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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/6/18

Israel: a window of opportunity

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Jean-Luc Basle

Israel: a window of opportunity

Stars are aligned for Israel to realize its long held dream of Middle East domination through chaos. The war with Iran has started. It began with the strikes on Iranian positions in Syria on February 9 th and April 9 th . It is about to enter its last phase with the United States' participation. With Iran destruction, a cycle initiated by 9/11 will come to an end.

Donald Trump is scheduled to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 12. Does it matter that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA? Of course not. How will Iran respond to Trump's decision? Iranian leaders are caught in a dilemma. If they react, they will face war. If they don't, they will incur the wrath of the Iranians. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said they will be "consequences", implying Iran will re-start its defense nuclear program. This will give Israel the excuse it needs to convince Trump that the time has come to invade Iran. With John Bolton at his side, the president will make good on Hillary Clinton's campaign promise to bring the Israeli-American relationship to "the next level". Now, why would the United States invade Iran is an open question? If Iran is a threat, isn't Pakistan too?

The intense diplomatic activity of the last few weeks is an indication that the United States is preparing for war. On April 23, Emmanuel Macron begins his trip to Washington DC. The next day, General Joseph Votel, head of Central Command, meets the Israeli Army chief of staff. On April 25, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Defense Minister, is in Washington. The 27, it is Angela Merkel's turn to visit Donald Trump. On the 29 th , the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is in Israel. On the 30 th , Benjamin Netanyahu gives a conference in which he details Iran's secret nuclear program, but without convincing the International Atomic Energy Agency. It reminds one of Colin Powell's infamous presentation of February 5, 2003 at Security Council of the United Nations.

Israel does not need the United States to defeat Iran*. But, the American involvement gives the invasion the appearance of legitimacy, in the absence of a U.N. Security Council's endorsement. Imperial powers do not subject themselves to international laws, not even those they edict. The international community, led by Russia and China, will condemn the invasion. If history is any guide, they will refrain from taking any concrete action. Iran is a strategic asset, not a vital interest for either of them. Besides, Iran is within the United States' sphere of influence.

Domestically, the ground has been led out to make the invasion legal. On April 30, the Knesset gave Benjamin Netanyahu the authority to declare war provided the minister of defense, Avigdor Lieberman agrees. In the United, Congress is about to vote on the Corker-Kaine amendment which will give Donald Trump the authority he needs to carry any war. How can U.S. senators renounce their most sacred duty -- that of declaring war? It is a mystery. How can a nation which regards itself as the beacon on the hill, make a mockery of democracy? It is beyond belief.

Stars may never be lined up again in the future. Israel cannot pass this opportunity. It already signaled its intentions to go ahead by issuing an ultimatum to Russia regarding the delivery of S-300 missile launchers to Syria. In retrospect, it appears that Iran made the same mistakes Iraq and Libya did by forsaking its defense nuclear program and proclaiming its intention to abandon the dollar. It will get the same treatment: destruction. The Middle East will then be in a state of chaos.

*Iran's defense budget is two third that of Israel ($12 billion vs. $18 billion). SIPRI.

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Former Vice President Citigroup New York (retired) Columbia University -- Business School Princeton University -- Woodrow Wilson School

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