Skip to main content

Washington and Tel Aviv lurching toward a war with Iran

by Bill Van Auken

Events of the past few days have made it clear that US imperialism—working in close tandem with its main ally in the Middle East, Israel—is set on a course of direct military confrontation with Iran.

Barely a week and a half before the May 12 deadline for President Donald Trump to announce his decision on whether or not his administration will renew a waiver of unilateral US sanctions that were shelved as part of the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a theatrical presentation claiming to have “proof” that “Iran lied” about its nuclear program. He went on to express confidence that Trump would “do the right thing,” i.e., scuttle the nuclear accord—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—that was reached between Iran and five major powers: the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

Trump hailed Netanyahu’s theatrical presentation as confirmation that he had been “100 percent right” in his denunciations of the nuclear accord as a “horrible deal.”

In reality, international nuclear experts, European representatives and even ex-Israeli intelligence officials all dismissed Netanyahu’s performance as a farce. The Israeli government, which claimed to have stolen hundreds of thousands of files from Iran, produced not a single shred of evidence that Iran has engaged in any form of nuclear weapons program for the past 15 years, much less that it has violated the terms of the JCPOA. Repeated reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including one as recent as February, have established that Tehran is abiding by the stringent restrictions on uranium enrichment and intrusive inspections regime imposed under the agreement.

Netanyahu’s performance recalled nothing so much as Colin Powell’s 2003 presentation of what he described as “evidence, not conjecture” of Iraq’s nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” used to justify the US war of aggression against Iraq a month later. Powell at least told lies that purported to substantiate American false claims of Iraqi malfeasance; Netanyahu presented nothing.

The Israeli presentation—delivered in English—was stage-managed in direct consultation with Trump, with whom Netanyahu spoke shortly before going on the air, and the new US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who had met with him and other officials in Tel Aviv the day before.

Behind all of the chaos and scandals of the Trump administration, what has clearly emerged in Washington is a war cabinet, with the elevation of John Bolton to the post of National Security adviser and Pompeo’s confirmation by the Senate, with the indispensable support of the Democrats, as secretary of state. Both are fervent advocates of war against Iran.

Bolton has described the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a “massive strategic blunder,” insisting that US policy should be one of “ending Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution before its fortieth anniversary,” next February. Regime change in Tehran, according to the new national security adviser, should be promoted through direct military action. “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” was the headline of an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times shortly before the agreement was reached on the JCPOA.

The US-Israeli war against Iran has already begun. Strikes carried out by US-supplied Israeli F-15 fighter jets on Syrian military bases on Sunday night killed as many as two dozen Iranians. It marked the fifth round of such Israeli attacks on Syria since September. All of them have been aimed at the assets of Iran. Along with Russia, Tehran is the main ally of the Assad government, which Washington and its allies have sought to topple in a seven-year-old war for regime change.

Reports from Israel have also indicated a major redeployment of tanks, troops and armored personnel carriers to the country’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon.

On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now,” a senior US official told NBC News Tuesday.

The intimate collaboration between Washington and Tel Aviv in preparing such a war has been made evident by the extraordinary flurry of meetings between top-level US and Israeli military and security officials flying in and out of both countries’ capitals. This has been supplemented by the dispatch of Pompeo, before he even set foot in the State Department, to the Middle East, where he not only consulted with Netanyahu and other officials, but also met with Saudi and Jordanian officials in an attempt to solidify a bloc of reactionary monarchical Arab regimes behind the US-Israeli war drive.

Behind this drive to war lies not any supposed concern about an Iranian nuclear threat—Tehran has no bomb and never initiated any real program to produce one, while Israel’s own arsenal includes an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads. Rather, what are at play are naked imperialist interests.

As a regional power, Iran stands as an impediment to the drive by US imperialism to assert its hegemony over the oil-rich and strategically vital Middle East.

The European powers are increasingly at odds with Washington. After the visits of France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel apparently failed, despite their obsequiousness, to persuade the Trump administration not to blow up the Iranian nuclear accord, discussions between them and British Prime Minister May over the weekend apparently centered on whether or not there was any prospect of salvaging the agreement without the US. There are both the fear of a major regional war spilling over into Europe in the form of violence, political crisis and a renewed flow of refugees, as well as definite profit interests at stake.

While US banks and corporations have been largely locked out of the Iranian market by continuing nonnuclear-related US economic sanctions, European interests, including the French oil conglomerate Total, have signed lucrative agreements. Most of them have produced little thus far because of fears that Washington will upend the nuclear accord and begin sanctioning foreign firms doing business in Iran.

