In January 2009, Obama succeeded Bush. Neocons stuck around. They infest Washington. War gets their juices flowing. They urge it on Syria and Iran.
Potential catastrophic consequences don't matter. Uber-hawks don't worry about them. It's someone else's problem.
Romney is America's Netanyahu. Both talks about red lines, deadlines, and timelines. Claims about an existential Iranian threat don't wash. Both know it. They'll say anything further their imperial aims. More on Romney below.
Previous articles discussed Netanyahu in detail. Haaretz presents both sides. Ari Shavit plays resident hawk. He's both senior correspondent and editorial board member. On September 29, he called Iran's nuclear threat "as daunting as ever."
"It's clear: one way or another, Iran is going to change our lives," he claimed. "If Iran becomes a nuclear power...(t)here will be no chance for peace and no prospect of normality...The far-reaching implications of the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear project were known a decade ago."
"Instead of curbing Iran, the United States became entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel was preoccupied with settlements instead of being preoccupied with centrifuges. Europe froze as though crippled."
Netanyahu rose to the challenge, said Shavit. Bibi understands Iran, he added. From day one as prime minister, his mission "was to thwart Iranian nuclearization." He established a "military option."
His strategy produced "impressive results." Why Haaretz puts up with this rubbish it'll have to explain. It knows, or should, that Iran poses no threat whatever. Its nuclear program is peaceful. Current and former Israeli officials say so. US intelligence says it annually.
Counterparts in America and elsewhere concur. So do other Haaretz contributors. Thankfully they show up often. Many times they don't tell all, but at least discuss things that matter. They include truths excluded from Western media.
So do Haaretz editorials. On September 30, "Red lines, black portrait" was headlined. Netanyahu was taken to task. Under his leadership, "ultranationalism and the medieval forces of radical Judaism paint a black portrait of Israel."
His "childish" bomb stunt fell flat. He became a caricature of himself using it. At the same time, he ignored calls for peace with Palestine and normalizing relations with all regional states.
He bragged about Israel's achievements. He's allied with extremists in his government and likeminded rabbis. They "deny children the right to a basic education and women (get) relegated to the back of public buses."
"His modern government denies liberty to another nation." He "deports refugees, sending them to their deaths."
He "persecutes human rights organizations and violates academic freedom." While unjustifiably setting red lines, "one out of three Israeli children goes to sleep under the poverty line, and one out of four Israeli scientists seeks" employment opportunities elsewhere.
His preoccupation with nonexistent threats leaves vital domestic issues unaddressed. His rage for war makes peace unattainable.
Romney is his American counterpart. Both represent real existential threats. Failure to denounce their irresponsibility increases the chance for war. Preventing it is before it starts matters most. Afterwards it's too late.
Romney got Wall Street Journal space to rant. "A New Course for the Middle East" was headlined. Committed opposition is needed against what he has in mind. So far, he's an unelected menace.
His ideas exceed what's sensible, safe, and lawful. Claiming Iran heads "full tilt toward nuclear weapons capability, all the while promising to annihilate Israel" is pure garbage he knows holds no water, but he says it anyway.
He claimed America is "at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies."
America and Israel have no threats except ones they create. Together they menace humanity. So do Romney and Netanyahu. Saying Obama "heightened the prospect of conflict and instability" is true.
Omitted is that he and other neocon uber-hawks elevate risks to a higher level. What's unthinkable they make more likely. He wants no daylight between US and Israeli policy.
He wants America marching recklessly into the same breach. He stopped short of urging war but did so through Elliott Abrams. He's Paul Ryan's foreign policy advisor. He headlined his Weekly Standard article "Time to Authorize Use of Force Against Iran."
Both favor mass slaughter and destruction. So does Romney. He's comfortable with Abrams saying:
"At the moment, no one is persuaded that the United States will use force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That situation worries Israelis and emboldens Iranians, not the outcome we want."
"A clear statement now that is backed by the nominees of both parties and elicits widespread support in Congress would demonstrate that, whatever the election results, American policy is set."
He, Romney and Ryan want congressional war authorization similar to the blank check Bush got post-9/11. Likeminded neocons concur. So does Obama but on his timetable.
Imagine what's coming under either leader. Imagine the unimaginable but expect it. Last December, Romney told Fox News he'll have military options prepared on Iran.
He barely stopped short of saying he'll attack. His implication was clear. He and likeminded neocons represent real threats. They're mindless about a new Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll.
It shows 70% of Americans oppose attacking Iran unilaterally, and 59% said if Israel goes it alone, Washington shouldn't defend its action.
