Netanyahu v Obama – What next?

Alan Hart March 16, 2012 4
Netanyahu v Obama – What next?

by Alan Hart

The headline over an article in Ha-aretz by Bradley Burston on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s poker game with President Obama was If Obama wins in November, is Netanyahu in trouble? That’s a question I’ve had in my own mind for quite some time and it begs another.

What, really, worries Netanyahu most – the prospect (not real) of Iran posing an existential threat to Israel or the prospect (real) of a second-term Obama?

There in, Burston wrote, something new in the air, something Netanyahu does not like. What is it? “American conservatives have begun to think out loud that Barack Obama will win in November.”

In my opinion there’s a better than evens chance that in the course of a second Obama term, America would put its own best interests first, which would mean an end to unconditional American support for the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong. (As is often the case, the Gentile me and Gideon Levy are on the same page. The headline over one of his recent articles in Ha-aretz was It’s only a matter of time before U.S. tires of Israel).

There are three main reasons why I have that opinion.

The first is my belief that Obama hates being a prisoner of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress. (I think that Max Hastings, a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and a well respected military historian, was spot on when he wrote the following in a recent article for the Daily Mail. “Privately, Obama yearns to come down hard n Netanyahu, whom he dislikes intensely. But the U.S. President does not dare to do this when his own re-election may hinge on the three per cent of American voters who are Jewish.”)

The second, and much more to the real point, is that behind closed doors there are now many in the top levels of America’s military, intelligence and foreign policy establishments who are aware that an Israel which has no interest in peace with the Palestinians, and is led by men who want war with Iran, is an Israel that is much more of a liability than an asset for the U.S. There is also awareness in the top levels of America’s military, intelligence and foreign policy establishments that Netanyahu decided to play the Iran threat card in order to divert attention away from Israel’s on-going consolidation of its occupation of the West Bank and, in short, to have Palestine taken off the American foreign policy agenda.

The third is the insight given to me by former President Carter when my wife and I met with him and Rosalyn after they had said goodbye to the White House. “Any American president has only two windows of opportunity to break or try to break the Zionist lobby’s stranglehold on Congress on matters to do with Israel Palestine.”

The first window is during the first nine months of a president’s first term because after that the soliciting of funds for the mid-term elections begins. Presidents don’t have to worry on their own account about funds for mid-term elections, but with their approach no president can do or say anything that would offend the Zionist lobby and cost his party seats in Congress. The second window of opportunity is the last year of his second term if he has one. In that year, because he can’t run for a third term, no president has a personal need for election campaign funds or organised votes. (I imagine that incoming President Obama, briefed by Carter or not, was fully aware of these limited windows of opportunity and that was why he tried in his first nine months to get a freeze on Israel’s illegal settlement activity).

So my answer to Burston’s headline question is yes, Netanyahu could very well be in trouble if Obama wins a second term.

A good indication of Netanyahu’s fear of a second term Obama is, I think, the mountain of money his seriously wealthy supporters in America are investing in the effort to get a Republican into the White House who will allow Netanyahu and the Zionist lobby to pull his strings.

Question: Given that he does not want Obama to have a second term, what now are Netanyahu’s options?

I can see three possibles.

One is to watch and wait and hope that there will be a downturn in the American economy between now and November that will assist a Republican presidential candidate to defeat Obama.

Another is to launch a unilateral attack on Iran’s nuclear sites (never mind that Iran’s leaders have not taken a decision to go nuclear for weapons and possibly never will unless Iran is attacked).

Question: How might initiating a war with Iran assist Netanyahu to put Obama in real trouble?

One short answer is that the probable regional and global fall-out of an Israeli attack on Iran, including soaring oil prices, could bring what is being presented as a slow but sure recovery of the American economy to a swift halt. And that, most likely, would be enough to guarantee Obama’s defeat in November. (In an analysis for The National Interest, an American bi-monthly foreign policy journal, Paul Pillar, a former, very senior CIA analyst and today a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies, noted that the welfare of American consumers and workers is “not high” on the list of decision-making criteria for Netanyahu and his government).

There is, however, one thing that could cause Netanyahu not to go with this option. Quite apart from the fact that Israel’s past and present intelligence and military chiefs are divided on the wisdom of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, the polls are showing that a majority of Israeli Jews are opposed to Israel going it alone with an attack on Iran. They’re in favour of Iran being attacked but only if America becomes engaged and takes the lead.

And that brings us to a possible third option for Netanyahu. It is to commission a Mossad false flag operation – an attack on a vital American interest or interests for which Iran could be and would be framed.

The Zionist lobby, Obama’s Republican rivals and much if not all of the American mainstream media would promote this falsehood as fact, and that could leave Obama with no choice but to commit American military power. If he did not, his Republican challenger or challengers, assisted by the Zionist lobby and most if not all of the American mainstream media would accuse him of failing to protect America’s security interests and betraying Israel. And that, given the ignorance of American public opinion, would almost certainly be enough to guarantee Obama’s defeat.

