Sunday, October 07, 2007

Left I on the News blogger has it right. Virtually all the influential Democrats are supporting -- or can't be seen not to be supporting -- a US attack on Iran. As many are warning, such an attack is likely to have a devastating effect on what is left of the US republic -- and for many many millions, that will be the least of the horrors.

Left I doesn't get into the reason that such a fanatical Zionist as Senator Lieberman can summon extensive political support for such a catastrophic undertaking. But as a advocate for Palestinian human and civil rights, LeftI probably wouldn't disagree that such potentially destructive legislative underwriting of Bush-Cheney warmongering is made possible or demanded by the powerful Zionist lobby which has been demonizing Iran as an existential threat with increasing persistence.

The mechanism of such demonizing is the same as has been pursued by leaders ever since there were human groups or tribes that coveted the resources of other human groups. Politicians soon learned that a quick and easy way to stay in power and to control a restive population was to promote fear and hatred of the Other (see Orwell's 1984).

Since 9/11 we have become even more tightly bound captives of this leadership requirement/desire for war in large part, because of the power and authority of one man, Dick Cheney, in a way that is perhaps unprecedented in US history. The Bush-Cheney leadership understands that in order to facilitate their pathological desire for endless war they can harness the power of Zionist interest in dominating the Middle East through constant tension and threats of war. Thus the devastation of Iraq and the current threats -- perhaps to be carried out early next year -- against Iran.

It’s not clear whether someone as clever as Senator Lieberman is driven more by arrogance or by denial in his refusal to recognize that his desire for an attack on Iran is likely to result in a disaster for both the US and Israel, and more likely in the short term rather than the middle or long term.

Our reality today is that the pathology and the ideology of those who were considered crazies only a few short years ago is present in the White House, the most powerful and darkly effective military machine the world has ever seen. And all this is supported and enabled by those who actively or tacitly support a Jewish state in the former Palestine. It's a little weird that our very civilization should be threatened by such a project and that this should be the moment in our history when the proverbial manure will find its way to reaches heretofore untouched.

In a footnote that might be helpful to those seeking evidence of the power that Zionism today has over the U.S. political system, one can find in a very useful and important newly published book by the redoubtable London based Palestinian activist and writer, Dr. Ghada Karmi, in her chapter on "Why Does the West Support Israel?" a quote from a campaign speech that Senator John Kerry made in 2004: He said:

“We are not secure while Israel, the one true democracy in the [Middle Eastern] region, remains the victim of an unrelenting campaign of terror…American leadership is needed to bolster Israel’s security at home as well as in the region.”

It should -- but doesn’t necessarily -- go without saying that Kerry has it exactly 180 degrees wrong: it is Israel which has been threatening the security of many if not all of its neighbors at one time or another or ever since it was implanted into the neighborhood.

That our leading politicians are forced to parrot the myth of Israeli insecurity as a regular staple in our campaign seasons and at all other relevant moments ought to be evidence enough of where is the tail and who is the dog.

As it happens, Dr Karmi is coming to the States in early November to publicize her new book, Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine . Those interested in learning about her appearances should contact me or Manal Ramadan : who is arranging her schedule.


Blogger Left I on the News wrote:
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The meaning of Lieberman-Kyl

There's been a lot written about the Lieberman-Kyl amendment that passed the Senate the other day 76-22, with Hillary Clinton voting for it and Barack Obama shamefully absenting himself from the vote. Most of the attention has been on its designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist organization" and the implications that has for the possibility of a war against Iran (since the Senate has already given its approval for a "war on terror"). Amazingly, some Democrats are even bragging about how sections 3 and 4 were excised from the amendment before its passage:
(3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies;

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies;
But these deletions, while some kind of improvement, still don't detract from what the amendment accomplished in giving an imprimatur to war against Iran. Consider point 2 for example, which remains:
(2) that it is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from turning Shi'a militia extremists in Iraq into a Hezbollah-like force that could serve its interests inside Iraq, including by overwhelming, subverting, or co-opting institutions of the legitimate Government of Iraq;
After all, if this is our "vital national interest," then whatever it takes to defend that "national interest" is surely acceptable.

So, even as amended, there can be no doubt that this amendment was a strong endorsement by the Senate, including half of the Democrats, for war against Iran. But actually, the reason I'm writing here is to call attention to the one section of the amendment which has been pretty much overlooked - section 1:
(1) that the manner in which the United States transitions and structures its military presence in Iraq will have critical long-term consequences for the future of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, in particular with regard to the capability of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pose a threat to the security of the region, the prospects for democracy for the people of the region, and the health of the global economy;
What does that mean to you? I tell you what it means to me - that the Senate has just endorsed not just war against Iran, but an indefinite presence in Iraq, now justified as preventing Iran from "posing a threat to the security of the region."

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