It is more than coincidence that Israel is only now headset on uprooting the Iranian military presence from Syria. This newfound interest has as much to do with America as it does with Israeli political realities.
Both the State of Israel and the US Republican Party oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran. This is because the foreign policy of both bodies consists of the following: the complete denuclearisation of Iran and the ultimate overthrow of its Islamic Republic.
The agreement recently signed between Iran and other countries merely suspends enrichment, and allows for inspection of Iranian nuclear facilities. This leaves Iran with a still-functioning nuclear programme, much to US disgust.
Donald Trump has referred to the nuclear agreement as a bad deal. His concern is that the deal does not prevent Iran developing or using ballistic missiles. But significantly, Trump has also stated that the problem, as he sees it, is that it does not deter Iran from supporting the Assad government and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
Rotten Agreement but Solid
And now European leaders are shocked at Trump and his peanut gallery for scraping it, and they are already drawing up plans to preserve the Iran nuclear accord, in defiance of President Donald Trump’s recent decision to abandon what he called the “rotten” agreement. They understand that more is involved than an allegedly bad agreement, and this puts them more at risk then the US, and political careers are on the line. It is clear that Europe is deeply frustrated with Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 deal despite the best pleas of its top leaders
Herein lies the real problem—the real motivation for acting now in the best judgment of the free world. All which has been done on the proxy battlefields of Syria has failed to achieve the ultimate objective of eliminating the only country still standing in the way of toppling Iran. The US doesn’t have real issues with Syria itself. It still hasn’t got over the embarrassment of Khomeini’s revolution in 1979, because the mighty US did not see it coming, and wants its revenge.
US support for Israel is based on a similar set of unreal principles. If anyone had really wanted to give the persecuted Jews a homeland they wouldn’t have gone about it the way it was done, dispossessing the local Arabs and condemning them to lives as second class citizens. All this was ever likely to do was create states of perpetual frozen conflict, and make Israel dependent on its defence partnerships with, um, the US.
So Israel can always be wheeled out to support the US when things get tough. Suddenly it cares about the plight of Syrian civilians who are no more friends of Israel than their government is. The two countries have long been engaged in a territorial dispute over the Golan Heights, which Israel occupies as an act of self-protection. Will any new Syrian government hand them over to Israel with public support? Dream on!
Israel has to pursue false and unreal aims to justify the false and unreal nature of its own existence. Israel isn’t likely to occupy any part of Iran if the Islamic Republic is removed, but another threat to itself would be gone. It can then keep pretending that no regional country will be a threat one day, and the US is very happy to keep telling it, with considerable irony, that Father Christmas does exist.
The Browning Version
Who is the Iranian nuclear programme threatening? It maintains it is purely peaceful and civilian in nature. Given what other countries do with their nuclear programmes, this is unlikely to be wholly true. But that is what inspections are for, and Iran has agreed to those.
We were also told that Iraq had WMDs ready to launch in 45 minutes. Iraq had already been inspected many times, and no such weapons had been found, but the claim was made anyway. Inspection will only be used to prove what certain governments want regardless, so it will not have any real effect one way or another. It is a means of branding a country as a threat, not protecting others from that threat, and Iran knows that.
Twenty years ago it seemed the nuclear industry was dying, as facilities were being closed after the disasters at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and elsewhere. Then the West invented a new form of global warfare: climate change science. Many scientists do not accept the evidence of global warming, regardless of their politics. But a powerful lobby has built up around the idea that every country has to cut carbon emissions to save the whole planet.
You can get away with a lot by presenting your actions as selfless. Drug dealers present themselves as selfless “freedom fighters,” who are merely making the best choice available in the face of repressive states. In countries such as Portugal, which have legalised most drugs, drug pushers are seen as businessmen on the take, who even drug uses generally want to avoid. But the climate change lobby, though it does have some evidence to support its claims, continues to get away with murder, as yet.
Consequently countries are being forced to radically change their energy consumption patterns to meet new targets imposed by the big players who have little respect for these targets themselves. They are thus being given no choice but to reactivate their mothballed nuclear facilities to meet their energy needs, even though most do not wish to.
Armenia is one country doing this. Despite the ongoing frozen conflict in Karabakh and the former Soviet military installations there, it is not being accused of returning to nuclear power due to military aggression. But when Iran follows a global trend forced upon it by bigger countries it can only have offensive purposes in mind, we are told.
