office's disinformation project was "good government." Small wonder Gen. Tommy Franks, formerly head of the U.S. Central Command, famously called Feith "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth." Congressional investigations are just now getting underway into Feith's role in facilitating the invasion of Iraq.)
That's the AIPAC embarrassed by the indictment of its policy director Steven Rosen and senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman for illegally conspiring to pass on classified national security information to Israel. Despite the already intimate ties between Israeli and U.S. intelligence (documented by Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski among others) it seems the Israelis felt obliged to spy on the Pentagon to learn just how inclined the Americans were to oblige them by attacking Iran.
Now, as Israeli calls for a U.S. attack on Iran become more shrill by the day, AIPAC recognizes that the American people profoundly distrust Vice President Cheney and the nest of neocon liars he has sheltered. The Bush-Cheney war machine has been pretty well exposed, and that must worry the warmongers within the group. Israeli Defense Force chief artillery officer Gen. Oded Tira has griped that "President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran," adding that since "an American strike in Iran is essential for [Israel's] existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iran issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure." Tira urges the Lobby to turn to "potential presidential candidates. . . so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran," while Uri Lubrani, senior advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors that the US "does not understand the threat and has not done enough," and therefore "must be shaken awake."
Many Americans would find such statements deeply offensive in their arrogance and condescension. President Bush has indeed been weakened by the "Iraq failure" Tira acknowledges, arising from a war that the Lobby once endorsed with enormous enthusiasm. (As Gen. Wesley Clark put it way back in August 2002, "Those who favor this attack now will tell you candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel." Recall that that weapon was imaginary.) So now, the Israeli war advocates aver, the U.S. president needs to be helped to do the right thing and attack Iran by lobbyists who will use their power to force the fools in the Democratic Party, especially presidential candidates. Because Americans don't understand and have to be shaken out of their current skeptical mode.
By who? By AIPAC, of course! The confidence expressed by these gentlemen (in the second most powerful political action committee in the country) is quite extraordinary. But alas, maybe it's warranted. Giraldi dispassionately concludes:
"Knowing that to cross the Lobby is perilous, Congressmen from both parties squirm and become uneasy when pressured by AIPAC to 'protect Israel,' even if it means yet another unwinnable war for the United States. The neocons know full well that if a war with Iran were to be started either inadvertently or by design, few within America's political system would be brave enough to stand up in opposition."
One should ask these spineless politicians how they suppose the people will remember their votes and positions within weeks of the "immediate action" Tira and his allies in the Bush administration (most notably Condi Rice's deputy Elliott Abrams, the most powerful neocon remaining in the team) are demanding. Will they not be blamed for the total collapse of cooperation between the U.S. occupation and Iraq's Shiite majority, the fall of the current client regime dominated by Iranian allies, the intensification of Shiite militia attacks on U.S. forces, the broadening of the current two-front war to enflame all of Southwest Asia?
One should ask those squirming manipulators blissfully ignorant of the Islamic world---clueless about the difference between Arabs and Persians or Sunnis and Shiites, coached almost entirely by State Department Zionists who don't bother to conceal their Islamophobia---to recognize that American Jewry is not generally pro-neocon nor united in support of an Iran attack. Indeed many American Jews are alarmed at Israeli/AIPAC efforts to push the U.S. into another crusader war on a Muslim nation. (A lot of them are in New York. Hillary might consult with them rather than suppose that her ticket to the presidency is the support of the Cheney-friendly Lobby. But I wouldn't hold my breath on that.)
One should ask the Lobbyists as well as the government of Israel that they think they serve (as well as the people of Israel, honestly divided in their opinions) how the security of the Jewish State will be abetted by a generalized war between Israel's great patron and the entire Muslim world.
When one plays this Islamophobic game of exploiting ignorance, fear, hatred and bigotry; when one conflates al-Qaeda with Iraq with Hamas with Hizbollah with Iran knowing that most Americans know little about the details and will be inclined to side (for now) with Israel against Muslims in general; when one lies (as the neocons do with such arrogance, supposing they will escape any consequences of the lies down the road)---then one invites a backlash. We live in a racist culture that easily slides into religious bigotry. Why use that culture (not so dissimilar to the German culture of the 1930s) so shamelessly---against Arabs and other Muslim peoples of the Middle East? One's disinformation with its murderous results in the Muslim world might just produce the ignorant conclusion that could sweep Middle America down the road: "The Jews made us do it." That's what the red-necks including a whole lot of today's brain-dead Christian Zionist fundamentalists will say as soon as everything goes wrong in the Middle East, Jesus doesn't come back and is nowhere in sight, and the three U.S. troops killed per day becomes six or ten for no good goddamned reason.
"They have the money, they control the media and the politicians. They made us attack Iran and now look what's happening." That's what the ignorant who can one day cry "Nuke 'em all!" referring to Muslims, and the next day swear "Fucking Christ-killers" will say. Is the Lobby's paranoia about Iran's uranium enrichment so severe as to risk that kind of assessment, that kind of blowback bigotry?
We are perhaps arriving at a critical point in the history of the powerful Lobby, including its capacity to intimidate honest, critically reasoning people who do not embrace its fears, prejudices and preoccupations. It's under unprecedented scrutiny following the carefully argued paper by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" and Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid both published last year, to which it's reacted with its wonted technique of character assassination. The political power of the Lobby would appear to be reaching its zenith; and while it used its hand subtly in the build-up for war on Iraq, it now uses it in crude, bullying fashion. Israeli officials weren't publicly calling for the simple-minded Christian-Zionist Bush to "smite" Iraq to defend Israel in 2003, but now they're nervously demanding that Bush destroy Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent a "genocide" worse that that accomplished by Hitler! Their boldness betrays a confidence that they can indeed continue to shape American political discourse about the Middle East (to the exclusion of any audible Arab or Muslim voice) and that to challenge them is indeed "perilous."
"Attack Iran! NOW! Or support GENOCIDE! and side with the new HITLER! Destroy Iran's nuclear facilities! NOW! Or reveal your thinly-disguised ANTI-SEMITISM!"
That's the hyper-message calculated to stimulate an assault, to which the calm counterterrorism analyst Giraldi draws our attention. One could respond to the message with a polite, firm, principled refusal:
No thanks this time, AIPAC. You're just not credible. Can't do it for you. My constituents aren't into more war, and they think this whole Iran thing's a lot of hype. I can't support nuking Iran, and frankly, I don't see how you can either. I don't think you speak for all or even most American Jews, and you can't scare me this time by accusations of anti-Semitism. I can't have an attack on Iran my conscience, sorry. I'd rather be defeated in the next election. Keep your money; I just can't do what you ask.
Will the Congress targeted by the Lobby be able to say that? If it doesn't, all the belated, posturing moves to limit Bush's power, withdraw troops and end the imperialist war in Iraq will mean nothing. An attack on Iran will unleash the gates of hell. The attackers will argue that a new situation makes all prewar debate irrelevant (or even if encouraging doubt about the "existential" cause, downright treasonous). The fascistic proclivities of the administration will blossom immediately. The legal basis has been laid for the repression of the dissent an Iran attack will naturally inspire. Prison camps, suspension of habeas corpus. The proponents of the war are comfortable with these things, and the waters have already been tested.
O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again?
Can the American people allow this unelected unpopular administration, headed by a manifestly stupid sadistic fool, to continue to provoke international contempt and fear, while planning more carnage?
Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org