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Hunching Toward Armageddon

James Petras has written a great piece describing the calculations now in play. He astutely describes what the Israeli strategists, and hopefully all of us, have learned from this catastrophe in Gaza.
Israel’s military victory in Gaza is a dress rehearsal for a full-scale military assault on Iran. In the course of their Gaza extermination campaign, Israeli political and military strategists gained a great deal of vital information about: (1) the levels of complicity and impotence of European, North American and Arab states; (2) the high degree and depth of material and political support obtainable from the United States government in pulverizing adversaries; (3) the high degree of internal support among the Jewish electorate for even the most brutal killing fields; (4) the massive unquestioning backing of an offensive war from all the biggest and most politically influential and wealthiest Jewish-Zionist organizations in the US and Western Europe; (5) the weakness and ineffectiveness of the United Nations and the incapacity of the entire range of humanitarian organizations to limit Israel’s extermination campaign directed at destroying the very existence of an entire people; (6) the unconditional backing of the entire mass media and news agencies in the US and most of the mass media in Europe and the rest of the world; (7) the willingness of the liberal critics to equally blame the victims of extermination and the exterminators for the ‘violence’, thus neutralizing any effective consequential condemnation of the Israeli state; and (8) the adaptation of practically all the journalists, writers, academics and politicians to the entire euphemistic vocabulary of the Israeli propaganda office.
They took their war machine for a spin, and it works great. He concludes that they will overreach after Netanyahu gets elected, unleashing the attack on Iran and triggering WW III.

Just a couple of points to keep in mind, for those inclined to view this as some far-off problem in the Middle East:
  • The Arab world considers the United States fully complicit in Israel's behavior, which we are, because we pay for Israel's war machine and block all attempts to control Israel. So if/when Israel attacks Iran, it will immediately become our problem.
  • A broader war in the Middle East will immediately collapse what's left of our economy. Within hours the price of oil will skyrocket. Within days shipments will grind to a halt and store shelves will be cleared. Chaos and Martial Law are guaranteed within a week.
  • Iran, Russia, and Syria all have the means to retaliate. These are not unarmed populations like the Palestinians. Our military will suffer tremendous losses, as explained here by Scott Ritter. And you can click through to the Lord Stirling link if you really want to wet your pants, because this could easily degenerate into biowarfare against the US population.
So there's that. One would think that the US military commanders want nothing to do with this craziness. One would think that Obama wants nothing to do with this craziness. But since nobody says what they really think because they're so busy grovelling at Israel's feet, we can have no confidence that common sense and a simple desire for self-preservation will prevail.

Furthermore, Israel has for decades been playing headgames with the world, dangling their "secret" nuclear weapons over everybody's head and threatening to use them unless an unending supply of conventional weapons were provided.

Although nuclear weapons were viewed as the ultimate guarantor of Israeli security, as early as the 1960s the country avoided building its military around them, instead pursuing absolute conventional superiority so as to forestall a last resort nuclear engagement.[12] Nevertheless, during the Cold War one major use of the nuclear threat was to convince the United States to support Israel with conventional weapons sales to prevent it from using its nuclear weapons and possibly sparking a world nuclear war.[13]

Another use of the weapons was to discourage the former Soviet Union, which Israel regarded as its greatest enemy, from arming and aiding Arab nations. Israel went on nuclear alert during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, threatening to use nuclear weapons against Egypt, to encourage the United States to supply weapons to it and discourage the Soviet Union from interfering.[14] No nation has attacked Israel since 1973, though some have supported terrorist attacks on it.[15]

Seymour Hersh writes that once a coalition of right-wing political parties made Menachen Begin Prime Minister in 1977, the goal of Israel’s Samson Option began to change from deterrence only to also using “Israeli might to redraw the political map of the Middle East.”[16] Israel Shahak, an Israeli critic of its policies, claims: "Israel clearly prepares itself to seek overtly a hegemony over the entire Middle East...without hesitating to use for the purpose all means available, including nuclear ones."[17]

