Op-Ed in New York Times
For Israel: War is
Peace, Aggression is Self Defense, and Nuclear Attacks on Iran Are a Logical Option
headline: “Using Bombs to Stave Off War,” the New York Times ran an opinion piece on July 18 by Benny Morris, an influential
Israeli author and professor. Morris predicted, “Israel
will almost surely attack Iran’s
nuclear sites in the next four to seven months.”
And, he argues that they should.
The fact that the
editors of the Times didn’t blink at the “war is peace” logic of the headline
illustrates how embedded the assumption is in ruling class thought that anything Israel does to forces that are impediments to the interests of
U.S. empire in the Middle East is good. And anything that forces who are impediments to the interests of U.S. empire do, is against “peace.”
The Morris op-ed
piece argues that leaders not only in Washington,
but “even Tehran
should hope that the attack will be successful,” even though, according to him,
“this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation[!]” And why should Iran’s leaders hope for such an
attack, with thousands of causalities? Because, Morris writes, articulating the
gangster logic of the U.S.
and its regional enforcer, “The alternative is letting Tehran have its bomb. In either case, a
Middle Eastern nuclear holocaust would be in the cards.”
Who decided that Israel
has the right to launch a preemptive strike (supposedly outlawed by the Geneva
Convention) on any country it sees fit? Put the shoe on the other foot—what if
an Iranian professor wrote an article saying Iran
was going to launch a preemptive strike on Israel, with a title like this piece
(“Using Bombs to Stave Off War”)? One cannot imagine
such an article being printed, and if it was, one can hardly imagine the
outraged outcry. But a preemptive attack on Iran
is fine because… Israel is
working for “the good guys,” the interests of U.S. empire
in the region.
And who decided
that Israel—a country that has bombed, threatened, and invaded its neighbors
repeatedly (most recently invading Lebanon in 2006) has the sole right to do
all that, and to hold the rest of the region hostage to its arsenal of 150 or
so nuclear weapons?
argument goes even beyond arguing for and justifying a conventional Israeli air
strike on Iran.
He ends his piece by justifying an all-out Israeli nuclear attack on Iran,
saying that if Iran responded to a conventional Israeli air strike by—among
other things—prodding “Hezbollah and Hamas, to
unleash their own armories against Israel,” then Israel would have the option
of using such “Iranian counterstrikes as an excuse to escalate and use the only
means available that will actually destroy the Iranian nuclear project:
Israel’s own nuclear arsenal.”
This is the logic
being imposed on the people of the world through threat of nuclear war: Israel has a right to do anything,
to anyone that threatens its monopoly of nuclear terror in the region, up to,
and including, using its nuclear arsenal against Iran.
And where does Barack Obama stand in all this?
In a major speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Obama declared that, “I will do everything in my power to
prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” and departed from the official
text to repeat the word “everything” three times—essentially underlining that a nuclear attack on
Iran is not “off the table.”