AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
Now available. $20-00 including postage in Australia. Click on image above for details..... TELLING THE HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AS IT REALLY WAS.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NEOCONS WELCOME NEW U.S. EMPHASIS ON INFLUENCE IN S.E. ASIA TO COUNTER CHINA GROWTH BUT FEAR NEGLECT OF MIDDLE EAST

President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s embrace of Obama’s plan to bring US influence and military hegemony to the South East Asian region should not have come as a surprise to observers. It’s been in the offing for some time.

The move is exactly in line with America’s AirSea Battle Concept, a plan that was developed in 2010 by the US think-tank Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). The opening lines of their document titled AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept goes straight to the point:

The US military today faces an emerging major operational challenge, particularly in the Western Pacific Theater of Operations (WPTO). The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) ongoing efforts to field robust anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities are threatening to make US power projection increasingly risky and, in some cases and contexts, prohibitively costly. If this occurs, the United States will find itself effectively locked out of a region that has been declared a vital security interest by every administration in the last sixty years. It will also leave longstanding US allies and partners vulnerable to aggression or, more likely, subtle forms of coercion. Consequently, the United States confronts a strategic choice: either accept this ongoing negative shift in the military balance, or explore options for offsetting it.

This is welcome news for the neoconservatives who have been advocating ever since the demise of the Soviet Union that Chinese power needed to be confronted over the long term.

However, the Middle East, and Israel in particular, have never been far from neoconservative thinking – even when the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union was at its height. Then came 9/11 and the ‘War on Terror’ which provided the neoconservatives with an opportunity to deal a blow against Israel’s enemies while China simmered very quietly on the back-burner.

Unfortunately for the neoconservatives, their plans for the Middle East didn’t quite work out as they had hoped. A quick decisive victory in Iraq became a protracted insurgency that virtually ended up being a civil war. Relying on the quick decisive victory where jubilant Iraqis were expected to welcome the US forces as liberators was to trigger a domino effect where other Arab nations would rise up and demand to be ‘liberated’ just like Iraq. That way all of Israel’s enemies would be dealt a mortal blow leaving Israel with no resistance to contend with as they created their Greater Israel surrounded by Israeli and US-friendly Arab states. They had eight years to do it in while they had a sympathetic president but their plans were spoilt by the Iraqi’s intransigence and the neocons simply ran out of time with the Bush presidency.

They had hoped a McCain Republican presidency may have followed through after Bush but this too was thwarted when Obama swept in on promises to end the wars. While the wars didn’t end, Obama did run them down, and with the end almost in sight in Iraq as the troops get withdrawn at the end of the year and the US looking for a way out of Afghanistan, Obama seems to think that now is a good time for the US to start looking a new ways to affirm American supremacy in the world. And what better way than easing into a confrontation with China.

However, for the neoconservatives, there is still the unfinished business of the Middle East and an Israel that still has enemies that are inhibiting their dreams of a Greater Israel. Israel and their neoconservative supporters still want to confront Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon but they know they can only do this by taking on Iran in order to isolate Hamas and Hezbollah who are supported by Iran. They had hoped at one point that Obama may oblige but, while he came out with the rhetoric regarding Iran’s supposed ‘nuclear weapons program’, Obama was not quite politically ready to take on Iran over allegations of a nuclear weapons program – especially after the Iraq fiasco when similar claims were made.

Senior neocon warmonger Max Boot writing in Commentary outlines the neocons concerns:

The prosaic reality is that America must commit to both the Middle East and Far East. That means maintaining a healthy level of defense spending and avoiding further cuts on top of the $450 billion that has already been lopped off this year. We must build up the Navy and Air Force without cutting much if any force structure from the Army and Marine Corps. Such a commitment may appear to be costly at a time of skyrocketing federal debt, but the costs of ignoring either region–and letting our enemies have their way–will be higher than we can bear.

Boot also highlights the neoconservative's ability to display their arrogance and also their propensity to see enemies where none exist; since when, for example, has China been an enemy? And the US has let them ‘have their way’?

The new US-China paradigm highlights the stark difference between the two powers. Whereas the US overtly flexes its military muscles coupled with bribes to leaders to ensure its needs are met, China simply writes out a cheque to ensure that its needs are met – and most nations are willing to oblige China by accepting their cheque and shipping whatever China needs directly to them. Why can’t the US do the same? Why the need for confrontation?
The answer is… Well, that’s another essay.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

THE I.A.E.A. REPORT ON IRAN: ANOTHER FIZZER – AND NO SMOKING GUN!

