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By Gareth Porter

Posted by : Michael Leon -- Veterans Today

Reuel Marc Gerecht - Weekly Standard

Neocons are supporting an Israeli attack on Iran in the hope that the U.S. would be drawn into the ensuing conflict. If the Israelis bomb now, American public opinion will probably be with them,” writes neocon Reuel Marc Gerecht.

“Perhaps decisively so.” Reuel Marc Gerecht’s screed justifying an Israeli bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening of the new Israel lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House resolution 1553 expressing full support for such an Israeli attack.

What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.

That has long been the Israeli strategy for Iran, because Israel cannot fight a war with Iran without full U.S. involvement. Israel needs to know that the United States will finish the war that Israel wants to start.

Gerecht openly expresses the hope that any Iranian response to the Israeli attack would trigger full-scale U.S. war against Iran. “If Khamenei has a death-wish, he’ll let the Revolutionary Guards mine the strait, the entrance to the Persian Gulf,” writes Gerecht. “It might be the only thing that would push President Obama to strike Iran militarily….”

Gerecht suggest that the same logic would apply to any Iranian “terrorism against the United States after an Israeli strike,” by which he really means any attack on a U.S. target in the Middle East. Gerecht writes that Obama might be “obliged” to threaten major retaliation “immediately after an Israeli surprise attack.”

That’s the key sentence in this very long Gerecht argument. Obama is not going to be “obliged” to join an Israeli aggression against Iran unless he feels that domestic political pressures to do so are too strong to resist. That’s why the Israelis are determined to line up a strong majority in Congress and public opinion for war to foreclose Obama’s options.

In the absence of confidence that Obama would be ready to come into the war fully behind Israel, there cannot be an Israeli strike.

Gerecht’s argument for war relies on a fanciful nightmare scenario of Iran doling out nuclear weapons to Islamic extremists all over the Middle East. But the real concern of the Israelis and their lobbyists, as Gerecht’s past writing has explicitly stated, is to destroy Iran’s Islamic regime in a paroxysm of U.S. military violence.

Gerecht first revealed this Israeli-neocon fantasy as early as 2000, before the Iranian nuclear program was even taken seriously, in an essay written for a book published by the Project for a New American Century. Gerecht argued that, if Iran could be caught in a “terrorist act,” the U.S. Navy should “retaliate with fury”. The purpose of such a military response, he wrote, should be to “strike with truly devastating effect against the ruling mullahs and the repressive institutions that maintain them.”

And lest anyone fail to understand what he meant by that, Gerecht was more explicit: “That is, no cruise missiles at midnight to minimize the body count. The clerics will almost certainly strike back unless Washington uses overwhelming, paralyzing force.”

David Wurmser

In 2006-07, the Israeli war party had reason to believe that it could hijack U.S. policy long enough to get the war it wanted, because it had placed one of its most militant agents, David Wurmser, in a strategic position to influence that policy.

We now know that Wurmser, formerly a close adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu and during that period Vice President Dick Cheney’s main adviser on the Middle East, urged a policy of overwhelming U.S. military force against Iran. After leaving the administration in 2007, Wurmser revealed that he had advocated a U.S. war on Iran, not to set back the nuclear program but to achieve regime change.

“Only if what we do is placed in the framework of a fundamental assault on the survival of the regime will it have a pick-up among ordinary Iranians,” Wurmser told The Telegraph. The U.S. attack was not to be limited to nuclear targets but was to be quite thorough and massively destructive. “If we start shooting, we must be prepared to fire the last shot. Don’t shoot a bear if you’re not going to kill it.”

Of course, that kind of war could not be launched out of the blue. It would have required a casus belli to justify a limited initial attack that would then allow a rapid escalation of U.S. military force. In 2007, Cheney acted on Wurmser’s advice and tried to get Bush to provoke a war with Iran over Iraq, but it was foiled by the Pentagon.

