In 1973 I happened to be in Amsterdam when the October war erupted. I was hanging around penniless until the war will be over before going back. Being there, I met an Israeli guy that came at his own expense from California and was looking for any plane that will take him to Tel Aviv to join the war. He told me that he was in his last year at high school in ‘67 and just missed that war. He later “served” in the army – but he would not let himself miss his first real war…
No doubt Netanyahu feels the same about the war on Iran. No wonder he lost his nerve and cries with full tears at the face of any western leader that is ready to speak with him – like a spoiled baby when his parents forcibly take from him the precious glass ornament he was trying to break.
To be honest with my readers, I must admit that I’m not objective in analyzing the fate of the missed war on Iran. For a long time I called this war, in my private thinking, “the war in which we all might die”.
It is typical of the thinking of the generals and frustrated lower officers (like Netanyahu) which are leading Israel that they only think of what they can do. They are always enthusiastic about how they will beat “the enemy” painfully. When the other side beats back, they feel betrayed and start to shout and cry as innocent victims. Israeli Pavlovian patriotism makes sure that any aggression will be supported and the generals and leaders will not be blamed, unless they lose the war.
For the civilian victims of their military adventures on their own side Israel’s military leaders have harsh advice: You should suffer quietly and not disrupt the army. We have seen it in Haifa during the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon how the Israeli “civilian” government simply stopped functioning in all the north area. Many people in the north, who felt “dispensable”, found condolences in thinking that next time the Tel Aviv “bubble” will share the burden.
The Villa and the Jungle
For a long time Israel tries to project an image of itself as “a villa in the jungle”. It tries to show how its civilized population is always endangered by the surrounding barbaric people of the Middle East. It echoes well with white-racist prejudice in Western Europe and North America, with colonialist nostalgia and Islamophobia.
This image is used to explain why Israel should be armed to its teeth and why any violation of the Human Rights, National Sovereignty or the security of Palestine’s native population and of the neighbors should be ignored. After all only Israel is always under threat to its very existence. It is the “sleeping beauty” that Western Imperialist knights fight to save.
In order to perpetuate this perspective, Israel works hard not only to guard and expand its own Villa, but also to keep the Jungle around from turning any better. The list of criminal actions committed for this purpose is endless. Already in 1954, Israeli agents planted bombs in Western civilian targets (like cinemas and a library) in Cairo in order to destabilize Egypt and encourage Western aggression against it. In the Eighties Israel and the US took care to keep arming both sides of the Iraq-Iran war in order to prolong the bloodshed in which more than a million people were killed and colossal destruction was caused on both sides. Until Hezbollah reached the ability to fire back, Israel was regularly bombing refugee camps and infrastructure in Lebanon.
Israel is not working any more
It will not be just to blame Israel for all this. As General Schwarzkopf once said, there is no sense holding a bulldog, if you don’t let it loose from time to time. Israel was planted in the Middle East by Western Imperialism in order to prevent the emergence of really independent Arab States. It is paid to do the work it is doing.
As happens with any policeman, Israel naturally cares for its own interests first.
Ariel Sharon used to say: “Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.” Playing with fire is an efficient way to keep the high prestige and high salary of the fire brigade. Whenever crime goes up – you don’t fire the police (which apparently failed) but give it more powers.
But the equation that made Israeli aggression so profitable for the West is not working any more.
Israel has the military power to strike, but not the soft power to make things go its way. Its blatant anti-Arab racism makes it an unacceptable ally in the region and a public relation liability to its external sponsors. The only time it tried to directly control an Arab country outside Palestine, during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, it aroused popular resistance that forced it out unconditionally after 18 years of war. The net result was that the most fierce resistance force became the main force in the government of Lebanon.
The 2003 war on Iraq was another disaster for the Imperialist/Zionist system of hegemony. First, instead of fighting its masters’ wars, Israel was a main force in dragging the US to fight for it. Once again, the imperialist aggression was met with mass resistance. The war for oil, which was planned to be highly profitable, ended costing so much that it helped to push the mighty superpower into the deepest economic crisis in sixty years. On the political level, the war toppled the already isolated Saddam Hussein, which could not damage anyone but his own people, and brought a new Iraqi government under Iran’s sphere of influence.
All this didn’t deter Israel from mongering another, bigger war, now against Iran. This is no surprise – Israel as a military tool can’t but drag itself from war to war. Actually, since their almost-defeat in 1973, they always plan the next war as a way to compensate on the trauma of the last war.
But for the US, after its internal regime change that was caused by the Iraq war, this was one war too much.
This Nuclear Thing
Too bad, the agreement between the six powers and Iran will not serve the goal of preventing nuclear war in the Middle East. It will not bring us any closer to clean the region from WMD.
Actually the danger of nuclear war is much higher when one side is armed with all the weapons and there is no deterrence. It is much more dangerous still when the holders of WMD are racist fanatics with contempt to the lives of all other people (and little regard to their own citizens). It is especially dangerous in the hands of proven serial initiators of wars.
Just a month ago, when the Israeli press was indulged with memories from the 40 years old “Yom Kippur” (1973) war, they openly discussed the proposal by some Israeli leaders, notably General Dayan, to deploy nuclear weapons.
Calling off the war on Iran was a good idea. Putting an end to the system of military aggression ethnic cleansing and racist apartheid that intoxicates the Middle East will be a much bigger step for real peace.