Revolution #138, August 3, 2008
Op-Ed in New York Times
For Israel: War is Peace, Aggression is Self Defense, and Nuclear Attacks on Iran Are a Logical Option
Under the 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.”
Unasked question: 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 by Israel 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?
But Morris’ 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.”
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