In the game of baseball, a base runner rounding the corners must touch each base he crosses to get credit for the run. It seems that our politicians, as well as the "infotainment" media, to be considered credible in their statements, must also touch one base: the Iran threat!
Whether the network news or talk show programs, or the politicians, Republican or Democrat, are for or against going to another war in the Middle East, on one thing they are all in agreement: Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and if successful, will pose a real threat to the region and the world; and truth be damned!
On rare occasions, some supposedly liberal "progressive" shows like the Young Turks, on Current TV, featuring the brave and outspoken Cenk Uygur, dares to stand against the warmongering knuckleheads of Fox television and the Republican presidential candidates. But, hold on a second!
On one evening, I watched with anticipation when the anti-war Young Turk announced that he was going to enumerate the four pillars of the pro-war establishment. First, he named the neoconservatives with their aggressive agenda of wanting to eliminate anything that might stand against America's imperial hegemony. Second, he cited the radical evangelical groups whose lust for war has a religious motivation. Third were the military contractors who always stand to make billions of dollars during any military operation. Last he mentioned the "military-industrial complex", the engine the drives much of America's economy.
I was expecting our brave and outspoken Young Turk to begin his presentation by letting us know what he personally thought about the Iranian threat. Without clarifying his own position, we cannot tell if he believes Iran is actually the threat it is made out to be. One could easily conclude that our Young Turk does consider Iran as a major threat, but he is simply against going to war to alleviate that threat. If that weren't the case, he could have mentioned in passing that, contrary to the major media networks he portrays himself to be opposed to, the consensus among all intelligence agencies here and even in Israel is that Iran is not on the way to developing a nuclear weapon and that the Iranian leaders are not irrational actors.
However, his biggest omission was to ignore the principle factor that overarches all the other factors he enumerated: Israel!
Why did our brave Young Turk not mention Israel in his analysis, not even once? Has our courageous progressive talk-show host been sleepwalking, or is he, like his colleagues on other television networks, progressive or not, too scared to risk his well-paying job by accusing America's Sacred Cow?
A couple of weeks ago, the CNN Sunday stand-in host, Don Lemon, featured a clip showing a group of Iranian women in Ninja outfits practicing their martial arts techniques. The caption under the clip referred to the group as Ninja Assassins!
On another so-called liberal progressive channel, MSNBC, hosted by Chris Matthews, the highly acclaimed Iran expert, Robin Wright, casually and quite as-a-matter-of-factly, referred to the 2009 presidential elections in Iran as fraudulent. She did not say "disputed" or "some say rigged", etc.; no, Ms. Wright simply knows that the elections were fraudulent. Both she and the host, Mr. Matthews, inferred that the Iranian regime was not legitimate.
Robin Wright, like most others who have managed to create a niche for themselves in the highly complex maze of foreign issues, takes advantage of general public's ignorance of anything outside their own four walls and simply regurgitates the prefabricated rhetoric with some creative rephrasing of the established conventional wisdom. Look or listen carefully, and you will not hear anything analytically new or novel that you could not gather yourself by browsing through the mass media! This goes for other high profile "expert" analysts such as Christiane Amanpour, who after gaining sufficient tenure, become regurgitators of the established media narratives.
Where in our major media networks, television, radio or print, have we ever heard or seen any high profile commentator or analyst accuse the Israeli regime of anything, any policy, that might be detrimental or even disastrous to the interests of the United States? When have we seen in recent memory the United States Congress condemning the Israeli regime for anything at all, and I mean anything? We seem to be able to criticize the "infallible" Pope, at least on occasion, but not Israel!
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, one outspoken anti-war figure - the other being Ron Paul - does sound off against those who are beating the war drums trying to push us toward another disastrous and costly campaign in the Middle East. However, neither this brave and honest congressman, nor the Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul, ever point the finger directly at Israel as the main culprit for whose sake the American nation has been paying in lives, money and prestige worldwide.
This is not rocket science, folks. Any forensic analyst would tell you, to sort through the list of suspects, look for those who'd benefit the most by the crime. Odds are, the one who stands to gain the most, is the most likely to be the culprit.
There is no question that, without America's unquestioned support, financially, militarily and diplomatically, the state of Israel would not have been able to sustain itself or even survive as a Jewish state. But thanks to the relentless efforts by the supporters of Zionism in the United States and Western Europe, not only has the Jewish state survived against all odds, it has become the regional superpower in the Middle East, as well as the manipulator of the West's policies in that region.
This hasn't come about easily or serendipitously; it has been, and continues to be, an ongoing effort by some of the wisest and shrewdest minds to achieve a common objective. Money and influence buys into the entertainment and news industries. Before long, the combination became the supergiant, the "infotainment" media, with the dual task of first, making money and then, creating our subliminal conventional wisdom and thus molding public opinion.
Money buys influence, and the media manufactures consent, working together to create a representative government, a Congress of lawmakers, elected by the will of an indoctrinated public, that is truly powerless to serve the rightful interests of the people.
The shrewdest of the moles at the service of Zionism position themselves as volunteers to serve in the most vital, vital to Israeli interests, committees in the House and the Senate, to make sure Israel's agendas are served first and foremost, regardless of what is best for America. The system has been working; the guardians of Zionism are hard at work while the nation is sound asleep.
