A Christmas Gift to the World from the US and Israel

By Dmitriy Sedov – Strategic Culture Foundation

Prospects are grim for the US economy as the predictions of a double-dip recession appear to materialize. Experts warn that currency market destabilization and, generally, chaos across the financial sector await the US in 2012. No credible solution to the problem is being offered, and chances are no solution can be found as long as the current US economic and political systems stay in place. Washington faces the dilemma of either consenting to the abolition of the dollar monopoly in international finances, which, by the way, would rid the world of the dependence on a clique of tycoons, or searching for a solution on some totally new tracks.

The gloomy atmosphere in the White House must be impossible to disguise. These days, President B. Obama who used to do his best to sound optimistic seems harsh and nervous. The US Administration is evidently turning towards the solution all unsuccessful administrations traditionally embrace, that is, a new war. At least, this is the conclusion prompted by the rising wave of the noisy US-Israeli campaign around the Iranian nuclear program. The IAEA report on it was promised as a sensation but brought nothing serious to the spotlight: a nuclear blast simulation downloaded from the personal computer of an Iranian official back in 2004 is being sold as evidence of Iran’s nuclear-arms ambitions, plus the document mentions some capacity allegedly used for explosives compression. The rest of the document is built on speculations on the reliability of the information collected.

The attempts to convince the world of Iran’s evil plans evoke similarities with the 2003 campaign during which Iraq was charged with WMD manufacturing and  stockpiling. At that time, President G. Bush’s overactive imagination led him to warn that Iraqi drones loaded with bacteriological and chemical warfare were about to attack the US. Receptive to propaganda, the US society supported the invasion of Iraq and was later confronted with the financial and human costs of the war.

Will the US public favor a snap attack against Iran in the nearest future? Quite a few people may be unable to realize that, even if Iran is doing some nuclear arms-related research, building a real nuclear munition, especially under tight international surveillance, would still take ages. The USSR, for example,  worked towards its first atomic bomb for a decade even though the country faced no problems like sanctions and dedicated to the task a major portion of the potential of its giant military-industrial complex.

There must be reasons unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program behind the US eagerness to strike it regardless of the fact that the IAEA inspectors stuck in Iran are unable to unearth anything serious. The pressure exerted by Israel, a country with a powerful lobby in Washington, may be the explanation. It was a fundamental shift in international politics that gave Tel Aviv a major headache when the UN recognized Palestine as a subject of the international law and therefore a sovereign territory occupied by Israel. Iran is a staunch ally of Palestine and readily contributes money, weapons, and political influence to the Palestinian cause, so that Israel and the US must be thinking how to make Tehran pay dearly for the policy.

Certainly, Israel’s political reckoning is not limited to punishing Tehran for its Middle Eastern policy. The unification of anti-American and anti-Israeli forces in the world of Islam must be frightening Tel Aviv. There are hopes in Israel that a strike against Iran would deepen the Muslim world’s discord to the point of its becoming an irreversible divide, as every Arab country would have to take a stance on the attack. The Persian Gulf monarchies tightly linked to the US would have no option but to side with Washington – and, accordingly, to face the resentment of their Arab world peers.

A new wave of terrorism that the aggression against Iran would imminently provoke would also play into the hands of Tel Aviv. The ideology of Zionism is incompatible with any kind of decent deal with the Palestinians, and therefore re-energizing the confrontation with Arabs is in line with the Israeli policy.

As for the US, the first result of an aggression against Iran would be a new tide of anti-Americanism across the Muslim  world. For Washington, reliance on force has long become central to its foreign policy – one occasionally gets an impression that the US Administration sees the long media campaigns preceding its military escapades as a waste of time and would rather strike the defiant without much talk. A snap attack against Iran would be a step towards the ideal.

A military campaign targeting Iran would, at the initial phase, likely have a stabilizing impact on the US financial sector. Fighting a war means unsealing the budget and massively pouring money into military spending, which should revitalize the US economy as a whole. On the other hand, a bombing campaign long enough to trigger regime change in Tehran would have to last fairly long and come with burdensome costs. As a side effect, it would divert the public attention from pressing economic problems and demonstrate the US might to the whole world.

Great Britain will certainly join the campaign against Iran. Watch the news: if the British navy leaves Portsmouth and heads south, a new crusade will follow shortly. On November 10, Daily Mail wrote with a reference to the British intelligence: «Israel will launch military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon as soon as Christmas… Sources say the understanding at the top of the British Government is that Israel will attempt to strike against the nuclear sites ‘sooner rather than later’ – with logistical support from the U.S.»…

In other words, it may be that this year the Christmas gift to Iran’s cities and villages will be far from peaceful.

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