Filling this vacuum, China has forged significant economic ties with Iran, including a recent $10 billion line of credit from the Beijing government for Chinese firms to launch infrastructure projects, including power facilities, dams and transportation hubs. Beijing sees Iran as a key segment of its “Belt and Road” mega-project, linking China to Europe, and is anxious to shift a growing share of its oil imports from regional producers like Saudi Arabia that are aligned with Washington. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced plans to increase bilateral trade to $600 billion over the next decade.

In Iran, as elsewhere, US imperialism seeks to counter the decline of its economic domination through a turn to military aggression. While the European capitalist powers have joined in US military actions, particularly with the participation of the UK and France in the April 14 missile attack on Syria, their hopes of reaping a share of the booty from imperialist intervention can never be realized by serving as the tail of the American dog. Inevitably, they must turn to their own rearmament for a struggle of each against all for the redivision of the world. This process is already well under way.

To the extent that Washington has sought to placate Europe with the postponement of the implementation of trade war tariffs and that it has ratcheted down, temporarily, tensions on the Korean peninsula, it is to better concentrate war preparations in the Middle East.

The drive toward a war between Israel and Iran, beginning in Syria, is unfolding in tandem with the continuing US military intervention in that country, which is evolving into a confrontation with pro-government force backed by Iran and Russia.

Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis Monday indicated that the more than 2,000 US troops presently deployed inside Syria would not be going anywhere anytime soon. “We do not want to pull out before the diplomats have won the peace,” he said. “You win the fight—and then you win the peace.”

The reality is that the US military force, augmented by proxy ground forces based upon the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, is staying in place to secure an American zone of influence consisting of approximately a third of Syria’s territory on its northeastern borders with Turkey and Iraq. The area also contains the country’s oil and gas reserves. From their supposed mission of fighting ISIS, this US force is now turning to confronting attempts by the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to regain control of this territory and its resources.

With Russia also in discussions with Damascus on providing advanced air defense systems to Syria, the prospect for a clash between Russian forces and those of the US and Israel are steadily growing.

The developments in Syria and the threats of confrontation with Iran constitute a grave warning to working people in the US and throughout the world. Driven by the crisis of its system, world capitalism, with America’s ruling class and its military in the lead, is preparing for a world war that would be fought with nuclear weapons.

Source:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Όσοι περνάν των χώρα της απόγνωσης παθαίνουν αμνησία ...

globinfo freexchange
Δανειστήκαμε αυτή τη φράση από ένα παλιό κομμάτι της Ελληνικής ροκ μπάντας "Τρύπες", για να περιγράψουμε με λίγα λόγια αυτό που φαίνεται να έχει πάθει η Ελληνική κοινωνία. 
Πώς είναι δυνατόν μια ολόκληρη κοινωνία να έχει ξεχάσει ποιοι τη χρεοκόπησαν; Ποιοι έστησαν το άθλιο σύστημα των κρατικοδίαιτων 'ημέτερων' και της οικογενειοκρατίας; Ποιοι έσωσαν τις τράπεζες με πακτωλό δισεκατομμυρίων σε βάρος της μεσαίας τάξης; Ποιοι έκαναν τη μίζα και το ρουσφέτι επάγγελμα; Πώς είναι δυνατόν αυτή η κοινωνία να ετοιμάζεται να ξαναφέρει στην εξουσία ένα κομμάτι αυτού του άθλιου πολιτικού κατεστημένου, με την επιστροφή μάλιστα του αμετανόητα νεοφιλελεύθερου Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη και της ομάδας του;  
Η απόγνωση που έφεραν εννέα χρόνια βάρβαρων νεοφιλελεύθερων πολιτικών και σκληρής λιτότητας και που ανάγκασε τη χώρα να διαβεί τον εφιαλτικό μονόδρομο της μόνιμης χρεοκοπίας, πρέπει να έπαιξε σημαντικό ρόλο. 
Διότι ως γνωστόν, η απελπισία λίγο απέχει από τ…

The 'Julian Assange' index: another evidence that Elizabeth Warren is establishment's last resort

 globinfo freexchange

We should be grateful to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for uncovering the ruthless and ugly face of the establishment. For the exposure of the biggest war crimes by the US empire in the Iraq war. For the exposure of the dirty war by the DNC against Bernie Sanders, and many more.
But even now, being in this extremely hard situation because of the absolutely inhuman treatment by this imperialistic crypto-fascist regime, Assange remarkably becomes the cause that forces more masks to fall.

