September 21, 2012

New York – Chinese and Japanese vessels prowl menacingly in the sea around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands as Beijing and Tokyo exchange threats.

A few wrong moves could spark a clash between China and Japan that would likely draw in Tokyo’s ally, the United States, which, under a 1960 defense treaty, is bound to defend Japan if it is attacked.

Half way around the globe, powerful US naval forces are cruising the Gulf and Arabian Sea to intimidate Iran. A clash between US and Iranian naval units or aircraft in the Gulf seems increasingly likely as heated rhetoric on both sides increases.

Meanwhile, Israel’s rightist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, keeps threatening to attack Iran, with or without US assistance.

No one can accuse him of being a flip-flopper like his ally and admirer, Mitt Romney.

Twenty years ago, in 1992, Netanyahu declared Iran would deploy nuclear weapons in 3-5 years. In 1995, Israeli officials warned Iran would have nuclear arms by 2000. In 1998, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned that Iran would have intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads by 2003 that could strike the United States. Netanyahu now insists Iran will have nukes within a year. US intelligence denies this claim. Even biased UN nuclear inspectors say Iran has no nukes.

Even so, hysteria and disinformation about Iran’s nuclear program continues without relent, intensifying war fever in America which is in the midst of election fever.

Last week, a secretly taped video emerged of candidate Romney talking to a $50,000 a plate lunch for pro-Israel supporters in Boca Raton, Florida. Romney told the audience he could not support a Palestinian state and would stall this burning issue indefinitely. Romney called Iran’s leaders “crazy.” Publicly, Romney advocated a two-state solution and creation of a Palestinian state.

Shortly before, Romney asserted at another private fundraiser that 47% of Americans paid no taxes, were freeloaders, and thus naturally supported President Barack Obama. Romney’s remark sparked outrage, coming from a multi-millionaire who never seems to have paid more than 15% taxes thanks to a shady scheme of converting corporate profits into lower-taxed dividends.

Too many Americans pay no taxes, it is true, and too many are on the dole, from 44 million people who use food stamps to America’s industrial farmers. But Romney’s comments were certain to be taken amiss, and they were.

While Romney was floundering, rightwing Republicans were on the war path after the killing of the US ambassador to Libya – which looked to this old Libya hand like payback for the US-assisted killing of Muammar Gadaffi.

Republican hawks demanded Obama “take action” and “get tough” with the troublesome Muslim world. Alas for those howling for revenge, the killers of the ambassador remained for now unidentified.

So what targets were left for the enraged Republican sofa samurais? Bomb Tripoli or Cairo? Bomb Mecca, as some far right crazies have long urged? Former president George W. Bush was a great one for “taking action.” The result: the disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wrecking of America’s once vibrant economy, and over $1 trillion in debt to finance these lost wars.

Independent voters, who will probably decide the November election, are better educated and more worldly than the core Republican blue collar and Bible Belt voters. Many were aghast at Romney’s calls for more war, his painful ignorance of foreign affairs, and close identification with far right policies.

Barack Obama may have achieved very little in his foreign policy, but a President Romney looks like he might be a disaster – a sort of George W. Bush on steroids. In fact, Romney is surrounded by the same cast of far right, neoconservative nut cases that misled the foolish Bush into wars.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is lambasting Obama and getting away with it, backed by Republicans and neocons. The danger here is that Israel’s leader might conclude having tied Obama’s hands he can go ahead and use tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Iran’s underground nuclear facilities.

The very idea of Israel or Iran attacking one another’s nuclear plants is madness. The result would be a global radioactive catastrophe, particularly so for the Gulf states. The world has so far ignored this danger.

By encouraging Israel’s far right to threaten Iran with war, Romney is being irresponsible and reckless. He is showing that he is not ready for the presidency, never mind global leadership. He could end up being as big a disaster for Israel as for the United States.

President Obama has been a profound disappointment to those who hoped he would end America’s militarized foreign policy and the Bush era’s violation of rights. However, the blundering, ill-educated Romney now makes Obama look wise and saintly.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2012

This post is in: Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Mideast, USA


  1. George Rizk says:

    The Republicans had a common cause in 2010, when they regained the Congress. It was all about the economy!

    Now, for the presidential election, we had Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney, along of a whole bunch of foaming at the mouth war mongers. Ron Paul was dismissed from day one for not wanting wars! Romney was a mild manner Mormon dude, who got corrupted by the foaming at the mouth Zionist neocon.

    Now, we have got a dude who is destroying this country with the socialists, or a dude who will drag us to WWIII.