On September 15, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd railed against neocons her way. Her column headlined "Neocons Slither Back," saying:
"(N)eocon puppet master Dan Seņor" represents Paul Ryan, and by implication Romney. Along with Abrams and perhaps others, he was hired to "graft a Manichaean worldview..."
He supports a "muscular foreign policy." He disdains "weakness and diplomacy." He considers it "a duty to invade and bomb Israel's neighbors." He endorses "a divine right to preemption."
Haven't we already been there and done that disastrously? It's "all ominously familiar," said Dowd. Seņor and likeminded uber-hawks blundered America into endless unwinnable wars.
Trillions of dollars were wasted. Billions more go down the drain daily. Millions of lives were lost. Many more die daily. "We're still stumbling in the dark."
"We not only don't know who our allies and enemies are, we don't know who our allies' and enemies' allies and enemies are."
Dowd omitted the obvious Pogo analogy that "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Seņor now plays "ventriloquist" to Ryan. He's teaching him "irresponsible bellicosity." Romney needs no coaching. If he's elected, expect current regional wars to be "a tiny foretaste of the conflagration to come."
Trouble is that Obama's on the same page. Perhaps it slipped Dowd's mind. More likely she's mindful of official Times editorial policy. It supports Obama right or wrong.
It's on the wrong side whichever wing of America's duopoly it endorses. There's barely a difference to matter.
NPR is called National Pentagon Radio for good reason. On September 28, All Things Considered host Robert Siegel interviewed pro-Israeli/anti-Iranian zealot Dennis Ross.
James Petras once called him "a virulent Zionist advocate of Israel's ultra-militaristic policies, including an armed preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear and military installations."
"Ross is an unconditional supporter of the Israeli starvation siege of (Gaza), and fully backed Israel's savage (2006) air attacks against civilian targets in Lebanon."
He's no friend of Palestine, regional peace or justice. He's one-sidedly hawkish. He's criminally complicit in war crimes. He's out in front promoting more. He supports Neyanyahu's extremism.
He believes diplomacy about ran its course. He knows Iran has no nuclear weapons program but suggests otherwise. "Iran defies the world," he said. He wants something done about it. He ignored Israel's nuclear arsenal and intent to use it if threatened. So did Siegel. He didn't ask.
He also interviewed New York Times Tehran correspondent Thomas Erdbrink and National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi. Neither represented Iran's position. Fundamental facts weren't discussed.
One-sided views were presented. Public Broadcasting operates the same way. Both feature anti-Iranian propaganda regularly. They're obligated. They're heavily corporate and government funded. They get what they pay for.
NPR and PBS maliciously vilify all US enemies, stoke fear, and manipulate viewers and listeners to think war, if planned, is justified. Truth and full disclosure are verboten. So is explaining rule of law issues.
They deliver whatever imperial power brokers dictate.
In 2009, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) reinvented itself as the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Policies remain unchanged. Syrian and Iranian Regime change are prioritized. Direct intervention is urged.
Jamie Fly serves as executive director. He was Bush's National Security Council Counterproliferation Strategy director and Defense Department Assistant for Transnational Threats Policy.
Likeminded uber-hawks comprise FPI's board of directors. Eric Edelman also served in Bush's Defense Department and was involved in national security affairs.
Robert Kagan co-founded PNAC. He's now at Brookings.
William Kristol co-founded PNAC with Kagan. He's now connected to various neocon groups.
Dan Seņor was discussed above. He formerly served as Iraq war Pentagon spokesman. He's now an Israeli lobbyist, investment banker, Council on Foreign Relations member, and regular Fox News contributor. Earlier he was an AIPAC intern and deputy White House press secretary.
A dominant thread connects FPI members. Permanent war defines it. The more the better against all US enemies. Syria and Iran are prioritized.
Last August, Jamie Fly and other FPI members said Iran continues steady progress toward developing nuclear weapons. Its missile capability can't be underestimated.
"Given Iran's progress," said Fly, it's "rapidly approaching a nuclear threshold which will allow its senior leadership to decide at short notice when to make the final dash to produce nuclear weapons."
Of course, no evidence whatever supports his view or other hawks espousing similar ones. Iran's program is entirely peaceful. You'd never know it from uber-hawk claims. They support regime change by any means.
Fly claims the Iranian government's "days are numbered." America has "a role to play," he stresses. It's involved "in helping bring about its collapse..." He barely stopped of saying what he means.
He and other FPI members support war. So do other neocon uber-hawks. Post-November 6, they may get what they wish for. Perhaps they'll end up regretting it. Survivors of the holocaust unleashed have no say. Isn't it always that way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.