Archive for Israel and Iran

Barack Genuflects Before APAC

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, On War and Peace in the Mid East!, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by playthell

Barack Pledged to support Bibi in An Attack on Iran

 Is it De Ja Vu Again?  Notes on the Road to War

I have never witnessed a more blatant example of the arrogance of power than the Israeli/American ultimatum to Iran.  Driven by the imperatives of domestic politics in both countries, the terms of this ultimatum were stated in no uncertain terms by President Obama in his speech before the powerful Jewish organization, APAC….and it was a de-facto declaration of war.  “When the chips are down I have Israel’s back!” declared the president.

Barack went on to say he was not interested in containing a nuclear armed Iran; his policy is to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.   He said all options are on the table; including the full range of our nation’s diplomatic, economic and military resources.  He also said “I will not hesitate to use force to defend American interests.”  Thus the die is cast, and the saber rattling is approaching the decibel level before Bush’s march of folly in Iraq.

On the face of it the demand that Iran cease its nuclear research and development is both hypocritical and an insult to their national dignity.  It ignores Iranian national security interests on the one hand, and tells them in no uncertain terms that they are a second rate nation who will not be allowed to exercise the privileges that the US and Israel consider their natural right as sovereign nations.  No matter what kind of self-righteous preachment or diplomatic mumbo jumbo the US and Israeli governments employ to make their case in the court of public opinion, this is what it boils down to.

It is the height of duplicity for the US and Israel to have a hissy fit about the possibility that the Iranians are building a nuclear weapon when Israel has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the Arabs and Iranians in a fortnight.  And what’s more, the Israelis are already waging a covert war against Iran with American assistance. Although they are rarely reported because they are secret, these are real acts of war nonetheless!

They have assassinated several Iranian nuclear scientists in daring James Bond type hits that everyone who pays attention to these matters knows could only have been pulled off by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad.   And the fact that it Furthermore, CBS Sixty Minutes recently did an in-depth report detailing how a brilliantly designed computer virus blew up an Iranian nuclear reactor.  The report featured an international group of distinguished computer scientists who specialize in cyber security, and they concluded the diabolical virus was almost certainly designed by US and Israeli intelligence agencies.

The urgent question for all Americans is whether a war with Iran will serve American interests.  This is an extremely complex question.  The consequences of such a war will have to be considered from the perspectives of foreign relations and domestic policy in order to grasp the full picture.  In terms of foreign relations the immediate consequences include several possibilities.

The most immediate consequence would be the disruption of the flow of oil and a dramatic rise in the price of gas and other petroleum based products.  This would arrest the progress of our economic recovery, which is already fragile and constructed on a shaky foundation.  Tranquility, not chaos, is what is needed in the Middle East.

The Iranians will surely resist, and they will be assisted by their well-armed Shite brethren in Iraq, whom the US put in power as a result of George II’s misbegotten military adventure there.  And they are armed with the latest American weaponry – thanks to US military assistance.  Furthermore Iran is reaching out to Islamic theocrats in an ecumenical manner, putting aside internal theological disputes in order to form a unified front against the “Great Satin” i.e. the USA, which has emerged as the foremost enemy of Islam.

Despite the efforts of those actually tasked with conducting US foreign policy to characterize American waged wars in Muslim countries political…the Jihadists insist that the US is at war with Islam!   And the leading Republican candidates for their party’s presidential nomination are doing their best to convince the moderates in the Muslim world that most Americans also believe they are in a war against Islam.

The Iranian Regime recently hosted a conference of militant Islamist, and Muslims of many stripes from all over the world were present.  There could be no greater catalyst for the rapid development of a new militant Pan-Islamic movement than a joint American/Israeli invasion of Iran.  The invasion would also imperil the stability of the remaining pro-American leaders in the region; who would be trapped between the Devil and the deep blue sea.

If they support the US they will be facing overthrow by the populace, and if they don’t support the US they will face the wrath of the US people and their representatives in Congress, who appropriate foreign aid.   And at the moment the Congress is in the hands of right-wing Republicans; impassioned Christian soldiers who act as if they are ready to wage war with the entire Islamic world at once.   Needless to say, it does not require a gift for prophecy to predict that this will be a real mess!

