|See No Evil: A Strange Absolution of Obama’s Warmongering|
|Written by Chris Floyd|
|Friday, 03 February 2012 00:55|
It's hard to say which is more disturbing in Patrick Cockburn's recent analysis of America’s warmongering toward Iran: his portrait of wily Jews manipulating and "bamboozling" the American power elite into acting against their own interests and good intentions; or the 'Amos and Andy' echoes in the image of a Negro President too dumb to know he's being played by wicked Hebrews. In any case, it is an astounding -- and dismaying -- performance from a writer who has long been one of the very best in delineating the operations of empire in the Middle East.
But note what else Cockburn says, which is most definitely not similar to anything I've written. Writing about U.S. neoconservatives, the Likud Party and the Israel lobby in Washington, Cockburn states:
These are very much the same people who targeted Iraq in the 1990s. They have been able to force the White House to adopt their program and it is now, in turn, being implemented by a European Union that naively sees sanctions as an alternative to military conflict. ….
Let me see if I understand this correctly. Obama was strapped down, blindfolded, deprived of all food and water for weeks on end, and tortured in numerous ways. Perhaps Netanyahu screamed at him nonstop for 10 or 12 days. (It would unquestionably work on me.) And then, on top of that, Obama was tricked. Tricked!!! How unbelievably dastardly.
Silber goes on to lay out the overwhelming evidence, from Obama's own statements and actions, disproving Cockburn's ludicrous contention -- evidence which, as Silber says, "supports only one conclusion: what Obama is doing comports fully and precisely with what he himself believes."
To think that all of this has happened because a small band of extremist ideologues – the neocons – somehow "hijacked" U.S. foreign policy to push their radical dreams of "liberating" the Middle East by force and destroying Israel’s enemies is absurd. The Bushist power factions were already determined on an aggressive foreign policy; they used the neocons and their bag of tricks – their inflated rhetoric, their conspiratorial zeal, their murky Middle East contacts, their ideology of brute force in the name of "higher" causes – as tools (and PR cover) to help bring about a long-planned war that had nothing to do with democracy or security or any coherent ideology whatsoever beyond the remorseless pursuit of wealth and power, the blind urge to be top dog.
And again a bit later on the same theme:
For what's the underlying implication of the "neo-cons über alles" meme? … It's that no U.S. administration would ever undertake the kind of rapacious policies we've seen in the last five years – unless they'd been tricked into it by wily Zionists and their ideological outriders. It is, in short, our old friend "American exceptionalism," decked out in dissident drag. ….
What interests me about this kind of mental contortion -- and where I think its significance lies -- is what it achieves, and what unspoken premises it reveals. Among other things, it accomplishes a distancing from evil. If we acknowledge that Obama knows exactly what he's doing and that he intends the likely outcome of the events he sets in motion, we are compelled to conclude that he is engaged in a plan which can only be described as deeply, unforgivably evil. The effects of regime change, most likely accompanied by air strikes or military action(s) of some other kind, will include the widespread deaths of innocent human beings and vast destruction."
Again, you cannot pretend that the American elite do not know this. They know it very well. They are discussing it openly every day. As Jim Lobe tells us, yet another bipartisan gaggle of the great and good has just released yet another report stoking war fever against Iran.
The "Bipartisan Policy Center" is chaired by former Democratic Senator Chuck Robb and ex-Air Force general Charles Wald and included "retired flag officers, several former congressmen from both parties" and other wise elders plugged into the power grid. Lobe also notes that group's "staff director was Michael Makovsky, who worked as a consultant to the controversial Pentagon office set up in 2002 to find evidence of operational ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein as a justification for the invasion the following year."
Lobe lays out what these heavyweights are calling for. In the inevitable event that sanctions fail to force Iran to give up its entirely legal nuclear energy program (which is policed by the most intensive international inspection regimen in history):
Washington should launch an “effective surgical strike against Iran’s nuclear program” involving aerial attacks and the deployment of U.S. Special Forces units over a period of weeks, according to the task force. …
While “U.S. plans would not include targeting of civilians,” according to the task force, Washington should also prepare to provide humanitarian relief in Iran “to counter any crisis that could result from kinetic action.”
No, they are not "targeting civilians" -- just power plant and electric company employees, bus drivers, train drivers, factory workers, highway crews, oil riggers, people who work for mobile phone companies, television and radio stations and all other media which might be used by the regime for "communications." And all the civilians working in government offices and military facilities, and all the civilians who might live near factories, train stations, power plants, oil fields, government offices, military facilities, and all the civilians who ride trains, buses, drive on the roads and highways and otherwise avail themselves of "transportation infrastructure."
“The United States would lose international support for military action against Iran — or for future action against other states — if it neglected to address the humanitarian consequences of a military strike,” according to the report.
To repeat: this kind of talk is going on across the networks of power in Washington, on every level: formal, informal, official, semi-official, openly and secretly. Indeed, as Lobe notes, this week the Obama administration has been racketing up the warmongering to new heights:
On Sunday, for example, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta vowed to take “whatever steps are necessary” to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, while on Tuesday, the director of national intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, testified that Tehran may be preparing to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. in the event of a war.
The impetus behind these efforts is the same: to force regime change in Iran, either by collapsing the regime now in place or else breaking it into complete acquiescence with the armed domination of world affairs that is Washington's openly stated agenda. As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta put it, in introducing Obama's "Defense Strategic Review" last month: "We must maintain the world's finest military, one that supports and sustains the unique global leadership role of the United States in today's world."