Well, the latest and much anticipated International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report has finally been released and, despite all the fanfare about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons intentions, not one skerrick of solid ‘smoking gun’ evidence is contained therein.

Alex Spillius at the UK’s Telegraph wrote of the report, “Never before had it joined the dots of Iran's nuclear research to create the inescapable impression that the regime was on the threshold of nuclear weapons capability”.

The problem with ‘dots’ – and the IAEA had created plenty of them – is that, if there are enough of them, one can create any kind of ‘impression’ you like to suit your propaganda and rhetoric. But, try as hard as they did to suggest otherwise, at the end of the day there is still no hard irrefutable bona fide evidence that says Iran has a nuclear weapons program.

What the IAEA seem to have done is drawn the wrong conclusions about the presence of a ‘container’ that they suspect is being used for experiments testing nuclear bomb trigger devices via complex explosive techniques. In reality the ‘container’ is indeed for use in creating complex explosions, but not for triggering a nuclear explosion but, rather, creating nanodiamonds which are used for chemotherapy purposes treating cancer patients – a pervasive health issue in Iran and one of the reasons why they need to enrich their uranium to 20% which can then be used for the creation of isotopes used also in cancer treatment. (Readers can find abundant material relating to nanodiamonds and cancer therapies in Iran utilising Google Scholar.) The reason the device is kept at a military facility is simply because that’s where the explosives can be safely kept.

As far as the other ‘evidence’ the IAEA report refers to, i.e., the massive amounts of paperwork and computer modelling relating to nuclear technology at universities; that’s what universities are for – research and learning. There isn’t a scientific university on the planet that wouldn’t have a similar amount of paper material or computer modelling data relating to nuclear technology at their university. Nigh on every nuclear physics student and postgrad from universities all over the world would be familiar with this stuff. There’s absolutely nothing new her at all – unless you happen to be a layman who is impressed by the techno jargon and gullible enough to believe politicians that know even less than you do!

It’s time the people got out on the streets once again and demand an end to this nonsense ‘cause if the West and Israel go head to head against Iran it will make the Iraq and Afghanistan thing look like a fun-filled paintball skirmish.

I hate to think where it will end.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

THE U.S. AND ISRAEL’S ‘OBSESSION’ WITH IRAN - THE REAL REASONS

Actually, it’s not so much that the U.S. and Israel are seemingly ‘obsessed’ with Iran, but more that the neoconservative’s of the U.S. and Israel’s right-wing Zionists are. However, this apparent obsession is only a deliberately created illusion. Israel’s real obsession is the creation of a Greater Israel and the destruction of those that prevent Israel’s expansionist dreams; Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon, both of who are supported by Iran.

The stated casus belli for any Israeli/US attack on Iran will be that Iran is building a nuclear weapon with which it intends to ‘wipe Israel off the map’. The ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ and the ‘wipe Israel off the map’ are two memes that have gone hand in hand in the propaganda and rhetoric of Israel’s Zionists and their neoconservative allies in the US and, indeed, around the world for years.

There are, however, a range of problems with these allegations. Firstly, there is, despite the constant barrage of assertions to the contrary, no actual physical evidence whatsoever that Iran actually has a ‘nuclear weapons program’. Time and time again, Israel and their allies have made the accusations but have never been able to support their allegations with any hard irrefutable evidence. All of the ‘evidence’ so far has been either vaguely circumstantial, hearsay based on statements from dissidents and defectors, straight out lies or simply conclusions based on wishful thinking and vivid imaginations.

Secondly, the ‘wipe Israel of the map’ meme is a deliberate mistranslation of a statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who said nothing of the sort. It was the neoconservative organisation MEMRI that was responsible for the deliberate mistranslation of the ‘wipe Israel of the map’ line which has been used extensively by neoconservatives and Israelis ever since to invoke hatred of Iran and to infer an existential threat against Israel from Iran. Still, though, Israel and the US insist that Iran is intent on producing a nuclear weapon that it plans to use against Israel and possibly even against America.

Which brings us to the third problem with the allegations ranged against Iran and that is; why would Iran, even if it did have a nuclear weapon, risk utter and swift destruction by the US and Israeli retaliatory nuclear strikes if it were to ever attack Israel with a nuclear weapon? The answer, of course is; it wouldn’t – and the Israelis and the US are well aware of it. They are also well aware that in reality Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

So why then all the fuss? The hope is that with the aid of a compliant Western mainstream media, the propaganda memes of ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ and wants to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ repeated over and over endlessly will eventually so influence public opinion that it will support an attack against Iran.

The ‘Iranian problem’ is presented to the world via the mainstream media in its most simplistic form. It runs thus: ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program with which it wishes to wipe Israel off the map so the answer is to destroy its weapons making capabilities using military action’.