The Islamic world is in upheaval, old regimes are being overthrown and forces set in motion by an American/Israeli invasion will result in the fall of even more regimes.  No one can predict what new leadership structures or institutions of government will emerge from this turmoil.

Yet it is enough to know that there is a strong, organized, Islamic element among the rebels in each of these populist uprisings to recognize the danger they pose.  In every country the secular democratic forces fighting to modernize their nation, so they can compete in the 21st century, are already at a disadvantage.

The secular Democrats are promoting values that are highly prized only by the educated elite – many of whom have spent time living in western democracies – thus their core concepts are alien and poorly understood by the masses of their people.  I warned that the Islamist could seize control of the revolt in Egypt – while the cheerleaders in the west assured us the Muslim Brotherhood was passé and impotent and other Islamists without much influence – and it has come to pass.  I remembered something the other pundits seemed to forget.  The overthrow of the Iranian Shah was also engineered by secular intellectuals; but the theocrats quickly took control, executed many of the secularists, and established Sharia Law.

Alas, a cry for war is rising from much of the commentariat in commercial media.  It is manufacturing a pro-war hysteria among the public. People like Joe Scarborough who host MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” – a charming sophist whose claim to fame is that he looks like the old cowboy movie star John Wayne – are cheering the President’s militant stance, although he has been damming Barack for not pulling all American troops from Afghanistan.  Joe practically called for the dismissal of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because he said “Iran is a rational actor in international affairs.”

The General’s intention was to quell the crazy narrative spun by hysterical warmongers who are painting the Iranian leadership as madmen willing to commit national suicide by launching a nuclear attack against Israel.  There is absolutely no evidence to support such a conclusion; I believe the US is far more likely to commit national suicide over Israel than Iran committing suicide over the Palestinians!  The attempt to paint the Iranian regime as irrational and therefore a danger to US interests is a transparent move to politicize intelligence regarding the threat from Iran in order to justify a “preemptive attack.”

This is the same path that led to war in Vietnam and Iraq, two nations that had also committed no offense against the US.   Yet we squandered massive amounts of American blood and treasure there, while maiming or killing millions of innocent bystanders.   Alas forces that lead to war have already been set in motion.

The momentum of events may well overwhelm President Obama’s resistance and we shall soon find ourselves in yet another major war with a Muslim country.   Indeed, if the Israeli’s decide to attack Iran, President Obama could find himself in the same predicament as Abe Lincoln when he reflected on the consequences of the Civil War and exclaimed: “Clearly I have not controlled events…but events have controlled me.”  It’s De Ja Vu all over again!

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

March 9, 2012

 

Now’s The Time!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on March 12, 2010 by playthell

 

 A Very Pugnacious Pol

 President Obama Must Stand Up and say no to Bibi Netanyahu

The announcement by Israel that they will be building an additional 1600 housing units on occupied Arab lands in East Jerusalem is a blatant insult to the Palestinians, and a brazen slap in the face of President Obama. The fact that the announcement was made during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, who had come on a peace mission intended to help reopen serious talks between Israel and the Palestinians, insures us that the Israeli government is not seriously interested in a just and speedy resolution to this long festering conflict.

Although most of the world, speaking through the United Nations and the European Union, have declared the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem are illegal, 180,ooo Jews have continued to settle on these occupied Arab lands.  Theses settlements are an insurmountable barrier to peace because no Palestinian leader can accept them and survive, but removing them will prove a Herculean task because, unlike what most Americans appear to believe, we are not talking about makeshift tent cities that can simply be packed up and carted away. 

These are modern developments that look like a South-western American suburb.  It is not surprising the Arabs suspect that the Jewish settlers intend to stay put; after all they are ultra-orthodox Jews who believe that they are fulfilling divine prophecy. Hence the announcement of new housing construction only confirms the worst suspicions of the Arabs. Already the Palestinians are talking about nixing further peace negotiations, which might well scuttle all of the diplomatic efforts by special envoy George Mitchell to get the peace talks started again.

