Friday, February 18, 2005

Giving Israel the Green Light

Just hours before the beginning of Bush-Cheney, Part II, the Veep was on the Don Imus show. Perhaps with the early hour, Cheney had not yet consumed a cup of coffee and was a tad off his rocker as a result. In any event, during the interview, Cheney gave Israel the green light to attack Iran's "nuclear infrastructure." The Dickster told Imus that, "Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards." Cheney went on to say, "We don't want a war in the Middle East, if we can avoid it." Evidently, he's forgotten that we are already fighting a proxy war on behalf of Israel. Cheney also pointed directly to the "threat" posed by the Iranians: "You look around the world at potential trouble spots, (and) Iran is right at the top of the list."

Cheney's remarkable comments prefigured similar remarks by the president. When asked if the U.S. would back Israeli attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities, the president said, "Clearly, if I was the leader of Israel and I'd listened to some of the statements by the Iranian ayatollahs that regarded the security of my country, I'd be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well. And in that Israel is our ally, and in that we've made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened."

OK, so while Israel refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and does not allow inspections of its weapons facilities, Iran has been a signatory of the NPT since 1970, subject to intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Gordon Prather notes that in the wake of American zaniness in Iraq, the Iranians have gone out of their way to avoid being attacked. Prather writes:

More than a year ago, after watching what Bush did to Iraq, Iran voluntarily subjected itself to an intrusive go-anywhere, see-anything Additional Protocol to their IAEA Safeguards Agreement. Under the Additional Protocol, activities and sites that either did not need to be declared at all, or needed to be declared only shortly before operations involving "special nuclear materials" began, must now be declared while still in the planning stage. Iran volunteered to temporarily freeze its gas-centrifuge research, development, and production program.

Any past or present violations of Iran's Safeguards Agreement was to be reported to the IAEA Board of Governors. If and only if the Board decided the violations amounted to a violation of the NPT itself was the Board to refer the matter to the UN Security Council for possible action.

The IAEA has now visited every site the Iranians have declared under the Additional Protocol, as well as at least two sites the U.S. suspected should have been declared but weren't. Iran had also given the IAEA permission to review its import and export records going back at least a decade.

Of course, those pinkocommielibs at IAEA weren't convinced that Saddam had a burgeoning weapons program, either.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Darrell,

Frightening, isn't it, the lack of balance in our Middle-Eastern policy. And, of course, there is the unmistakable scent of "untermenshen" in the speech of administration figures regarding Arab peoples, the Palestinian people most specifically. But you'd expect that from an administration led by a man with a personal style not unlike that of Mussolini. The only thing missing is the trademark arms-across-chest. The head bobbing couldn't be more on the money.

The fact that the Bush Administration makes no effort whatsoever to distance itself from the foreign policy interests of Israel is a study in the effectiveness of the likudnik/revivalist bloc and in its skill in marshalling congressional and executive branch resources to these ends. Israeli perceptions respecting their own security interests - and only Israeli perceptions - are dealt with utterly uncritically at every opportunity these days in Washington. The hypocracy of our complaints about an emerging Iranian nuclear threat when an existing Israeli capabilty is simply ignored is laughable. It would not be unfair in any way to say that the United States purposely ran interference for Israel in Iraq in 2003 and, apparently, has plans to do so again in Syria and Iran. At the most profound level there is a sin against truth here. What body of Americans other than the rapturists signed on to such an undertaking in 2000? Think about it.

I recall an e-mail exchange with Gary Bauer shortly after the tragedy of the Twin Towers in New York. I specifically inquired of Bauer whether his dispensationalism could account for his insanely unbalanced view of the Israeli/Palestinian situation at the time and was advised unqualifiedly that American and Israeli interests there were identical. I raised the matter of Jonathan Pollard and my objections were simply shrugged off: Israeli spying was to be viewed as benign. And after all, everyone spys on everyone else, don't they? Naivete might be ajudged in this case if it weren't for the dispensationalism. One might have expected more from Ze'ev Jabotinski.

Regards,

John Lowell

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the US have a treaty of alliance with Israel?If so,what are its responsibilities under said treaty?

10:39 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

The agreement I mentioned in the post deals with the profliferation of nukes and is a UN-sponsored project. In terms of our arrangement with Israel, I can't think of direct treaty obligations that apply, other than the fact that we essentially payoff both Israel and Egypt to maintain peace between the two parties.

However, it is clear that the Israel lobby is a powerful domestic interest, as John says, and the neocons are particularly interested in blurring the distinctions between Israeli and American interests. Moreover, they have been entirely successful in doing so.

7:07 AM  

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