That’s the rhetoric and the propaganda.

The reality is this: Israel and the US have no real interest in Iran’s nuclear program; their real aim as far as Iran is concerned is to destroy the Islamic regime and replace it with one that is US and Israel friendly.

Attacking Iran and affecting regime change kills a number of birds with one stone. It puts an end to what Israel and the US regard as Iran’s influence in the region, but, most important as far as the Israelis and their supporters are concerned, is that an attack against Iran provides, so they hope the world will believe, a legitimate pretext for attacking Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon on the basis that the Israelis are pre-empting a strike by Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel in retaliation of Israel’s attack against Iran.

Since the only way the US and Israel will be able to affect ‘regime change’ in Iran without the use of an invasion and occupation – unthinkable considering that Iran is more than three and a half times the size of Iraq and has about two and a half times the population – is by bombing it into capitulation and surrender, one can expect a campaign that will be far more than a load of bunker-buster bombs aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities. Much more likely is a campaign of significant attacks against Iran’s defence and governmental institutions as well as its nuclear facilities; attacks that will deliberately inflict significant ‘co-lateral damage’ on civilians as the Iranian authorities get accused of using their civilians as ‘human shields’. The hope always with this strategy is that the civilian population will then press their government to end the war by capitulating to their enemies demands.

The only problem with this strategy is that it rarely ever works. Usually when such all-out bombing campaigns are carried out with the view to getting the enemy to sue for peace, rather than suing for peace, a phenomenon known as ‘Kriegssozialismus’ sets in whereby people from all walks of civilian life spontaneously ignore their ordinary class affiliations and come together to help each other out in circumstances where all are suffering equally due to war, and, importantly, collectively stiffen their resolve to resist the enemies actions rather than cave into them. Short of using nuclear weapons to defeat Iran, the US and Israel stand no hope of defeating the people of Iran.

There is also a problem of logistics in attacking Iran. Over the years that the threat of attack has prevailed, there have been reports that have suggested that Israel will ‘go it alone’ if they feel threatened enough by Iran’s ‘nuclear weapon program’. One report recently even suggested that the US is “concerned that Israel will not warn them before taking action against Iran’s nuclear facilities”. This is all rhetorical nonsense dished up for public consumption. The reality is that it would be absolutely impossible for Israel to launch an entirely unilateral attack against Iran without US connivance.

In any attack they mount, Israel will use American aircraft which constantly require spare parts mostly from the US. They will also require ordnance which also mostly comes from the US; they will require vast quantities of military jet fuel, and, if Israel plans to attack Hamas and Hezbollah at the same time, it will also require massive amounts of diesel fuel to power up its ground forces. All of this comes from the US and, as was recorded in August 2010, Israel has already ordered that fuel which would by now have been delivered and stockpiled.

The other major logistic hurdle Israel needs to overcome is the one of getting to and from its target. Israel is separated from Iran by at least two other countries; Syria and Iraq or Jordan and Iraq. Either way, this amounts to a round rip of around 3000kms to bomb Bushehr and/or Qom, Iran’s two main nuclear facilities. The most likely route would be via Syria who would be unlikely to offer any resistance to Israeli overflights – especially if it came under attack itself. Then there is the question of overflying Iraq. The Iraqi government on its own is unlikely to allow Israeli aircraft to overfly their territory. Israel would need to be in cohorts with the US if it wished to get the US to convince the Iraqi government to allow Israeli aircraft into its airspace. And not only would Israel need to have Iraqi permission to pass through its airspace, it would also need to use Iraqi airspace for in-flight refuelling operations which the Israelis would need to utilise since their strike aircraft do not have the range to do the job in one round trip without refuelling.

The question then is; what exactly is Israel’s intended endgame in the event of an attack against Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah?

Such a massive attack against all of its enemies at once is a huge commitment on Israeli resources and one of very high risk. It will, therefore, need to be decisive in terms of meeting all of its war aims.

Israel will have learnt the lessons of its past failures. After years of attacks against Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, Israel has not been able to destroy Hezbollah or Hamas despite its efforts against Hezbollah in 2006 and against Hamas in 2008/2009. In the event of an attack against Iran, Israel is likely to simultaneously mount hitherto unprecedented attacks against both Hamas and Hezbollah. Such a strike will likely be opened up with a massive aerial and artillery barrage and then, since Israel does not have to commit ground forces to attacking Iran, it will be able to invade and occupy the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon up to the Latani River. At the same time, Israel is likely to fully occupy all of the West Bank in order to prevent any uprising by Palestinian resistance there and remilitarise the Golan Heights to prevent any backlash there.