Many observers of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, which has been ongoing since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, saw trouble ahead when the hawkish Bibi Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister – this writer included. And for good reason too.  In an interview conducted just before he took his oath of office last March, Mr. Netanyahu told Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic magazine “The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons…”  In the Israeli Prime minister’s view all of “Western civilization” will have failed if Iran was allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. 

Mr. Netanyahu elaborated on his tragic vision of the decline of the west should Iran get the bomb.  “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs.” He said. “When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”  However I beg to differ with Mr. Netanyahu on two points. 

First of all the introduction and use of atomic weapons by a western nation against an Asian nation, when the US bombed Japan, and the continued technological improvement and stockpiling of such doomsday weapons for use against each other, although everyone knows that this is a prescription for the extinction of the human species, if not all life on this planet, yet no formula for disarmament can be found, is irrefutable evidence that western civilization has already failed as we sit on the brink of apocalypse!   And secondly, nuclear weapons are already in the hands of Islamic fanatics in Pakistan.  Further Israeli aggression with American complicity will only heighten the possibility that these weapons will find their way into the hands of the Jihadists.

The problem with Mr. Netanyahu’s argument is that he believes it is perfectly alright for some nation’s in the world to possess nuclear weapons but not others. And his choices as to who should be allowed to have them reveals a white western imperialist frame of mind, which is, after all, a reflection of the fact that Israeli leaders have always identified their interests with those of the western imperialists from the earliest days of the modern Zionist movement. 

This is an incontestable fact.  One need only read ‘Weitzman and Smuts, A Study in Zionist Afrikaner Collaboration,” by Professor Richard Stevens, or the Works of Jewish Historians and theologians like Dr. Mark Ellis and Lenny Brenner to find abundant evidence in support of this view.  In the exchange of letters between Chiam Weitzman and Jan Christian Smuts – two architects of the state of Israel and the Union of South Africa respectably – they are clear about the similarity of the predicament, mission and destiny. For instance in one letter Weitzman says to Smuts that while the Africaner struggle was one of civilization against the jungle, the Zionist struggle was civilization against the desert.

It is a matter of historical record that founders of Israel were settler colonists, and followed the same pattern of military conquest, land alienation, and political domination of the native population that we witness in the formation of the USA, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Liberia. Settler colonialism is a class of phenomenon that exhibits the same basic characteristics wherever we encounter it in the world. In the Liberian case we have the only example where the colonizers were black. 

However if you study the writings of black scholars like Dr. Hollis Lynch’s “Edward Wilmont Blyden: Pan-Negro Patriot,” The works of the prolific Historian and literary scholar Dr. Wilson Jeremiah Moses’ works on Bishop Alexander Crummell and other black American nationalist leaders and thinkers of the 19th century, you will recognize the similarity of their thought and actions with those of the European imperialists.   And a careful reading of the Philosophy and Opinions of the great early twentieth century Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey you will find the same mode of European derived imperialist thinking one finds in the thought of the Zionists, whose ideological and spiritual paterfamilias Theodor Herzl was educated in the same 19th century German University system – where pan-Germanic romantic ideas flourished – as Dr. W.E.B. Dubois. 

Hence Pan-Africanism, Zionism and Nazism sprang from the same intellectual roots. All three ideologies celebrate the racial and spiritual unity of a people.  However given the differences in the race and class status of the three men these ideas played themselves out in radically different ways.  But with the advance of science in the twentieth century – especially after the NAZI disaster and the defeat of European colonialism – the world now knows how dangerous such ideas can be.  

In any case, the relationship of the western nations to the rest of the world has changed as a result of the relentless struggles of oppressed peoples against colonialism, neo-colonialism, and all forms of imperialist domination.  And the hands of the clock will never be turned back.  The relationship between the Arabs and the Israeli’s belong to another world; a world that has faded from the stage of history.  And the Arabs will never accept the present situation. One thing is certain, so long as the Palestinians remain strangers in their own land with no nation they can truly call their own, a nation that affords them the chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – the ideals that inspired the American, French and Haitian revolutions – there will be no peace in the Middle East!  And no amount of Israeli military might will make them secure. 

