by Ben Schreiner
It took all of one hour after simultaneous attacks targeted Israeli diplomats on Monday in New Delhi and Tbilisi, Georgia for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to conclude his investigation. As Netanyahu thundered with typical bravado: “Iran is behind these attacks. It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world.”
And after a series of apparently premature explosions shook Bangkok on Tuesday—including the detonation of two grenades by an Iranian national—Israel once again laid blame firmly at the feet of Iran. As Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated: “The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetuate terrorism.”
Yet, as the Mossad connected DEBKAfile reported, Israel remains “in the dark about the source or sources of the attacks on Israeli diplomats abroad and the investigations have a long way to go.”
Nonetheless, the series of attacks have been quickly (and quite cynically) seized upon by the war hawks, given that the attacks seemingly provide the latest justification for “taking out” Iran’s nuclear program. As Yosef Kuperwasser, director general of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry, warned, “If Iran dares to do things like this when it isn’t nuclear, just imagine what it would do when it is nuclear.” (For an indication of the terror a nuclear Iran may sow, Kuperwasser might have added, one need look no further than the terror employed by the nuclear state of Israel.)
Predictably helping to inflame tensions, and largely rallying behind the unsubstantiated Israeli claims of Iranian culpability in the week’s attacks, has been the corporate media. As the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl wrote of the New Delhi attacks: “That Iran would risk a strike in such a sensitive place suggest that its leaders are panicked.”
But the claims of a panicked and altogether irrational Iranian regime lashing out in some last act of desperation defy logic. As Vijay Prashad asks: “Why would Iran conduct an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India, particularly as India is in the midst of trying to negotiate a delicate arrangement with Tehran to pay for Iranian oil?”
Indeed, for amidst tightening Western economic sanctions, India has moved to surpass China as the largest purchaser of Iranian crude. And as the New York Times reported, India plans to deepen its economic ties to Iran by sending a large trade delegation to Tehran within weeks to “exploit opportunities created by American and European anti-nuclear sanctions.”
In fact, many in the West have begun to fret the effectiveness of a sanctions regime lacking the active participation of not only India, but China as well. As the Times noted, there is also growing fear that “China could easily undermine the oil-sanctions effort.” And according to the paper, the Partnership for a Secure America (a whose who of American imperialists past) is using the visit of Vice President Xi Jinping of China to further pressure China to crackdown on Tehran.
The punitive and quite draconian sanctions, however, are already inflicting severe pain amongst ordinary Iranians. According to Gallup, a staggering 48% of Iranians reported that there “were times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy food for their families.”
But starving an entire nation concerns the U.S. in the least. We implement our foreign policy and furnish our wars whatever the cost. For instance, when recently asked about the plight of Iranians under economic sanctions, hawkish Illinois Senator Mark Kirk replied, “It’s okay to take food out of the mouth of the citizens from a government that’s plotting an attack directly on American soil.” (Reminiscent of when Madeleine Albright deemed 500,000 Iraqis dead from U.S. imposed sanctions “worth the cost.”)
Although in the wake of Monday’s attack, as the Christian Science Monitor reports, “India will likely be under substantial pressure to now weaken its ties to Iran.” Needless to say, losing revenue from India is something Iran can ill afford. And in the end, the Iranian regime may be “radical,” in the words of Ehud Barak, “but not totally crazy. They have a quite sophisticated decision-making process, and they understand reality.”
Given this, one cannot rule out the possibility that the recent attacks against Israeli diplomats were an Israeli false flag operation. For the attacks just may serve to further isolate Iran economically, while also creating additional support for Israeli military intervention. All of which is more than ample motive for a nation quite comfortable with employing terrorism as a means to an end.
And regardless if Israel really has gone "rogue" in its effort to orchestrate a pretext for a military strike, the U.S. will no doubt come to be enmeshed in the greater regional war a strike shall unleash. But rest assured, for if it comes to this the U.S. stands “ready today” to strike Tehran, as Vice Admiral Mark Fox, commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet boasted to the media.
Also increasingly "ready today" for military confrontation is the American public. The Monitor reports that nearly 50% of Americans say they would support bombing Iran's nuclear facilities to stop its advancement toward the ability to build a bomb. Unsurprisingly, a remarkable 64% think Iran is currently trying to build a bomb. No evidence, of course, exists that they are. But alas, truth is indeed the first casualty of war.
Thus, it is really no longer a matter of if the West shall come to strike Iran, but when.
The Middle East smolders, as the West readies to set it ablaze.
Read at Dissident Voice here.