Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIW This article appears in the December 3, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

LaRouche to Obama:
Don't Turn Lunatic Netanyahu Loose

by Michele Steinberg and Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—President Barack Obama now personally favors a near-term Israeli attack on Iran, if Iran does not strike a binding deal to halt its alleged nuclear weaponization program in the immediate weeks ahead, when the UN's Permanent 5+1 talks resume, reported senior U.S. intelligence sources to EIRNS this week. According to one official, speaking off the record, the so-called 90-day extension of the West Bank settlement freeze, negotiated in recent talks between the Obama Administration and the Benjamin Netanyahu government in Israel, is less about Israel-Palestine peace negotiations, and more about giving Israel the political support and military capacity to carry out air strikes against Iranian nuclear sites, including the enrichment facility at Natanz.

"The key to the whole deal is the delivery of F-35 long-range fighter jets to Israel. This gives Israel the attack capability against Iran," the source warned. Whatever opposition to attacks on Iran remains within the Obama Administration, is time-constrained. Even recent statements by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at a Wall Street Journal-sponsored forum in New York, arguing against military strikes—because they would consolidate power in the hands of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad/Revolutionary Guard apparatus, and harden its resolve to obtain nuclear weapons—were aimed at increasing pressure on Iran to make a deal, before war preparations begin.

A second source confirmed the assessment, including President Obama's belief that an Israeli strike would be preferable to direct U.S. action—at least at the start of military operations. According to this source, there are several possible consequences of an Israeli attack being evaluated by U.S. intelligence agencies, including the delusion that a limited strike on Iran would convince the Iranian government to make concessions in order to avoid further attacks.

Lyndon LaRouche, however, denounced the mere idea of arming Netanyahu with F-35 stealth fighters, and of giving even an implicit go-ahead for Israeli military action against Iran.

LaRouche warned:

"You cannot take a piecemeal approach to the current strategic situation. No piecemeal assessments are competent. You have the disintegration of the entire Inter-Alpha monetarist system—right now. Those British-centered circles are absolutely desperate. Under these circumstances, you don't turn a lunatic like Netanyahu loose. He is perfectly capable of starting the fire that detonates chaos on a planetary-wide scale. This is madness, but this is, unfortunately, precisely the kind of madness that we see from President Obama, time after time."

LaRouche is blunt: The British empire has a long history of manipulations of land wars in Asia; if allowed to proceed, a full-scale global war will result from an Israeli attack on Iran.

The threat of an Israeli strike against Iran has been the cause of alarm many times since 2003, after the toppling of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and many fools today believe that concern about an Israeli strike on Iran is just an over-reaction to propaganda. But LaRouche emphasizes that the danger is more serious today, stemming from the unprecedented desperation of the British Empire's financial oligarchs, and the fact that under the mentally unfit Obama, the United States will not oppose the British.

View from Israel

Reports from Israel underline the danger. According to a well-informed, New York-based former Israeli intelligence officer, Netanyahu is cocksure, following his recent visit to the United States, that the Nov. 2 midterm elections so weakened Obama, that Israel can expect little opposition to an air strike against Iranian nuclear sites. Furthermore, after a series of meetings with Netanyahu, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has quietly pledged French support for such an Israeli military adventure, in a sharp break from the policies of other European countries, including Germany, which is intent on working out a diplomatic solution with Iran.

While a significant military grouping inside Israel is generally opposed to the Iran war adventure, and the incoming Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, Gen. Yoav Galant, is a very independent-minded soldier, with strong views on the folly of an Iran attack, the decision will not be driven by the military, reports this source. Rather, political groupings in Israel, including the Netanyahu crowd, the fundamentalist Jews of the settlers movement and the religious parties, and the outright racist/fascist elements around Foreign Minisiter and Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beteinu party, are calling the shots.

At the same time, after two messy military adventures—the unsuccessful attempts to wipe out Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, and to obliterate Hamas in Gaza in 2008-09, Israeli military unity is becoming deeply fractured. Add to this, that Netanyahu has become completely irrational on the question of the Iran war, and is refusing to listen to advice against it, even from longtime, trusted people such as Benny Begin, the son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

For Israeli war planners, the biggest fear in not whether the operation itself will succeed or fail, but what will happen the day after. It is already factored into the equation that there will be very strong reactions to an Israeli attack. Stock markets will crash, and other chaos could result. Israel will be blamed, and even further ostracized.

Israeli war planners are also well aware of Iran's retaliatory capabilities through asymmetrical warfare by Hezbollah and Hamas. They know that Iranian support for both groups has tripled in recent months, but they have also factored in how to deal with this. The strike plan developed by outgoing Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi involves attacks on southern Lebanon and Gaza, as the planes take off for targets inside Iran.

