Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for MoneyNewsNow.com and VeteransToday.com and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".


View Latest Posts >>>

Drumbeat for War on Iran

by Stephen Lendman

 

Haaretz knows better. Still it misreports on Iran. On August 12, its editorial headlined “Netanyahu’s dangerous demagoguery on Iran” saying:

“Iranian nuclear weapons are a threat to Israel – but its leaders’ demagoguery is just as dangerous.”

Haaretz, Israeli officials, US and other Western ones know Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It likely has no intention of pursuing one. It abhors them and wants a nuclear-free Middle East.

Israel alone in the region is menacing. It has a powerful arsenal and declared intention to use it if threatened. Instead of pointing fingers the wrong way, Haaretz editorial policy should report responsibly.

Iran threatens no one. It hasn’t attacked another country in over 200 years. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. No one in the region and beyond is safe.

Haaretz said Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak hope enlisting public opinion support will overcome majority ministerial and defense establishment anti-war opposition.

Haaretz isn’t against war. It wants decisions this important decided by senior cabinet officials, not one or two alone. Netanhayu’s “goal might be democratic,” it said, “but (his) method is demagogic.

“There is no real difference of opinion between the public and its leadership when it comes to determination not to live in the shadow of Iranian nuclear weapons as long as the regime in Iran is extremist and openly seeks Israel’s destruction.”

Iran’s government isn’t extremist. It doesn’t seek Israel’s destruction. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others said its policies are self-destructive. Responsible analysts know it’s true.

Haaretz said “(t)he question is not ‘acquiescence or war,’ but rather whether all other means have been exhausted, leaving no choice but to attack soon….”

These type comments are irresponsible. No nation may interfere in the affairs of others. Preemptive attacks are lawless. Self-defense alone justifies military responses. Claiming “Iranian nuclear weapons are dangerous for Israel” is journalistic demagoguery.

Haaretz knows better. It’s time it showed it. Instead, it headlined “Israeli official: Iran has made progress toward developing nuclear warhead,” saying:

An unnamed Israeli official claimed new US/Israeli/other Western intelligence “shows that the Iranian activity around the ‘weapon group’ – the final stage in the development of a nuclear weapon – is progressing far beyond the scope known to the” IAEA.

Allegedly Obama knew a week ago. Barak says acting now is “more urgent.”

“A senior Jerusalem official said Iran has made significant progress in developing the components for assembling a nuclear warhead for a Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 1,500 kilometers, allowing it to hit any part of Israel.”

On August 9, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington has “enough of an awareness….to be sure that Iran has not begun to pursue breakout capacity and that we would have time to respond to that as necessary.”

US National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said US intelligence shows Tehran “is not on the verge of achieving nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu and Barak falsely claim otherwise. They also repeat the canard about Iran “openly declar(ing) its intention to destroy the State of Israel.” On August 10, Netanyahu added:

“In spite of decisions by the UN Security Council, harsh sanctions and repeated proposals to reach a diplomatic solution, the Iranian regime ignores the international community, misleads inspectors and races to carry out its intention of equipping itself with nuclear weapons.”

Ari Shavit is Haaretz’s resident hawk. He’s both senior correspondent and member of its editorial board. On August 11, he headlined “A grave warning on Iran from ‘the decision maker’ – Israel News.”

Israel/Palestine 972mag.com contributor Dimi Reider said Israelis awoke “to a deafening, orchestrated drumroll….” Headlines from four major dailies beat drums for war. “The soloist of this dubious ensemble was….Shavit.”

He interviewed Barak. He reported about him anonymously. He called him “the decision maker.” Shavit is both resident Haaretz hawk and “sycophantic town crier.” He wrote:

“The Decision-Maker is a controversial man. There was a time he was seen here as a savior, and immediately afterwards, a leper.”

“And again, a near-savior, and again, a leper. But even those opposed to The Decision-Maker admit he’s highly intelligent. Even those with reservations about him are aware he is possessed of unique strategic experience.”

“For half-a-century, The Decision-Maker has been traveling around the core of the security establishment of the state. On more than one occasion, he was the core.”

“He has respect for both supporters of an action in Iran and its opponents. But although he had thought over the matter once again, he remains unmoved from his original position and is utterly convinced that he is right.”

Reider calls Barak “the most widely loathed and unelectable politician in Israel.” Shavit posed softball questions. He let Barak get away with “ridiculous statement(s).” Instead of challenging him responsibly, he t(ook) up the cheerleader’s baton.”

If Israel attacks Iran, “history should remember the shameful role (Shavit) has cast himself to play.” Instead of journalistic integrity, he’s both apologist and cheerleader for war.

