If it were left to the U.S. Senate, Israeli and American air power would already be winging its way to Tehran to destroy Iran’s nuclear plants. 44 senators, including a considerable number of Democrats, wrote to the president that he should abandon the nuclear talks which recently concluded their second failed meeting in Moscow. These ‘peacemakers’ suggest three demands that we impose upon the Iranians:
The senators wrote that the “absolute minimum” Iran must do immediately to justify further talks is to shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility near Qom, freeze all uranium enrichment above 5 percent, and ship all uranium enriched above 5 percent out of the country.
If they fail, we might as well put on our helmets and Kevlar and fire up the F-16s and cruise missiles. The senators know that Iran will not agree to any such conditions. Thus in effect they are calling for a virtual declaration of war against Iran (though they couched it in more subtle language than that):
…We urge you to weapons tap and let the guns, bullets and missiles flow. What irks me about Robb’s posturing is that all this crowing about the existential danger posed by Iran gins up ever more interest in his own career as a military and security consultant (aka lobbyist). What really does Charles Robb know about Iran?
If we take a look at Robb’s comrades in arms on this Bipartisan Policy Center it will tell us a great deal which side its bread is buttered on. His co-chair is far-right Republican former Sen. Dan Coats. Another committee member is Dennis Ross. The staff director of this outfit is David Makovsky’s brother, Michael. The AEI’s Michael Rubin is their “special consultant.” You see where this is going?
The operative phrase seems to be you’ve got to be prepared to make war to make peace. God forbid, Robb warns, anyone should think the U.S. wants Israel to attack Iran:
…We are not urging Israel to take unilateral military action against Iran nuclear facilities, but we need to make their capability to do stronger so that Iran will take that threat more seriously. We are not advocating another war in this region. We’d like to see this perilous situation resolved peacefully.
If you were an Israeli diplomat in the DC embassy you’d be in hog (sorry for the treif reference) heaven. This is what Israel’s massive presence in this country and the intense lobbying of Aipac is designed for: maximum pliancy on the part of U.S. lawmaker when it comes to opening the armories for offensive war in the Middle East. If you were a truly cynical neocon you’d say hell, we’ve been shedding too much American blood in the Middle East. If we can get Israeli boys taking the bullets while taking out our mutual enemies, all the better. We’ll just give ’em the ammo so they can do the job.
Israelis like Shaul Mofaz, who met with Hillary Clinton today, are saying just the opposite: you should take the lead, Madam Secretary, and your friends in Israel will gladly follow. The former IDF chief of staff and new dance partner of Bibi Netanyahu also told Hillary a few meisehs about how the new coalition he’s just formed will bring Peace in Our Time. That and a little fairy dust will turn all of us into pixies.
The question is: is Obama vacillating enough to, in one of his many weak political moments, give in to all this saber-rattling and offer Israel a green-light? Does he understand that there’s a quantitative difference between killing Muslims with U.S. drones and dropping bunker busters on Iran? Or will he truly become the national security president and go “all the way” to war?
It’s ironic that even George Bush said we weren’t at war with Islam. Barack Obama seems hellbent on turning that statement on its head. From his Cairo speech to the current shambles of our relations with the Arab world. It’s ugly how things have gone for him and us.
It all just begs the question of just where all the money is supposed to come from should this idiotic notion of attacking Iran come to fruition. And also the question of why the world is expected to sit still and do nothing while the US and Israel methodically destroy the middle east either directly or via proxy wars. How many more people are expected to die before these armchair warriors are satisfied?
Bob Mann says
I have to address your question “of why the world is expected to sit still and do nothing while the US and Israel methodically destroy the middle east either directly or via proxy wars.”
I do not understand, how, given what is going on in the region currently, you can ignore the fact that countries other than the US and Israel are currently doing their part to “methodically destroy the middle east.”
You can talk about “the world” sitting still and doing nothing with respect to the US and Israel – but “the world” is, in fact, doing their part to foment conflict – and are ignoring atrocities being committed right now in the region, by players other than the US and Israel.
