THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


For years I have been writing saying that Israel could not unilaterally attack Iran without the full blessing, support and connivance of the United States despite Netanyahu’s threats that he would. Now Netanyahu has moderated his tune in line with what US military leaders have recently said conceding that Israel indeed needs US help to ensure the permanent destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

This concession to reality by Netanyahu may well be an attempt to thaw relations with Obama now that both the US and Israeli elections are out of the way and the rhetoric against Iran has been renewed both by Israel and the West.

Recent events in north Africa and just lately in Syria where Israel launched an attack against a Syrian facility near Damascus and, it seems, also against a convoy apparently carrying SA-17 missiles out of Syria allegedly destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon, have also heightened tensions against Iran.

Recent remarks by Chuck Hagel, who is up for appointment as the next US Secretary of Defense pending approval, has no doubt served to heighten Netanyahu’s spirits at least a little as Hagel confirms that, if he becomes the Secretary of Defense, he will ensure that ‘America’s military is prepared to strike Ian if necessary’.

While Netanyahu hasn’t assembled a coalition government yet, one can rest assured that those that do become part of his coalition, whoever they are, will be right behind Netanyahu when it comes to matters regarding Iran.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Neoconservative propagandist Michael Rubin, writing today in Commentary magazine, attempts to defend the use of drones in the fight against the West’s enemies. Rubin begins his piece by writing:

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has announced an inquiry into the use of drones in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories, and whether drones violate international law. The inquiry comes at the request of Russia, China, and Pakistan, a triad of countries not known for their concern about human rights.

Rubin neglects to mention that the US and their ally Israel aren’t exactly known for its concerns about human rights either but that’s another story.

Rubin argues that:

Absent the use of drones, the other option available to states challenged with terrorists operating from hostile or ungoverned territories is to mount an expedition. It is the difference between conducting surgery with a scalpel versus an axe.

This is delusional nonsense. Firstly, a scalpel can be as deadly as an axe. A drone has as much fire-power as a conventional aircraft and very often it is innocent people that end up getting killed. Secondly, eventually an ‘expedition’ would have to be mounted anyway if one wishes to thoroughly defeat ones enemy. It can not be done entirely by airpower alone – drones or manned. Sooner or later one needs to go in and ‘mop-up’.

Rubin continues:

Human rights activists increasingly obsess about proportionality. Somehow, they believe that if terrorists or rogue groups have limited weaponry–rockets, mortars, and plastic explosives, for example–it is wrong to attack them with drones, F-18s, or JDAMs. This is nonsense, for the underlying implication is either that those conducting counter-terror operations must use substandard weaponry or that terrorists like Hamas, the Haqqani Network, and Al Qaeda should have access to F-18s and JDAMs as well. In effect, what humanitarian activists want to do is outlaw at least one aspect of the Powell Doctrine: The idea that if the United States is challenged, it should use overwhelming force against its enemy.

This is more delusional nonsense. The human rights activists’ argument about ‘proportionality’ is not about weapons used by the West but the death and mayhem they cause relative to the actions of those fighters defending themselves against the West. Just as the US demands the right to use overwhelming force against its enemies, why should not those defending themselves against the US use whatever means available to them? One might also ask why anyone has ‘challenged the US’. Neither Hamas, the Haqqani Network nor al Qaeda has invaded the US; it is the US and their allies that are attacking them and who are in their lands.

Rubin drones on:

I’ve never been opposed to targeted assassination. In 2006, I wrote a lengthy piece for National Review arguing for more targeted killings, especially when their use can save civilian lives. (It is ironic that criticism of the piece among the left stopped when President Obama came to office and made drones his signature counter-terror tool; it seems among many progressive websites, politics trumps principle.)

The problem here is that targeted killing attacks do not save civilian lives. Hundreds if not thousands of civilians have been killed by drones and, in the case of when Israel uses targeted killing attacks, very often the target is actually a civilian.

Rubin’s assertion that the left stopped criticising the use of targeted killings when Obama came to office is pure fantasy. Most people who are of the left in the West do not regard Obama as ‘left’ but, rather, just not as far right as Bush, the Republicans and the neoconservatives. The left has always been against the use of targeted killings no matter who is in office at the White House.

Rubin winds up his piece with:

The best defense against civilian casualties is not for the United Nations to launch politicized crusades against those engaged in the defense of democracies against terrorists, but rather to take a no-nonsense approach to terrorists and their sponsors.

The best defense against civilian casualties is for the US and their Western allies to keep out of other peoples countries and let them determine their own destinies. It may have escaped Rubin’s attention but it may well be that many cultures don’t actually want their ‘democracies defended’ – particularly by the US; indeed, many aren’t really all that interested in American style ‘democracy’ at all and when they are offered a go at it, they usually end up voting for its demise. They don’t want America fighting for them because they know that there’s always an ulterior motive behind it – one that usually costs them dearly.

Rubin can drone on all he likes about drones, most people on the planet find their use abhorrent.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


There should be no misunderstandings about the results of the recent elections in Israel; the ‘left’ in Israel are only slightly to the left of the ultra extreme right-wing religious nationalists and racist Greater Israel Zionists. The political spectrum in Israel is vastly different than most in the West understand. The real ‘left’ in Israel is virtually non-existent. The surprise rise of the so-called ‘left-centrist’ party Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid in the elections over the ultra right-wing Habayet Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party led by fascist Naftali Bennett will not make the slightest bit of difference to Netanyahu’s quest for a confrontation with Iran.