The evidence suggests exactly the opposite. If Iran dismantled its nuclear programme this would not protect its neighbours from the terrorism Iran is accused of sponsoring. The West equates nuclear with war because if Iran did what the US and Israel want it would surrender its sovereignty, and likely be the target of an attack or violent regime overthrow. It is the West, not Iran, which is using nuclear power for aggressive purposes, even though it is using policy, rather its own huge nuclear arsenals, to do this.
Goodfellas is a gangster movie
As Zbigniew Brzezinski once said, “A truly comprehensive American global domination is no longer possible. That is so for several reasons. In recent decades, worldwide social change has experience unprecedented historical acceleration, particularly because instant mass communications such as radio, television and the internet cumulatively have been stimulating a universal awakening of mass political consciousness. The resulting: widespread rise in worldwide populous activism is proving inimical to external domination of that kind that prevailed in the age of colonialism and imperialism.”
Therefore the US has to harness this activism in some way. That is what news outlets are for. Spread enough negative news about something, and everyone will automatically think that thing must be bad, and the idealistic activists who prevent the US ruling the world can be utilised for its own purposes.
Brexit voters in the UK often see themselves as ordinary folks, with perfectly good opinions, who have been silenced and excluded by a liberal elite which tells them what they should accept and want. They blame the EU for this, and think that they have now swept away that elite and taken over the country themselves. None of these things are actually true, but this an example of US trade interests, such as those of Donald Trump who has always supported Brexit, harnessing this activism to achieve US policy goals.
Israel could conceivably cease to exist if it attacks Iran. It could also cease to exist if it failed to do so, as the US, where many clubs and facilities still refuse to admit Jewish people, could easily pull the plug. But it has to be dragged into this because there is still a big groundswell of support for the poor little Jews and poor little Israel.
This is entirely justified after the long suffering the Jews have endured, but do those who are preying on this really care? The persecution of the Jews is alive and well, just being conducted differently by blackmailing them into being someone else’s definition of the good guys.
Netanyahu is destroying Israel through his actions. Many in Israel see Greater Israel as the end of Israel itself, the one state solution ending the Jewishness of the state. He knows this very well, but seems powerless to prevent his country becoming Airstrip One rather than the viable sovereign state it could have become if it had been formed in the right way by Jews themselves. He has to be what someone else calls a good guy so the US can try and rule the world by proxy, even if he kills his own country in the process.
If Iran keeps to the terms of its nuclear deal it doesn’t pose a military threat. The problem this leaves is that it can’t then be portrayed as the bad guy all the time. That makes it more difficult for the US to harness “public opinion” and to close ranks internationally to pursue its anti-Iranian policy, and shows that policy up for what it is. This is the threat the Iran nuclear deal poses.
Trump said he would stop intervening in all these expensive foreign wars, but here he is trying to stoke even more, having failed to withdraw from the existing ones. All he ever seems to do is defend himself against investigations into his own conduct, and either ramp up existing conflicts or threaten new ones. Maybe he has worked out that he never had a viable domestic policy. Or maybe he is the prime example of the US harnessing “popular activism” to maintain world domination.
Many other factors are involved in the Iran nuclear deal. For instance, if Iran isn’t a military threat, the question is why does Syria continue to maintain such a presence in Lebanon? One would think that Assad should need all his troops at home, but it seems he doesn’t. Iran can only be the real sponsor of Hezbollah in Lebanon if it has a threat it can use to impose its dominance, and without that Assad appears more powerful than the US would ever wish to admit.
“BIG stick” by a bully
There is also the question of Turkey. Being where it is, it would like a civilian nuclear deal with Iran, Russia and Syria. But this would strengthen it just when its US paymasters are afraid Turkey doesn’t need it anymore, and can act increasingly independently in foreign policy. Like Iran, it is tired of being used as nothing but a “big stick” by a bully who only wants the stick to strike the object, not his own hands.
Pushing Iran and Israel into direct conflict will send the message to all countries in the region that nothing they do or want has any value. Everyone can be manipulated to do what the world has been told to believe is the only right thing to do. If anyone objects, they are up against a reality they know doesn’t exist, but can’t be gainsaid. Then we can tear up all laws and agreements and do everything on the basis of unspoken decree.
Onward Christian Soldier
No one seems to know – and this has helped the rise of the radical Islam represented by Iran, which does know where its values come from. Overturning the Iranian nuclear deal is the first step to push Israel into attacking it. The logic is simple, as the US must defend its best ally in the region. It is definitely is not an attempt to keep things the way they used to be, and regardless of the fact that with no accountability, there is no real democracy, and by playing all ends against the middle, Israel seeks to win with the help of Onward Christian Soldiers.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.