Barack Obama is the first American president to stand up to the Israel lobby since Dwight Eisenhower ordered Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1956-57.
Freed of re-election concerns and the need for vast amounts of cash, President Obama finally made the decision to put America’s strategic interests ahead of those of Israel by making peace with Iran. This was a huge accomplishment: the United States has waged economic and political warfare against the Islamic Republic since its creation in 1979.
Iran now looks likely to join Cuba in getting paroled from prison. Both refused to bow to Washington and paid a very heavy price that left them semi-crippled economically and isolated.
Unless the Israel lobby and its yes-men in Congress manage to block the nuclear agreement between Iran and major world powers, Tehran will be re-integrated into the world economic system and reassert its regional power. Iran is the world’s fourth largest producer of oil and a principal supplier to China and Japan.
Iran’s gradual return to unrestrained oil exporting may well spook markets that are already facing a severe glut of inventory that has driven down energy prices everywhere. So much for fears of “peak oil.”
It’s now time to begin dispelling the miasma of lies about Iran promoted by neoconservatives and their house media.
First, Iran has never had nuclear weapons, though polls show many Americans believe they did. The same fib factory that spread lies about Iraq’s non-existent nuclear weapons has churned out a steady stream of disinformation about Iran that was as shameless as it was false. Back in 2007, combined US intelligence concluded that Iran was NOT working on a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s intelligence services came to the same conclusion.
But this did not stop Israel’s bombastic prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, from waging a hysterical, doomsday campaign claiming that Iran was determined to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons – Holocaust II. Americans, and particularly Jewish Americans, swallowed this nonsense promoted by Netanyahu and much of the US media – the same liars who marketed the US war against Iraq.
If Iran indeed had a few nuclear weapons and all-important delivery systems why would it attack Israel? Israel has an indestructible nuclear triad: missiles, aircraft, and most lately German-supplied submarines with nuclear-armed missiles on station in the Arabian and Red Seas. If Iran attacked Israel, its nuclear forces would wipe Iran’s 70 million people off the map.
The idea promoted by Israel that fanatical mullahs in Tehran would commit nuclear hara-kiri just to attack Israel is absurd. The real fanatics with nuclear weapons are more likely found on the outer fringes of Israel’s coalition government who believe God has given them Biblical Israel that they must expand.
As this writer has long said, the real conflict between Israel and Iran was not over nuclear weapons, which Iran does not have, but Palestine. Iran championed the Palestinian cause and demanded Israel quit the occupied West Bank and return the Golan Heights to Syria.
Israel’s foes, Syria and Iraq, had been crushed by American power, as Israel cheered from the sidelines. Egypt had long ago been bought and is now run by a brutal military dictator who is secretly allied to Israel. So too the Saudis, who are petrified their people might ask for the same semi-democratic government that Iran has. Iranians sneer at Saudis as “ignorant Bedouin.”
That leaves Iran as the last significant supporter of a Palestinian state. If Netanyahu could have convinced the US to attack and crush Iran, Israel’s last impediment to annexing the West Bank and Golan, and perhaps expanding into Syria, would have been removed.
We will now see gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson’s fully-owned Republican Party and its media allies, like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, mount a noisy campaign to block the Vienna deal with Iran. Americans will again be deluged with apocalyptic nonsense about secret Iranian nukes.
Remember George W. Bush’s ludicrous claims about the dangers of supposed Iraqi “drones of death?” Well, here we go again. The same fools who thundered about the dangers of an Iraqi nuclear attack on the US will be trotted out again. A new crop of rented know-nothing Congressmen will warn of the wicked Iranians. Sheldon Adelson’s billions will work wonders.
No one will stop to consider that the oft-cited but rarely read Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 that called for the rapid elimination of ALL nuclear weapons in exchange for allowing a few nations to retain nuclear arms for a short period.
Today, the US, Russia, France, Britain and China are all in violation of the NPT for failing to scrap their nuclear weapons. Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea rejected the NPT.
The Arab states and Iran have long been under NPT inspection. Israel, whose secret nuclear program was begun with help from France and aided by technology and uranium stolen from the United States, has the chutzpah to warn the world about Iran, which has so far only a civilian nuclear energy program. Israel is believed to have 80-100 nuclear warheads – why so many remains an interesting mystery.
US law calls for cutting off aid to any nations that develop nuclear weapons. Congress has, of course, ignored its own law.
When UN nuclear inspectors went into Iraq, over half were believed to be agents from the US and Israel. That’s a primary reason why Iran is resisting inspections of its military sites. Interestingly, Iran was believed to be the leading target of UN nuclear inspectors. In fact, Japan is of even higher interest than Iran. More on this in another column.
The Vienna deal may well reshuffle the Mideast deck. A return by Iran to economic life will aid and stabilize the region. As America found during the Nixon era, Iran is a natural US ally (or policeman). Washington needs Iran to help stop ISIS, which has the Saudis petrified. Syria is another natural ally for the US. Washington’s self-interest is to shore up the Damascus government rather than trying to destroy it.
Iran is not a supporter of “terrorism,” as Israel’s allies claim. It backs Lebanon’s resistance movement, Hezbollah, that was created, as I witnessed, by Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hamas is no more a terrorist movement than was Israel’s self-defense forces in 1948. Iran’s current role in war-torn Yemen is minor.
Burying the hatchet with Iran is one of the Obama administration’s most sensible moves. The Mideast today is a horrifying mess. The Vienna agreement is hopefully a first step in correcting the monumental errors made by the Bush administration and restoring some sanity to the tortured Mideast.