This is the real lesson of 9/11 – a fact which all but a few of our wise men, pundits and politicians refuse to concede.  Hence the Israeli obsession with Iran is misplaced.  Because whether they get a nuclear weapon or not the future of Israel will remain problematic.   And so long as the US rails against the possibility of the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon, when everybody knows that Israel has an abundant nuclear arsenal, we will be viewed as spineless hypocrites and shills for the Israeli’s.  Hence we will remain a target. 

Perhaps the most telling comment as to the spurious nature of Mr. Netanyahu’s argument regarding the unique danger of Iran building an atomic bomb was his response to Mr. Goldberg’s question as to whether he  “believed Iran would risk its own nuclear annihilation at the hands of Israel or America?”  To which Bibi replied: “I’m not going to get into that.”  But this is the heart of the matter; this question is the basis of the MAD doctrine – Mutual Assured Destruction – that deterred the US and the Soviet Union from attacking each other during the dangerous years of the cold war!  In spite of the irrational statements of some of it’s leaders, I don’t believe that Iran is any more inclined to commit national suicide by inviting a nuclear a nuclear attack than any other nation in the world.  And if they are building a nuclear weapon - which is a matter in serious dispute and after the Iraq deception we must be extremely sceptical of such claims – - it is for the same reason that America, China, Russia and Israel has them.

It is precisely this kind of hypocrisy that allows the Jihadists to convince Muslim’s around the world that America is indeed “The Great Satin.”  If anything about the so-called “War on Terror” is clear, it’s that this is a war for the hearts and minds of the millions of discontented souls who watch our actions on Al Jazira and become willing recruits for the Jihad.  And their numbers grow with every instance of injustice committed by the western nations, who either support or arm Israel and the US in their slaughter of Muslims, quite a few of which, by our own admission, are innocent bystanders. 

Thus the murderous rage we witnessed in Dr. Hassan, an army psychiatrist of Palestinian lineage, will multiply.  Already we are living in an atmosphere of creeping paranoia about where the next strike will come from as the Jihadist who seeks to wreak havoc upon us constantly change faces from brown, to black, to white.   There is no purely military solution to this global scourge; certainly there is a role for military action but it must be accompanied with a sincere effort to address the legitimate grievances of the Muslim peoples.  And given the dimensions of the mess decades of misguided American policies have made we don’t have a moment to waste. 

The Changing Face Of Jihad

 “Jihad Jane

This is why President Obama’s attempts to reach out to the youths of the Muslim world and consider the interests of all parties in the Middle East with a sense of equity and justice, while attempting to annihilate the hard core Jihadist who are beyond negotiating with, is the best way to go.  In fact, I believe it is the only hope of seeing peace in our time.  But any solution must begin with justice for the long suffering, beleaguered, Palestinian people.  And this means, first and foremost, standing up to Israeli intransigence.

Alas, the Israeli rejection of the Goldstone report documenting their war crimes in Gaza, and Israel’s insinuations that an attack on Iran may be forthcoming in their version of the Bush doctrine of “preemptive war,” threatens to embroil the US in yet another armed conflict in the Islamic world. Since we are already in the absurd position of fighting fanatical Muslim Judaists that the CIA created in Afghanistan due to misguided American policies – as the Iranian president sarcastically noted on a state visit to Afghanistan last Wednesday – President Obama should dispatch Rahm Emanuel to make it clear to Mr. Netanyahu that should he start a war anywhere he’s on his own, and the US government will immediately cut off all military and financial aid!

In his defiance of American wishes Mr. Netanyahu is obviously counting on the fact that President Obama’s approval rating in Israel is a paltry 4% and, as Dr. Henry Kissinger once observed, “Israel has no foreign policy only a domestic agenda.”  He is probably also counting on the power of the American Israel lobby to influence US policy in Israel’s favor, and figures that Mr. Obama is so weakened by the bloody battles over his domestic agenda he will have no spirit for the fight.  All this appears to have emboldened the Israeli Prime Minister; that’s why Barack must stand up and crush Bibi like a flea.  That’ll show him who is in charge!

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Harlem, New York

March, 2010

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