"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." ~ Ambrose Bierce
Netanyahu's October Surprise
Column by Faisal Moghul.
Exclusive to STR
Benjamin Netanyahu’s lust for war with Iran is driven by a mephistophelian worldview that not only prioritizes blatant lies and vile propaganda over the embarrassing truth and awkward facts, but also embraces the art of deception perfected by Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, by lying big, and repeating it constantly and incessantly, to implant a false narrative of imminent Iranian nuclearization in the public conscience.
Since 1992, when Netanyahu was a member of the Knesset, he is on record making bogus and unsubstantiated claims that Iran is three to five years away from building a nuclear bomb. By that measure, Iran should have gone nuclear by 1998. It has not.
Yet, even though the passage of time has repeatedly proven his constant stream of anti-Iranian palaver to be nothing but a figment of his diseased imagination, that has not stopped Netanyahu’s half insane mumblings from receiving a deferential hearing in Western media circles.
Like Cassandra’s forewarnings of destruction that fell on deaf Trojan ears, this soi-disant Oracle of our times, agitating atop Apollo’s temple, presages the apocalypse should the international community allow Iran to cross an imaginary “red line.” But far from being a Greek tragedy, the saber rattling against Iran is the latest episode of an Italian commedia dell’arte in which Il Capitano falsely cries wolf too often, and too soon.
Con artists love to lie and get away with it. It’s a skill Netanyahu has mastered. But they also bet on the public falling for their drivel every time in a perfect demonstration of political somnambulism. Sadly, one cannot recall many examples of Western media outlets questioning Netanyahu’s credibility, which is as corroded as a habitual drunkard’s liver. To ask him to speak the truth is to task his feeble mind beyond its limited capacity.
But the grotesque double standard evident in witnessing a nuclear armed Israel – one of the largest recipients of US military aid that also coordinates nuclear policy with the US and Britain—lecture Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that has affirmed its commitment to a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, on peace and stability reminds me of an exchange narrated in St. Augustine’s City of God, which provides an apt historical analogy.
A captured pirate of the high seas is brought before Alexander the Great, who chides him, “How dare you molest the sea?” “How dare you molest the whole world,” responds the pirate, contending that “because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an emperor!”
As Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently proclaimed at the Non-Aligned Movement Conference in Tehran that was attended by over 120 countries, Iran’s motto is "Nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none." Khamenei’s rhetoric highlights the reality that Iran cannot afford to be belligerent against Israel, or any other nation for that matter, for in doing so it will not only incur the wrath of the mighty US military but also garner widespread criticism in the international community and lose any moral high ground.
Although I am no fan of Ahmadinejad or an apologist for Khamenei, any impartial analysis of this issue must take note of the fact that the Iranian leadership has clearly signaled Iran’s desire to halt any uranium enrichment as long as his country’s medical needs are met. As Dr. Paul Craig Roberts notes:
When Iran announced that, in view of the sanctions imposed by the US, sanctions that affect medical supplies, Iran was going to enrich uranium to 20% in order to supply itself with medical isotopes, the Israeli allegations that this would lead to a bomb resulted in Iran saying that the Iranian government was content for France or some other country to supply their medical isotopes and would not pursue enrichment beyond energy requirements. The US and Russia were also mentioned as suppliers.
According to the NY Times on September 29, 2011, “the Iranian president told the Washington Post and later, in basically the same terms, the New York Times: ‘if you [the United States and Europe] give us uranium grade 20 percent now, we will stop production.’”
In the 2003 Academy Award winning documentary “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara,” the late Secretary of Defense highlights his insights about the nature of war, one of which is “Empathize with your enemy.” Understanding the enemy’s motivations enables one to avoid the possibility of conflict and the needless death and destruction that modern warfare necessarily entails. As the poet Robert Burns once noted, the greatest gift the Gods can give us, is to see ourselves the way others see us.
So, let’s examine this situation from the Iranian perspective to get a sense of how they perceive a brewing conflict that could possibly ignite World War III.
Iranians cannot ignore the sordid history of CIA-sponsored false flag operations in their country, such as Operation Ajax--the 1956 coup against the democratically elected Mossadegh for nationalizing the Iranian oil industry, masterminded by Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt.
Admittedly, Tel Aviv and Washington are currently on the offensive, waging covert warfare aimed at destabilizing Iran – from assassinations of their scientists to mysterious explosions at military bases to sophisticated cyber attacks in the form of Stuxnet and Flame. By next week, the US will have three aircraft carriers positioned just off the Iranian coastline in an open display of bellicosity.
The Iranian landmass is also militarily encircled by hostile powers itching for a casus belli– a second Gulf of Tonkin, if you will—to justify another war of aggression. They have condemned Iran as part of a notorious “Axis of Evil” and have crippled the civilian economy with sanctions and embargoes.
The award winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersch also reported in 2008 that Dick Cheney and his cabal of warmongers had designed a blueprint for a false flag event to go to war with Iran. This involved planting fake Iranian PT boats in the Straits of Hormuz and using Navy Seals disguised as Iranian sailors to attack US ships in order to dupe the American people into supporting another needless conflict.
Furthermore, Retired General Wesley Clark made the startling admission that even before 9/11, Iran was marked as one of seven Middle Eastern countries to be invaded and taken over, despite no provocation.
And then there is the apocryphal “wipe Israel off the map” comment attributed to Ahmadinejad. Despite several journalists and professors of the Persian language pointing out that Ahmedinejad’s statement was egregiously mistranslated, Netanyahu deliberately persists in citing this twisted mistranslation at every opportunity to paint Iran as an existential threat to Israel.
Moreover, even though both the CIA and Mossad agree that there is no specific evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Netanyahu’s libido dominandi exhibits a marked disdain for any obstinate facts that stand in his warmongering path. Just like he lied with a straight face a decade ago that there was “no question whatsoever” that Saddam Hussein was acquiring nuclear weapons, there appears to be no doubt in his mind that once Israeli forces boldly venture forth into the deserts of Persia, nukes will conveniently materialize out of the ether by osmosis.
And finally, the US State Department recently de-listed Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), which The New York Times describes as a “totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us,” as a terrorist group despite its official designation as a “foreign terrorist organization” since 1997. Admittedly, MEK is also “financed, trained, and armed” by Israel’s Mossad and is responsible for carrying out assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. Glenn Greenwald’s excellent analysis highlights the Orwellian nature of this ill-conceived stratagem: “When the Bush administration sought to justify its attack on Iraq in 2003 by accusing Saddam Hussein of being a sponsor of 'international terrorism,' one of its prime examples was Iraq's 'sheltering' of the MEK.” Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, Winston -- The Ministry of Truth hath spoken! Two plus two equals five; newspeak and doublethink are alive and well.
The similarities between the campaign of disinformation about Iraqi WMDs and the current melodramatic fear mongering about Iranian nukes are eerily similar. The only difference is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has replaced Saddam Hussein as the new bete noir.