The political parties, which united in 1988 as the Likud Party, shared the goal of expanding the state of Israel to the Israeli-occupied territories.[18] Ariel Sharon, who was named Minister of Defense in 1981, publicly proclaimed that “his major goals included the overthrow of King Hussein of Jordan and the transformation of that country into a Palestinian state, to which Palestinian refugees would be ‘transferred’ or driven.” Sharon put his allies in charge of Israeli intelligence and Israel’s nuclear weapons.[19]

Because of the Soviet Union’s support for Arab nations, Begin immediately “gave orders to target more Soviet cities” for nuclear attack, which necessitated better targeting information.[20] Israel increased its espionage efforts, including by convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, in order to obtain nuclear targeting information on Soviet cities.[21]

Treacherous, much? So you see, Israel has been using these nuclear weapons that is supposedly doesn't even have all along. And to this day, especially to this day, they threaten to really, actually use the weapons.
In 1998 Israeli defense analyst Zeev Schiff opined in Haaretz: "Off-the-cuff Israeli nuclear threats have become a problem, even before the onset of the Iraqi crisis."[22] David Hirst notes that “The threatening of wild, irrational violence, in response to political pressure, has been an Israeli impulse from the very earliest days.” and “Israel will remain at least as likely a candidate as Iran, and a far more enduring one, for the role of 'nuclear-crazy' state.”[23] Some “Samson Option” threats seem to be directed against nations which have not attacked Israel. Ariel Sharon has said: "We are much more important than (Americans) think. We can take the middle east with us whenever we go."[24] and "No longer 'Masada Option' - now 'Samson Option.’”[25] A “former Israeli govt official” with “first hand knowledge of his government’s nuclear weapons program” told Seymour Hersh: “You Americans screwed us” for not supporting Israel in its 1956 war with Egypt. “We can still remember the smell of Auschwitz and Treblinka. Next time we’ll take all of you with us.”[26]
Whether one thinks the Israelis are huffing and puffing and bluffing or not, the fact remains that they have many times stated their willingness to do something so spiteful that it can scarcely be imagined. If there's one thing people should have learned by now, it's that we must not suffer from a failure of imagination. You must let your mind grasp these facts about Israel -- FACTS -- about what Israel has actually done, about what Israeli leaders have actually said, about how the Israeli people actually feel as they prepare to elect the war-monger Netanyahu, and you must not refuse to line up those dots and connect them and recognize the pattern which forms before our eyes -- just because you don't want to imagine that it could actually be true.

That kind of failure of imagination can cost many lives. Perhaps millions of lives. Perhaps even your own life. It feels like time grows short for people to understand the predicament.


Greg Bacon said…
Petras is probably right, but Israel still needs US assistance to bomb Iran.

That's why we used lies to invade Iraq, it was between two of Israel's "existential" enemies, Syria and Iran and a convenient launch pad for invading those countries.

Only one thing is lacking and that's another 9/11 event against the USA, either here or overseas at some Pentagon military installation, with clues left pointing at Iran.

And that's what VP Joe "I'm a Zionist" Biden predicted a couple of months ago, an attack against the US in the early months of an Obama administration.

I can hear mad dogs like Limbaugh and O'LIElly now, calling Obama on the carpet and questioning his manhood for not having served in the US military--never mind that neither of those clowns did--and telling their ditto heads we just have to hit Iran to save the American way of life.

And we will.
Greg Bacon said…
Israeli envoy to Australia: Gaza op a 'pre-introduction' to attack on Iran

By Asaf Ronel 01/01/2009

The Gaza operation was merely a "pre-introduction" to the challenge Israel would face from Iran, which will become a nuclear power within a year, the Israeli ambassador to Australia said Sunday.

According to Australia's Channel 7 television, Ambassador Yuval Rotem made the statement at a meeting with leaders of the Sydney Jewish community, having first asked that the cameras be switched off.

While being filmed before the discussion, Rotem said, "The best thing to do is to have a very open dialogue if there are no reporters or journalists here," before telling the cameraman to stop filming.

