While on the surface it may appear that Obama is trying to slow down US aggression towards Iran (the US has already been an accomplice in aggressively killing literally hundreds of thousands of people in Iran), only those who put religious faith in the pronouncements of “their leaders” could say they know for sure that this is indeed what is happening.
What appears to be happening is that Obama is easing off the US aggression throttle towards Iran, while Israel is simultaneously on the precipice of teaming up with Saudi Arabia (another close US client/ally) to aggressively bomb Iran – the top international crime. See “Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran“, by Robert Parry. (Netanyahu is currently being widely exposed as a major liar regarding Iran’s nuclear program, though this was always known to those who follow world affairs by reading broadly, not confining themselves to US/Western mass media propaganda.)
However, evidence illustrates that we cannot accept this as the only possibility for what is happening.
In June, 2009, around the beginning of Obama’s presidency, a US think-tank called Brookings, considered the most influential think tank in the world, published a strategy guide for conquering Iran: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran“.
One of the chapters is titled “Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike” (Bibi is the nickname for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)
Right away, we see that US strategists thought of this approach at least ~6 years ago: let Israel attack Iran while the US pretends to be a helpless bystander. So we know Obama has been aware of this “policy option” (of course illegal) for years.
One way the US, if it actually wanted to, could discourage an Israeli strike against Iran (or any other Israeli crime) would be to tell Israel that if it does not cease its illegal threats of force against Iran (terrorism) or if it actually goes through with them, Israel will be completely cut off from receiving US support, which is already illegal anyway, since Israel is a war-criminal and illegal occupier state (settlements in Palestine, for example, in addition to regular massacres, are legally classed as war crimes). Israel is the single biggest recipient of US support (meaning in amount of cash and lethal weaponry, but support also includes political – ie UN vetoes, etc. – and promised military backing).
Here is a brief look at the “Leave it to Bibi” section of the Brookings strategy report:
The section begins by admitting that “Iran has never been and almost certainly never will be an existential threat to the United States. It harbors no territorial designs on the United States, has never conducted a terrorist operation aimed at the American homeland, and, even should it acquire nuclear weapons, lacks the delivery systems to threaten the United States directly.”
In listing pros and cons of allowing an Israeli strike on Iran, the report states:
- …the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran.
- It would presumably be easier to convince Israel to mount the attack than it would be to generate domestic political support for another war in the Middle East (let alone the diplomatic support from a region that is extremely wary of new American military adventures). At least some important Israelis want to conduct such an attack and would welcome Washington’s encouragement.
- [The single major advantage of this approach would be] the possibility that Israel would bear the entire burden for the strike…
It must be noted that while this is listed as a possibility, there are many others. Here are some of the options from the table of contents:
“An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse: Persuasion”
“Going All the Way: Invasion”
“Toppling Tehran: Regime Change” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Inspiring an Insurgency: Supporting Iranian Minority and Opposition Groups” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“The Coup” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Containment” (The US is already doing this:)
It is made painfully clear that the US is not sorry for overthrowing Iran’s democracy in 1953 and installing a tyrannical king who, as Amnesty International reported, was tied for being the world’s worst human rights violator. The US is only sorry that it lost control over its conquered territory, and it wants it back.
It must also be noted that while Washington’s puppet king, a top human rights violator and mass torturer, was in power, the US was assisting Iran in achieving nuclear power (and the US later cut a deal with Pakistan, an Islamic fundamentalist US ally, to help it become a nuclear weapons state, and Saudi Arabia has a deal with Pakistan to procure nukes when it deems fit, so we know the US doesn’t care about that, and, as has long been known, that US and Israeli intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons. Only politicians do that, for the purpose, as noted in the quote above, of prepping the public mind for an attack to reconquer Iran.)
Also note this passage from the Brookings strategy guide:
…any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback [ie 9/11/01] from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer [Obama has already tried to create this scenario several times] —one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons [US intelligence says if Iran ever did go for nukes, they would be for a deterrent against the US and Israel] would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” [note desired adoption of batterer’s logic] by refusing a very good deal.
Thus, it may well be the case that Obama is again strategically setting up a “deal” for Iran to reject, manufacturing the “proper international context”, which could then be followed by an Israeli strike.
We don’t know exactly what is going on, but we do know that we don’t know; ie, we know that governments and their collaborators scheme, perpetrate ruses, and lie, and that their public proclamations carry zero value, and often reveal the opposite of what they profess (ie famous saying, “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied”).
We know that Israeli and US intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nukes and that only untrustworthy politicians do, and we know that the US does not care if an Islamic or rogue state has nukes (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel). We know that the US is not sorry about having been part of killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of Iranians for their resources and strategic location, that the US will do it again if it feels it can get away with it, and that the US is only sorry that its bloody puppet tyrant was overthrown.
The US may currently be again considering and feeling out the “Leave it to Bibi” option that Obama has known about for years.
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry. He is a regular contributor to Washington’s Blog. Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.