There are several things missing from the march to war that we are seeing playing out at AIPAC this week. First is the complete absence of any casus belli. Media and political rhetoric aside, Iran has threatened neither Israel nor the United States and the intelligence agencies of both countries agree that Tehran has not made the decision to construct a nuclear weapon (if it indeed has the ability and resources to do so). Second is the “security threat” to the United States coming from Iran, cited by President Obama. What exactly is it and how does Iran, a backward country with an ailing economy and a military unable to project its power beyond its own borders threaten the US? How can it possibly endanger the United States to such an extent that a war which can have catastrophic economic and political consequences might be justified?
Obama, to give him his due, is holding out against immense pressure on many fronts from Israel and its friends to draw a “nuclear capability” red line that will mean war in fairly short order. He is supported by the Pentagon and the intelligence community in his resistance. But he has nevertheless turned over US foreign policy in a key part of the world to Israel, saying unconditionally that he has “Israel’s back” and that he guarantees its security. That means that no matter what Israel does, justified or not, the US will get involved, something that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands very well. It would be war with no concern for what the consequences might be for the American people because, after all, Netanyahu could care less about the US except insofar as it is a source of material and political support.
Obama has also opened the door to a replay of Iraq. He has pledged to use military force against Iran to “prevent” Tehran’s development of a nuclear weapon. Prevent is the key word as it means preemption. Preemption will be based on evidence that Iran is building a weapon. As with Iraq, evidence can be fabricated or planted to suit. There have already been instances of fabricated intelligence being generated to create the impression that Iran is not only seeking a weapon but is also advancing a project to be able to mount it on a ballistic missile. It is not hard for a sophisticated intelligence agency like Mossad to fake the necessary evidence, that will then be picked up by the usual suspects in the US media and in congress, to make the case for war.
We are seeing something awful unfolding before our very eyes – an essentially phony case for going to war being driven by a foreign country and its domestic lobby with the political class too terrified to say no and a complicit media beating the drum.