"He said that Israel's recent military offensives were a pre-introduction to the challenge Israel expects from a nuclear-equipped Iran within a year," Channel 7 reporter Sarah Cummings said. She also quoted Rotem as saying "Israel's efforts in Gaza were to bring about understanding that we are ready to engage in a decisive way.
Sis said…
Instead of ruining our economy, perhaps they are manufacturing a war to save it. There's nothing like a war to grease the engines of capitalism.

We're not talking little skirmishes here. These times require WWIII to rival the magnitude of the greatest economic tsunami in history.

Before FDR stuck his toes into WWII, we made bundles off the sale of munitions (see Pittman Act). Then there's the Lend-Lease Act. When the Brits ran out of money, Churchill sent us his wish list, along with 99 year leases for the bases our US military uses today.

What can we get out of this upcoming war? Perhaps a Great Pyramid or an outer continental shelf or two? I'm sure they've got their wish lists in hand and lawyers at their side.

One thing's for sure: Detroit will be busy as heck making tanks for Greece and planes for Egypt and that will take care of unemployment in that area of our economy.

Move aside, peasants. Make way for Rosie the Riveter. We'll shed tears for the loss of our sons & daughters, but it will be for the greater good of our economy and we'll get this nice flag, made in China, but folded in a nice, neat triange.
A. Peasant said…
Let us hope we're all wrong. In any case, these sorts of grand plans never work out as they're supposed to.
Sis said…
Yeh, we're not talking U-boats and unreliable radar this time. Netanyahu with his finger on the red button is a tad unsettling. But neocons don't think of this when they are tallying up future gains in thier dreams from all the government funded technological advances and mass productivity. Talk about Rapture! Money & power make them positively giddy.
Greg Bacon said…
What actually got the US out of the Great Depression Part I was our manufacturing base which we turned into the "Arsenal of Democracy" to first supply Britian and the USSR, then our own military to fight WWII.

But that manufacturing base is no longer there, it's been gutted and moved overseas, thanks to tax breaks enacted by Congress and NAFTA and CAFTA.

Yes, we have the ability to build weapons of war, but not nearly on the scale like we did in WWII when we kept something like 12 million American soldiers, sailors and marines outfited.
Sis said…
Perhaps we could drop scalding Lattes out of Cessnas. That would really boost the stock of Starbucks, which has suffered as of late.

Sorry, I needed a little humor. I've been in a spitting match with a Jew all day at a Palestinian website.
Greg Bacon said…
I've been in a spitting match with a Jew all day at a Palestinian website.

What's that saying about never getting into an argument with a moron, as it only pisses off the moron and wastes your time?
A. Peasant said…
I really like the scalding lattes idea. Perhaps somebody can make them laser guided, hmm?
Greg Bacon said…
Hey, here's an idea we could use to bolster America's finances, take up the white slavery trade like Israel does!!!

Call to Order / How much does the state earn from trafficking in women?

By Shahar Ilan 21/05/2007

The Israel Tax Authority has assessed that brothels owe NIS 18 million in taxes from recent years. This sum pertains to 46 brothels. That is, around NIS 400,000 per brothel on average. No, it isn't that some income tax official thinks there are only 46 escort services in Israel. But in order to assess the tax on each escort service, the authority must join the police to carry out a widespread raid on them. In 2004, two such operations took place and 77 escort girls were arrested. In 2005, only one escort service was checked and since then, there have been no raids.

At a meeting of the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women last Wednesday, Tax Authority officials explained they were dependent on police operations.

The truth is that it is also not entirely clear how many massage parlors and escort services were inspected in 2004. At the meeting, Tax Authority officials reported they had conducted 46 raids (as part of two operations); the report they submitted refers to 45 raids and the comments on the report cite 51 raids.

In any case, the chairwoman of the Knesset subcommittee, Zahava Gal-On, yesterday voiced her frustration over the amount of taxes assessed for massage parlors and the extent of its collection. A report by the Hotline for Migrant Workers estimates the profit that a trafficker makes from one woman at NIS 540,000 per year, based on a calculation of NIS 150 charged per client, 10 clients a day, 365 days a year. Gal-On mentioned that the former income tax commissioner, Tali Yaron-Eldar.

Did you expel and also inherit?

