Time Magazine publishes a new report that the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has reinforced the unity approach between Israel and the U.S. toward Iran. He puts in the starkest terms yet our expectation of the economic contagion we’re hoping to result from economic sanctions:
We need to show the Iranian government that it must choose between the nuclear plan and the country’s economic existence.
Two things seem clear from this statement. We don’t merely want to exert economic pressure on Iran, we actually want to sow ruin, the equivalent of economic genocide. The U.S. wants to see Iranians suffer, and do so on such a massive scale that the entire country will be brought to its knees. We appear not to care whether babies starve as they did by the hundreds of thousands in sanction-era Iraq.
The other aspect of his remark that appears clear is that while the U.S. has denied participating in the sabotage campaign against Iran’s nuclear program, we know of it and approve it. We’ve compartmentalized our efforts so the U.S. puts the squeeze on economically and Israel does it militarily. But this is a coordinated program and we are willing participants in it. Whether or not we planted bombs in Teheran, we are accessories after the fact and share in the culpability for this egregious conduct.
It is also clear that sanctions as defined by Shapiro are NOT an attempt to forge a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear “threat.” Rather, they are an attempt to bring Iran to its knees and force it to accede to western demands. Make no mistake, we’re not trying to avoid bloodshed. Sanctions are part of a calibrated series of actions which will lead inexorably to war. Because there is no way that sanctions alone will bring the result the U.S. demands. And our policymakers have to know this. The only possible next step will involve force. But even force will not work unless we are prepared to put boots on the ground and violently topple the regime. This means that this policy can only fail ultimately.
When asked whether U.S. options also included a military one, Shapiro responded:
“Because stopping a nuclear Iran is so important, we’ve said this before and I’m saying it again, all options are open. All the possibilities.” said Shapiro. “And I’ll say more than that, we are examining these possibilities actively, and we are drawing up the necessary plans to ensure that all these options exist, and I’m not ruling out any option…”
Caspit said he asked the ambassador what he meant by “planning the options,” and whether they are also training for the implementation of these options, as foreign reports say the Israeli air force has been doing for some time. “Shapiro was quiet, and then said that America doesn’t need all that much training: ‘We have a massive military presence in the Persian Gulf, right?'”
Clearly, there are senior yahoos in the U.S. government who share Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak’s enthusiasm for a military strike against Iran. These individuals will be fully responsible for the results of their statements. It should be made clear that Shapiro is bringing the region ever closer to the brink of war. He is sowing the seeds of disaster and will reap the whirlwind.
The Iran situation is becoming more and more like a slow motion train wreck. You see the train barreling toward you at high speed. You see the engineer and conductor screaming and waving at bystanders to get out of the way because the train has lost its brakes. No one can do a thing to stop it.
Oh boy, Iraq 2.0 is finally here. We just pulled our troops out of one mess to throw them right back into another. And how are we expecting to pay for the war this time? The first gulf war was paid for by the Saudis. We thought the oil was going to pay for the second gulf war–and we were dead wrong. We’re on the brink of an economic collapse, with over 44% of the population on welfare and less than 51% of the population actually paying their taxes. Just how does the government expect to finance this war? And why are we fighting a war that is not even in our own country’s national interest, but the interests of Israel? Why can’t they fight their own war? We’ve given them a qualitative military edge over the entire middle east and pour billions of dollars into their pockets ever year, I’m sure Israel is strong enough to fight its own wars by now.
Linda J says
So what about this Wall Street Journal article contradicting Mr. Shapiro: U.S. Warns Israel on Strike
Richard Silverstein says
Dan Shapiro talks to Ehud Barak & Bibi every day. Which U.S. voice do you think they’re hearing more from?
Ambassadors aren’t the conduits of US foreign policy as they once were prior to WWII, certainly not on a par with cabinet Principles, trumped by the current Cent-Com Commander and doubly irrelevant whenever Special Envoy’s are appointed. The ambassadorship was an empty suit while Mitchell and Ross battled it out over US policy towards Israel.
Ambassadors today are cypher’s with portfolio, witing or witless agents of POTUS’s intrigues and schemes in achieving US policies. The Israelis just got blindsided by US cancellation of war games, and its Shaprio’s job to convincingly make all the speculation much ado about nothing.
The more interesting thing to me is just how keyed in is Shapiro with Obama’s game plan, or is he just a pacifier for the Israel Lobby and useful tool in Tel Aviv? That’s the unknown unknowable.
Richard Silverstein says
Shapiro is a key inside player & was his liaison to Jewish community throughout 2008 campaign.
Shapiro was a liaison in 2008 campaign. What about 2012?
Richard Silverstein says
He’s the ambassador. He’s not super Jew & can’t be everything.
By contrast, the nay case about the possibility of an Iran war is to be found here:
Although I am concerned by the warmongering talk, and I think that there are some signs of a regional conflict looming, I still think that the US and Israel can’t strike Iran.
Iran is not a danger to the West at all ! Okay, they have oil.
Thanks to Putin we nowadays can import also a lot of oil from Russia. We do not need the Middle East ! More clean energy and the rest from Russia is our solution for Europe. And besides, Russia should be more powerful in Europe, because besides oil we need to embrace their Orthodox-Christian religion as well.
The USA needs the price of oil to be DOLLAR denominated. Many countries, including now Iran, are moving toward other currencies and when this move is far enough along, the USA is in big trouble. Read it here.
Libya was working on this, and look what happened to Qaddafi. Iran is working on (or has already) switched to Yuan (or other) for selling oil to China. Who’ll buy USA’s debt when the dollar will no longer buy oil?
And also, hadn’t Saddam Hussein begun too talk about moving away from the dollar?
My M/W post –
“It should be mandatory for every news article or TV discussion regarding Iran to repeat what Panetta said last Sunday:
“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
Iran is NOT to be trusted . There word is poop.
say one thing and do another, trusting Iran is like saying Hitler was a good person,
belive iran power plant is for energy and you are flirting with a time bomb,
We as AMERICANS will protect our country and freedom, even if the government in power will not do as AMERICANS ask, we will protect the world from the HITLERS to come, WITH WAR IF IT COMES TO THAT,
FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM
Richard Silverstein says
I’d say it’s YOU who is not to be trusted. Your racism is breathtaking. The fact that you call yourself “Marine” is also frightening. I hope you haven’t been urinating on any corpses lately.
Uhm substitute iran with america there glib soldier and try not to think too much . Remember you signed up to be the flesh that stops bullets.