The prestigious Oxford Research Group, (ORG) a charity-funded organisation specialising in the advocacy of non-military resolutions to global conflicts, recently (15 July 2010) released a paper entitled ‘Military action against Iran: Impact and effects’.
In it the ORG outline their opinion about why and how Israel might launch an attack against Iran and what the possible effects of such an attack might be.
The paper, while seemingly objective, limits its objectivity to a pro-Western viewpoint that ignores certain underlying geo-political realities relating to Israel’s ulterior motives for wanting to attack Iran. The paper also ignores the logistic realities of the role the US would need to play in bringing a successful attack against Iran by Israel into fruition, as well as the ulterior motives the US itself has for also wanting Iran to be attacked.
In ignoring the underlying geo-political realities and Israeli-US ulterior motives for wanting to attack Iran, the ORG has left itself exposed to criticism that it has relied far too much on Western, particularly US and Israeli, rhetoric and outright propaganda in coming to some of its conclusions.
In example of the ORG’s inability to look beyond the rhetoric, the report states:
“Many sections of the Israeli political elite regard the Iranian nuclear and missile programme as an existential threat to Israel. If there is no progress to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions by other means, there is significant Israeli support for military action. This might also extend to renewed action by Israel in southern Lebanon to counter the progressive re-arming of Hezbollah militias by Iran.”
The reality is that Israel is very much aware that there is no existential threat to it from Iran and that such rhetoric is merely fearmongering propaganda designed specifically to garner public opinion in Israel and the US and among her other Western allies to ultimately support a strike against Iran.
Israel’s claim that Iran is an ‘existential threat’ to it is based entirely on the deliberately misinterpreted words of a speech given by Iranian President Ahmadinejad in October 2005 when he was misquoted and then widely reported as having said that Israel should be ‘wiped off the map’. Ahmadinejad, in fact, neither said nor implied any such thing. What he actually said, according to scholar Juan Cole, a Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, was this:
“The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).”
The ‘regime occupying Jerusalem’ referred to is, of course, the Zionist regime governing Israel. Since, for propaganda purposes, Zionists regard anti-Zionism as being anti-Israel, the propagandists both in Israel and among the neoconservatives in the West were quick to grasp Ahmadinejad’s words and deliberately misinterpret them in order to make it seem as though he had directly threatened Israel. In fact the instigator of the misinterpretation was a group called the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a neoconservative-funded propaganda organisation founded by former Israeli military intelligence officer Yigal Carmon and well-known neoconservative and Israel Zionist Meyrav Wurmser, wife of neoconservative David Wurmser, a former Middle East adviser to former Vice-President Dick Cheney.
MEMRI wrote a bulletin about Ahmadinejad’s speech which included a translation. However, as part of the introduction to the bulletin MEMRI wrote:
“In his speech, he described his vision of an age-old confrontation between the world of Islam and the "World of Arrogance," i.e. the West; he portrayed Israel and Zionism as the spearhead of the West against the Islamic nation; and he emphasized the need to eliminate Israel – which, he claimed, was a goal that was attainable.”
The same bulletin then went on to offer a translation of Ahmadinejad’s speech but nowhere in that translation was there any mention of ‘the need to eliminate Israel’. Somehow that particular fact got missed by the mainstream media to whom MEMRI circulated the bulletin to and only the part about ‘emphasising the need to eliminate Israel’ was picked up and used in the reporting. The myth was then perpetuated and exaggerated in subsequent reporting in the Western and Israeli press.
Together with the myth of the ‘wipe Israel off the map’ meme, the Iranian ‘nuclear weapons program’ is often referred to by the Western and Israeli right-wing media despite the fact that there is not a skerrick of hard evidence to suggest that Iran has a ‘nuclear weapons program’.
While the ORG paper talks of the possibility of Israel also attacking Lebanon in order to eliminate any threat from Hezbollah, it ignores the reality of such an attack against Hezbollah and the occupation of south Lebanon up to the Litani River actually being the main aim of the entire exercise in the first place. The report also ignores the reality that, despite an attack on Iran being a major and possibly devastating event it is, as far as the Zionists are concerned, merely a means toward an end; that end being the denial of Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria to continue to resist Israeli expansion into south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order to create a Greater Israel. The ORG have failed to visualise the bigger picture despite the abundant evidence available confirming Israel’s long term expansionist goals.
