In addition to escalating brinkmanship with Russia and China, President Joe Biden’s administration is flirting with war against Iran. The clearest evidence of this includes the ever expanding “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign, as well as the development of a U.S.-led, NATO style alliance encircling Iran. There is also ample support for Israel’s incessant drone strikes, assassinations, and ceaseless bombings of allegedly Iranian targets in Syria.
Last month, Biden traveled to the region to publicly genuflect before the rulers of America’s cherished Gulf tyrannies and apartheid Israel. The aforementioned burgeoning alliance topped his agenda.
In May, Tel Aviv’s U.S. taxpayer subsidized military murdered Shireen Abu Akleh, a world renowned Al Jazeera journalist, a Palestinian Christian, and American citizen. During a raid on the occupied West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp, the Israeli Occupation Forces shot her in the face while she was wearing a press vest. They also attacked her funeral procession, attempting to knock her casket to the ground while mourners were carrying it.
But Biden, “Israel’s man in Washington,” got off the plane at Ben Gurion airport and said our bilateral relationship is “bone-deep.” And speaking for the “vast majority” of Americans, he stated emphatically we are “completely devoted to Israel’s security without any ifs, ands, or buts—without any doubts about it.”
During an interview ahead of his Israel visit, Biden said he would use force, threatening war against Iran “as a last resort.” It is not enough for the Israelis, they demand an “offensive” and “credible” military threat against Iran. Lapid called it “the real thing.”
Biden refuses to lift the necessary sanctions to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal, which means at least the brutal economic war on Iran will persist in perpetuity. This week, Biden levied fresh sanctions on Iran. Biden’s issuance of sanctions has become more frequent in recent months and ever since the other members of the P5+1 began approaching a finalized deal.
As Dave DeCamp, news editor at Antiwar.com, reported,
The U.S. on Monday issued fresh sanctions against Iran meant to target the Islamic Republic’s oil and petrochemical sales to East Asia.
The new sanctions targeted three Chinese firms and one UAE firm accused of doing business with the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC), which the U.S. Treasury Department says is one of Iran’s largest petrochemical brokers.
According to the Treasury Department, PGPICC facilitated the “sale of tens of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products from Iran to East Asia” through the firms that were hit with sanctions.
The sanctions are the latest sign that the Biden administration is not serious about reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked if the U.S. was ready to return to JCPOA, but he sidestepped the questions and put the responsibility on Iran.
Donald Trump and Biden’s “maximum pressure” campaign has led to 40-50% inflation rates and medical shortages. Washington has deliberately suffocated the Iranian people, almost half of whom live below the poverty line.
Last year, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Biden his “strategic vision” for Iran was “death by a thousand cuts,” or myriad military and diplomatic attacks, as well as clandestine attacks, “the gray-area stuff.” Bennett went on to demand U.S. troops remain indefinitely in both Syria and Iraq.
But the decades of lies and unsubstantiated assertions by hawks about Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons may remain a useable casus belli. Americans aware of Israel’s arsenal, which includes 200 or more nuclear weapons and makes U.S. aid illegal, are considerably outnumbered statistically by those who falsely believe Iran has the bomb. The Iranians have never sought nuclear arms, and they recently reiterated twice that they have the technical capability but, despite their encirclement, Tehran has chosen not to take this course. The development of such weapons is haram under Islamic law, forbidden by the Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwah.
However, this was never about the phony threat of Iran nuking Israel. The Iranians’ latent threat is unacceptable for Tel Aviv because it may finally restrict the Israelis’ ability to attack their neighbors with impunity, the way they bomb Syria every week.
In the book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, Scott Horton, the Libertarian Institute’s Director, explains,
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his then-defense minister, the former prime minister Ehud Barak, admitted in 2010 that even if Iran were hypothetically to gain atomic weapons, the Israelis were not afraid the Ayatollah would attack them in a first strike, as they constantly tell the public. Instead they were merely concerned that it would limit their “freedom of action” against other regional adversaries, such as Hezbollah, and could cause a “brain drain” of talented young Israelis to the United States. Netanyahu’s immediate predecessor, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the New York Times that, “Just as Pakistan had the bomb and nothing happened, Israel could also accept and survive Iran having the bomb.” Former Clinton administration State Department official Jamie Rubin also explained in Foreign Policy that the problem was never an Israeli fear of a first strike by Iran, but “Israel’s real fear – losing its nuclear monopoly and therefore the ability to use its conventional forces at will throughout the Middle East – is the unacknowledged factor driving its decision-making toward the Islamic Republic.”
Horton continues quoting Rubin,
[F]or Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. It’s the fact that Iran doesn’t even need to test a nuclear weapon to undermine Israeli military leverage in Lebanon and Syria.
Earlier this year, the Israelis simulated a massive bombing campaign over Iran, with a series of repeated airstrikes against the Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program. The drills took place over the Mediterranean Sea, spanned over 10,000 kilometers, and saw more than 100 military aircraft and navy submarines participating.
These simulations capped off a month long military exercise called Chariots of Fire which practiced for war with Iran and other contingencies. The U.S. General overseeing Central Command was in attendance. The IDF’s chief of staff has now announced the Israeli military’s primary focus is preparing an attack on Iran. In the Red Sea, the U.S. and Israel are now conducting joint war drills.
The Iran situation is another deadly indication that presidents and administrations may change, but the overall foreign policy agenda does not. Apparently, it only gets worse. The U.S. empire is in decline and the American people feel it. But the neocons and their liberal interventionist partners are holding onto their dream of a “Unipolar Moment.”
As the world adjusts to a multipolar world order, the U.S. foreign policy establishment, left and right, has picked fights with its enemies, not ours.
Americans’ only enemy is our own ruling class who would drag us into wars (proxy wars or otherwise), including with nuclear armed world powers to fulfill their desires to violently dominate the planet, funneling trillions of our dollars into the military-industrial complex. This establishment’s geopolitical and monetary schemes are destroying our nation’s future. As the Ron Paul Institute’s Daniel McAdams recently said, “[American] foreign policy is the FED with nukes.”
We have been stuck with a bill for more than $10 trillion after more than 20 years of war and killing in the Middle East, with millions dead and tens of thousands of soldiers committing suicide. It is long past time Americans put their foot down.
Or should we pursue “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none?”
The answer should be obvious.