March 2, 2010
Senator John “Skull and Bones” Kerry has traveled to Israel in support of a plan to wreck Iran’s economy over the Islamic nation’s imagined nuclear weapons program.
“One of the reasons so much dialogue is taking place,” said Kerry in Jerusalem, “is to make sure we are all on the same page that we are all clear what timeframes exist or do not exist, what threat levels may be real or unreal, what options may be on the table for us.”
One such option may include a blockade of the Arabian Sea mouth and the Gulf of Aden, according to DefenseNews. A senior U.S. government official confirmed that U.S.-proposed sanctions are likely to expand maneuvering room to board, inspect and interdict shipping to and from Iran, an act that would undoubtedly be considered an act of war by Iran.
Vice president Joe Biden also plans to travel to Israel next week in what an Israeli diplomat described as “a demonstration of the special relationship” between the two nations, according to Reuters.
This “special relationship” has cost the American tax payer $101 billion since 1949. “For the last 20-plus years, Israel has received an average of $3 billion annually in grant aid,” explain Kathleen and Bill Christison.
Kerry and the Israelis understand that not only will sanctions imposed on Iran fail, but there is not enough support for them in the United Nations. The proposed sanctions target Iran’s central bank and financial sector, its main shipping and transportation companies and assets controlled by the country’s Revolutionary Guard.
“As many as four countries may refuse to support an expected United Nations resolution imposing new sanctions against Iran, threatening a setback for Western efforts to show a unified international effort, according to foreign diplomats close to the issue,” the Los Angeles Times reported on February 24, 2010. “China’s dislike for sanctions is well known. But in addition, U.N. Security Council members Brazil, Turkey and Lebanon have signaled that they may abstain from a vote this year on new punitive measures, diplomats say. The sanctions, which would be the fourth round since 2006, are aimed at pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.”
Russia and China are veto-wielding members of the Security Council. Russia sold Iran arms and China signed valuable energy deals and neither will surrender lucrative contracts easily, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Kerry, however, discounted these problems. “Kerry voiced confidence in the efforts of the United States and other world powers to pressure Iran into giving up its uranium enrichment — a process with bomb-making potential, though Tehran denies having hostile designs,” Reuters continues.
Iran is party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The treaty recognizes the inalienable right of sovereign states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It is often claimed that Iran’s supposedly “hidden” enrichment program means that Iran was “non-compliant” with some vaguely-defined legal obligation, writes Iran Affairs.
In response to accusations that Iran had violated the NPT, the IAEA “was able to conclude in its November 2004 report that that all declared nuclear materials had been accounted for and therefore none had been diverted to military purposes. The IAEA reached this same conclusion in September 2005,” writes Michael Spies of the Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy.
As should be expected, the corporate media mischaracterized an IAEA report reaching the same conclusion in 2008. The New York Times — infamous for its neocon propaganda in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq — led the charge in portraying Iran as an outlaw mad dog nation.
For the U.S. and Israel, the IAEA report was simply unacceptable. According to Iran Affairs, “the US got the IAEA Board to go along with them after spying in IAEA Director Elbaradei and threatening to oust him, and bribing India with the carrot of nuclear cooperation (which is itself a violation of the NPT by the US since India is not an NPT signatory).”
Kerry’s visit and the planned trip by Joe Biden next week are intended to make sure Israel does not attack in Iran before sanctions (possibly including the interdiction of Iranian ships at sea) run their course. “I think that the prime minister is fully aware through his conversations with the administration as well as through his own comments to not be rash or not jump the gun and to give the other opportunities a chance,” Kerry said after a meeting with Netanyahu.
Israel jumping the gun and attacking Iran without permission may certainly be a concern. On February 22, McClatchy reported on a war game conducted by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, part of the Washington-based Brookings Institution, described as a “center-left think tank” (Haim Saban is an Israeli media-mogul who once stated: “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel”).
“With diplomacy failing and precious intelligence just received about two new secret Iranian nuclear facilities, Israel launches a pre-emptive strike against Tehran’s nuclear complex. The strike is successful, wiping out six of Iran’s key sites and setting back its suspected quest for a bomb by years,” writes Warren P. Strobel for McClatchy.
But what happens next isn’t pretty.
The U.S. president and his National Security Council try to keep the crisis from escalating. That sours U.S.-Israeli relations, already stressed by the fact that Israel didn’t inform Washington in advance of the strike. The White House tries to open a channel for talks with Iran, but is rejected.
Instead, Iran attacks Israel, both directly and through its proxies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It misinterprets U.S. actions as weakness and mines the Straits of Hormuz, the world’s chief oil artery. That sparks a clash and a massive U.S. military reinforcement in the Persian Gulf.
Early last month, the neocon John Bolton, the former unconfirmed ambassador to the United Nations, expressed his unswerving belief that such a scenario is the only option. “There are two outcomes, one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it. That’s where we are,” he told Fox News.
Around the same time, the noted Islamaphobe Daniel Pipes said the only way Obama can save his presidency is to bomb Iran. “He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations,” Pipes wrote for neocon central, the National Review Online. “Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.”
Retired four-star Gen. Anthony Zinni chimed in on all this saber-rattling last September during a speech at the New America Foundation. Zinni said “eventually, if you follow this all the way down, eventually I’m putting boots on the ground somewhere. And like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.”
You may also love gas at eight dollars a gallon and military conscription.
This article was posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 5:08 am