[News] Is Bibi the Bully wagging the American dog?
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 5 12:08:56 EST 2012
Is Bibi the Bully wagging the American dog?
By Pepe Escobar
Even before their fateful encounter at the White House this Monday,
US President Barack Obama made it clear, on the record, that Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu wouldn't face him down.
Or did he?
No matter what the rhetorical gymnastics performed by Obama, a case
can be made that Bibi the Bully wags the American dog full-time.
Worse; the Likud-dominated Israeli administration, single-handedly,
is playing with dispatching vast spheres of the global economy into
total depression, as its hysterics progressively hurl oil prices
towards the stratosphere.
The world is a hostage of Israel's whims even as the 120-plus members
of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) support Iran's right to enrich
uranium and BRICS members Russia, China and India, as well as Turkey,
dismiss the US and the EU's oil embargo - a true declaration of
economic war - on Iran.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) get-together in
Washington takes place in an intimidating, cavernous Colosseum where
the wealthy crowd ululates in unison for Iranian blood. A passable
tactician but a lousy strategist, Bibi the Bully's only game in town
is "Bomb Iran".
This is justified by the "existential threat" posed by non-nuclear
Iran to a nuclear-armed garrison state/settler colony that is
literally, graphically wiping a whole people (the Palestinians) off the map.
Still one more proof of the "existential threat" fallacy was provided
last week by Iran's Supreme Leader himself, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
even before the absolute victory of his supporters in Friday's
parliamentary elections - which effectively turned President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad into a lame duck.
Khamenei's words must be reproduced again and again and again -
because the baying-for-blood US corporate media simply won't do it.
He said, "The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue
nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the
countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear
weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and
theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave
sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless,
destructive and dangerous."
Mr president, tear down this wall
Yet once again, the graphic proof that Israel exercises virtual
complete control of US foreign policy was the sight of an American
president defensively addressing the AIPAC Colosseum. Apart from a
festival of Orwellian intimations, to his credit at least Obama
emphasized the word "diplomacy", did not specify any "red lines", nor
endorsed the mere "capability" of Iran to build a nuclear weapon as a
casus belli. After all, he knows he already has more American Jewish
voters in the bag than among the US electorate as a whole.
But ultimately Obama did cave in to Bibi the Bully - as the rhetoric
was not unlike Tony Soprano's and the ominous "military component"
remained very much on the table.
Still, Bibi the Bully - mimicking his voracity in devouring
Palestinian land - wants more.
Whatever route they take - overflying Syria and Turkey, and even if
they hit the crucial targets of Natanz, Arak, Isfahan and Fordow -
Israel's Jericho missiles have zero chances of paralyzing, not to
mention destroying, the complex decision apparatus of the Islamic
Republic. Forget about "humiliation" and regime change. Even Major
General Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's
Diplomatic-Security Bureau, acknowledged last October that Israel
cannot win. That's why Bibi the Bully badly wants to extract a formal
promise that the US will do the dirty work.
According to a recent poll in Israel, 34% are against bombing Iran.
But 42% are in favor if the US is at least supporting it. How sweet
it is to enrol a superpower to fight your fictional "existential threats".
Bibi the Bully badly wants a Republican to take out Obama in
November. Obama knows he can't be defeated by King of Flip Flop Mitt
Romney or Ayatollah Rick Santorum. But he can be defeated by the
proverbial US gas pump. The problem is, submitting or not to Bibi the
Bully's absolutist demands, oil prices go up; they have already have
by 20%, and this growth may reach 50% or more if speculators deem an
Tehran may hold the key to defuse the whole psychodrama - and the
demented speculation on oil prices. By late March or early April,
with his authority immensely strengthened, negotiators on behalf of
Ayatollah Khamenei will be back on the table discussing the nuclear
dossier with the P5+1 - US, France, Britain, Russia and China, plus Germany.
Obama himself may also hold the key. He could pull a Nixon - as in
going to China to meet Mao in 1972 - and offer a face-to-face to
Khamenei. The industrial-military-media complex, Big Oil, the Israeli
firsters and especially Bibi the Bully will be seeing all shades of
red. But it does take balls to really earn a Nobel Peace Prize.
Obama, will you tear down this wall (of mistrust)?
This is the section of Obama's speech at AIPAC centered on Iran:
Today there is no doubt - anywhere in the world - that the United
States will insist upon Israel's security and legitimacy. That will
also be true as we continue our efforts to our pursuit of peace. And
that will be true when it comes to the issue that is such a focus for
all of us today: Iran's nuclear program - a threat that has the
potential to bring together the worst rhetoric about Israel's
destruction with the world's most dangerous weapons.