As Wurmser was beginning to whisper that advice in Cheney’s ear in 2006, Gerecht was making the same argument in The Weekly Standard:

“Bombing the nuclear facilities once would mean we were declaring war on the clerical regime. We shouldn’t have any illusions about that. We could not stand idly by and watch the mullahs build other sites. If the ruling mullahs were to go forward with rebuilding what they’d lost–and it would be surprising to discover the clerical regime knuckling after an initial bombing run–we’d have to strike until they stopped. And if we had any doubt about where their new facilities were (and it’s a good bet the clerical regime would try to bury new sites deep under heavily populated areas), and we were reasonably suspicious they were building again, we’d have to consider, at a minimum, using special-operations forces to penetrate suspected sites.”

The idea of waging a U.S. war of destruction against Iran is obvious lunacy, which is why U.S. military leaders have strongly resisted it both during the Bush and Obama administrations. But Gerecht makes it clear that Israel believes it can use its control of Congress to pound Obama into submission. Democrats in Congress, he boasts, “are mentally in a different galaxy than they were under President Bush.” Even though Israel has increasingly been regarded around the world as a rogue state after its Gaza atrocities and the commando killings of unarmed civilians on board the Mavi Marmara, its grip on the U.S. Congress appears as strong as ever.

Moreover, polling data for 2010 show that a majority of Americans have already been manipulated into supporting war against Iran – in large part because more than two-thirds of those polled have gotten the impression that Iran already has nuclear weapons. The Israelis are apparently hoping to exploit that advantage. “If the Israelis bomb now, American public opinion will probably be with them,” writes Gerecht. “Perhaps decisively so.”

Netanyahu must be feeling good about the prospects for pressuring Barack Obama to join an Israeli war of aggression against Iran. It was Netanyahu, after all, who declared in 2001, “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

Gareth Porter is an American historian, veteran investigative journalist and policy analyst on U.S. foreign and military policy. A strong opponent of U.S. wars in South Asia, and the Middle East, he has also written on the potential for diplomatic compromise to end or avoid wars in Korea, Cambodia, Philippines, [Iraq] and Iran.  He is the author of a history of the origins of the Vietnam war, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.

16 Comments

  1. Earlaiman on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    “If the Israelis bomb now, American public opinion will probably be with them,” writes neocon Reuel Marc Gerecht.

    Perhaps so!

    But, even so, it will take more than public opinion, the American version of which is about as constant and consistent, as true, and manipulable as an overpriced two dollar waterfront street whore in Brooklyn to “win” such a war, if “win” is even a term which can be applied to such a “war,” as a suicidal move such as this is sure to become.

    Such a war might be fought and brought to an end…. most wars, prolong sufficiently, do eventually “run down,” if not for lack of momentum and support, then simply because they no longer become profitable and become liably and excessively expensive, both in moral credit, fiscal, human resources and goods, as well a overwhelmingly and disgustingly bloody and alienating of all human sensibilities and responsibility.

    But, there is and there will be no element of “victory” in such a war.

    Over the years, the US has taken the measure of this kind of debacle in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now they want to try Iran?

    Sucking infanity, that’s what it is, sucking Israeli infanity!

    Earlaiman

  2. ZIONIST JEWS ARE DELUSIONAL PILES OF PUTRIFIED HYENA CRAP on the 08. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    Regarding the ‘overwhelming support’ for this coming war with Iran, I have a few words of wisdom for the ZIONIST mass murderers in the U.S. Government, and I want you to heed these words well, because they’re not a threat, they are a PROMISE!

    First, boys n gurlz of zionist ilk, let’s say you stupidly draw the U.S. into a protracted war in Iran that YOU HAVE STARTED using a FALSE FLAG ATTACK like the one you did in NYC on Sept. 11, 2001…the tide will turn on your sorry butts and you’ll wonder where the fork the yellow went when public opinion shifts and people suddenly realize what the hell you have all done.

