By Andrea Dantzer
For the past two weeks, both the Republican and Democrats have been locked in a ferocious battle to see Who is the Bigger Warmonger when it comes to playing up to Israel and, once again, turning Iran into the scary monster of the world. Observe.
Serve: About two weeks ago, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at the Veterans o Foreign War convention in Reno, Nevada where he quickly got down to business by saying the President was ‘undermining’ the security and safety of Israel and made sure to point out that, “The regime in Tehran is drawing closer to developing a nuclear weapon. The threat of radical Islamic terrorism persists. The threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation is ever-present. ” Despite the fact that there is no substantial evidence to his claims, the Democrats, primarily Noble Peace Prize winner and current President of the United States of America must have felt the pinch on that one and quickly volleyed back.
Volley: President Obama volley back with an in your face return to the Republicans by publicly signing the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which apparently strengthens Israel’s military edge and deepens U.S. defense and security cooperation with Israel. For added spin, it was also leaked that Obama’s national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to brief him on the US plans to strike Iran and the weapons that would be used to deal with take care of Iran’s (non-weaponized, regulation-conforming) nuclear facilities.
Volley: Never fear, despite falling to McCain, who went on to be defeated by Obama in 2008, Romney was ready this time and left for Israel the very next day where he angered the Palestinians, proudly declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and essentially gave the United Nation created country the green light for attacking Iran as they saw fit. He had a near stumble when he also pledged to prevent Iran from attaining the capability needed to create a nuclear weapon, seeing as how they had the capability to engineer a nuclear weapon for years. He quickly righted his footing by going on to promise to take action before Tehran could ready its nuclear sites. Netanyahu cheered and fist-pumped on the sidelines saying, “”I heard some of your remarks and you said that the greatest danger facing the world is the Ayatollah regime possessing nuclear weapons capability. Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I think it is important to do everything in our power to prevent the ayatollahs from possessing that capability. We have to be honest and say that all the diplomacy and sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota.”
Volley: As the game was picking up speed, Obama fought back by sending Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on over to Israel to offer the White House’s assurance that the President was indeed serious about defending Israel with force against Iran. “We have options that we are prepared to implement to ensure that that does not happen.” Panetta declared, while standing next to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and an Israeli antirocket missile battery. He went on to say, “My responsibility is to provide the president with a full range of options, including military options, should diplomacy fail.” And, by diplomacy he means the increasing sanctions against Iran and the United States demanding $6 billion in restitution from Iran for 9/11.
During intermission, both sides came together during a session of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to figure out what to do about “Iran’s support for terrorism in the Middle East”. The session was attended by notables such as openly neo-conservatives Matthew Levitt of Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center and Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute.
Serve: With the ball back in President Obama’s hands, he quickly fired off his next move with an executive order blacklisting multiple foreign banks that facilitate the sale of Iranian oil and blocking transactions from numerous Iranian banks. Despite the fact that his administration admits Iran has no nuclear weapons and has not made any attempts to start engineering any nuclear weapons, the President explained that the sanctions intentions were to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
What will the Republicans volley back with next? Time will only tell. In the meantime, the State Department made their presence felt with its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, stated that “Iran is and remains the preeminent terrorism sponsor in the world,” while ignoring the fact that Iran’s nuclear sites are inspected by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency on a regular basis, that Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, that Iran has as much legal right as any other nation to enrich uranium for the purpose of using it in their power plants and none of their low-level enriched uranium has been diverted in any way.
While demonizing Iran has always been a part of the political campaign game since 2001, it has taken on a new and frenzied feeling as Republicans and Democrats have both taken it upon themselves to outdo the other party when it comes to ‘defending’ Israel and punishing Iran. While it may be nothing more than political talk to secure votes, this game is deadly and, by all appearances, setting the stage for an attack on Iran in the near future.
Not surprisingly to anyone, AIPAC has been playing the coach behind the scenes and calling for increased force against Iran. This letter signed by Executive Director Howard Kohr and two other AIPAC officers and sent out on AIPAC letterhead was sent to every Congressmen on July 31st:
July 31, 2012
Vote Yes – The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (H.R.1905)
We write in strong support of H.R. 1905, The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. The legislation, authored by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman, will be considered by the House on Wednesday. We strongly urge you to vote YES.
In an effort to dissuade Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, the House overwhelmingly passed in December the Iran Threat Reduction Act which tightened sanctions on Iran. The version that has now emerged from House-Senate negotiations includes the strongest set of sanctions ever enacted to isolate any country with which we were not in armed hostilities. H.R. 1905 incorporates legislative initiatives of many members from both the House and Senate and will: place virtually all of Iran’s energy, financial, and transportation sectors under U.S. sanction. Companies conducting business with Iran in these sectors face losing access to U.S. markets; impose sanctions designed to prevent Iran from repatriating any proceeds from its oil sales, thus depriving Iran of 80 percent of its hard currency earnings and half of the funds to support its national budget; impose tough new sanctions on the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); target Iran’s use of barter transactions to bypass sanctions, the provision of insurance to Iran’s energy sector, and the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the Central Bank of Iran; click here to learn more about the legislation and how it will raise the pressure on Iran.
In the past six months, the United States and our international partners have substantially increased the economic pressure on Iran and engaged in several rounds of talks with Tehran. Unfortunately, Iran has rebuffed the opportunity for serious negotiations while stepping up the pace of its nuclear program.
America and our allies must unite in a tough response to Iran’s belligerent approach. We must continue to send a strong message to Tehran that it will face unremitting pressure until it complies with its international obligations and end its nuclear weapons quest.
We strongly support The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (H.R. 1905) and urge you to vote YES on Wednesday.
Most of the arguments given by AIPAC are dangerously wrong and unfounded, given all current evidence, and, yet, are still picked up by mainstream media as concrete truth.
The Iran Threat Reduction Act and all 144 pages is apparently “To strengthen Iran sanctions laws for the purpose of compelling Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and other threatening activities, and for other purposes.”
Between the talks between Israel and the United States, the increased sanctions and threats against Iran, the Iran Threat Reduction Act, the Flame, Stuxnet and possibly other computer virus attacks on Iran and the series of executive orders levied against Iran, there is no doubt that the stage has been set for full on war against Iran. Iran has not attacked another country in over a hundred years and has repeatedly stated they would no make no move unless it was in defense against their country.
How this insane game among the warmongers ends it is hard to say, but from the looks of things, there will be no winners.
- New round of Iran sanctions pressures Obama to move closer to Israel’s ‘red line’ (mondoweiss.net)
- Obama orders new sanctions on Iran (jeenyuscorner.com)
- Panetta asks Israel for patience on Iran (washingtontimes.com)
- U.S. Passes New Iran Sanctions, Israel Doubts They Will Change Anything (ibtimes.com)
- Netanyahu: Obama’s sanctions haven’t hindered Iran by “one iota” (hotair.com)
- US imposes new sanctions on Iran (bbc.co.uk)
- Obama announces new Iran sanctions (aljazeera.com)
- Revolutionary Guards Commander: Economic sanctions against Iran are working (timesofisrael.com)
- US sanction Iran to stop nuclear plans (bigpondnews.com)
- 80% of Americans think Iran’s nuclear program threatens the US (timesofisrael.com)