As if to kick off the New Year, and usher in the required political mindset, the Israelis are switching the attack Iran mantra into hyperdrive.
“As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors,” declares Israeli Brigadier General Oded Tira. “We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.”
It is refreshing, in a sadistic sort of way, so little translation is required here. First, Tira, a former IDF chief artillery officer, has cut to the chase, not belaboring us with the sort of platitudes uttered by a Binyamin Netanyahu or Ehud Olmert. In order for Israel to exist, so the reasoning goes, it is required for the United States to attack Iran and kick off world war three, or as the neocons call it, world war four. Of course, by “existence” the former IDF officer means Israel must continue the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, continue killing and torturing the Palestinian people, and mucking around in the domestic affairs of its Arab neighbors.
I believe the second point, however, is not necessary, as in many ways the Democrats are more pro-Israel than the Republicans, if that is possible. Killing large numbers of Muslims—650,000, by conservative estimates, in Iraq alone as the year ends—is indeed a bipartisan affair. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while dissing the neocon occupation of Iraq in the name of political expediency, have called for invading Iran. But the likely Democrat presidential selectee, John Edwards, is even more pro-Zionist than either Clinton or Obama.
“Edwards has been one of Israel’s strongest and most consistent supporters in the U.S. Senate, and as President, he will work in the tradition of Democratic Presidents like Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton to strengthen the special relationship between the United States and Israel and the Jewish people. He will work tirelessly to strengthen America’s economic and political ties with Israel—the region’s only democracy—and will ensure that America will do what is necessary to ensure Israel’s security, including through economic and military aid,” declares the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, billed as a “non-partisan” organization established “to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship by emphasizing the fundamentals of the alliance,” that is to say disseminate propaganda through the Jewish Virtual Library, a sprawling online encyclopedia.
Specifically, in regard to Iran, Edwards said during a vice presidential selectee “debate” in 2004: “It’s important for America to confront the situation in Iran, because Iran is an enormous threat to Israel and to the Israeli people.” Not the American people, mind you, but the Israeli people. As president, Edwards will carry Israel’s torch forward, making certain to ignite Iran—not that he will be required to do such, as the departing neocons will do it for him, possibly sooner before later.
Mr. Tira offers a few choice suggestions on how best to start world war four and ultimately destroy America. “For our part, we must prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of airbases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran. In addition, we must immediately start preparing for an Iranian response to an attack.”
In addition to the lucrative Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and billions in oil and gas revenue, the Israelis are interested in using Azerbaijan as a staging platform for a future attack, as Tira notes. According to Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter, the Israeli Mossad is busily at work unleashing covert intelligence cells inside Iran, “supplemented with specially trained commandos entering Iran disguised as local villagers,” according to Hersh. In an interview published by Aljazeera, Ritter claims “the Mossad is working with the Azeri population” to undermine Iranian sovereignty.
The strategic importance of the Israeli-Azeri alliance should not be underestimated—Azeris are the second largest ethnic group within Iran. “Human Rights Watch reports that between 15 and 20 million Azeris reside in Iran, and that they ‘inhabit a strategically important, prosperous area in northwest Iran, relatively close to Tehran,’” notes Nick Grace C.
According to Glenn Hauser, who monitors short wave radio, the Voice of Southern Azerbaijan is an Israeli operation. Wolfgang Bueschel, another short wave monitor, told “IPS in October 1992 from Baku, that the Israelian (sic) secret service specialist David Kimche and… Richard Secord, who was involved in the Iran-Contra-Affair, visited Azerbaijan, (and) presented a delegation of more Israelian secret service personnel. Mr. Culuzadeh took part on a return visit to Israel, (and) lead a delegation of Azerbaijan/Uzbek/Kazakh secret services.”
But simply stirring up the Azeri population will not be enough, not without an aroused United States, once again willing to lend its once powerful, now increasingly impotent, military to the Israeli cause. “Based on the urgency of General Tira’s extraordinary pleas, it is immediately apparent that he has been shocked by the turn of political events inside America. By this time, he has learned from official US sources that the long-anticipated attack against Iran has been shelved because of tectonic shifts in American politics,” writes Michael Carmichael.
In short, the Israelis are not prepared to wait for the glacial turn of American politics, especially now that the decidedly pro-Israel Democrats are taking over the reigns of Congress. Israel has demanded the United States invade Iran for a couple years now and is obviously growing increasingly agitated with the slow move in that direction, a move nonetheless promised before Bush leaves office.
Even though Mr. Carmichael believes the neocon plan for attacking Iran is in decline, the principals remain faithful to the cause. For instance, Binyamin Netyanahu.
In an op-ed published in the neocon-infested Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu declares “Iran can still be stopped,” and the Israelis “must make it clear to the government, the Congress and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the US and the entire world, not only Israel.”
In other words, in regard to the in-coming Democrat Congress, there must be “an intense, international, public relations front focusing first and foremost on the US…. The time has come for the Israeli government to put our existence in its utmost priority. If it does so, I guarantee that both my party members and myself will give our full support in preparation against the Iranian threat, as we did in the Lebanon war,” never mind that “war” went badly for Israel, as it ran smack up against the reality of a well-armed and trained Hezbollah.
Come the invasion of Iran, Hezbollah’s resistance will look like an informal dress rehearsal by way of comparison.
As it now appears, 2007 will be the decisive year for Israel’s long-planned attack on Iran, thanks to a never-ending stream of propaganda and the easily exploitable ignorance of the American people. “The Bush administration, with the able help of the Israeli government and the pro-Israel Lobby, has succeeded in exploiting the ignorance of the American people about nuclear technology and nuclear weapons,” writes Scott Ritter. “If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”
In addition to AIPAC influence and the overtime work of the neocons, the latter with a virtual electronic forum thanks to the corporate media and the former now diligently canvassing Congress for easily won support, there is Bush’s “legacy” to consider.
“Bush can’t stop now,” writes Scott Horton. “He figures his legacy as a disgrace to America and all mankind can be postponed or perhaps somehow even reversed if he could have just a little more time. Time for what? Could it be that Bush truly intends to carry out the full neoconservative program in the Middle East, complete with more regime changes? …. Perhaps the question is whether Israel will start a war in Syria as a back door to the expansion of America’s war to Iran, or will the U.S. simply fake another Gulf of Tonkin provocation in the Indian Ocean and hit Syria second?…. Robert Parry reports that Bush, Blair and Olmert are already planning for more war in the new year. The Iranians seem to have waited too long to get their act together. If they had withdrawn from the NPT and started harvesting plutonium the way North Korea did, instead of throwing their books wide open to the UN and trying to go along, they’d have a nuclear deterrent by now.”
Deterrent or not, Iran will not come out on the short end of any attack, although doubtless plenty of Iranians will die. It will be the United States and Israel that will ultimately suffer, or rather the people of these countries. If Israel manages to goad the United States into an attack, the economic consequences alone will put an end to the demented aspirations of Pax Americana, and this will spell disaster for Israel as well, as it cannot possibly hope to exist in current form if its nanny funds, to the tune of billions each year, suddenly evaporate.