Therefore, the 'Julian Assange' index can even help us identify the real and the fake progressives.

As The Interceptreported:
The Justice Department filed 17 charges against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange on Thursday, deploying the controversial Espionage Act as a cudgel against First Amendment protections and press freedom. It’s the first time the U.S. government has used the Espionage Act to prosecute a publisher, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

[..…

Brussels bureaufascists are ready to replace Alexis Tsipras with their most faithful puppet in Greece

globinfo freexchange
The latest European election in Greece was a real shock for the government. Alexis Tsipras and his party SYRIZA took the second place and suffered a heavy defeat with almost 10 points behind the right-wing New Democracy. Tsipras was forced to declare national elections on July 7th and it seems that blog's predictions are about to become true.

As we wrote already in 2016, right after the internal elections for the new leadership in New Democracy:
The result for the leadership of the main opposition party, New Democracy, in Greece after Sunday's elections, must had brought waves of relief to the Brussels-Berlin axis. Brussels bureaufascists and Berlin directorate have now the best "backup" alternative in case that Tsipras administration attempt to diverge from the catastrophic policies imposed by the European Financial Dictatorship (EFD).
The new leader of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is probably the ideal alternative solution. The man that co…

Έρχεται ο νεοφιλελεύθερος "οδοστρωτήρας" Κούλης που θα ισοπεδώσει τους εργαζόμενους

globinfo freexchange
«Επταήμερο εργασίας. Όχι ο εκβιασμός που γίνεται από τους ελέγχους εδώ πέρα, όχι εξαήμερο, επταήμερο! Απαιτούμε να γίνει πιο εύκολο, πιο ευέλικτο το θέμα των 7 ημερών και όχι να επικρέμεται η σπάθη των προστίμων», απαίτησε ο "ευγενής" επιχειρηματίας από τον Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη που επισκέφτηκε την Κω. 
Δηλαδή, το "αφεντικό" δεν θέλει να έχει κανένα έλεγχο πάνω από το κεφάλι του και να κάνει ότι γουστάρει με τους εργαζόμενους. Αν μπορεί δηλαδή να τους βάζει να δουλεύουν και δωδεκάωρα (όπως πέρασε με νόμο στην Αυστρία η συντηρητική δεξιά) και να τους δίνει ένα ξεροκόμματο, ίσα-ίσα για να μπορούν να δουλεύουν.  Θεωρεί τον έλεγχο, δηλαδή αν τηρείται με λίγα λόγια η εργασιακή νομοθεσία, "εκβιασμό". Καταλάβατε νοοτροπία; 
Προσέξτε το ύφος του: το "αφεντικό" με θράσος απαιτεί, χτυπώντας σχεδόν το χέρι στο τραπέζι, να μπορεί ουσιαστικά να εφαρμόζει συνθήκες σύγχρονης δουλείας, όχι μόνο χωρίς καμία επίπτωση, αλλά ούτε καν ενόχληση.  

Οι λούμπεν μικροαστοί είναι έτοιμοι να επιλέξουν τον δήμιο τους που αποτελεί και την καλύτερη εφεδρεία για τους γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών

του system failure
Το πρόσφατο αποτέλεσμα των ευρωεκλογών δείχνει ότι το νεοφιλελεύθερο ιερατείο Βρυξελλών/Βερολίνου θεωρεί ότι έφτασε η ώρα να αντικατασταθεί ο Αλέξης Τσίπρας με την καλύτερη εφεδρεία του: τον Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη. 
Πράγματι, οι προβλέψεις φαίνεται να επαληθεύονται εντυπωσιακά. Όπως είχαμε αναφέρει σε προηγούμενο άρθρο ήδη από το 2016 και αμέσως μετά την εκλογή Μητσοτάκη στην ηγεσία της ΝΔ, τα αποτελέσματα των εκλογών στη ΝΔ λύνουν τα χέρια του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου. Οι γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών και το διευθυντήριο του Βερολίνου έχουν τώρα μια πρώτης τάξεως εφεδρεία σε περίπτωση που τα πράγματα "στραβώσουν" με την σημερινή κυβέρνηση.  
Ήδη, η κυβέρνηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ έδωσε κάποια μικρά σημάδια ανυπακοής ενάντια στη λιτότητα που επιβάλλει το ιερατείο, ρέποντας 'επικίνδυνα' προς μια πιο φιλολαϊκή πολιτική. Δεν είναι τυχαίο φυσικά ότι τα πρώτα αυτά σημάδια άρχισαν να γίνονται ορατά μόλις η χώρα βγήκε από το πρόγραμμα επιτήρησης που επέβαλε η Τρό…

Arms industry lobby likely among the forces behind the unthinkable BDS banning in Germany

globinfo freexchange

Recently, the German parliament passed an unprecedented legislation through which the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) is now considered illegal!