He doesn’t quit. Israel needs covert US backing to attack Iran, he says. Earlier in August he conducted another anonymous interview. He described a “tall quiet gentleman. He “made a major contribution to Israel’s existence.”

He called Iran’s “nuclearization unacceptable.” It’ll embolden Israel’s enemies, he said. Terrorists might get hold of dirty bombs. Israel could be contaminated or exterminated. Other regional states would want their own programs. Greater instability than now would follow.

Israel can’t tolerate what jeopardizes its existence. Perhaps being a good neighbor would change things. Shavit and his anonymous subject left that issue unaddressed.

Also unmentioned was Israel’s nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals. One or more of them is reason enough for regional states to want greater protection from their real threat.

Last May, former Hebrew University/Jerusalem Professor Yehezkel Dror published a report titled “An Integrated Imperative: Attack Iran and Launch a Regional Peace Initiative,” saying:

“The possession of nuclear weapons by Iran poses serious dangers to Israel because” Tehran may use them. Greater regional proliferation may follow.

“If Iran advances towards construction of a nuclear weapon is not halted, Israel will have no choice but to attack (its) facilities while they are still vulnerable.”

Dror is both lapdog and cheerleader for war. Imagine what he taught students in classrooms.

He’s Machiavellian, not reasoned. Imagine proposing war and peace simultaneously. He replicates America’s Dr. Strangelove. Stanley Kubrick’s film satirically depicted a deranged general’s obsession to wage nuclear war.

Dror’s analysis employs false logic. On the one hand, he calls an Iranian attack on Israel “small or very small.” At the same time, he claims Iran is likely to use nuclear weapons against Israel if not stopped.

He also dismisses severe damage from an Iranian attack. Then he worries about:

“Renewed clashes on the eastern front, war in the north, confrontations with Egypt, rocket and missile attacks, a new type of Intifada, megaterror, large scale cyber-attacks, innovative forms of passive resistance, non-violent mass aggression, and so on.”

He calls preventive war moral. He says claims about immorality are “primitive and should be rejected.”

His arguments are convoluted and contradictory. Attack a nonbelligerent country to prevent a war unlikely to happen, he urges. Reduce potential dangers by increasing them. Kill Iranians and Israelis to save lives and promote peace.

At the same time, he calls his scenario a “fuzzy gamble.” Results could be “tragic.” Evidence supporting is analysis is absent. Rhetoric substitutes for reason.

Acting responsibly isn’t considered. Convince Israelis and others to go along with what may harm or destroy them. Forget about rationality and safety. Just act. Disregard consequences.

If public opinion expresses opposition, ignore it. If failure looks more likely than success, gamble and chance it anyway. Netanyahu and Barak espouse the same hawkishness.

Shoot first and ask questions later. Dror gives them intellectual ammunition to ready, aim, fire.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Related Posts:



The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on August 16, 2012, With 1211 Reads Filed under Middle East. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

FaceBook Comments

6 Responses to "Drumbeat for War on Iran"

  1. sharkey  August 18, 2012 at 8:14 am

    If Israel wants to attack Iran, by all means do, But please do not ask the boys and girls of the USA to lose their lives for Israel.

  2. judgment  August 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    It would be nice to have someone in the audience “and who is going to fight that war. are you going to lead the troops, in person at the front, have you ever done so?

  3. LOB2065  August 17, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Stephen this is a very good article.

    I am so sick of America’s war in the Middle East and Central Asia that I now find myself sideing with the Iranians.

    The interesting thing about the American led wars is that they are going to cost America it’s future because of the debt it has accumulated in the last decade. There is now a loss of confidence in America’s economy, the country’s future and its ability to be a world leader. If you had asked me twelve years ago if I thought having America as a superpower was a good thing I would have said it was, but today I am looking forward to a world when power is shared and the US hegemony has been reduced.

  4. Detlef Reimers  August 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Second Update:

    In my country, Germany, the 1. television program showed up with the following Israel critical comment about these last developmens (in german):

    http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/iranusa112.html

    It seems, the times they are a changing, also when you also read the many comments.

  5. Detlef Reimers  August 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Update:

    1. US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated on tuesday night that he doesn’t believe Israel has made a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear program.

    2. At their joint press briefing in Washington, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “I am not privy to [Israel’s] planning. So what I’m telling you is based on what I know of their capabilities. And I may not know about all of their capabilities. But I think it’s fair… to say they could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

    Here is the full source:

    http://www.jewishindy.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=18171

    Put yourself into the position of Mr. Netanjahu and read the last sentence of Mr. Dempsey again, no you got the message. From these statements alone, I can read some positive signs, but may be, I’m too optimistic.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login


TOP 50 READ ARTICLES THIS MONTH
From Veterans Today Network