Let's begin with a basic truth that you all understand: no Israeli
government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime
that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and
sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel's destruction. And so I
understand the profound historical obligation that weighs on the
shoulders of Bibi Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and all of Israel's leaders.
A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel's security
interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests
of the United States. Indeed, the entire world has an interest in
preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran
would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we have
done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon
could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. It is almost
certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their
own nuclear weapon, triggering an arms race in one of the most
volatile regions in the world. It would embolden a regime that has
brutalized its own people, and it would embolden Iran's proxies, who
have carried out terrorist attacks from the Levant to southwest Asia.
That is why, four years ago, I made a commitment to the American
people, and said that we would use all elements of American power to
pressure Iran and prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. That is
what we have done.
When I took office, the efforts to apply pressure on Iran were in
tatters. Iran had gone from zero centrifuges spinning to thousands,
without facing broad pushback from the world. In the region, Iran was
ascendant - increasingly popular, and extending its reach. In other
words, the Iranian leadership was united and on the move, and the
international community was divided about how to go forward.
And so from my first months in office, we put forward a very clear
choice to the Iranian regime: a path that would allow them to rejoin
the community of nations if they meet their international
obligations, or a path that leads to an escalating series of
consequences if they don't. In fact, our policy of engagement -
quickly rebuffed by the Iranian regime - allowed us to rally the
international community as never before; to expose Iran's
intransigence; and to apply pressure that goes far beyond anything
that the United States could do on our own.
Because of our efforts, Iran is under greater pressure than ever
before. People predicted that Russia and China wouldn't join us in
moving toward pressure. They did, and in 2010 the UN Security Council
overwhelmingly supported a comprehensive sanctions effort. Few
thought that sanctions could have an immediate bite on the Iranian
regime. They have, slowing the Iranian nuclear program and virtually
grinding the Iranian economy to a halt in 2011. Many questioned
whether we could hold our coalition together as we moved against
Iran's Central Bank and oil exports. But our friends in Europe and
Asia and elsewhere are joining us. And in 2012, the Iranian
government faces the prospect of even more crippling sanctions.
That is where we are today. Iran is isolated, its leadership divided
and under pressure. And the Arab Spring has only increased these
trends, as the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime is exposed, and its
ally - the Assad regime - is crumbling.
Of course, so long as Iran fails to meet its obligations, this
problem remains unsolved. The effective implementation of our policy
is not enough - we must accomplish our objective.
In that effort, I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for
diplomacy - backed by pressure - to succeed. The United States and
Israel both assess that Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon, and
we are exceedingly vigilant in monitoring their program. Now, the
international community has a responsibility to use the time and
space that exists. Sanctions are continuing to increase, and this
July - thanks to our diplomatic coordination - a European ban on
Iranian oil imports will take hold. Faced with these increasingly
dire consequences, Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make
the right decision. They can choose a path that brings them back into
the community of nations, or they can continue down a dead end.
Given their history, there are of course no guarantees that the
Iranian regime will make the right choice. But both Israel and the
United States have an interest in seeing this challenge resolved
diplomatically. After all, the only way to truly solve this problem
is for the Iranian government to make a decision to forsake nuclear
weapons. That's what history tells us.
Moreover, as President and Commander-in-Chief, I have a deeply held
preference for peace over war. I have sent men and women into harm's
way. I have seen the consequences of those decisions in the eyes of
those I meet who have come back gravely wounded, and the absence of
those who don't make it home. Long after I leave this office, I will
remember those moments as the most searing of my presidency. For this
reason, as part of my solemn obligation to the American people, I
only use force when the time and circumstances demand it. And I know
that Israeli leaders also know all too well the costs and
consequences of war, even as they recognize their obligation to
defend their country.
We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that,
Iran's leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United
States, just as they should not doubt Israel's sovereign right to
make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security
needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from
obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and
I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power. A
political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to
sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is
monitored; an economic effort to impose crippling sanctions; and,
yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.
Iran's leaders should know that I do not have a policy of
containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear
weapon. And as I've made clear time and again during the course of my
presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to
defend the United States and its interests.
Moving forward, I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of
these issues; the stakes involved for Israel, for America, and for
the world. Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the
last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government,
by driving up the price of oil, which they depend upon to fund their
nuclear program. For the sake of Israel's security, America's
security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the
time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink
in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have
built. Now is the time to heed that timeless advice from Teddy
Roosevelt: speak softly, but carry a big stick. As we do, rest
assured that the Iranian government will know our resolve, and that
our coordination with Israel will continue. "
Pepe Escobar is the author of
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books,
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent
book, just out, is
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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