Monday, July 16, 2012

Jeffrey Goldberg's Chutzpah on Hezbollah - and Iran

At The Atlantic today, former IDF interrogator Jeffrey Goldberg reports from Israel (based on a report in Haaretz by  Amos Harel) that

International law enforcement agencies have broken-up yet another alleged plot against an Israeli target, arresting an apparent Hezbollah operative in Cyprus who was there to identify suitable targets for terrorist attacks. According to press reports, the operative was particularly interested in Israeli airliners.

The post is titled "Iran's War Against Israel and Jews."  Goldberg's assumption is that in anything and everything it does, Hezbollah takes its orders from Iran.  One can make a case for that, to be sure, but one might also note that the interests and motives of Lebanon's Shii Arabs (of whom Hezbollah is the principal political representative) are not exactly the same as those of Iran's leadership.  (Goldberg might do well to have a look at Roschanack Shaery-Eisenlohr's Shi'ite Lebanon: Transnational Religion and the Making of National Identities).  That a Hezbollah agent might indeed have been scouting out El Al airliners for terror bombing is hideous indeed, but let's be mindful that Goldberg (and Israel, for which he's been carrying water for years) is here targetting Iran, not Hezbollah.

Goldberg saves the real corker for the end, where he quotes from Harel's article that:

Interestingly, Israeli leaders have significantly lowered the volume of their own threats against Iran recently. But at a time when Israel’s dilemma on Iran has been boiled down to a four-word slogan, “bomb or be bombed,” a third scenario must also be considered: A poorly-thought-out Iranian move, in the Persian Gulf or elsewhere, could ignite a conflict even before anyone decides to attack its nuclear facilities.

A poorly thought out Iranian move as prime instigator for a Persian Gulf war?!  This, after Israel's role in purveying the Stuxnet worm into Iran's computers? After Israel's role in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists inside Iran?!  After so many months of Netanyahu, Barak et al. threatening to launch airstrikes againt Iran's nuclear facilties (and in the meantime labeling Ahmadinejad as the new Hitler only awaiting his opportunity to inflict a new Holocaust, mostly because of a speech widely mistranslated as stating that Iran was going to "wipe Israel off the map")?!

The fact of the matter is that both sides - but Israel most recently - have committed acts against the other that can be legitimately construed as acts of war.  Add to that the increasing pressure from US naval forces in the Persian Gulf: more aircraft carriers on station, a floating base for Special Ops attacks, sea-drones to destroy any mines that the Iranian navy might lay in the Straits of Hormuz.  And don't forget the recently ramped-up economic sanctions that the US and its pals have used to cripple Iran's economy and immiserate its people.

Humongous pressure is being piled on Iran.  One senses that Israel and the US are just waiting for that "just twitch and I'll blow you to Mars" moment.

Let's be real.  Goldberg and his ilk are laying the ground for blaming the victims for their own devastation.

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