Neocons + Goldberg see coalition as heightening likelihood of war

US Politics
on 13 Comments

Today Charles Krauthammer has a scary piece in the Washington Post saying that it’s May 1967, and once again Israel’s neighbors are threatening the Jewish state, and Israel must launch a preemptive strike. MJ Rosenberg rightly describes Krauthammer as “salivating” for war.

Well, American neoconservatives and their fellow traveler Jeffrey Goldberg all see the new coalition government in Israel as increasing the likelihood of an attack on Iran. Three quotes:

Elliott Abrams at Council on Foreign Relations cites Netanyahu’s new Kadima coalition partner’s alleged dovishness on Iran but says Shaul Mofaz would be willing to strike.

He has been cautious in some statements on striking Iran, less so in others. In April he spoke:

“If we see Iran getting closer to a military nuclear capability and the US acting against its own interest and allowing a sword on our neck, I will be the first to support Israel taking action,” he said. “On this there would be no coalition and opposition. But the sword is not there yet.”

Should Netanyahu decide the sword is there, having Kadima and Mofaz–a former IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense–on his side will be of great value.

Krauthammer in the Washington Post:

for Israelis today, it is May ’67. The dread is not quite as acute: The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms. Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence — nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation — since May ’67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found — as in ’67 — Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves.

Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus. By creating the largest coalition in nearly three decades, Netanyahu is establishing the political premise for a preemptive strike, should it come to that. The new government commands an astonishing 94 Knesset seats out of 120, described by one Israeli columnist as a “hundred tons of solid concrete.”

So much for the recent media hype about some great domestic resistance to Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran. Two notable retired intelligence figures were widely covered here for coming out against him. Little noted was that one had been passed over by Netanyahu to be the head of Mossad, while the other had been fired by Netanyahu as Mossad chief (hence the job opening).

Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic also sees the Iran strike as more likely (of course he’s been carrying water for the warriors forever). Goldberg says the two leading motivations for Netanyahu’s coup-de-government are:

1) Bibi is forming the closest thing he can to a national unity government in order to strike Iran if he feels the upcoming P5 + 1 talks about Iran’s nuclear program have failed. Mofaz is on record against a raid, but his support would be important, and no doubt Netanyahu (and his sidekick, Ehud Barak, the defense minister) could convince him that it is necessary, if they come to the conclusion that they have to act….
6) Bibi wants to be able to say to President Obama: More than three-quarters of the Knesset is with me. I am Israel. 

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13 Responses

  1. Nevada Ned
    May 11, 2012, 9:31 am

    Now is an excellent day to re-read the 2009 article by Roger Cohen in the New York Times, entitled “Israel Crying Wolf”. Cohen demonstrates that Israel has been claiming for decades that Iran is “just about to” develop nuclear weapons and use them to attack Israel.
    In addition to authoritative statements by Israel officials, the neoconservatives, who swarm through the US mainstream media, are clamoring for action.
    There they go again!

  2. seafoid
    May 11, 2012, 9:48 am

    There just aren’t enough Jews to impose Israel’s writ on the region.

    I was in Mumbai when the city was attacked in 2008. 2 hotels and a Chabad centre were targeted. There are lots such targets across the world that could be selected if Israel goes after Iran.
    Israeli warmongering is bad for Jews.

    link to haaretz.com

    “At the same time, anti-Americanism is reaching dangerous levels in predominantly Sunni countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both countries have extremist Sunni groups that engage in terrorism, as well as conservative Islamic parties that participate in electoral politics. Any attack on Iran could see a merging of all these Sunni elements as well as of the broader Sunni population, and one could expect widespread anger in the streets.

    Such widespread and angry protests could make it almost impossible for Americans or Israelis to travel, work or do business across the Arab world and the Indian subcontinent. Such protests would almost invariably wipe out the gains and aspirations of the democratic movements within the Arab Spring countries, and lead to a reinforcing of Islamic fundamentalist parties, which could be expected to jump on the anti-American bandwagon. Widespread Sunni protests would invariably make the U.S. and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan planned for 2014 much more difficult and possibly lead to the strengthening of the Taliban. It also could lead to a possible new intifada among the Palestinians, who in any case see little hope of an agreement with Israel on a two-state solution.

    Thus any attack on Iran can be expected to unleash a violent reaction throughout the Muslim world, both in the more organized Shia minority camp where Iran has influence and in the majority Sunni countries where Iran may not have influence but anti-Americanism certainly does. The risk will be greater for Israel than for anyone else – a state already isolated and besieged by hostile states. With its conflict with the Palestinians unresolved, it will find itself even more isolated and under threat. The United States will find itself besieged in many parts of the Muslim world, making normal diplomacy unworkable and the effort to enlist Muslim states to support the U.S. war against Al-Qaida more difficult. “

  3. BillM
    May 11, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Meh. There is a heightened risk of war on the Haredi (and once they are dealt with, the Palestinians), but not with Iran. I predicted this call a couple of days ago. The voices in Israel that had been denouncing warmongering by Bibi had been doing so solely for domestic political edge. Now that Bibi has blocked elections for the next year and a half, all the voices will again resort to warmongering in order to scare the US government.

  4. American
    May 11, 2012, 1:18 pm

    This also increases Israel’s assumption it can do what it pleases. Congress passed the new 1 billion extra giveaway to Israel on May 9th.
    If you want to check your reps vote go here..

    link to govtrack.us
    H.R. 4133: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012

    It’s impossible to describe how deeply and completely US zionist and Israel have penetrated and perverted the US government. ..the US, the media, the press…. there has to be an ending to this somehow.