    And then, I have to tell you, it won’t be pleasant. A whole lot of dying here is going to happen. And the reason for it, will be a CIVIL WAR in the U.S., triggered by your bullshit and your war mongering, and your blood lusting. American’s will turn on their fellow citizens who started this crap, and the retribution will be quite ugly and terrible. It means that about 250 million of us will have to chase down the sixty or seventy million arseholes who took this country down the toilet, ZIONISTS at the TOP OF THE HEAP, and begin to make sure you don’t ever, ever get a chance to do this ever again. You can take it for what it’s worth that a whole lot of 13 inch thick gravemarkers will be needed in the aftermath of that mistake you’re about to make.

    Holocaust? We’ll show you what Holocaust means. If you further destroy this nation, well drive every last one of you into the ocean, or the dirt, and we won’t stop until every last zionist pile of crap is totally non-existent except on some mass grave markers left behind after the ensuing civil war is over with.

    Just push your luck, boyz n gurlz, and I can promise you that the end result will leave your fannies very very very blackened and cold in the ensuing backlash here.

    Wanna sacrifice more American blood? Go for it, but remember, there’ll be a big price to pay and if you can’t afford it, I suggest you not push your luck further.

    it’s about to RUN OUT.

  3. G Street on the 09. Aug, 2010 remarked #

    The next words from the “I know what America is” Netanyahu quote refers to 80% approval in the polls, about which he says, “It’s absurd.”

    I agree that it is absurd. It is absurd that you could convince a majority of Americans to start ANOTHER war when they don’t approve of the two current official ones. Television propaganda like CNN’s that repeatedly showed red BREAKING NEWS headlines about Iran that were then quietly withdrawn without any admissions of error are why US citizens get these strange ideas. Otherwise, think about it, how would we know whether Iran has a nuclear program? Does anyone ever poll on questions like: “How the hell would you know whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons????” Why “ask” us when we don’t know. The answers are supplied and the test is dumbed down until eventually 60% will get it “right” and then we can have another illegal, immoral and incredibly stupid war which will destroy our country and later on the same 60% can wonder how it ever went so wrong.

    And the thing that Netanyahu moves so easily, “our” congress will go along. But both congress and its owners make a big mistake assuming that war-weary America will go along with this latest disaster in the ongoing destruction of our country. I know I won’t.

  4. Doug P. on the 01. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    C’mon college students….start protesting!!

    Gee,I sure wish college students would speak out against war like we did back in the 60s!

  5. Truther on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    War with Iran will be the last thing US will be doing on planet earth before being disbanded forever. With an economy in shambles from effects of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and an army which basically can not even fight a few thousand illiterate Afghan Taliban, Iran is too big a piece for US to handle. Iran is twice the size of Iraq and Afghanistan combined with twice the population combined. Iran is soaked with ballistic missiles tipped with WMD chemical and bioweapons. Iran can choke off hormuz thru which 40% of the internationally traded oil passes. That is not all, Afghanistan produces 97% of the worlds’ narcotic drugs and the only thing right now standing between a large cache of drugs (huge enough to supply 3 billion addicts for decades to come according to UN) and EU and ultimately western hemisphere. It is only the well organized Iranian government which is protecting the vulnerable rapper/hippie/stupid population of European youths. Just attack Iran and you will have a mess on your hand beyond your wildest imagination. This is just a start. Iran will use its MRBM’s to take out the oil fields of all middle east. Taking out flammable refineries etc. Oil will shoot up to more than a thousand dollar per barrel, all shias around the world will rebel against west. That is why the sane professional US generals have basically rejected any kind of attack and not only that but also have threatened to shoot down any Israeli aircraft heading for Iran. The rest is a showbiz quality drama. For example the poll mentioned in this article saying Americans support an attack on Iran after basically having being suffering in two wars already is laughable. The source of the poll is Foxnews and we all know how much that poll is credible. Iran is larger than Germany, France, UK and Spain all combined together. US does not have enough troops to take over Iran.

  6. Israeli on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    You have produced really comprehensive analysis of the situation, however there is one important question you’ve omitted – what Israel should do in case Iran produces nuclear warhead and transfers it to Hizbullah or Hamas?