For his own part Obama absolutely does not want war another war. He’s frightened, as he should be, of the possible/probable consequences.

Quite apart from the possible/probable economic consequences (including soaring gasoline prices in America), Obama understands completely that U.S. engagement in a new and broader regional war will ignite more anti-Americanism and play into the hands of Arab and other Muslim radicals and extremists, perhaps to the point of assisting them to become the dominant political power in the region. And that, were it to happen, would be potentially catastrophic for America’s best interests in the Arab and wider Muslim world. (Netanyahu would, of course, be quietly pleased because his Israel needs enemies).

So far as I am aware there is no well informed commentator who is prepared to make an explicit prediction about what Netanyahu will do – whether he will or will not order a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran in the closing stages of the American election. If I had to bet my life on it, I’d say he won’t; but there’s a real danger that his anti-Iran rhetoric, described in a recent Ha’aretz editorial as “a combination of wretchedness and megalomania”, may create an unstoppable momentum for war.

As my readers know, I regard Ha’aretz as the most honest newspaper in the world on the subject of what is really happening in Israel. Its view of Netanyahu was on display in a recent editorial headlined Israel must not lend itself to Netanyahu’s vulgar rhetoric on Iran. I think the whole editorial ought to be required reading not only for those who want to replace Obama as president but for all American voters. Here is the text of it (with my emphasis added).

Anyone who cares about Israel’s future could not help but feel a chill upon hearing Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech at the AIPAC conference – if not because of the gravity of the existential threat it described, then because of its sheer vulgarity and bad taste. The prime minister, as if he were no more than a surfer leaving feedback on a website, did not hesitate to crassly compare Israel today to the situation of European Jewry during the Holocaust. And to spice up his speech with one of those visual gimmicks he so loves, he even pulled out a photostat of correspondence in order to imply a comparison between U.S. President Barack Obama’s cautious approach toward attacking Iran and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s refusal to bomb the rail lines to Auschwitz.

Netanyahu sometimes seems like he is holding a debating competition with himself. Every speech is the “speech of his life” and must overshadow its predecessor, while afterward, as if they were rehashing a sporting event, he and his aides gleefully count the number of standing ovations, especially from his American listeners. And in order to wring an ovation from the end of every sentence, it seems as if all means are legitimate: kitsch (trash) and death, threats and vows, warnings and rebukes of the entire world.

This time, too, it’s not quite clear what he wanted to obtain via this inane rhetoric – a combination of wretchedness and megalomania – aside from applause. Did he want pity? To prick the conscience of the world? To terrify himself, or perhaps to inflame the Churchillian fantasy in which he lives? But one thing is clear: Aside from the fact that he deepened our feelings of victimhood, insulted the American president and narrowed the options for diplomacy, Netanyahu did not improve Israel’s situation one jot by this speech, just as he hasn’t by any of his others.

Netanyahu isn’t the first Israeli prime minister, especially from the right, to harp on the trauma of the Holocaust. But in contrast to Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon, who at the moment of truth also displayed diplomatic and leadership abilities, Netanyahu was and remains essentially a PR man: someone for whom words and rhetoric replace reality. The spine-chilling fear is that one day, all of us – himself included, despite his caution and hesitation – will discover too late that we have become hostages to his Churchillian speech, but without a Churchillian victory.

I’ll conclude with my own favourite story about Netanyahu.

Way back in 1984 I had an appointment for lunch in New York with the Englishman I most admire, Brian (later knighted) Urquhart. He was an Undersecretary General of the UN with the responsibility for conflict management. He served four Secretary Generals and was, in fact, the world’s number one trouble-shooter. Because of his matchless grasp of international affairs and his integrity, he was respected by leaders on both sides of all the conflicts he managed. And he never pulled his punches in behind-closed doors exchanges with leaders. On one private occasion Prime Minister Begin said he should not talk with Arafat. Urquhart looked Begin in the eye and said: “Mr. Prime Minister, I am the servant of the international community, don’t you dare to tell me who I can and cannot talk to!”

When Brian arrived for lunch, he said as he was sitting down, “I’ve just met the most dangerous man in the world.”

I asked who it was.

Brian replied: “He’s just presented his credentials as Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Footnote

For those who might want to lighten the gloom with a laugh, here’s a very funny joke I received by e-mail a few days ago.

A plane left Heathrow Airport under the control of a Jewish captain. His co-pilot was Chinese. It was the first time they had flown together and an awkward silence between the two seemed to indicate a mutual dislike.

Once they reached cruising altitude, the Jewish captain activated the auto-pilot, leant back in his seat, and muttered, “I don’t like Chinese.”

