Voices of the Middle East on 09/14/12

Air date: 
Fri, 09/14/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Israel's push for war in the Middle East

Host Goudarz Eghtedari speaks with journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein about the current Israeli administration's push for another American war in the Middle East. Silverstein's recent story on an Israeli plot caught international attention via BBC's News Hour. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19271083


Valuable Analysis on War Drum: Don't Forget US Bidnet Interests

Goudarz Eghtedari & KBOO's Voices of Middle East have again provided useful analysis not found elsewhere, except for the brief and shallow BBC clip that prompted this interview with Tikun Olam's NW blogger Richard Silverstein. http://www.richardsilverstein.com/  Today's in-depth discussion between Mr Eghtedari and Silverstein broadens the discussion of a subject that has been used as a political football in the US presidential campaign and in the loss of confidence within the Israeli parliamentary body politic in the unprecedented "Blab first" "Strike later" reversal of Israeli security practices. When current Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu along with his former elite military unit commander and current coalition partner & Defense Minister Ehud Barak began beating the war drum against the Iranian nuclear program, red lights and alarm bells should have gone off for longtime observers of Muddle East politics and warfare.

In recent history when Israel felt the national security need to take out Syrian PM Bachar Assad's nuclear reactor still under construction, it struck on 9/6/2007 in Air Operation Orchard bombing the site in Syria's Deir Ez Zor desert (ominously the site of the Armenian death-march and genocide during the waning days of the Turkish Ottoman Empire) without any advance warning to Washington or the world.  Both Washington and the world, not to mention the Syrians and its Iranian partners along with a section of the Arab League and other Islamic states condemned the Israeli attack.  Syria denied the site was being used to prepare a nuclear reactor.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orchard  Pre-strike intelligence by Mossad revealed the role of North Korea in marketing and providing construction materials and blueprints of the reactors favored by Pyongyang.

Israel's massive air campaign against Iranian & Syrian-armed Hezbollah on the Lebanese-Israeli border in 2006 also came without any pre-strike promotional campaign or advertising. http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG835.html

Israel's air strike and destruction of Saddam Hussein's & Iraq's French-built Osiris nuclear reactor (renamed Osiraq) in Operation Opera on June 7, 1981 shocked the world and also brought down condemnations despite no loss of life and clear collaboration with the French who provided plans and work schedules.  There was no PR campaign or war drum sounded prior to the effective strike.

Barak's reputation before entering government was as a lips closed careful operator in Israeli foreign infiltration operations on its borders.  That there has been so little analysis of why Israel's PM & crafty Defense Minister should have begun beating the drum for a war-triggering strike on Iran's nuclear program first in Israel, then Washington, the European capitals as well as in Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi (and with former Pakistani military-civilian leader Musharraf) is surprising.  The opposition of even the most security-cautious and concerned leaders and now former leaders within Israel's national security establishment (Me'ir Dagan, Shaul Mohfaz, and last week Netanyahu & Barak's own cabinet Minister of Intelligence & Atomic Energy, Dan Meridor contradicted the red lines laid down by his bosses and sided with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on refusing to challenge Iran with any specific red lines)  http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Personalities/From+A-Z/Dan+Meridor.htm should be leading to exploration of scenarios other than the stated national security concerns posed by the Iranian nuclear program. In terms of military maneuvering Israeli leadership cannot be seen to have backed itself into a diplomatic corner where a failure to follow-through and attack Iran after a five year loudmouth promotional campaign will be seen as backing down, signalling Israeli weakness in a geo-political neighborhood that is neither merciful nor faith-based in meting out punishment.

I would encourage KBOO and its listener-activists as well as Mr Silverstein's noted blog Tikun Olam to factor in the various roles Israel has felt obliged to play in earning the massive US taxpayer aid to it over the years.  While AIPAC and the Israeli lobby can account for much clout with Washington, the concerns of the far more strategically important (to Washington) Saudi & Gulf Arab Emirates lobby remain paramount.  It is the Saudi kingdom and the Arab Gulf Emirates and sheikhdoms that have been buying at global record volume high tech weaponry from the US.  These states feel they face an even more direct threat from the ambitions of the Iranian Shia'a Islamic Revolution than does Israel or far-flung North America.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/us-foreign-arms-sales-reach-66-3-billion-in-2011.html 

This buried report deep inside the NY TIMES in late August 2012 recapping the extent of global arms domination by US weapons manufacturers (while the rest of US manufacturing lags far behind its global competitors during these years of domestic recession and now economic Depression) seems to suggest that far from the antagonistic relationship media describes between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with their more bellicose Israeli counterparts Netanyahu and Barak, the Israeli high level campaign to stir up fear among Iran's neighbors indicates close cooperation of the sort that paid off in Stuxnet's temporary debillitation of Iran's nuclear program.  Moreover, this intimate relationship between Washington & Jerusalem has indeed paid off handsomely economically and geo-politically in the only booming sector of domestic manufacturing and the ever-widening trade imbalances of a struggling US economy: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/us-foreign-arms-sales-reach-66-3-billion-in-2011.html

 There is no beneficial endgame scenario to an Israeli or Washington strike against Iran's nuclear program.  Neither nation has the boots to put on the ground to occupy and forever forestall Iranian\ Persian power in Central Asia.  There may well be an effective deterrent to Iranian Islamic Revolutionary expansion further into Central Asia and\or further hegemonic gains beyond Hizb-Allah in the Near East by arming Iran's threatened neighbors to the teeth and stoking the Russians, Chinese and Indians each of whom faces internal chaos many orders of magnitude higher from an Iranian nuclear threat thereby prompting these rising RIC superpowers to undertake a global market arms race.  That all these weapons will invariably blow back against both Israeli and US interests is almost inevitable. 

Not long after the 1967 Six Day War that heralded Israel's turning point victory against the rising Nasserist-led Pan-Arabism, tragic Portland-born Vietnam Vet Tim Hardin who returned from the war with a monkey on his back wrote and sang from the stage of Town Hall in NY his song "Smugglin' Man."  The chorus and all its verses apply very well to this global game of chicken being played with economic winners and losers, not to mention the mass graves piling up in the wake of the Arab Spring and this age of uneasy alliances. 


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