The Hotline for Migrant Workers submitted a report to the committee entitled "Did you expel and also inherit?" that describes the considerable profit the State of Israel makes from trafficking in women in particular and human trafficking in general. Unlike the state, which feels that taxing a business run by organized crime is an excellent way to fight them, the hotline sees taxing massage parlors and escort services as a way of legitimizing them. If the state is already profiting from trafficking in women, argues the hotline's legal adviser, Naomi Levenkorn, who prepared the report, then it should make sure the victims of the trafficking, and not the state, benefit from the proceeds.

Actually, there's over 250 brothels in Tel Aviv and Haifa alone.
gary said…
If we're to focus on the larger picture (yes, there IS a larger picture here), we would focus on why the UN has failed so miserably to bring about world peace. My opinion is that it lacks respect by most of the world. It needs to better represent the world, not dictators and a handful of nations who created it. Here's what I propose...

Does anyone agree?

A. Peasant said…
Hi Gary,
The UN is not democratic, this is true. But the push for any change must avoid the NWO agenda, which would trade off national sovereignty for some squishy collective decisions that nobody can really be held accountable for. The answer is to elevate people's collective awareness and responsibility to each other without sacrificing their national aspirations at the altar of world government. This truly requires eliminating psychopaths and other mental defectives from positions of power, so that individual nations may elect -- via democratic processes -- people who are actually *capable* of working with other leaders from other countries without some overarching world government framework forcing them to get along. The problem is actually that the system rewards the wrong behavior on the smallest scale of each society, and thus we have vast swaths of world government populated with psychopaths, who have gained power and influence over time due to their corruption. If we could replace the individual national leaders with normal people, they could resolve many problems without having to sacrifice sovereignty. I'm sure I didn't explain this very well, but do you see the difference? It's a micro-leadership problem, not a macro-leadership problem, I guess is what I'm trying to say.
gary said…
I don't disagree with your points. And my concept attempts to avoid the NWO agenda by actually being less powerful than the current UN - no standing army, smaller in size, rotating HQ, etc. The only place I may differ is that I'm willing to have a psychopath as a leader as long as that psychopath received the most votes. To quote George Bernard Shaw...

“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

Democracy doesn't guarantee good governance, just a shot at it.

A. Peasant said…
Well, that's noble. Personally, I am done with these nutcases. I'm ready for personality testing, the whole nine yards...but that's just me. As I frequently note, I am not in charge. I suppose the caveat to your methodology is that we must also have a fully functioning media. If the media worked as it should, exposing what it's supposed to expose, then yes, I imagine we could get the government we deserve. But it's not fair to leave people at the mercy of a totally compromised media. ALL the psychopaths need to be nitpicked out of the entire apparatus. A thorough delousing.
MarcLord said…
Different Take #1:

The IDF looks at the Mid-East much like new settlers looked at the American West.

But with two huge differences--the Israelis can't outbreed even the Palestinians, much less Iran or Egypt, and they are dependent on others for support, so they can't effectively exterminate their enemies. They must rely on psychological control and clearing ground.

But they lost horribly in Lebanon in 06, in Georgia in 08, and it really shook them. To Israel, the Gaza massacre was a demonstration that they've still "got it."

Yet the geopolitical dynamics are horrible for Israel, and their tactical edge is rapidly eroding. They couldn't take a single Lebanese city and hold it at night. They had tanks knocked out, wounded soldiers died because they couldn't be evacked by helo. Iran defeated Israel in Lebanon by Hezbollah proxy, and it is difficult to look 20 years down the road and imagine an Israel which hasn't been decisively defeated. All they can do is try to postpone their reckoning.

Gaza was a message to Iran, who they know can't be successfully attacked with conventional weapons, nor controlled long-term without massive US help, it was a message to Arabs, but most of all the Gaza message was addressed to themselves.

A wargaming friend once asked me what the military solution was to the Iranian threat. I thought about it hard, and after a while said, "Make Israel an enemy and crush it." Although very down on Zionists (and Jews), he found that answer horrifying. I responded, "You asked me for a military solution. That's what it is, and it's least resource-intensive."