Of course, all peace-loving people oppose acts of militarism by the US and Israel, but let’s not act like the rest of “the world” isn’t doing their part to wreck havoc and destruction on the region.
I don’t mean to be argumentative, Bob, but you have to ask, who besides the US is responsible for the devastation of Iraq? Who but NATO can claim the disaster that is Libya? Who has been at war in Afghanistan for more than a decade? And of course, who has been engaged in a brutal and bellligerent occupation since 1967 and is foaming at the mouth to make war on Iran?
Atrocities? Yes. But ongoing, systematic slaughter and destruction has largely been the work of the US and Israel.
“who besides the US is responsible for the devastation of Iraq? ”
Richard Silverstein says
Yeah just like Palestinians are responsible for Nakba & Occupation & rape victims are responsible for their rape.
And who was it that brought the Ba’ath to power in Iraq in the first place back in the 1960s, Joel? You’ve got some serious homework to do.
Bob Mann says
Well, respectfully, I would point out that the United States had numerous coalition partners who were involved in the invasion of Iraq (Israel, incidentally, not among them). There were at least 20-30 different countries that assisted in that effort with troops on the ground. Granted, their role was minimal compared to the US (and to a lesser extent the UK), but they bear some responsibility for their support of that invasion and the resulting devastation.
Similarly, as you yourself point out, NATO (which is comprised of almost 30 different countries) can claim much of the “credit” for the disaster that is Libya. You no doubt recall that some of the European countries were the most keen on intervening militarily in that conflict. Moreso than the United States. To say nothing of the role the Libyan government’s own repressive regime had in creating the conditions where such intervention was even possible. And Israel had no involvement in that conflict.
Further, you bring up Afghanistan – which you are no doubt aware was decimated for years by Russian forces before the US really had any significant role there of any kind. Also, I would point out the autocratic nature of the regime in power there does bear some responsibility for the civil strife that has gripped that country in recent years.
As for Iran, there has certainly been “foaming at the mouth to make war” but, as yet, no actual military invasion has taken place. Hopefully none will be forthcoming. And you other bring up Israel’s belligerent occupation since 1967 – which is indeed is worthy of condemnation but has not resulting in anything like the “systematic slaughter” that we are seeing currently in Syria, for example.
The point I wish to respectfully make is that many entities are responsible for the violence in the region – from the regional leaders themselves, to organizations within those countries, to (of course) the leadership of Europe and the United States.
Again — you are going for the letter and not the meaning. 30 Nato members but still it’s an American war! Afghanistan and Iraq are US wars. Is this hard to understand? There aren’t so many entities responsible for the violence in the region. Even if there were, Israel and the US would rank numbers one and two! You are splitting hairs to no purpose, regardless of how respectfully you submit these comments.
I feel certain that Americans do not want war yet again and that can push back on these AIPAC slaves. Where is the organization to produce massive demonstrations in Washington and make Robb and the others look like the fools and patsies they are.
Bob, you’re really missing the point, that being that the US is the spearhead, the engine, while the others are or were merely carrying water for Bush and Obama.
And if you think Israel has not been systematically slaughtering Palestinians, I invite you to look at the history, which I won’t rehash because it’s not only off topic but also because Richard has covered it here time and again.
US foreign policy and Zionism are the culprits in the region, that is clear.
Give me a break, Bob. Do you know how much diplomatic pressure went into creating that “coalition of the willing”.
I think Bob aims at diluting the meaning rather than clarifying the meaning. In order to create meaning, a writer often has to brush past specifics to uncover the more general meaning of things such as news items. In so doing, the writer is an easy target for “clarification” through specifics inconsistent with the meaning presented. Certainly, these counter instances exist and are important to the historian. But, I think Bob repeatedly takes aim at specifics in order to dilute the meaning presented, to hedge the meaning with often obscure counter instances. And so it comes to pass that these wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and, likely, Iran are not American wars because the US has allies in these undertakings even some enthusiastic allies. However, to recapture the meaning of these wars, it is only necessary to understand that, but for the US, there would no war in these places. The same cannot be said about the participation, for example, of Spain. These are all American wars, undertaken at the behest of the US which is, in turn, strongly directed in this part of the world by Israel. That’s the meaning. Will Bob dispute this as well?
