Old herrings

An attack on Tehran would be madness. So don’t rule it out

By Robert Fisk, Saturday 04 February 2012

If Israel really attacks Iran this year, it – and the Americans – will be more dotty than their enemies think. True, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a crackpot, but then so is Avigdor Lieberman, who is apparently the Israeli Foreign Minister. Maybe the two want to do each other a favour. But why on earth would the Israelis want to bomb Iran and thus bring down on their heads the fury of both the Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas at the very same moment? Along with Syria, no doubt. Not to mention sucking the West – Europe and the US – into the same shooting match.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the Middle East for 36 years, but I sniff some old herrings in the air. Leon Panetta, the US Defence Secretary no less, warns us that Israel may strike. So does CNN – an older herring it would be difficult to find – and even old David Ignatius, who hasn’t been a Middle East correspondent for a decade or two, is telling us the same, taken in, as usual, by his Israeli “sources”.

I expected this sort of bumph when I perused last week’s The New York Times Magazine – not an advertisement, this, for I would not want The Independent readers to burn their energy on such tosh – and read a warning from an Israeli “analyst” (I am still trying to discover what an “analyst” is), Ronen Bergman of Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

And here is his “kicker” (as we call it in the trade), which is as near as you can get to playing the propaganda ragtime. “After speaking with many [sic] senior Israeli leaders and chiefs [sic yet again] of the military and intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever diminishing window that is left, the US will choose to intervene after all, but from the Israelis’ perspective, there is not much hope for that. Instead, there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear… and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.”

Now, first of all, any journalist who predicts an Israeli strike on Iran is putting his head on the chopping block. But surely any journalist worth his salt – and there are plenty of good journos in Israel – would ask himself a question: Who am I working for? My newspaper? Or my government?

Panetta, pictured below, who lied to US forces in Iraq by claiming to them they were there because of 9/11, should know better than to play this game. CNN ditto. I shall forget Ignatius. But what is all this? Nine years after invading Iraq – an enormously successful adventure, we are still told – because Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction”, we plan to clap our hands as Israel bombs Iran because of more unprovable “weapons of mass destruction”. Now I don’t doubt that within seconds of hearing the news, Barack Obama’s grotesque speech-writers will be grovelling to find the right words to support such an Israeli attack. If Obama can abandon Palestinian freedom and statehood for his own re-election, he can certainly support Israeli aggression in the hope that this will get him back in the White House.

If Iranian missiles start smashing into US warships in the Gulf, however – not to mention US bases in Afghanistan – then the speechwriters may have much more work to do. So just don’t let the Brits or the Frenchies get involved.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-an-attack-on-tehran-would-be-madness-so-dont-rule-it-out-6358872.html or http://ind.pn/wLVHTQ

Photograph by Matt Friedman.  http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2009/20090331-extinction.html

Related Posts

Unsayable The World War on Democracy By John Pilger, January 20, 2012 ... Lisette Talate died the other day. I remember a wiry, fiercely intelligent woma...
Warmongers’ wet dream What War With Iran Might Look Like By Philip Giraldi, Thursday, 12 January 2012 16:34 ... Back in September 2007 I wrote an article for Antiw...
Connected solely by religion The Jewish people's ultimate treasure hunt By Ofer Aderet, Dec.28, 2012 9:12 AM   "Just imagine a group of blind people who encounter an e...
The criteria for service Romney’s scary Middle East advisor By As`ad AbuKhalil, Friday, Oct 7, 2011 10:00 AM 13:15:53 CDT ... Mitt Romney has a new foreign policy adv...
The red meat of military adventures When soft power is hard By Richard Falk, 28 Jul 2012 10:17   There has been serious confusion associated with the widespread embrace of "s...
Quelle horreur! Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy By Robert Fisk, Sunday 29 July 2012   Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war o...
One of the oldest tricks Why do the US media believe the worst about Iran? By Brian Whitaker, Wednesday 9 November 2011 10.36 EST ... "One of the oldest tricks in the...
Company came Why the West is Demonizing Iran By Stuart Littlewood, November 17, 2011 ... When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic...
A work in progress The Terrible Beauty of Wikileaks By Idrees, December 10th, 2011 ... Following are excerpts from my long essay on Wikileaks and the Palestine Pa...
Who of us has clean hands? Why torturers film their handiwork By Robert Fisk, Saturday 26 November 2011 ... When prisoners were brought to Saddam Hussein's intelligence s...

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2012/02/03/old-herrings/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.