    • solum temptare possumus says:

      Door #1…NO, NO, NO!
      Door #2…NO, NO, NO!
      Door #3…MAYBE….But WE THE PEOPLE Have To Build It First!
      It is Insanity to only have TWO Choices for the Strongest Democracy in the World!
      I wouldn’t object to a Door #4! Coalition governments work and satisfy more constituents in the State.
      ad iudicium

  2. the most dangerous man in the world today is this Netanyahu fellow from israel not Ahmadinejad of iran. Iran does not have the bomb, remember this information that they have the bomb is from the same folks that brought you wmd that iraq supposedly had. Netanyahu is interfering in the American election campaign with his dislike of the current administration. He thinks he can manipulate the american people into another war, another war to solidify Israel. That is why he is the most dangerous man on the planet,

  3. …and from the BBC, “President Barack Obama is to tell the UN General Assembly the US will “do what we must” to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, officials say.
    The Middle East is set to dominate the summit in New York and the president will give one of the opening speeches.”

    Bad timing for Iran… an election year and a deflection of the probems of the South China Sea…

  4. George Rizk says:

    Iran keep saying that they are not building nuclear bombs, and today no one on earth say that that they have built even one bomb.

    On the other hand, Israel told Kennedy they are not building bombs. Today, every one on earth know that they have nuclear bombs- about 300 of them; even more than China has.

  5. It seems to me, that this is another tactic on the chessboard of international politics with the ultimate goal of the acquisition of undisputed world-power. China is the burr under the saddle of Israel, which wants to take over Iran and thereafter the entire Islamic world, so that all central banks come under the stewardship of an entity, that already controls the west. That will be the moment, that all of mankind will be enslaved by that same entity.
    No more freedom, no more democracy for whatever that has ever been worth.
    Israel cannot afford to fight China, so China has to be supplied with an adversary, for which Japan would be the perfect candidate, considering the treaty Japan has with the US and the long standing animosity between China and Japan.
    Israel`s fears of attacking Iran are greatly diminished then, because both China and the US will have their own preoccupation with their commitments. That way the US might be able to erase its debt to China in a ‘winner take all’ situation. The US and its handlers might as well go for broke, because what future does the US have right now with a debt, that is greater than its GDP?
    Aldous Huxley`s ‘Brave new world’ may make the transition from fiction to reality in the very near future, but with a sinister twist to it.

  6. I find it terribly sad to see the Americans have ‘fallen’ so low… that Romney would even be considered as presidential material.

    The Americans have to start rolling back the tax breaks to get on their feet. Obama is pretty much cut from the same cloth… he had an opportunity to correct some major problems when he was first elected, but lost the ‘brass ring’…

    There’s little the Americans can do at this point… they are in for a ‘pile of hurt’ and I suspect that there will be violent armed civil strife in a few years, and even a greater chance, sooner, if Romney is elected. It’s terrible when the ‘American Dream’ becomes unattainable…

  7. solum temptare possumus says:

    I would rather have a president who is intelligent, thoughtful, and well read; who listens to advisors, asks questions, asks more questions and brings in academic experts from outside the beltway, and ponders the consequences before making a decision.
    Sometimes in hindsight, doing nothing or doing very little at a snails pace makes sense.
    We know that in foreign policy President Obama “Walks softly but carries a Big Stick”. We know he will use it if necessary.
    We also know that Governor Romney speaks with a forked tongue, and brashly beats the bushes all around him with his Big Stick. Perhaps in the faint hope of finding a discarded skeleton in the White House garden. He is flailing about like a swimmer who is not strong enough to fight the tide. If he is not careful he may drown in the politcal current.
    It would make my heart swell with hope if all Republicans on their election ballot in November would pick Dr. Ron Paul as a write-in candidate.
    Now wouln’t that be something!
    Ad iudicium

    • George Rizk says:

      I, for one will do that even so, i am sure this will hand it to Obama. Hoping that Ron Paul can get the statistics, and flash it in the loser’s face! The Republican party needed to respect Dr. Paul during their convention, and should have drafted him a VP candidate, or at least float his name as the secretary of treasury IN ADVANCE to sooth the rough treatment that they have done against him during the primary.

      • solum temptare possumus says:

        Not being an “Insider”, I am afraid he will be discarded; this campaign being his swan song. I hold out no hope for him being offered any position in any future administration. However Rand Paul……..?
        Perhaps a full defeat of Republican tickets will sweep the cobwebs out of the Parties closet and re-invigorate a newborn party of the People.
        One can only HOPE.
        Ad iudicium

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