“No rike Chinese?” asked the co-pilot, “why not?”

“You people bombed Pearl Harbour, that’s why!”

“No, no”, the co-pilot protested, “Chinese not bomb Peahl Hahbah. That Japanese, not Chinese.”

“Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese…doesn’t matter, you’re all alike.”

There was a few minutes of silence….

“I no rike Jews,” the co-pilot suddenly announced.

“Oh yeah, why not?” the captain asked.

“Jews sink Titanic.” the co-pilot replied.

“What? That is insane! Jews didn’t sink the Titanic!” the captain exclaimed. “It was an iceberg.”

spy blackberry

“Iceberg, Goldberg, Greenberg, Rosenberg, nomattah…all same.”

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4 Comments »

  1. Earlaiman March 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm -
  2. Ross Johnson March 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm -

    Pink Floyd and LYRICS for the protests Debbie.
    WE DON'T NEED NO IRAN INVASION,
    WE DON'T NEED NO THOUHT CONTROL,
    HEY ,ISRAEL,LEAVE IRAN ALONE.
    ALL IN ALL,IT'S JUST ANOTHER STIFF IN THE WALL.
    ALL IN ALL,IT'S JUST ANOTHER STIFF IN THE WALL.
    WE DON'T NEED NO CONFLAGRGATION,
    WE DON'T NEED NO BOUGHT CONTROL,
    NO DARK CHASM IS THE FARCE ROOM,
    HEY ISRAEL,LEAVE IRAN ALONE.
    ALL IN ALL IT'S JUST ANOTHER SICK JOKE ON US ALL.

  3. Debbie
    Debbie March 18, 2012 at 2:10 am -

    Good Un! Ross.

    Hart writes:
    “…if Obama is sincerely against him and Zionism and is truly intent on pulling them down, merely advance Obama’s “second term” destruction schedule for Netanyahu and Israel to the nonce, and Obama might just blow the lid off the entire operation and attack Netanyahu on the spot… or at least abandon him and leave them to confront Iran and the rest of the Arab world alone.”

     

     

    No matter what personal feelings Obama harbours about Israel generally and Netanyahu personally. Congressional supremacy inheres in the US Constitutional order, and the leverage of AIPAC and company over the Congress is so complete, an Obama who even attempted to do anything along the lines Hart suggests would be swiftly thrown under the bus, even by large majorities of his own party. Domination of the media is equally complete, and the spin on anything short of an Israeli aircraft openly attacking Disneyworld would put Israel and Netanyahu in such a good light that Obama’s options would be reduced to one: obedience.

     

     

    That is why the neo-conservative movement (which originated during Carter’s term with disgruntled Jewish Democrats) latched onto the Republican Party: Now if a president of either party does not toe the line, they can swiftly and seamlessly back the other party – and both parties know it. Israel has a lock on US Foreign Policy through government infiltration, bribes and media control.

     

     

    The military and intelligence sides are different – if this were (e.g.) Greece or Chile, a coup could easily be in the making, but the US is not and the basis for a coup isn’t either, and nothing else would alter the political dynamics in play. Besides, a number of generals and admirals know where the advantages lie for them personally, and play them well – just think of Petraeus and the neo-cons.

     

     

  4. Ross Johnson March 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm -

    So Debbie Obama is pushing into Africa trying to limit China's access to energy and resources. Perhaps for now Obama's faction see the containment of China being a priority and will continue to use sanctions to strangle Iran.

    It would be interesting to know how these various factions within this elite group interact and who is perceived to be at the top of the foodchain. Are the Rothchilds for example pushing for an attack on Iran and are they serious about starting a war with China/Russia? The urgency for war as I see it, is to subjugate the US people since they are rapidly becoming aware. Obama is doing everything to trash the Constitution and silence dissent.This is an all or nothing exercise since this bloodline of bankers and Royality have dreamt about Global Domination for centuries.The scope of this corruption is just so enormous ,it just seems insurmountable.Perhaps this is why so many in Congress just fall in line.

    Genetically Obama does not fit in and  he is well aware of Zionist racism. I think the media and polling fraud will exclude Ron Paul from being president and we may be left with the dismal propect of another 4 yrs of Obama and hopefully no war with Iran. I just don't see much good news on the horizon.There  are not enough aware and motivated people in the West willing to seek real change.Here in Aust some of the academics are beginning to speak up but tinker at the edges of truth and won't address the real gravity of the situation. On the positive side we have Putin and China slowing down their progress.Also India defying their sanctions on Iran and Japan growing uneasy.An alliance of these 4 Nations would give the West reason for serious thought since they have their own angry people at their backs and enormous economic/military muscle facing them. It is a beautiful planet and we have let just handful of power hungry psychopaths ruin it for everyone.