Sunday, November 28, 2004

Fool me only once

Israeli deception

IN Israel's words, Iran poses the greatest threat to the existence of the Jewish state even without nuclear weapons, and the perceived danger could not even be described if the Iranians were to acquire atomic bombs; and hence Israel is determined not to allow Iran to have nuclear arms.
The Israeli argument could be summed up in three words: The greatest deception.
There is no logic behind the contention that Iran could attack Israel even if it acquired nuclear weapons.
The reasoning is clear: Israel is known to possess at least 200 nuclear warheads and have long-range missiles to deliver them. It shares a "strategic partnership" with the world's sole superpower, the US. Therefore, attacking Israel would invariably lead to massive retaliation from the Israelis themselves and backed by the US.
Are the Iranians so naive not to realise the gravity of retaliation for an attack on Israel?
Of course, Israel would like the world to believe so.
Is there any logic behind the argument that nuclear-armed Iran could secretly give an atomic weapons to a group hostile to Israel and this group could use it against the Jewish state?
Again, the first logic applies. The Iranians are not naive to believe that their involvement in the "clandestine" supply of atomic weapons to anti-Israeli groups could be kept a secret. But Israel would like the world to believe otherwise.
So, what could be the real reason for Israel vowing to pursue a relentless battle not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons?
In an article appearing on, Roger Howards offers a possible answer. "Tel Aviv is deeply concerned that such a development could potentially create deep splits in the US-Israel alliance."
How so?
"Consider, for example, what would happen if Tehran, having developed a warhead and withdrawn from the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, offered to reduce the size of or even eliminate its own nuclear arsenal in return for similar moves – all UN-monitored – by Tel Aviv.
"This would be a typically calculating and manipulative ploy by an Iranian regime playing the Israeli card to bolster its support at home and in the Islamic world as a whole. But any such ploy by Tehran would also seek to divide the more moderate European governments from a US administration that has consistently been far more sceptical of Iranian nuclear assurances."
Such a situation could lead to American pressure on Israel, whose leaders for long "considered their nuclear arsenal as their best deterrent against what they regard as a hostile and numerically vastly superior Arab World."
Howard recalls that Israeli military chiefs had indeed ordered preparations for nuclear strikes against enemy forces during the 1967 and 1972 wars.
He admits that the Israelis are capable of fending off American pressure to downsize or eliminate its nuclear arsenal, as the American/Israeli track record shows.
"More important, perhaps, is the possibility that it would pose awkward questions, or even a far-reaching debate, in Washington and amongst the American public in general about the cost to America of an unquestioning loyalty to Israel," asserts Howard.
That theory finds common ground with the numerous investigations conducted by the American government, Congress and intelligence agencies into the Sept.11, 2001 attacks. All those investigations found that Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda carried out the attacks, how many were involved, where they trained and how they organised the assaults. Apart from these findings, which are now known to the world, the investigation reports singularly lacked the answer to the question "why 9/11?"
If indeed the reports contained the answer, then that part of their findings were classified.
Indeed, one could think of many reasons why the classification, but the most plausible one among them is again linked to Israel and that is the answer to the question: Why would a group of Muslims hijack a few airplanes and slam them into American landmarks in suicide operations?
Obviously, the pro-Israeli neoconservatives in the Bush administration did not want the Americans to even make a guess at what prompted the Sept.11 attacks and hence the answer to the question "why 9/11" was never allowed to be included in the findings of the investigations.
The neocon-led administration would like Americans —  and indeed others around the world naive enoughto swallow it — that it was Muslim hatred for the way of American life behind Sept.11. They would not want the Americans in particular not even think, let alone debate, that their country's unflinching, unquestioning support for Israel might have had something to do with 9/11.
No doubt, they want a repeat run in the Iranian context, and, if reports in the mainstream American media are accurate, then the hawks have already begun discussing military action against Iran to neutralise its nuclear weapons threat, including possible strikes on leadership, political and security targets. And what is the evidence that Iran does have such plans? A "walk in source." No doubt an Iranian Ahmed Chalabi.
What is unfolding before us is a scenario that leads nowhere but action against Iran and further destablisation of the Gulf region and that is why we are concerned.
Well, it is apt perhaps at this point to remind the Americans of the old adage: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.