The ORG states that "an Israeli military strike could not be initiated entirely without the knowledge of the United States” though “it could avoid over-flying US-controlled airspace”. The reality is this: the Israelis could not at all initiate any strike against Iran without the absolute full co-operation and connivance of the United States, let alone just without its ‘knowledge’. The vast majority of the weapons Israel would need to attack Iran with would need to come from the United States. The massive amounts of military jet fuel required would need to come from the United States.
While the ORG recognises that Israel will attack Hezbollah in conjunction with any attack against Iran, ostensibly to pre-empt any Hezbollah retaliatory action, the ORG report ignores the logistics of such an attack against Hezbollah. Again, more military jet fuel will be required. Almost certainly, a ground invasion will follow the initial air strikes against Hezbollah. For this the Israelis will require enormous amounts of military grade diesel fuel for its tanks, armour and ground transport. Specialised weapons to deal with Hezbollah’s bunkers will also be required. Virtually all of this would need to be supplied by the US. These are not war-making items that can somehow surreptitiously be horded by Israel without the United States knowing about it. Fuel, jet fuel particularly for example, has a reasonably short shelf life and so can’t be slowly horded by the Israelis. Fresh fuel in bulk needs to be ready and available for us. This alone requires the full co-operation of the US.
As stated, the main reason for attacking Iran is not because it is an existential threat to Israel because it has a ‘nuclear weapons program’, but rather, because Iran supplies and supports Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. Any strike against Iran, therefore, must be conclusive. It would not be enough for Israel to simply destroy Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ by destroying its nuclear facilities; it must destroy both Iran’s ability and, more importantly, will, to continue supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. Israel and the United States actual aim then, is not so much to destroy Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’, but to bring about regime change so that Iran has no political ability, as well as physical ability, to continue to support Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. This aspect of an attack against Iran is not discussed at all in ORG’s paper.
The ORG’s entire paper is based on the assumption that any attack against Iran by Israel is solely for the purpose of destroying Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon when this is clearly not the case at all; indeed, Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’, if it even exists at all, seems simply an excuse to provide Israel and the US with a casus belli to attack Iran.
The ORG paper quite rightly concludes that “military action against Iran should be ruled out in responding to its possible nuclear ambitions” but what the paper has ignored entirely is the ulterior motives that Israel and the US would have for attacking Iran. For both Israel and the US the motive is regime change. For Israel regime change will deprive Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria of an ability to continue to resist Israel’s expansionist ambitions and, for the US, regime change will eliminate resistance to US hegemony in a volatile and resource-rich region in which the theocratic regime in Iran has proved to be a thorn in America’s side.
A war against Iran will be utterly devastating for all concerned. The ORG paper rightly points out that any attack, especially by Israel, will unite the people of Iran who during their war with Iraq in the 1980s proved to be tenacious defenders of their lands and more than willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their nation regardless of who their leaders are. There is no evidence to suggest that the Iranian people would not fight just as tenaciously again were they to be attacked by Israel or the US.
Israel and the US together will attack Iran at some stage. Israel and the US would hope for a swift war that would leave their enemies reeling and ready to capitulate against a massive onslaught. Israel’s recent performances when fighting against Hezbollah in 2006 and then Hamas in 2009/08 would suggest that an onslaught in the future against Hezbollah and Hamas will not be as easy as they think. And America’s inability to learn that it’s military prowess is nowhere near as powerful as they like to think it is, what with being unable to subdue a rag-tag army like the Taliban in nine years of fighting and with bombs still going off in Iraq after seven years of war, will lull the US into a false sense of optimism in a war against Iran just as it did in Iraq when the US thought a war there was going to be ‘a cakewalk’.
The ORG says that an attack against Iran is unlikely to see an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, indeed, may even spur them on. The problem, however, is that an attack against Iran will not be by just Israel but also the US. And the war aims is not to disarm Iran of something that it hasn’t got, as we have seen attempted before in the case of Iraq, but to bring about regime change in Iran and to eliminate Israel’s enemies in order to allow Israel to create a Greater Israel.