Rational arguments will not work with Netanyahu. With religious fervor, he is embracing the mission of his 100-year-old father, Ben Zion Netanyahu, a former aide to the fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky. They believe that the only borders that can be accepted are those of Biblical Israel and beyond: Eretz Israel. Ben Zion Netanyahu has always advocated a complete transfer—i.e., ethnic cleansing—of all Palestinians from the Jewish State of Israel.

The views of Ben Zion are slickster Benjamin Netanyahu's real beliefs, not openly stated, but increasingly seen in his remarks. Take for example, his Nov. 8 speech to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federation of North America, where Netanyahu virtually denounced Zionist sacred cow Theodore Herzl for thinking the establishment of the State of Israel would put an end to anti-Semitism; Netanyahu redefined anti-Semitism as "demonizing" Israel. He was especially livid over his Jewish critics, singling out the Jewish students who booed him at the Jewish Federation speech, and jurist Richard Goldstone, who headed the UN investigation that found evidence of Israeli war crimes in the Gaza War of 2009.

Calling for action against Iran, Netanyahu railed:

"Herzl was too optimistic in believing that the rebirth of the Jewish state would gradually put an end to anti-Semitism.

"The old hatred against the Jewish people is now focused against the Jewish state. If in the past Jews were demonized, singled out, or denied the rights that were automatically granted to others, today ... it is Israel that is demonized, singled out, and denied the rights that are automatically granted to other nations, first and foremost the right of self-defense.... The greatest success of our detractors is when Jews start believing that themselves—we've seen that today."

And how did President Obama respond to these lunatic words? By rewarding Israel with $3 billion in added military aid, including the F-35s, and promises of a permanent UN Security Council veto of any resolution opposed by Israel—all in return for a meaningless 90-day extension of a settlement expansion freeze that never was.

The End of Peace Talks

The phony deal for a 90-day freeze immediately stopped plans for resuming peace talks dead in their tracks. An outpouring of criticism against Obama and Netanyahu began.

On Nov. 15, Foreign Policy online magazine published a hard-hitting attack by Mark Perry, a military historian and Middle East peace advocate, on President Obama's appeasement of Israel. Under the headline "Not One Cent for Tribute: Obama's Embarrassing Gift to Israel," Perry attacked the Administration for the announcement that the U.S. would give $3 billion in stealth fighters to Israel, supplementing 20 F-35 fighter jets that Israel will "purchase" from the United States, with $2.75 billion in military aid provided by U.S. taxpayers.

"The administration's decision would be shocking were it not so predictable," Perry wrote, citing an Oct. 20 statement by State Department spokesman Andrew Shapiro, who announced a $60 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia by explaining, "Israel does not object." Perry reviewed a string of Administration actions, including by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, all demonstrating a slavish capitulation to Israel and the Israeli lobby.

Perry wrote, "The Obama Administration's newest promise to Israel is abject, embarrassing and gutless. Our country—our president—is rewarding a foreign leader who openly boasts that America 'is something that can easily be moved,' who urges a waiting game with the U.S. because he knows that Israel's friends in the Congress will defy a president who opposes him." After accusing Obama of caving in to extortion, Perry warned that the F-35 sales give Israel the capacity to strike Tehran. "The message, intended or not, will be heard by Iran: we're not interested in allowing Israel to defend itself, we're interested in having it attack others.... We have lost our way. It is not Israel's legitimacy that needs defending, but ours."

On Nov. 21, former U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, who served both in Israel and Egypt, slammed the Obama Administration for selling out U.S. national security to Netanyahu, in a Washington Post op-ed. Kurtzer warned that it is mad to try to buy off "bad behavior":

"Previously, U.S. opposition to settlements resulted in penalties, not rewards, for continued construction. Washington deducted from its loan guarantees to Israel an amount equivalent, dollar for dollar, to the money that Israel spent in the occupied territories....

"This is a very bad idea.... Washington will almost certainly come to regret bribing Israel.... If it goes forward, it will be the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years.

"Will the United States similarly reward Palestinians for stopping their own bad behavior?" Kurtzer asks.

Writing for antiwar.com, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi warned that the appeasement can lead to global war.

"Those who think that the White House still is managing the situation are completely naïve. There is no indication that the Obama administration has warned Israel against bombing Iran, because the U.S. has no cards to play, having ruled out exerting any sort of economic or military pressure on Netanyahu.

"And there should be no doubt that an attack by Israel on an Iranian nuclear facility would trigger Iranian retaliation and immediate calls in Congress and the media to support Tel Aviv, leaving the president no option but to enter the conflict. A third war in the region would mean goodbye to any American ability to disengage from the other conflicts that are bleeding the U.S. white and would possibly lead to even more dire consequences, if neighbors like nuclear armed Pakistan and India somehow enter the fray."