Thank you Davey. You said it perfectly. This strategy of Bob Mann made me call him an uber troll once, shortly after he strated commenting here. At times he seems sincere, but I have my doubts.
It would be a extremely risky adventure to go to war against Iran. In size and population aproximately 2.5 times the size of Afghanistan (slightly smaller than Alaska!). Mountainous like Afghanistan and a well equipped military defending its territory. But the main question for me would be, how long the SCO, the Shanghai Cooporation Organization stand aside watching US-military coming closer and closer?
Germany didn’t think the West cared either… They got away with Austria and the Czechoslovakia, and nobody moved. Why would they care about Poland, right? Wrong.
Pull your own parallels…
history never repeats, hystery does…
Clif Brown says
The one good thing I noticed about this letter is that my own senator, Mark Kirk, did not sign it. I find this incredible. Perhaps his pen was out of ink?
Unless my sight is failing, neither did Boxer or Feinstein of California, which is also a relief, however temporary.
OperationRedPill.com Staff says
The truth is, however, neither are the Iranians blinking nor hesitating. They are scoffing at the transparent behavior of a “world power” manhandled by incompetent liars like Netanyahu and Barak. The Iranians know Israel and its lobby are doing everything it can to torpedo these talks.
No matter what Israel does, Iran will not enter into its game where it suddenly is fighting America on behalf of an Israeli false complaint over nukes Israel is known to actually possess.
A Senior Pakistani official put it best recently, and this is the view, whether we choose to accept it or not, that Iran actually has of America as well: “The US is akin to a dead body which has been penetrated by a virus; in this case, Israel. Have you seen those vivid Hollywood flicks which have zombies roaming around? Exactly the same. You shoot them, hit them, they are not affected at all. This is, hence, not a normal situation. That virus (Israel) can even use the US to carry out a nuclear attack therby triggering a global inferno where millions will be massacred. It does not care that Pakistan will give a proper full-fledged response. Pakistan on the other hand, does not want to engage with a zombie.” Call it a conspiracy theory, but that is realistically how the US is viewed in these matters by important nations.
Someone on the internet just recently suggested that only 4% of American Jews support AIPAC. It is a virus called Israel. The infection is limited but the immune system doesn’t work.
BTW — RS — I like the new “look and feel” of the blog. And thanks for aggravating me each and every evening with such well written posts.
Piotr Berman says
I would have a bit different view than the Pakistani cited here. The more powerful you are, the less intelectual acuity you need to survive. You have the luxury of leaving in your fantasy world, and if it causes the real world to bite you, it is just a scratch on your thick hide or a dent in your ample flesh.
However, even the mighty can fall if their behavior is stupid enough. Concerning Libya, it looked like a “case of good intervention”. Kaddafi was not only an abusive dictator, but we did not like him and he proved himself to be grossly incompetent as the dictator. Still, it emerges now that both Libya and the region were probably better off with mercurial Kaddafi in charge then without him. This shows that before engaging in a similar operation in Syria we should think hard if (a) it can fail even when it succeeds (b) is there a better way?
In the case of Syria, our policies are upside-down. There is a danger in a form of radical Islam for which al-Qaeda is an inspiration or a unifying symbol, and while we acknowledge global aspects of this phenomenon, in some places we fight them, in some, let get stronger by removing the opposition (that is roughly what happened in Mali, by providing jobs and weapons Kaddafi had an influence on warrior tribes in Sahara, and while the results varied, we even did not have an idea that there will be a problem, something like Somalia but spread over an enormous area). And right now in Syria we are aiding terrorists directly. If there is anything worse than rank hypocrisy it is stupid rank hypocrisy.
Dave Terry says
Can someone post a list of just WHO exactly are these 44 Senators
who are prodding Obama to War?
The US Senate, a nest of the 2nd greatest cowards in the universe making fools of themselves again. When sanctions against Iranian oil begin to bite all the whores on capital hill will be singing another tune.