By Edward Curtin
Israel's mainstream newspapers, Haaretz, and the more conservative Jerusalem Post, both announce in headline news that Iran has built a new base in Syria with missiles capable of hitting Israel. One look at these newspapers with their talk of Israeli war preparations and the potential in assassinating the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah makes it very clear that an expanded Middle Eastern war is fast approaching. Russia, Syria, and Iran are being demonized as mind control propaganda spews forth. The mainstream corporate media in the United States and other countries are sure to follow.
In Lebanon, the Prime Minister Saad Hariri has returned to Saudi Arabia to meet with his Saudi patrons for the first time since his shocking resignation on November 4, 2017, which he later withdrew. The timing of his visit suggests another anti-Iranian and anti-Hezbollah announcement will follow. Will Hariri issue another statement accusing Iran and Hezbollah of destabilizing Lebanon to add to the war rhetoric coming out of Israel at the same time that Lebanon is making a military agreement with Russia? The moves on the chessboard are happening fast and furious. Divide and conquer is clearly the strategy of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States.
Here in the United States, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of retired intelligence workers, has just issued a public warning, or what they call a memo, to Donald Trump ( Why bother? Do they actually think he is listening or is in charge?) Growing Risk of U.S.-Iran Hostilities Based on False Pretexts. This group, which shares some suspicions regarding Iran and is therefore not its apologist, nevertheless says the following:
There is considerable anti-Iran rhetoric in U.S. media, which might well facilitate a transition from a cold-war type situation to a hot war involving U.S. forces. We have for some time been observing with some concern the growing hostility towards Iran coming out of Washington and from the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is warning that the 'time to act is now' to thwart Iran's aggressive regional ambitions while United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees a 'wake-up' call in the recent shooting incident involving Syria and Israel. Particular concern has been expressed by the White House that Iran is exploiting Shi'a minorities in neighboring Sunni dominated states to create unrest and is also expanding its role in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
VIPS also suggests that because Netanyahu may be indicted on corruption charges: "it is conceivable that he might welcome a 'small war' to deflect attention from mounting political problems at home." One may say the same of Donald Trump, but as history has taught us 'small wars' lead to large wars, and as is well known, the ultimate target of these warmongers is Russia, and such a war would be far from small.
One of the signers of the VIPS' aforementioned article is Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer who in a separate article, Donald Trump's foreign policy: Made in Israel? (No need for the question mark), rightly says that Trump is aligned with the most hardline elements in Israel and that "some pretext for war [with Iran] will surely follow with the United States having to bear much of the burden as well as most of the consequences, including what is likely to be a large casualty list as the Iranians will surely fight back." Furthermore, Giraldi says that the U.S., with an active presence on the ground in Syria aimed at destabilizing the country and ousting Assad, is supporting alleged Israeli intelligence that allows it to bomb another sovereign country under the claims it is protecting Israel by attacking Iranian, Hezbollah and Russian targets.
While the American public is inundated with news about Jared Kushner and Hope Hicks, propaganda about how the Syrian government is slaughtering civilians in East Ghouta (see Jonathan Cook's excellent article, The Authoritarians Who Silence Syria Questions), and is further depressed by news of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, shares are rising in the US military-Industrial Complex and the Academy Awards ceremony will soon give a Hollywood deluded society a "needed distraction" from all the news. Meanwhile, the bloodthirsty warmongers are licking their lips in anticipation. They are beating the war drums, and not very slowly right now. The beat has quickened. You can hear it if you listen.
Perhaps the propaganda film The Post, about the CIA's favorite newspaper, T he Washington Post, will take home the golden fetish at the Oscars while Israel and the U.S. assumes their responsibility to protect the innocent by killing more of them and expanding their deadly arms toward their ultimate targets.