While not disagreeing with anything in your post, it's important to know what Israeli planners are thinking. And they're always asking themselves, "Must we nuke Iran? Or is there a different way?"
Greg Bacon said…
... Israeli planners are thinking. And they're always asking themselves, "Must we nuke Iran? Or is there a different way?"

What Israeli planners are thinking is how to nuke Iran and make it appear like it was some kind of defensive move and not an aggression.

They have a need to always appear to be the victim and to use that to garner sympathy from the world.

That's why they appear shocked when catching hell from various parts of the world for their latest atrocity.
They're not faking shock, they are experiencing shock, since in their sick and twisted minds they are they victim and we should be feeling sorry for their actions.

They constantly need to have their vanity stroked and when that doesn't happen, it fucks with their psyche.
A. Peasant said…
Whatever tension that used to exist between Israel's real goals (domination) and its public persona (light to the nations) is being resolved toward the real goals. To Marc's point, they were able to keep the appearance of 'reasonableness' going for a long time. To Greg's point, the incentives for doing so are rapidly evaporating. Once they drop the mask, as it were, which is happening before our eyes, they will also abandon all reason. The only thing left will be rage.
Greg Bacon said…
All is not lost, there's still some sane people in the world.

Good luck trying to snatch these Israeli war criminals off the streets when and they visit some place. Their bodyguards will shoot first and ask no questions later.

Al-Sourani is a brave soul, hope his will is up to date.

86 Israeli war criminals are now wanted by international courts, says Raji Al-Sourani

SUNDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2009 02:07

Palestinian human rights activist Raji Al-Sourani has disclosed Wednesday that at least 86 Israeli military officers were now wanted by a number western courts for their role in the holocaust in the Gaza Strip.

In a forum held in this regard in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Sourani accused the European governments of adopting unfair stand over the Israeli massacres in Gaza Strip, opining that such behavior would bring the world back to the " law of the jungle."

He said that a number of lawsuits were filed by international human rights organizations against Israeli military officers before courts in Britain, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Spain over their role in the brutal war on Gaza, underlining that 86 of those officers were now wanted by those courts.

"The Palestinian human rights organizations will keep on chasing those Israeli war criminals, and they won't forgive or forget what the Israeli occupation army had done in Gaza", Sourani stressed.

According to Sourani, the Israeli holocaust in Gaza was the bloodiest and most brutal holocaust in the Israeli occupation history in Palestine, adding that the Palestinian legal groups were relentlessly documenting those crimes to use them against the Israeli officials.

Here's a small sampling from the world's "most moral" army, the IDF. If what they engaged in during the Gazan Massacre aren't war crimes, then the term has no meaning.

An eyewitness account of the horrors of the aftermath from Barbara Lubin of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)

Out of all the devastation I have seen so far, there is one story in particular that I think the world needs to hear. I met a mother who was at home with her ten children when Israeli soldiers entered the house. The soldiers told her she had to choose five of her children to “give as a gift to Israel.” As she screamed in horror they repeated the demand and told her she could choose or they would choose for her. Then these soldiers murdered five of her children in front of her. The concept of “Jewish morality” is truly dead.
A. Peasant said…
Sick sick sick sick sick.

Petras notes, and I note:

(3) the high degree of internal support among the Jewish electorate for even the most brutal killing fields;

The victim narrative seems to overwhelm any sense of remorse.

I saw a letter to the editor in the Boston Globe yesterday whining about the poor Israeli children who have to put up with air raid sirens, *as if that is equivalent to Palestinian suffering*. And the sad part is, that in this man's mind, it probably *is* equivalent. It's becoming clearer and clearer that many in Israel, and many who support Israel, have lost all touch with the human race. This 'cause' for the Jewish state has swallowed their entire identity, so there is no piece left to connect with the 'other' -- except in relation to how the 'other' helps or hinders the cause of the Jewish state. For everyone to Israel is either part of the problem or part of the solution, and dealt with accordingly.
Greg Bacon said…
Yep, it's a variation of Bush the Bloody's saying about terrorism, "You're either with us or against us."

And those who dare to resist the Israeli Death Machine tend to have a short half-life.