In short, for Israel an attack against Iran and Israel’s other enemies on the pretext of pre-empting an immediate threat to its own existence will be the do or die action it will take in order to realise Zionism’s ultimate endgame; the creation of a Greater Israel.

The coming confrontation is not about Iran being a threat; it is about Israel ridding itself of all of its enemies in the places that it would like to annex as part of its realisation of creating a permanent Greater Israel nation abundant with fertile lands, its own water resources, and living space. War is its pretext.

Friday, November 04, 2011

IS THE ‘FINAL CONFRONTATION’ NOW IMMINENT?

This post is a modified version of a post that I wrote back in June of 2008. What I wrote then is just as valid today as it was then.

Those pushing for war against Iran argue, despite the total lack of any evidence to support their claims, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that they will use their nuclear weapons, once they have them, against Israel. Their allegations are reinforced by what they say, quite falsely, are President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric about ‘wiping Israel off the map’.

All of this is merely propaganda and neither Israel nor the US or even the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UNs nuclear watchdog, can produce any evidence whatsoever to support Israeli and US claims about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program. [Update: An imminent report due next week from the IAEA will still not provide any hard actual evidence of Iran having a nuclear weapons program. The ‘evidence’ the IAEA will produce will only be statements fro various dissidents and defectors who claim to have knowledge of a nuclear weapons program, and some vague references to Iran supposedly researching trigger devices for nuclear warheads.]

The reality is this: Israel and their supporters have been carrying on about Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years and threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities were being made long before Ahmadinejad became President of Iran in August, 2005. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has merely been a reaction to Israel’s bellicose stance towards Iran and, with a little careful massaging of translations of his speeches by the neoconservative think tank, MEMRI, has provided much fodder for the Israel/neocon propaganda machine. However, the real reason Israel wants to attack Iran is not because of Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ – it simply doesn’t have one – nor is it because Ahmadinejad has said he wants to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ – he never said any such thing – it is because Iran supports both Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Syria who are seeking to have the Golan Heights returned to them. What Israel and the US and their neoconservative allies really want is ‘regime change’ in Iran. They want an Iran that has an Israel and US friendly government so that Israel can continue in its quest to create a Greater Israel without having to worry about Iran supporting those that are resisting Israeli expansionism.

In the event of Israel and the US attacking Iran, one can expect to see not just Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed, indeed, that will be just a minor part of the operation, but there will also be major attacks against Iranian military targets including air bases, missile storage areas, barracks, etc. Iran’s communications systems and government buildings will also likely be targeted. In short, the Iranian government would be bombed into capitulation.

One can also expect Israel to launch an attack, probably simultaneously with the assault on Iran, against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel may also attack Syria pre-emptively on the basis that Syria has a mutual assistance treaty with Iran and despite the current domestic problems Syria is experience. The resulting conflict could have a devastating effect both on the region and around the world. As well as bringing death and destruction to countless Iranians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians, many Israelis may also die as Iran launches missiles in a counter attack against Israel, a move that could escalate rapidly if Israel decided to its use nuclear weapons against Iran in retaliation to an Iranian counter attack.

The economic consequences for the rest of the world could also be catastrophic. Oil prices, already at record levels due to the uncertainties prevailing in the region, would play havoc with economies world wide.

Then there are the unknowns. How, for example, will Russia, a supplier of nuclear equipment to Iran, and China, a customer of Iran’s resources, react to such an attack? How will the UN handle a pre-emptive assault against Iran? How will the governments of the other Arab states react? How will the peoples of the other Arab states react? What will happen in Iraq, already destroyed by over half a decade of fighting?

The world, somehow, is not reacting to the prospect of war in the same way as it did during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. The reason for that is; the world knew the invasion of Iraq was coming, but this time around there is no overt preparations for war against Iran in the way that there was against Iraq. There is even a feeling that the US simply wouldn’t be stupid enough to do it again after the disaster of Iraq. The problem is, however, that the extreme right-wing of the US and Israel are convinced of their own self-righteousness and that all will go according to their plans.

It’s a frightening scenario. The Middle East could erupt into catastrophic war at any tick of the clock but the world doesn’t seem to think its going to happen.

Sooner or later it will. Israel’s ultimate endgame is for regime change in Iran which, in turn, will deny Hamas and Hezbollah of its ability to resist Israel’s quest for a Greater Israel. War against Iran is the only way Israel’s Zionists will be able to realise their dream.

The coming confrontation hasn’t got anything to do with Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program; it has everything to do with Israel’s desire to create a Greater Israel and rid itself of its enemies once and for all.