The old national security expert, the retired but thankfully still active visionary, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was prompted during his short appearance Wednesday morning on the MSNBC's The Morning Joe program, to comment on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran. His response was that, although Israel is quite capable of successfully launching such an attack, the long-term results would prove disastrous for everyone concerned. Mr. Brzezinski did not express his views on whether Iran does actually present a danger to Israel to be deserving of an Israeli preemptive strike. Neither did he mention anything about the almost certain massive Iranian retaliatory response to such an Israeli attack.
What's going on here? All the talk in the media is about the advisability of an Israeli, or a joint American-Israeli bombardment of Iran, its timing, and whether or not it would stop Iran's nuclear ambitions or how long it would delay their progress, allowing for the implementation of other operations to bring about a regime change.
It sounds very much like a hunting party planning for a turkey shoot; what size shots, #4 or #6, should be used, full-choke or modified shotgun barrels, twelve or sixteen gauge, early in the morning or later in the day; or, should the hunting party check the weather report first before heading out? Why not, turkeys don't fight back, they'll continue doing their thing while you are evaluating your options. But what about a nation of some seventy-five million that not long ago weathered through an eight-year war of attrition with the Western supported Iraq, and lost about one-million men in the process; are we looking at a nation of turkeys?
What, then, is the reality behind all this charade? Is Iran a real threat to Israel, the region, Europe and the United States? Or, is all this a scheme, as I have been saying all along, to serve another purpose?
Oh, yes; Mr. Uygur might have added several other factors that contribute to the drumbeat for war. What about America and Great Britain's plans to control the region's hydrocarbon resources? Or, the desire to reroute oil and gas pipelines that would bypass, not only Iran, but the Russian controlled territories. While all these, plus what Mr. Uygur had mentioned do seem to play a role as incentives to push for another war in the Middle East, most of these goals could be achieved without resorting to a potentially disastrous military engagement with Iran. War is actually extremely costly, unpredictable, and with potentially disastrous consequences.
Not so the threats of war! Remember junior high school puppy fights? We'd puff up against our adversary like a scared cat facing a large dog, while begging the bystanders, "Hold me back or I am going to tear him to pieces."
Who would the threats of war on Iran benefit the most? This is an elections year here, and the annual meeting of the Israel lobby in Washington, AIPAC, in this crucial year is upon us. A recent article by Medea Benjamin, 10 Reasons to Keep an Eye on AIPAC, is well worth reading.
The crescendo of hostile rhetoric against Iran in recent months, leading to the upcoming AIPAC event, March 2-4, is clearly not the result of any new developments regarding Iran's nuclear advancements; nothing has changed, not even the true findings of the most recent IAEA observers visit to the Iranian sites.
The Israelis, very simply put, have wisely found this year's crucial political atmosphere here an opportune time to gain added leverage in extorting their hogtied benefactor, particularly the secretly less than fully cooperative current President, Obama.
The lobby has the force of America's public opinion at its back, and the United States Congress is, aptly put, an Israeli occupied territory. So, what are the Israelis after now?
You could say a lot of not so nice things about the Israeli regime and its Likud leadership; but one thing they are not is stupid!
An Israeli attack, with or without America's knowledge, approval or participation, would prove calamitous for Israel itself, in the short-term as well as long, and the Israeli regime knows that. Iran is not a sitting duck waiting to be popped!
The most convincing argument against an Israeli plan to attack Iran is, as I have said often before, Why engage in an unpredictable, costly and potentially disastrous war when the mere threats of war could accomplish the desired objectives? Both the US Administration and the Israeli leadership know that fact. Threatening to attack Iran is accompanied by a long laundry list of demands from the American Administration. As long as the American public believes the Israelis, that they are rightfully struggling for their very existence, that Iran is aiming to wipe them off the face of the earth, that they need and deserve all the support America could provide, how could the White House or the Congress deny them of all that? How could the United States refuse to shelter them against the global demands for, say, Palestinian statehood, returning the occupied territories and dismantling illegal new settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or disengaging from state sponsored terrorism, etc?
They want more money, more sophisticated military aid, stronger diplomatic support, and less pressure to engage the Palestinians in any peace negotiations. And, they are going to get all that, or else!
Or else what? Or else, no second term for Mr. Obama, increased military spending at the expense of higher national priorities, creation of more excuses to maintain American military forces and bases in and around the Middle East at a great cost to the American people in lives, money and global prestige, and on and on.
They have us by the balls, and there's no letting go!
| Kam Zarrabi is the
author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion.He has conducted lectures and seminars on international affairs,
particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues. Zarrabi's latest book is Iran, Back in Context.
More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at: intellectualdiscourse.com
What will all this do to the Iranian nation? Iran might escape another catastrophic war, this time potentially involving the United States, but the nation stands to suffer, regardless. For Israel to prosper, the Iranian people and, ironically, the American nation must pay the price.
Unless another, this time even more realistically convincing, source of threat takes Iran's place as the regional bad boy, this tragedy shall continue. Iranian nation's aspirations for belated political maturity and social and economic reforms will be further delayed with potentially implosive results. My personal prediction is that we will witness the start of positive developments in Iran, once the current hurdles are crossed, perhaps in two years, once Pakistan replaces Iran as the regional pariah, playing a more convincing role than Iran ever did.
Other recent articles by Kam Zarrabi:
Iran Back In Context
Author: Kambiz Zarrabi
Kamran Zarrabi has just completed writing his memoirs of his 2011 trip to Iran. The manuscript called "Iran, Back in Context" also contains the accounts of several interviews with a broad cross section of people, photographs, and details of travels to remote areas of the country.
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