  5. American
    May 11, 2012, 1:38 pm

    “as in ’67 — Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves”

    If only that was true.
    If Israel was going bomb Iran’s nuke facilities and NO ONE was going to back them up or go to their aid in any way no matter what…I’d be saying yahoo!…..do it Israel!
    And then I’d be saying yahoo!…Iran, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, all you ME states, let loose on Israel with everything you’ve got!….and may the right side win.

  6. rensanceman
    May 11, 2012, 2:06 pm

    The Zionist cult needs a real, imagined, or contrived threat to justify its militaristic policies and to dilute its critics message. The result is: attacks against Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Syria, the use of disproportionate force, Seperation walls, billions from U.S. taxpayers, et. al. Without the ‘threats”, it would have to better justify its apartheid and ethnic cleansing ways. Our cooperative MSM would prefer to report on a lurid attack on a sovereign nation, than a boring account of Palestinians on hunger strikes, or settlers poisoning olive trees.
    I sometimes imagine how powerful it would be if the likes of CNN, and CBS, would show footage of Palestinians being evicted in the early hours with settlers standing by to move in, or the little boy begging soldiers not to take away his father for “stealing” water from his own well. Just as we are becoming more aware of how bullying can cause enduring emotional harm on young people, we can only imagine the horrible trauma the Palestinians are subjected to when they witness their loved ones being brutally mistreated by the IDF and the settlers.
    It does not seem to matter to the Zionist cult to bring the world to the brink of Armageddon even if the evidence is inconclusive that it’s contrived existential- enemy Iran has designs to drop the bomb. It does though fit into its agenda to gain hegemonic power over its neighbors so that it can fulfill its grand Zionist goal of having all of Palestine because “God” promised it to them.

    • AllenBee
      May 11, 2012, 2:38 pm

      two points:
      1. American Christians — mainstream, like the United Methodists who got so much attention last week — are blissfully ignorant of what is really going on in Palestine. Worse, they are firmly committed to remaining ignorant. To confront reality would seriously discombobulate their unconditional, generations-deep sentimental love affair with Israel. Christians do not know where the boundary lines are between Old Testament and New Testament; their thinking processes are, of necessity, sloppy — were they to rigorously critique what they claim to believe as literal truth, the very foundations of their religious security system would wobble.

      2. Similarly, main stream Christians are more likely to hold negative views of Islam and of Iran; to the extent that they apply any “christian-ness” to their perceptions of Islam/Iran, it is in terms of peoples in need of evangelization/Christianization.

      In my opinion, one of the most distressing resolutions UMC conference passed was the plan to expand its “missionizing” effort throughout the world. These people may have good hearts, and may even do some good work in, ie. building wells er something, but their ignorance of indigenous cultures, and their American supremicism and utter lack of deep respect for the traditions of others, much less a basic understanding of the history of the Others whom they seek to proselytize, presages another generation of turmoil. Better they should stay home and get their own houses in order — start by de-militarizing the United States.

  7. HarryLaw
    May 11, 2012, 2:20 pm

    The US/Israel tell us Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states[Sunni] are just as opposed to Iran[Shia] as are US/Israel, correct, but only the Leaders, Chomsky is forever quoting the poll recently which revealed that just 10% of the Arab populations consider Iran a threat whereas 80 odd percent thought US/Israel as a direct threat, also Nasrallah [Shia] is a hero in many parts of the Arab world. The US/Israel could come unstuck big time if they miscalculate this equation.

  8. Dan Crowther
    May 11, 2012, 2:39 pm

    I dont think its just the Neocons who feel this way – but for as much as I worry the Israelis might do something crazy (attacking Iran), I feel like this is about the “next phase” in the “zionist project” which means full on expulsions etc. of non-jews from Israel.
    “6) Bibi wants to be able to say to President Obama: More than three-quarters of the Knesset is with me. I am Israel. (and we are annexing what we want)”

    If and when this happens (the final “cleansing”), the reaction in the states, and on this blog will be of great interest to me. I am bracing myself to be absolutely disgusted. But maybe some good will come out of it – maybe at that point the vulgar apologists and Holocaust Industrialists will finally be shouted down and shunned, maybe at that point, wealthy white americans who happen to be jewish will feel a sense of shame identifying as victims in perpetuity and maybe at that point we can finally move past identity politics, where “what I think” is somehow a by product of “what I am”

  9. sciri21
    May 11, 2012, 3:17 pm

    “apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation”

    As if Krauthammer needed to give us more proof of militaristic fearmongering and bias.

  10. ToivoS
    May 11, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Uri Avnery has an interesting take on the new coalition government in Israel. (link to counterpunch.org) It is one that makes more sense to me then the ravings of Goldberg, Abrams and Krauthammer.

    Israel will not attack Iran on its own. It wants the US to do it. Except we don’t, and that was the message from Biden before the rabbis: go ahead Israel if you insist but you do so by yourself. The three neocon stooges are simply spinning the latest political news out of Israel in a way that might increase the chances of getting the US involved in war with Iran. It is not going to work, at least not this easily. Our NSC, military and intelligence professionals know what Israel is doing and they will thwart them using the diplomatic and bureaucratic tactics (mostly invisible to us plebeians) for which they were trained.

    • seafoid
      May 11, 2012, 5:36 pm

      Bibi’s popularity is approaching 50%;. – how desperate
      As of November, a reelected Obama may exert real pressure for peace- Get real

  11. CTuttle
    May 11, 2012, 10:26 pm

    I find it fascinating that Hamas has disavowed Iran today…Hamas Won’t Fight Israel Over Iran, Says Haniyeh…

    Btw, let’s… Let Us Call Terror, Terror…

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