Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Truth vs. What Bibi Said Today

Don’t hold your breath for the mainstream media to point out  the array of fabrications, misstatements, misleading interpretations and glaring obfuscations in Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s speech to the United States Congress.

He began at the very beginning: My speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention. He accepted a secret invitation from one of the most outspoken right-wing Republicans in the United States, who deliberately avoided any consultation with the head of state. Netanyahu knows very well that this defies all the norms of diplomatic protocol.  That’s not “political?”

“The alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.”  Check out the list of politicians who receive big money from AIPAC, and their political actions on behalf of Israel.

“I’ve come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.” This is the most repeated and most blatant canard in the international conversations about Iran. Netanyahu offered no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons because there is none. “Over 10 years with more than 7,000 man-day inspections, the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed no evidence of diversion,” says Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. “The number of inspections is unprecedented in the history of the IAEA.” By comparison, there has never been an IAEA inspection in Israel.  Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel refuses to do so. Yet Bibi, the pot calling the kettle black, contended again before Congress that it’s Iran “that won’t come clean.”

“We must stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror”  Bibi said. Conquest of what?  Bibi didn’t say.  Subjugation of whom? Bibi didn’t say. But Peter Jenkins, a senior diplomat for the United Kingdom, points out that it is Israel, not Iran,  which occupies territory outside its borders.  It is Israel, not Iran, that stands accused in the international court of war crimes committed in occupied territory outside its borders.  

“In the Middle East,” Netanyahu asserted today, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran's aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.”

In fact, the only capital where Iran has significant influence today is Baghdad, and that’s because of the disaster the United States created by its invasion of Iraq, and its capture and killing of Saddam Hussein. As for Damascus, Charles D. Smith, Middle East history expert from the University of Arizona, says, ““The irony is that Assad’s support relies largely on the non-Muslim Christian communities of various denominations who fear a radical Sunni takeover.” No Iranian influence there. The presumption of Iran’s “domination” of Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq is, according to another Middle East expert, William O. Beeman of the University of Minnesota, “beyond ridiculous.” Beeman adds  that if Iran did dominate those nations, “there would be a lot more stability” in the region.

Netanyahu slipped into his remarks a reference to “Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program” as if it, too, were an established fact. The truth is, the missiles Iran is building today are short- and medium-range weapons with up to 1,500 miles range. Netanyahu said Iran’s non-existent ICBMs would be capable of delivering its non-existent “nuclear arsenal” to the “far corners of the earth including to every part of the United States.”  That would require missiles capable of flying 8-10,000 miles.  That’s a massive technological step, one most defense experts think Iran is not capable of achieving and does not need.  Under the stringent economic sanctions the United States and its allies have imposed on Iran, it simply couldn’t scrape up the money for IBMs even if it wanted them.

All of this merely scratches the surface of Bibi’s assault on truth before congress today. The nuclear agreement the United States and five European partners are trying to forge with Iran, which Netanyahu desperately wants to sabotage, would be a major step toward peace in the Middle East.  Bibi says he’s all for peace.  He’s like the character in the old comic strip Pogo, who declared: “If I had The Bomb, I’d force peace down their throats.”

Bibi has The Bomb. He and his pals in congress want only an excuse to use it to force peace down Iran’s throat.

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