Israeli attack on Iran would reduce Obama to a One-Term President
by MainStreet, Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 10:04:54 AM EDT
Juan Cole never fails to uncover the workings of government as it applies to Middle East foreign policy, and in this essay tells us why neither Israel nor the US will attack Iran or its nuclear facilities, at least while Obama is in his first term. About the second term, well that becomes debatable, and may depend on how much the Neoconservatives, who got the Bush administration to invade Iraq on falsified intelligence, can regain power.
What should a poor warmongering Neoconservative do? This political grouping includes WASPS such as former CIA director James Woolsey and former UN ambassor John Bolton, but at its core is politically active and extremely wealthy Jewish former Democrats who broke with their party in the 1980s to become war hawks in Republican administrations, and most of whom are rooted in Rightwing Zionism as exemplified in the thought of prominent fascist theorist Vladimir Jabotinsky. (They are almost mirror images of the general American Jewish community, 79 percent of which voted for Barack Obama, which is skittish about foreign wars and liberal on social issues). The Neoconservative faction is in the political wilderness in the United States. Eager to play the role in Iran that the enormous floods have played in Pakistan, of paralyzing and destroying much of a thriving country, eager to reduce the shining city of Isfahan to rubble and displace its population into massive tent cities, they find their path blocked at every turn.
Always much happier when the militant and aggressive Likud Party is in power in Israel, they are nevertheless impatient with what they see as the timidity of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, compared to the reckless warmongering of the previous Kadima Party and its Labor ally (who managed to set back the Lebanese economy a decade in 2006 and to reduce the large penal camp of Gaza to further misery and rubble).
Despite being willing to stop in at an occasional cocktail party, President Obama could not care less what the Neoconservatives say, want or do. Few have been appointed from their ranks to high and influential positions in the Obama administration, in contrast to W.’s, where they held the 8 key positions that allowed them to help push the US into a decade of rampaging wars. The American public, having been tricked by their fallacious arguments and cynical propaganda into the Iraq War, does not want to hear from them. They no longer get much television time. Their main project of today, an aggressive war on Iran, is a non-starter with the current White House, its generals, intelligence officials, and most importantly with a public already unemployed, beggared and indebted to the tune of $13 trillion, in part because of the Neocons earlier mad adventures– a public that has also lost over 4000 dead and tens of thousands wounded and permanently disabled warriors over a pack of Neocon lies.
But being a Neocon means never having to say you are sorry, or that you were wrong, and it means never giving up on the dressing up of illegal and aggressive wars as Necessary and Right and Bright Shining Cities on a Hill that will Make the World Safe for “Democracy” and more importantly for Apartheid Israel.
Thus, in 1998 at the height of their impotence, the Neocons got up a hawkish letter with the support of the Republicans in Congress, insisting that President Clinton go to war against Iraq. It was absurd and monstrous. Iraq had been reduced to a poor weak fourth-rate power, its economy devastated, its children dying in droves, by US and UN sanctions pushed by the Neocons and their allies. Only five years later, under a different administration, they got their wish.The Neocons’ life experience, then, is that aggressive warfare is never really off the table. Even a liberal internationalist like Obama can be pressured, and if he will not yield, be weakened and wounded and the way paved for a leader more pliable to their plans. A war that they pine for the way a teenager pines for a first love, a mass grave they dream of the way a retiree dreams of a Hawaiian resort, an orgy of destruction visited on ancient wonders that they dream of the way a world-class architect dreams of constructing a new city– all these things are really at most just 5 years away if the right political moves are made.
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