Probably an inapt title, as a war against Iran will not be a comedy. But I love Marx Brothers films and gag lines and couldn’t help myself. Personally, I also believe that such a war is so ill-advised that I can’t see it as anything but as hapless as Fredonia’s war against its neighbor. Not to mention that Israel has only slightly more reason to attack Iran than Fredonia had.
Haaretz’s managing editor, Aluf Benn, has penned one of the strongest columns in recent memory in the Israeli media making the case that Bibi Netanyahu plans to attack Iran:
Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran.
Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it…an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure…
Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama’s tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition. Obama will speak out against it but act for it, just as the past U.S. administrations speak against the settlements in the territories but allow their expansion. And in this manner Netanyahu summarized the visit: “…I believe that the first objective that I presented [to Obama]– to fortify the recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself – I think that objective has been achieved.”
…To use Netanyahu’s “duck allegory”, what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a “bluff” or a diversion tactic. Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since he’s been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself and the Israeli public.
Anyone reading this blog over the past few months has been regaled with scores Israeli journalists writing in the same vein. But what is different here is that Benn is the editor of Israel’s leading liberal daily. He’s not a beat reporter or a columnist. He’s the top journalist at the paper thus making him one of Israel’s most important media figures. He does not issue such warnings, nor make such claims lightly.
I spoke today with a peace activist who is putting together an international petition campaign against war with Iran. He’s not quite ready to launch, but should be in the next day or so. I will let you know when that happens. It would be nice if we can gather several hundred thousand signatures in a short period of time.
This one’s very interesting as well:
marc b. says
i still would be surprised to see an attack. more likely all this warmongering is part of a good-cop-bad-cop routine making ever harsher sanctions seem like the peaceful altnernative, even as iran starts to suffer as painfully as iraqis suffered under sanctions. see this also on increasing pressure,
“Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.
The move will isolate Iran financially by making it almost impossible for money to flow in and out of the country via official banking channels.
It will hit its oil industry, but may also have a heavy impact on Iranians who live abroad and send money home.
The move follows EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.”
PS. i’d probably have stolen from the three stooges bit with Hassen Ben Sober instead of the marx brothers. as moe follows the map ‘over the giva-dam and the insane river’. a classic.
“i still would be surprised to see an attack. more likely all this warmongering is part of a good-cop-bad-cop routine making ever harsher sanctions seem like the peaceful altnernative, even as iran starts to suffer as painfully as iraqis suffered under sanctions. see this also on increasing pressure,”
I don’t know how likely war is, but you’re right about how sanctions are always portrayed as the peaceful alternative i the US press. I think this is because only Iranians suffer under sanctions, whereas a war might cause American deaths even if limited to air strikes. Pilots could get shot down, there could be terrorist attacks, or maybe successful attacks on some US navy vessel. Sanctions, no matter how brutal their effects, are seen as non-violent. Imagine the reaction if foreigners could do that to us, or to Israel.
Bob Mann says
Intrade has it at 60/40 against by the end of 2012. Here’s hoping that war can be averted! By the way, that song is hilarious – Groucho was quite a talent.
RE: “I spoke today with a peace activist who is putting together an international petition campaign against war with Iran.” ~ R.S.
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P.S. SEE: Hawks Steering Debate on How to Take on Iran, By Eric Lichtblau and Mark Landler, New York Times, 3/18/12
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/world/pro-israel-groups-differing-approaches-on-iran.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
RE: “To War, To War, Fredonia Goes to War!” ~ R.S.
SEE: Groucho Goes to War on False Pretenses (VIDEO, 01:59) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM01v_vVnbg
It is only truly in times such as these that I earnestly wish I were a billionaire because I would favor so many issues such as the “no first strike” publication with real money instead of the $20 at a time per cause I am restricted to now in retirement. Clearly, the world would be better off in the hands of the Marx brothers and the Three Stooges! You know what I mean — thoughtful sensitive people. C’est la guerre!
Richard Silverstein says
In this world, it appears most people who are billionaires get to be so after doing some pretty sleazy things in life eg. Sheldon Adelson. But I sure wouldn’t mind a few more George Soroses.
delia ruhe says
Obama may have much more to worry about than a few pounds of modestly enriched uranium. Like the dead Saddam and the dead Qadaffi before them, the Iranians are trying to sell their oil to India and China in their currencies or for gold — i.e., rather than petrodollars. The US may want to try to stop them the same way it stopped the other two: murder and regime change.
A very good point Delia – you look beyond the rhetoric to the key issue.
How is the US responsible for the murder of Qadaffi?