  7. Irani on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    3 reasons why Iran would never bomb Israel:

    1- Iran never attacked any neighbors since more than 500 years. While Israel did, since the beginning of its existence

    2- Iran does not have one single nuclear bomb and even if they build one; Israel have more than 200. So The ugly mullahs, are not fool enough to suicide themselves.

    3- Jerusalem is the third islamic holy city. No islamic country would dare to bomb it, even Iran. Besides, with a nuclear bomb, as far as the atomic cloud moves, they risk to kill more muslims than jews.

    The spectrum of the so called “what Israel should do in case Iran produces nuclear warhead and transfers it to Hizbullah or Hamas?” aim at creating a fear situation to manipulate public opinion (including the jewish diaspora and the christians) in order to justify an Israeli attack on Iran.

  8. Rexw on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    I agree with Irani, above.

    Not one bomb; a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a stated ‘no interest in a bomb’. As opposed to Israel with 300 (US Air Force statistic), a non- signatory to the NPT, and a stated comment that they have enough bombs for every capital in the world, or words to that effect.

    Who is the warlike country here?

    Now if you want to have a serious attack of nerves, try Pakistan, a country with the Taliban on every street corner and nuclear weapons tucked away somewhere and I would guess that the Taliban know where. Don’t hear much about that possibility, do we? The previous Pakistani head of nuclear research , Dr. Khan, spent a great deal of his time selling the technology to all and sundry, including, so it is rumoured, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. So who knows what other countries have such technology now?

    Any country that is so steeped in religion as in Iran where they are currently engaged in stoning an adultress because it states that this is the punishment under Sharia law, is unlikely to bomb an Islamic city like Jerusalem, almost as important to the Muslims as it is to Christians and Jews.I think we have to keep a sense of realism here and then consider who it is that would best be served by such an attack. History has proven that Israel creates the war climates through false information, but it is the US that cleans it all up, suffers the casualties and are still doing so in Iraq, (not over yet, I would suggest) and Afghanistan.

    Iran by its very nature is probably the most western of all Arab states. It has a lot to give the West by way of history and culture and should be encouraged to come on board, so to speak. The difficulty has been that the leadership is seen as somewhat radical, but an honest comment would have to be certainly no more radical than Israel. It is just that what Iranians do and say ends up in the western Jewish-owned press, coloured to suit the climate, naturally. Makes such a difference when you own the media.

    Iran has suffered the indignity of being a US friend and all that means, in the days of the Shah. They were then an enemy of Iraq who were funded and supported by the US for years, yes, in the days of Saddam, a US friend at that time and then, after having been encouraged after the Shah to accept from Paris the exiled Mullah Khoumeni, now have a regime that doesn’t quite please the US, but a regime of their making.

    So if you want to blame somebody for the middle east crisis, blame the US foreign policy, even to this day being run as an arm of the military, all of which is controlled by Israel, by default.

    Perhaps what the world needs now is for Russia to have a peace agreement with Iran to keep the arrogant Israelis in line. Just as Israel relies on with the US.

    But ten years from now, when the balance of economic power and all that means, switches to China, they will see a relationship with Iran as very much to their advantage. Based on US indebtedness, its weak administration, it’s lack of respect throughout the world, it’s imbalance of trade with China, its dependence on foreign oil, there is a lot of shuffling to go on yet to sort out who is aligned with whom and why. One thing is certain…based on the factors above, US Empire has already started to decline. China is ascending, quickly.

    Any country, who through their actions tries to vary any of those factors through a pre-emptive military action on the main country that provides China’s oil supplies, would want to be very cautious, I would have thought. However, until the Iranian people become democratic and accept Islam as their religion only and not as their political master, Iran may never become a power of any consequence. As it is in the case of Indonesia, an Islamic country but with an elected Democratic government, not controlled by Sharia law. Not quite perfect but getting there.

    One day Indonesia (237 million) may want to have a bomb. What does Israel (7.6 million) do then?

  9. Israeli on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    I’ve answered comprehensively before but someone have deleted my comments. Coward.

