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Applying the Six-Day War to Iran

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Regarding the events of 1967, America's pro-Israel pundit class knows only too well that Egyptians, Turks, Syrians, Jordanians and other audiences in the Middle East will not buy Israel's faux-history of the Six-Day War -- many having been on the receiving end of it.

Thus, it is abundantly clear that the primary targets of the disinformation are Americans like those who subscribe to the neoconservative Washington Post, whose editors in recent decades have been careful to keep their readers malnourished on the thin gruel of watered-down (or unreliable) facts about the Middle East (think, Iraq's WMDs).

So, it would be simply too much to acknowledge, as former Israeli Prime Minister Begin did 30 years ago, in an uncommon burst of hubris-tinged honesty, that Israel's attack on its neighbors in 1967 was in no way a defensive war -- or even a "pre-emptive" war (there being no really dangerous Egyptian or other threat to pre-empt).

While Prime Minister in 1982, Begin declared: "In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches (did) not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

Such real history would lift the veil now shrouding Israel's version that plays up the "threat" posed by Egypt and disguises the grand enterprise to expand Israel's borders and -- in double-contravention of international law -- to colonize the occupied territories.

To bolster Israel's heroic rendition of the Six-Day War -- and to apply its supposed lessons to Israel's current plans to bomb Iran -- Krauthammer reprised that triumphal version of Israel masterfully defending itself against imminent destruction by the Arabs.

"On June 5 (1967), Israel launched a preemptive strike on the Egyptian air force, then proceeded to lightning victories on three fronts," Krauthammer wrote, cooing: "The Six-Day War is legend."

He then overlaid that gauzy history onto today's confrontation with Iran:

"Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence -- nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel's annihilation -- since May '67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found -- as in '67 -- Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves."

Noting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent coalition with the rival Kadima Party, Krauthammer also mocked the importance of former Israeli intelligence chiefs cautioning against a rush to war with Iran.

He wrote:

"So much for the recent media hype about some great domestic resistance to Netanyahu's hard line on Iran. Two notable retired intelligence figures were widely covered here for coming out against him. Little noted was that one had been passed over by Netanyahu to be the head of Mossad, while the other had been fired by Netanyahu as Mossad chief (hence the job opening). ...

"The [new] wall-to-wall coalition demonstrates Israel's political readiness to attack, if necessary. (Its military readiness is not in doubt.) Those counseling Israeli submission, resignation or just endless patience can no longer dismiss Israel's tough stance as the work of irredeemable right-wingers."

After reading this Krauthammer op-ed in the May 10 Washington Post, I decided, against my better judgment, to invest a half-hour writing a letter to the editor, trying to make it as factual as possible. Several days after its submission, I have given up any meager hope I may have harbored that the Post would actually print it.

Perhaps that half-hour investment will not have been a complete waste of time if I can share the result with you:

Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, May 13, 2012...

In his May 10 op-ed column, "Echoes of '67: Israel unites," Charles Krauthammer refers to May 1967 as "Israel's most fearful, desperate month" and compares it to today, claiming that Iran poses "the greatest threat" to Israel's existence.

It ain't necessarily so. In August 1982, then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin admitted publicly: "In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches (did) not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."

Today's "threat" from Iran is equally ephemeral. Krauthammer, though, warns ominously about "nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel's annihilation."

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of (more...)
 
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All the noise against Iran is there to provide smo... by Jim Miles on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 3:43:06 PM
"Iran is already starting to trade their oil for g... by Lance Ciepiela on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 8:40:06 PM