As Sharmini Peries of the Real News reported:

The German parliament (Bundestag), has just passed an unprecedented piece of legislation condemning the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS. They deemed BDS as anti-Semitic and illegal. This makes Germany the first and only country in the world to criminalize the BDS movement.
The legislation was passed at lightning speed in Germany. The bill itself was well kept secret until only two days before the vote. It was initially promoted by the far-right pro Israeli parties, both the neoliberal Party FDP and the racist anti-immigrant party AFD. But members of all German parties ended up supporting it, even from the far left.

Peries spoke with the Real News correspondent, Shir Hever, who gave impressive details about the peculiar circumstances un…

Trump's top hawkish neocon gives signs that the US could possibly participate in a military coup against Jeremy Corbyn

globinfo freexchange

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt held a joint press conference in London after meeting for talks in the UK capital.
Pompeo condemned what he described as the support of certain UK and US leaders for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. "It is disgusting to see leaders, not only in the United Kingdom but in the United States as well, who continue to support the murderous dictator [Nicolas] Maduro," said Pompeo.

What's disgusting is that Pompeo has gone so far as even to launch indirect threats against US/UK leaders who refuse to align with the empire's typical regime change operations against legitimate governments.

It's obvious that these warnings are targeting progressive anti-war leaders like Tulsi Gabbard, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.

Pompeo depicts the anxiety of the empire, as it finds more and more difficult to make countries and leaders align behind US regime change efforts. …

The prosecution of Julian Assange is an attack on our Freedom of Speech

The Intercept
The Trump Department of Justice has openly declared war on the First Amendment. And the case they have chosen to pave the way for criminally prosecuting journalists and publishers is that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. It is the first time since the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enshrined in law, that the government is criminally charging a publisher for publishing truthful information.
This indictment centers around the exposure of war crimes committed by the forces of the most powerful nation on Earth. It is about publishing documents that laid bare the blackmail, the backroom deals, the threats, the lies of the U.S. government in nations across the world. It is retaliation against an organization that presented to the world video evidence of a U.S. helicopter gunship massacre on Iraqi civilians and two Reuters news journalists. 
This prosecution is revenge for publishing documents on the U.S. kill campaign in Iraq and Afgha…

Chelsea Manning proves that she is a real hero

globinfo freexchange
Outside of an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom, Chelsea Manning explained to reporters why she would refuse to testify before a second grand jury investigating Wikileaks' Julian Assange, and as a result, face jail time once again. On May 9, Manning was released from jail because the term of the last grand jury she refused to testify before expired. She was immediately subpoenaed once again—for May 16.
Her following words clearly depict that Chelsea Manning is a person with strong and solid principles and a real hero:
I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury, so it doesn’t matter what it is, or what the case is. I’m just not going to comply or cooperate. Facing jail again, potentially today, doesn’t change my stance. The prosecutors are deliberately placing me in an impossible position: go to jail and face the prospect of being held in contempt again, or, in the alternative, foregoing my principles, the strong positions that I have, that I hold dear…

How the West’s war in Libya spurred terrorism in 14 countries

The first to suffer was Syria and since then the gruesome effects have been spreading in the region and beyond, to Africans and Europeans, writes Mark Curtis.  

by Mark Curtis 
Part 2 - Terror in Europe
After the fall of Gaddafi, IS Libya established training camps near Sabratha, which are linked to a series of terrorist attacks and plots. “Most of the blood spilled in Europe in the more spectacular attacks, using guns and bombs, really all began at the time when Katibat al-Battar went back to Libya,” Cameron Colquhoun, a former counterterrorism analyst for Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, told The New York Times. “That is where the threat trajectory to Europe began – when these men returned to Libya and had breathing space.

Salman Abedi, who blew up 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester in 2017, met with members of the Katibat al-Battar al-Libi, a faction of IS, several times in Sabratha, where he was probably trained.

Other members of the KBL were Abdelhamid A…