By Ludwig Watzal
The US Empire constitutes the greatest threat to world peace. This has been proven by the history of this nation. Starting out as a nation born in the fight against British colonialism, the US has become the world largest imperial power. The US does not only wage two neocolonial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the later together with Nato, but it has also military bases in 141 states and 11 territories, out of 191 states comprising the United Nations. American arms patrol all the seas and skies, including outer space. This is not enough, the Pentagon declares flatly that it wants to achieve nothing less than “full-spectrum dominance“ over any potential foe in the future.
Patrick J. Buchanan describes this imperial demeanor as follows: “While this worldwide archipelago of bases may have been necessary when we confronted a Sino-Soviet bloc spanning Eurasia from the Elbe to East China Sea, armed with thousands of nuclear weapons and driven by imperial ambition and ideological hatred of us that is history now. It is preposterous to argue that all these bases are essential to our security. Indeed, our military presence, our endless wars, and our support of despotic regimes have made America, once the most admired of nations, almost everywhere resented and even hated.“
Besides his self-proclaimed chosenness, its second nature is to wage wars. “War is the American way of life”, writes Paul L. Atwood, Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in his book “War and Empire”. Although the US has not officially declared war on any country since Pearl Harbor, the United States of America committed aggressions against numerous countries. None of the undeclared wars were won by the US and some have led to millions of deaths and vast destruction of the attacked countries. It is noteworthy that none of the attacked countries had nuclear weapons. Right now, the US concentrates a huge armada around Iran, and history demonstrates “when the US prepares for war it usually goes to war”. (Atwood) The main war profiteers are the military-industrial complex and those big companies who profit from the violence. The lobbyists of these industries determine the course of the US foreign policy. All these wars were promoted by the corporate media and intellectually justified by their cheerleaders in so-called think tanks. As in the past, the same procedure has been going on with regards to the preparation of the impending war against Iran. The US public seems so manipulated by the media that they take this propaganda for reality. Eighty percent of the American people believe that Iran’s nuclear program threatens the US, and two-thirds think that sanctions don’t work.
How the US Empire might be pushed into a war against its will by its client state Israel could serve as a case study in the field of international relations. Such a case study could demonstrate that even an empire, which “conquers” three quarters of the United Nations member states, could be dragged into war by his “albatross-like ally Israel”. (Atwood) After Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Israel beginning of August, news were leaked that the Israelis slammed the US delegation for apparently accepting Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program. This right is granted to any country that has signed the NPT (Treaty on the non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), which Iran has done but not Israel. It appears that Benyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are hell-bent to strike soon unilaterally against Iran, downplaying all the arguments against such an aggression. According to “ynet news” from August 5, 2012, Netanyahu said: "I would prefer that the US attack Iran, but the likelihood of that is small." Noteworthy however, according to Yuval Diskin’s characterization of Netanyahu und Barak as “messianic”, is Netanyahu’s remark that “he is being completely rational in considering the matter“.
End of July, former Mossad-chief Ephraim Halevy set a three month timeframe within which an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities might be carried out by Israel. That means, the attack would take before the US presidential elections. Obama would have no other choice to lead the US into another war against a Muslim country with disastrous consequences. Daniel Pipes, a US-American critic of Islam, has already written in “National Review Online” from February 2, 2010 that President Obama should bomb Iran in order to save his presidency.
Up till now, there is still strong opposition within the Israeli security establishment against an attack on Iran. After Leon Panetta’s visit to Israel, Netanyahu said on Israeli Channel 2 TV that despite reservations about an attack on Iran among former Israeli security officials and Israel's current army chief Benny Gantz “the country's political leadership would make the final decision on any attack”. But this is Netayahu’s pipe dream. Neither Netanyahu nor Barak can make such a far reaching decision alone. All decisions concerning war can only be taken together with the military and security apparatuses. Against their will, every Prime Minister looks powerless.
The case for a nuclear Iran was convincingly made by Kenneth Waltz in “Foreign Affairs”. The author expressed his surprise that it took such a long time till Israel’s nuclear dominant position will be finally challenged. Another substantive argument put forward by Waltz was the stability of a nuclear world. There has not been until now a military confrontation between nuclear armed countries. All the heads of states behaved rationally after possessing nuclear weapons, only the US Empire used them against Japan. However, from the imperialist perspective it might be “very rational” to destroy other countries with nuclear weapons. Even the so-called “Evil Empire” (Ronald Reagan about the Soviet Union) acted very cautiously, when confronted with the anti-communist trigger-happy politicians of the United States.
What makes the Iranian case so unique? Since the overthrow of the Shah regime in 1979 by the Iranian revolution, the US and Israel lost its “trusted leader”. Iran’s geopolitical situation is outstanding: If the US could get hold of Iran again, together with Israel they might not only control and dominate the Near East and the Middle East but also the Far East and all the former Soviet republics. From a geopolitical point of view Russia and China should make it clear to the US and Israel that they will not accept an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Should Syria fall into the hands of the fundamentalist Islamists who belong to the Sunni branch of Islam and are supported by the most fundamentalist regime, Saudi-Arabia, the “Shiite crescent” might fall apart. With a nuclear Iran, the Israeli hegemony over the Arab world would be over, although Iranians are not Arabs. However, the real US thrust is directed against Russia and China. They are the last stumbling blocks on the road towards world domination.
Although US decision makers and the Israeli security establishment know that Iran does not build nuclear weapons, they are nevertheless willing to ignite a war whose outcome nobody can predict. Perhaps Iran and his President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have already been so demonized in the last eight years by the US power elite, its corporate media and the Israeli political class that the warmongers are falling for their own propaganda. Perhaps this war will unleash force best left sleeping, and the politicians will feel all of a sudden like the apprentice in Goethe’s Faust.
The main aim of the US-Israeli alliance is the destruction of the so-called resistance-axis of “Teheran-Damascus-Hezbollah” because it is the last hindrance for their quest of absolute and unchallenged regional hegemony and domination. Such a nightmare scenario should be opposed by everyone.
- Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog “Between the lines” http://between-the-lines-ludwig-watzal.blogspot.de. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.