When Congress finally decides on just the right
language for its "non-binding resolution" deploring Bush's leadership
in this war, it might consider a resolution to keep us out of the next one.
For America is on a collision course with an Iran of 70 million, and the folks
who stampeded us into Iraq are firing pistols in the air again.
At the annual Herzliya Conference, U.S. presidential aspirants, neoconservatives,
and Israeli hawks were all invoking the Holocaust and warning of the annihilation
of the Jews.
Israel's "Bibi" Netanyahu, who compares Iran's Ahmadinejad to Hitler,
said: "The world that didn't stop the Holocaust last time can stop it this
Who will lead the effort against genocide if not us? The world
will not stand up on behalf of the Jews if the Jews do not stand up on behalf
of the world."
Said former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz: "Iran is the heart of the problem
in the Middle East. It is the most urgent threat facing the world, and needs
to be dealt with before it's too late." After meeting with the Department
of State's Nicholas Burns, Mofaz called 2007 "a year of decision."
Richard Perle assured the conference that Bush will attack Iran rather than
see it acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. Newt Gingrich also brought his
soothing touch to the proceedings:
"[C]itizens who do not wake up every morning and think about possible
catastrophic civilian casualties are deluding themselves.
"Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust.
it. Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust.
Our enemies are fully
as determined as Nazi Germany and more determined than the Soviets. Our enemies
will kill us the first chance they get.
"If we knew that tomorrow morning we would lose Haifa, Tel Aviv, and
Jerusalem, what would we do to stop it? If we knew that we would tomorrow lose
Boston, San Francisco, or Atlanta, what would we do?"
Mitt Romney agreed. Ahmadinejad's Iran is more dangerous than Khrushchev's
Soviet Union, which put missiles in Cuba. For the Soviets "were never suicidal.
Soviet commitment to national survival was never in question. That assumption
cannot be made to an irrational regime [Iran] that celebrates martyrdom."
Ehud Olmert, mired in scandal, his popularity in the tank after the Lebanon
fiasco, was as hawkish as Bibi: "The Jewish people, with the scars of the
Holocaust fresh on its body, cannot afford to let itself face the threat of
annihilation once again.
We will stand up against nuclear threats and
even prevent them."
Came then U.S. peace candidate John Edwards. Keeping Iran from nuclear weapons
"is the greatest challenge of our generation.
To ensure that Iran
never gets nuclear weapons, we need to keep all options on the table.
Let me reiterate all options."
Wrote the Financial Times' Philip Stephens of Herzliya, "I gave
up counting the times I heard the words 'existential threat' to describe Iran's
nuclear program capability."
A few weeks back, according to UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave, Netanyahu declared
that Israel "must immediately launch an intense, international public relations
front first and foremost on the United States the goal being to encourage
President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm
itself with nuclear weapons. We must make clear to the [U.S.] government, the
Congress, and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S.
and the entire world, not only Israel."
Israel's war is to be sold as America's war.
The project is underway. According to Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
of the Guardian, Israeli media are reporting that the assignment to convince
the world of the need for tough action on Iran has been given to Meir Dagan,
head of Mossad.
Listening to the war talk, Gen. Wesley Clark exploded to Arianna Huffington:
"You just have to read what's in the Israeli press. The Jewish community
is divided, but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York
money people to the office-seekers."
The former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe was ordered out of ranks and
dressed down by Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League. But Matt Yglesias
of The American Prospect, himself Jewish, says Clark spoke truth: "[I]t's
true that major Jewish organizations are pushing this country into war with
Yet is the hysteria at Herzliya justified? Consider:
Not once since its 1979 revolution has Iran started a war. In any war with
America, or Israel with its hundreds of nuclear weapons, Iran would not be annihilating
anyone. Iran would be risking annihilation.
Not only has Iran no nukes, the Guardian reported yesterday, "Iran's
efforts to produce highly enriched uranium
are in chaos." That centrifuge
facility at Natanz is "archaic, prone to breakdown, and lacks the materials
for industrial-scale production."
There is no need for war. Yet, Israelis, neocons, and their agents of influence
are trying to whip us into one. Senators who are seeking absolution for having
voted to take us into Iraq ought to be confronted and asked just what they are
doing to keep us out of a war in Iran.
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