Spoiling for Another Fight? - by Stephen Lendman
American foreign policy is defined by rage to ravage. Lunatics run the asylum. Washington's criminal class is bipartisan.
People have no say. Wealth and power alone matter. It's always been that way, today more than ever. Post-WW II, America lurched from one war to another.
Today they're waged in multiples. A queue perhaps includes Syria and Iran topping the list. Ongoing for months, Western intervention incited Syrian violence.
At issue is regime change, eliminating an Israeli rival, and advancing America's imperium. Libya's insurgency began the same way before NATO attacked last March. Will Syria follow the same pattern, then Iran?
So far, heated rhetoric alone is heard. On and off before it echoed. Media scoundrels regurgitate it. Is something different this time? Time alone will tell. Israel often makes baseless accusations. President Shimon Peres warned there's "not much time left" to act.
Israel, of course, is the sole regional threat, nuclear armed and dangerous. A serial aggressor, it endangers Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran with potential attacks.
In contrast, Syria and Iran threaten no one. Rhetoric, of course, belies it. Warrior leaders like France's Sarkozy whetted his killing appetite in Ivory Coast and Libya.
Despite overwhelming homeland opposition ahead of next year's presidential election, he accused Iran of an "obsessional desire to acquire nuclear (weapons) in violation of all international rules....If Israel's existence were threatened, France would not stand idly by."
No evidence whatever suggests Iran's developing nuclear weapons. Plenty shows Israel and France are nuclear armed and dangerous. So are axis of evil partners America and Britain. Whether or not attacking Iran is planned isn't known.
The Islamic Republic's taking no chances. On November 5, Press TV reported on "Iranophobia in what observers see as a political red herring to engage in a catastrophic war in the Middle East."
Washington, Israel, Britain and France are up to their old tricks, inventing new threats to intervene. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed concern, saying:
"The US has unfortunately lost wisdom and prudence in dealing with international issues. It depends only on power. They have lost rationality; we are prepared for the worst but we hope they will think twice before they put themselves on a collision course with Iran."
Allegations, of course, are baseless. Iran's prepared to defend itself and respond if attacked. In August, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Ali Shadmani discussed counter measures. Press TV reported them as follows:
"1. As Israel is the USA's backyard, Iran will disturb peace there. (The absence of peace in Israel will certainly deny repose to the USA as well).
2. It would take full control of the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway where over 40 percent of all traded oil passes (thereby spiraling up oil prices to a confounding level and dealing a heavy blow to the already deteriorating global economy).
3. It would keep a close watch on all American military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. In case of an attack, Iran will cripple the troops stationed in those bases and incapacitate them of any possible move."
Iran can't cripple America or Israel. However, its formidable military can inflict considerable damage if attacked.
Iran threatens no one. However, it'll respond forcefully in self-defense. International law permits it. All nations may legitimately retaliate if attacked. It's their right.
AIPAC's War Agenda
AIPAC's itching for a fight. Its web site drips with anti-Iranian diatribes. Spurious material includes memos citing:
• Iran's grave overall threat;
• its nuclear threat;
• its "leading state sponsor of terrorism" role;
• its "provocations demand(ing a) tough response;" and
• stopping its "nuclear smuggling."
Two congressional bills were also discussed:
• HR 1905: Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011 "(t)o strengthen Iran sanctions law for the purpose of compelling Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and other threatening activities, and for other purposes."
Introduced on May 13, it was reported to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. So far, no further action was taken.
• S. 1048: Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidate Act of 2011 "to expand sanctions with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and for other purposes."
Introduced on May 23, it was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on October 13. So far, no further action was taken.
Sanctions alone don't start wars. However, these bills edge closer. Provisions prohibit official and unofficial contact unless doing so harms US interests. Of course, laws don't deter actions, and these haven't yet passed.
America's 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) is still law. One of its provisions states that in times of war or national emergency, presidents may:
"investigate, regulate, direct and compel, nullify, void, prevent or prohibit, any acquisition, holding, withholding, use, transfer, withdrawal, transportation, importation or exportation of, or dealing in, or exercising any right, power, or privilege with respect to, or transactions involving, any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."
In other words, TWEA authorizes sanctions to prohibit commerce and other relations with enemies. Nonetheless, during WW II, major US corporations traded freely with Nazi Germany. Roosevelt officials knew it. Charles Higham documented it in his book titled, "Trading with the Enemy."