  10. Israeli on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    @Rexw
    Israel never said that it has enough warheads for every capital.
    Iran is not Arab state.

    With all due respect, you knowledge of this region is too limited.

  11. Debbie on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    What should Israel do IF Iran develops a nuclear weapon capability, and IF they transfer it to Hisbullah or Hamas?

    My response…

    Well, those are two pretty big, far-reaching and improbable if’s which only the most paranoid psychotics might fear, which from my perspective do not merit all of the murderous, brutal, presumptive and preemptive behavior which Israel has perpetrated against Palestine and its neighbors now for over sixty years under the guise of such falsely instilled paranoid fears.

    But, if such an unlikely thing were to happen, that Iran should, indeed, get a nuclear weapon capability, which they deny they are seeking, and which no one has yet proven that they are, and the even less unlikely proposition that they would share the capability with any others, then I would suggest that Israel, in the interests of its own survival and the welfare of its people, might be well advised to cease its murderous and barbaric provocative behavior toward Palestine, its neighbors and Iran, and learn to deal with them as equally righteous people and neighbors who have an equal right to live in peace and security on their own lands.

    In other words, Israel would have to learn to act like any other people or nation in the world facing potential adversaries on an equal footing, mutually capable of destroying each other.

    In my book, and in most other books, this would be regarded as “The right ‘thing.” But then, I am not Israeli, and I am not Jewish, which may be the root of Israeli Jewish problem of warped perspective regarding equalities among people.

    So, if Israel, Israelis, or World Jewry have a problem with any of this then they might look into their own mirrors in search of the answers and solutions to it.

    Why do they hate you? Because you do hateful things! If they had a nuke capability I would suggest you would stop doing hateful things.

    The proper question, which Israeli never asks but should be asking is:

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    who is the ugliest one of all?”

    Read: http://mycatbirdseat.com/2010/04/why-iran-give-iran-a-break-2/
    WHY IRAN? Give Iran a Break!

    And

    INHUMANITY IS CODIFIED:
    Palestine: Occupied, Divided, Isolated, Oppressed and Unaided
    Israel treats Palestinians worse than the Nazis treated Jews before 1939—are Concentration Camps the next step?
    by Stephen Lendman
    Thursday, 19 August 2010

    Imagine the following:

    You’re ruthlessly oppressed in an occupied country under a system of institutionalized racism, affording rights solely to Jews. You have no recognized nation, no right of citizenship, no democratic freedoms or civil liberties, including no power over your daily life.

    You live in constant fear, collectively punished, politically denied, and economically strangled in a continuing cycle of violence. Military orders deny free expression and movement, enclose population centers, close borders, and impose curfews, checkpoints, roadblocks, separation walls, electric fences, dispossessions, land seizures, and domination over all aspects of life under draconian military orders like the following:
    More-

    http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/081910Lendman.shtml

  12. Israeli on the 07. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    @Debbie
    Well, in you opinion these IF’s are paranoiac, far-reaching and improbable.
    Facts are that Hizbullah and Hamas are after destroying Israel and Iran is paying their bill. No matter how you personally think or feel about it – it is a fact. Israel hase very gross security concerns, also because of the Palestine issue.
    As of Palestine – if Iran was not paying Hamas the peace treaty were signed at least 3 years ago.

    As of all the oppression stuff – apparently you do not know that security tightened AFTER first Intifada, initiated by Arafat, and reached it’s peak at second Intifada initiated by Arafat as well.
    BEFORE that Palestinians were working in Israel, there was very little roadblocks etc etc.
    These days, 10 years after second Intifada erupted and economics are relatively well lots of Palestinians come to work in Israel every day. However it’s just about 5% of the numbers back in 2000. Why? Because foreigners from countries like India, Philippines and even Somali have taken all their jobs. You see, you won’t keep your employee if you know his brother have stabbed to death his boss.
    By the way, are you opposing turks and iranians killing kurds?

    As of hateful things we do – let’s leave alone WWII – right after Israel was declared 5 arab armies invaded Israel in order to destroy it. Also, all Jews who lived in arab countries were throw out from their homes and their property dispossessed.

