Targeting Iran Continues
by Stephen Lendman
Israel's likely coalition partners assure it. Spurious Iranian threats are hyped. What began years ago continues.
Washington and Israel want puppet leaders replacing independent ones in power. At issue is unchallenged regional dominance.
On January 27, Haaretz  headlined "Netanyahu: Iran preparing for another Holocaust."
At Sunday's cabinet meeting, he told ministers that "holocaust denial is continued energetically by a central state in the world."
"Not by groups. Not by single individuals. Not by marginal elements."
"(B)y Iran, whose leaders on a daily basis and at the United Nations and any other platform deny that the Holocaust occurred, while at the same time they prepare what they believe will be an additional Holocaust: The destruction of the Jewish state."
He lied. He turned truth on its head. He hyped a nonexistent threat. He spuriously warned about Hezbollah getting Syrian chemical weapons.
"It is necessary to look at our surroundings, both at what is happening with Iran and its proxies, and what is happening in other arenas - lethal weaponry in Syria, which is steadily breaking up," he said."
"The Middle East is not awaiting for the outcome of election and is not stopping while (Israel's) government is assembled."
"We are facing many threats, from the most dangerous ones, which I have mentioned, to others and reality continues to evolve - in the east, in the north, in the south - the entire area is raging and we must prepared and strong and determined in the face of any possible development."
"For this reason, I will seek to form the widest and most stable government in order to respond, first and foremost, to every security threat."
Israel, of course, has no threats except ones it invents. Netanyahu prioritizes doing so. Fear is hyped. Pressing domestic concerns affecting Israelis most aren't discussed. At issue is whether regional war follows.
Haaretz hyped fear. The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) is an Israeli think tank. Emily Landau serves as arms control director. Retired Israeli ambassador Shimon Stein is senior fellow.
Their January 18 commentary headlined  "Time for Obama to clarity US policy on Iran," saying:
Previous negotiations "failed to make headway." Bilateral US/Iranian negotiations were mentioned. Prominent US voices "emphasized the need to make one more determined and sincere effort to negotiate with Iran before moving to military force."
"Others emphasized that (Obama officials were) serious about not allowing Iran to become" nuclearized. "(I)f negotiations proved futile, (America) would indeed take military action."
Fear-mongering substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Annual US intelligence assessments explain best. They say Iran's nuclear program is peaceful.
Nothing suggests nuclear weapons development. Washington and Israeli officials know it. Targeting Iran unjustly continues. What follows remains to be seen.
According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, America prepared plans to strike Iran's nuclear facilities "surgica(lly)." They're ready if diplomatic efforts fail. He challenged the notion that full-scale war would follow.
"What we basically say is that if worse comes to worst, there should be a readiness and an ability to launch a surgical operation that will delay them by a significant time frame and probably convince them that it won’t work because the world is determined to block them."
America "prepared quite sophisticated, fine, extremely fine, scalpels. So it is not an issue of a major war or a failure to block Iran. You could under a certain situation, if worse comes to worst, end up with a surgical operation," he claims.
In recent days, Washington upgraded its regional strike capability. Six F-22 stealth Raptors were sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Reports suggest they're deployed longterm.
They're America's most advanced jet fighter. Their strike capability was enhanced. Ostensibly they can evade enemy radar. A UAE spokesman said basing them there poses no threat to Iran. Others aren't so sure.
Raptors have been operational for over a decade. They've been technically challenged. Their systems may not work as claimed. They've yet to be used in combat.
They carry eight "smart bombs." They can be launched at four targets simultaneously at high speed without losing stealth capability, it's claimed. Upgrading permits carrying out precise ground attacks. Multiple targets can be struck in one mission.
Pentagon sources didn't announce the UAE deployment. On January 25, The Aviationst.com  provided information. It said stealth planes might escape radar but not human spotting.
Gian Luca Onnis photographed them overflying Sardinia. They were trailing two KC-235s and one KC-10. Their contrails were clearly visible.
Airplane spotters also saw them landing. Enhancing America's regional strike capability occurs when Washington allegedly wants world tensions reduced.
In his inaugural address, Obama said "a decade of war is now ending." He lied. He's a serial liar. Permanent war is official US policy. Current conflicts continue. New ones are planned.
Washington bears full responsibility for Syria and Mali. Anything erupting regionally, across North Africa, and in Central Asia bears its fingerprints.
US special forces were sent to 35 African countries. They're already in dozens of others worldwide. Expect Americans and Israelis wanting peace to be sorely disappointed.
Americans are stuck with Obama and likeminded hardliners. Israelis have Netanyahu and Israel's most extremist government in history.
Jeff Halper  asked what did Israeli elections "tell us? Do Israelis want peace or not?"
It wasn't a campaign issue. Dominant parties didn't discuss it. Security is a "euphemism for keeping the Palestinians at bay." It's also about hyping a nonexistent Iranian existential threat.
Israeli sentiment differs from parties they elected. Why didn't they choose more wisely? Why didn't they vote "for a government that would genuinely end the Occupation and (deliver) peace, and with that personal security and economic prosperity?"
Halper suggest three reasons why not:
(1) Generations of Israeli Jews think peace with Arabs can't work. Propaganda says so ad nauseam.
(2) Successive Israeli governments spurned peace. They created "facts on the ground" to avoid it.
(3) Israelis have other priorities. Peace matters less than economic well-being and other daily issues. Israelis focus ones mattering more.
Whatever looms, Halper calls the two-state solution "dead, buried under settlements and infrastructure too massive and interlinked with Israel to detach, especially given the lack of will among international government, led by the US and Germany, to exert the pressures on Israel needed to force such massive concessions."
The only alternative is a one-state solution for all its people. It's for Israelis and Palestinians to demand it. "If the Israeli election 'tells us' anything," says Halper, it is that the ball is in our court."
It's very much there on demanding no war on Iran. Public sentiment may be the only way to prevent it.
Haaretz  and other sources quoted a senior Tehran official saying attacking Syria would be considered one against Iran. Mehr News was cited.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, said:
"Syria has a very basic and key role in the region for promoting firm policies of resistance."
"For this reason, an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran's allies."
Iran and Syria have mutual defense priorities. In 2005, terms were agreed. It permits deploying Iranian weapons in Syria. In 2006, military cooperation was extended against "common threats." Washington and Israel were mentioned.
Targeting Iran is prioritized. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. War on Syria is more than about deposing Assad. It's to isolate Iran. It's to weaken and replace Hezbollah. Regional conflict looms. Launching it endangers humanity.
Israeli's have their own cross to bear. They have themselves to blame. Voting unwisely reaps the whirlwind. Occupation harshness continues. Settlements keep expanding. Neoliberal austerity is policy.
War on Israel's border threatens spillover. Nonexistent existential threats are hyped. Repetition gets people to believe them. Regional conflict harms everyone.
Netanyahu's burden sharing, "security (through) strength," and stability through conflict should worry everyone. What's ahead demands close monitoring.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
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.