Among others, IBM, General Motors, Ford, DuPont, Standard Oil, Alcoa, Kodak, Coca-Cola, and Chase Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) traded with Nazi Germany during WW II - a real enemy, not a fabricated one like Iran.
Nonetheless, AIPAC's web site headlines, "Back Tougher Iran Sanctions.” Three spurious "key points" were listed:
• Iran's alleged low-enriched uranium stockpile to produce three nuclear bombs, and advanced centrifuge testing "to triple its production of higher enriched uranium;"
• sanctioning Iranian ports, airline, and energy sector applies extreme pressure and economic disruption; and
• despite unprecedented sanctions in place, Iran's nuclear program continues.
Sanctions include travel restrictions, bans on selling electronic devices and related products, prohibiting or restricting trade with Iranian companies, embargoing its medical sector, and obstructing financial transactions. Some imposed hardships, others less so.
Energy starved nations value Iran's oil and gas reserves. China, Russia and other nations maintain relations, mindful of why sanctions were imposed, by whom, and who supports them.
AIPAC is an unregistered foreign agent operating lawlessly. Representing Israel gives it virtual veto power over war and peace, trade and investment, multi-billion dollar arms sales, enormous Israeli handouts, and all Middle East policies affecting the Jewish state under Democrat and Republican administrations alike.
Political Washington to the highest levels, media scoundrels, and others bow deferentially to its demands, even those harming America. Imagine if AIPAC convinces Obama to attack Iran. Whether or not it's coming isn't known.
With no reliable evidence, spurious allegations say Iran carried out final critical stage nuclear weaponization experiments. Alleged explosions and computer simulations thereof were included.
US intelligence reports through early 2011 cite no evidence whatever of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. IAEA's imminent one may spuriously claim one based on suppositions, not facts.
Along with previous and baseless charges, whether or not it provokes conflict later isn't known. However, tensions will heighten further. Media scoundrels will regurgitate them. War drums will beat.
Attacking Iran is insane. Doing so will engulf the entire region. General war could follow with potentially grave consequences for all parties.
Anything's possible, however, given Washington's permanent war agenda and Israel's penchant for it. Together with Britain and France, their belligerence threatens humanity.
Hopefully cooler heads will keep current actions from spinning out of control toward the abyss under conditions of all out war. The prospect should make all sides want it avoided at all costs. The alternative is too grim to allow.
Israeli Journalist Critical of His Government
Haaretz writer Gideon Levy discussed how "Insanity, not logic, guides Israel's leadership," saying:
Lunacy in Israel prevails. "(I)t is already as plain as day. Israel does not have rational leadership." Its policies defy logic, including settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land, on and off wars, imprisoning Palestinians lawlessly, and continuing its occupation that decades ago lost all legitimacy.
Threatening war on Iran defies rationality. Nonetheless, "(t)he risks of an Israeli attack are clear, and they are horrific. The danger of Iran using a nuclear weapon is nil" even with one. "Israel is playing with the fires of hell."
Israeli "megalomania" wants sole Middle East authority to "call the shots in the region as it sees fit. The mens' men who are threatening Iran now are the real cowards' cowards. The brave ones....are trying to thwart the insanity from former Mossad chief(s) Meir Dagan" and Ephraim Halevy, as well as "Interior Minister Eli Yishai."
They may need lots of allies, other US, UK and French ones, and public support to prevent what no one knowing the risks wants. Further updates will follow future prospects.
A Final Comment
Late Sunday, AP headlined, "IAEA: Iran Had Model of Nuclear Warhead," saying:
The IAEA "plans to reveal intelligence this week suggesting Iran made computer models of a nuclear warhead and other previously undisclosed details on alleged secret work by Tehran on nuclear arms."
As explained above and in detail earlier, US intelligence reports through early 2011 confirm no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons development.
Responding on Middle East Online, Farhad Pouladi headlined, "Iran to IAEA: Go Ahead and Publish 'Counterfeit' Report,' " saying:
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Sahehi called IAEA claims "counterfeit," adding its alleged "documents lack authenticity. We have said repeatedly that their documents are baseless. Iran's nuclear issue (for IAEA) is not a technical or a legal issue but entirely a political one."
Its allegations smack of earlier Iraqi WMD ones. In fact, they were baseless lies. IAEA's Yukiya Amano serves Israeli and Western interests. Accept nothing he says at face value. Without evidence, what's coming exposes duplicitous suspicions, not facts. Discount them entirely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.