    I find it really amusing, how people are speaking of Palestinian Genocide and all that bullshit while at the same time turks kill more kurd in one month than Israelis killed Palestinians in last 20 years – and nobody even mention that.
    How do you call it, hypocrites?

    Why do they

  13. Rehmat on the 08. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Israeli….

    Do you know that over 4 million foreign Jews are living on the land they looted from the native Muslims and Christians? In fact, not long ago – Ehud Barak had said:”If I was a Palestinian; I would become a terrorist”.

    Hamas want to “recover” the land which was inhibited by their ancestors for over 1300 years. Hamas’ actions are not against the teachings of the torah or the international laws.

    Hizbullah never said it wants to destroy the zionist entity. What they’re fighting for is that Zionazi thugs withdraw from the Sheba Farm and the Golan Heights, which belongs to Lebanon. Syria is helping the Lebanese because before 1918 – both people lived in the same country, known as Al-Sham.

    By questioning Iranian aid to Hamas and Hizbullah – you sound stupid. Don’t you know that the US has been giving Israel an annual aid of US$6-14 billion. Some US economists believe that since 1970s, the Israeli Jews have sucked the US taxpayers’ out US$3,000 billion in direct aid and soft loans.

    I would not call you a hypocrite – but what the Zionist historian Lenni Brenner had called his fellow Jews: “parasite, unwashed and unwanted”.

  14. Israeli on the 08. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    @Rehmat
    1 – Just FYU – it’s 5.5 million jews nowadays + 1.5 million arabs who still live on their land, have israeli citizenship and enjoy all rights.
    BTW, what is the reason these 1.5M do not press towards right of return or any other palestinian issue? i guess that’s probably because: A – they realize perfectly well that it’s much better to live in Jewish state than in Arab state, and B – they know that the entire conflict could be resolved within about a week but there is some regional powers who see it as contradicting their interest.

    2 – This so-called “looted” land consists of about 90% inhabitable deserts where no human being lived before 1950s
    Around 1940′s total Arab population of this region was something about 1 100 000. It’s almost 6 000 000 today, with 1.5 M livin in Israel and 4.5 M in Palestine.
    You see how stupid these jews are? they are not even capable of conducting genocide properly.

    3 – There is not one single reason – historic, legal, traditional – why Hamas could or should get what they so badly want. Well, if they prefer to keep their people in misery – it’s their choice, no-one cares.
    Hamas actions are declared war, supported by entire Gaza population. BTW, as you’ve certainly notices, Hamas is not all that popular in West Bank. Do you know why?

    4 – Yeah. Hizbullah is fighting for Golan heights. What planet you live on exactly?
    A – Golan Heights was under Syrian authority and will be returned (right after Russia returns Japan Kuril Islands) to Syria.
    B – Shebaa Farms where taken form Syria too
    C – Hizbullah’s goal was to make Israel go back to 1982 borders. Israel left Lebanon 8 years ago. Hizbullah is still there, getting stronger every day.

    5 – I’m not questioning anything.
    As I’ve said before – Hamas and Hizbullah are after destruction of Israel. Iran is paying their bills, therefore Iran is after destruction of Israel.
    What exactly US aid to Israel – which is for about 95% spent back in US, but your economists are apparently not knowledgeable enough – has to with this issue?

    You can call me anything. Hypocrites still stay hypocrites, parasites still stay parasites.

    P.S. I’ll tell you why Arabs hate Jews so much – because Jews have managed to build a country in the middle of the desert, are enjoying rather high quality of life, and have beaten at least tenfold larger enemies 3 times in the row.

  15. Mogen David on the 28. Oct, 2010 remarked #

    Emanuel, Axelrod, Pritzker, Plouffe, and other Chicago Jews are angry with their Black Sock Puppet for not kow-towing to Bibi Netanyahoo. And since the Jew Goons aren’t getting what they want, WATCH OUT! They are planning to throw him under the bus unless America continues to be the Janitor for Israel in the Mid East.

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