Bennett, at least, has made it very clear where he and his party stand with regard to a future Palestinian state; there simply will never be one as far as they are concerned. Furthermore, it is there intention to ensure that, not only will there be no Palestinian state, but all those places where Israeli settlers are now in the West Bank will be annexed to Israel with a view to ultimately annexing all of the West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip to form Greater Israel.

While most commentators in the Western media are saying that the emergence of the Yesh Atid party has cast a shadow over Habayet Hayehudi’s Greater Israel aspirations, those commentators have ignored the Iran factor.

As it turns out, the only thing going for Bennett and his crew of fascists is that they are up-front about their intentions; there is no pretence about what they want – unlike Netanyahu who for years has pretended that he would accept a ‘two-state solution’ knowing full well that the conditions he offers under which he would accept a Palestinian state would not ever be accepted by the Palestinian people. Netanyahu’s Likud party and their right-wing allies have proved by their actions in building a wall on Palestinian lands and followed by years of grabbing more and more Palestinian lands for settlements and stealing Palestinian water that what they really want is the West Bank to be surreptitiously taken over and entirely absorbed into Israel. Since outright invasion, occupation and annexation of all the lands they really want, including the Gaza Strip and even south Lebanon up to the Litani River, can no longer happen under the present Middle East status quo, the right-wing’s only option now is to provoke a war with Iran that will provide the opportunity to overrun the lands they want on the pretext that they need to prevent the Palestinians and Arabs from retaliating for a war against Iran.

While virtually all the various parties of Israel hum and ha over the so-called ‘two-state solution’, the one thing they all have in common is their hatred of Iran and the world of Islam and, when push comes to shove as Israel finally does confront Iran, all of these parties will be getting on board the Greater Israel bandwagon.

There is no ‘Left’ left in Israel anymore; there is only the right, extreme right and the racists and fascists. The present political situation in Israel will not stop Netanyahu and his push for war against Iran. It will not stop the march of the right toward a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people. It’s just a matter of time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Israeli people have hardly begun to vote and already Netanyahu is ramping up the rhetoric for a confrontation with Iran.

In a meeting with several US congressmen over the weekend Netanyahu told them that settlements in the West Bank aren’t the problem; Iran is. He told them that “History will not forgive those that do not stop Iran”.

While Netanyahu is destined to win the election with a reduced number of Likud members in the Knesset, his likely coalition partners who are even further to right than Netanyahu, are unlikely to allow Netanyahu to submit to US pressure to restart talks with the Palestinians. They are also likely to back Netanyahu’s call for an attack on Iran.

With an extreme right-wing coalition in power, the likelihood of Netanyahu risking launching a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran is greatly increased. He will be banking on the US reluctantly joining in on the basis that the US will see it as fait accompli despite being averse to being a partner in launching a joint strike against Iran. After the initial strike, the US will take over the attack using its resources already in the Gulf while Israel withdraws to attack Hezbollah and Hamas closer to home on the pretext that they are preventing retaliatory attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas. This is likely to include the invasion and occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and possibly south Lebanon.

After the election and the formation of a new Israeli coalition government, we can expect the rhetoric to increase.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that it would be impossible for Israel to unilaterally attack Iran. Any such attack would require the full support of the US. Israel needs America’s resources to supply fuel for such a raid as well as ordnance, intelligence and back-up support to counter any Iranian retaliation given that, unlike Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, Iran will not accept an attack by Israel on its nuclear facilities lying down.

Arutz Sheva, a right-wing Israeli newspaper, reported that former US military chief Admiral William Fallon has confirmed that Israel would not be able to ‘go at Iran alone’ against Iran. That, however, is not to say that Netanyahu won’t take a punt on forcing America's hand by initiating a ‘unilateral’ strike in the hope that the US will quickly, albeit perhaps reluctantly, enjoin Israel in its war against Iran. Obama, at least, can then never be accused of having instigated such a war.

It’s very quiet out there at the moment and it seems that this is worrying at least one Israeli commentator. The Israeli elections are now only days away but how far away an Israeli renewed propaganda onslaught against Iran is could be anybody’s guess but, rest assured, it will follow soon after the elections.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


A few months ago, panic struck neoconservatives, right-wing Zionists, and especially Benjamin Netanyahu, were telling the world that in a few months time Iran will have a bomb which they will then use against Israel unless the US and the rest of the world attacked Iran right away.

Despite the rhetoric, there were no takers. The West and Obama kind of sort of agreed that Iran needed to be watched carefully but didn’t think attacking Iran just yet would be a very good idea on account of the upcoming US presidential elections. Netanyahu jumped up and down and made childish empty threats about attacking Iran unilaterally – something he knew very well he couldn’t possibly do.

Then everything went quiet on the ‘Let’s bomb Iran right now!’ front while Obama and Romney spent billions of dollars promoting themselves for election. Then Netanyahu announced an Israeli election which he seems set to win. But, what with all the hoop-la of the US elections and the forthcoming Israeli elections, the idea that Iran was only months away from having a bomb seems to have been forgotten entirely. You can bet your boots, however, that just as soon as the Israeli elections are over and Netanyahu doesn’t have to worry too much about Israeli politics, he and his new Zionist mates in his new government that seems set to be even far more to the right than ever before will soon be screaming about Iran’s bomb once again.

Well, surely it must be ready by now, right?

Happy New Year?