Iran’s Nuclear Program Merely a Pretext

John Glaser, August 14, 2012

Former CIA analyst and Antiwar.com contributor Ray McGovern spoke with Business Insider about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hankering to bomb Iran and why “delaying Iran’s nuclear capabilities is not the primary concern of a military strike, but simply the pretext.”

“The Israelis want to pretend the Iranians are building up their nuclear capabilities, want to zap them between now and November 6, and the chances are at least even that they will try to do that thinking the U.S. will come in with both feet,” McGovern told us.

McGovern thinks that “Israel does not fear a nuclear weapon in Iran’s hands” because Israel already has a nuclear arsenal and the threat of Iran having a couple of nukes “would not be all that credible except in a limited, deterrent way.”

That deterrent would be important, however, because “since 1967 the Israelis have been able to pretty much do whatever they want in that area” and a nuclear Iran would bring a “different strategic situation because, for the first time, Israel would have to look over their shoulder.”

So even though Israel’s leaders don’t truly fear imminent nuclear annihilation, McGovern says they “would like to end any possibility, however remote, that anytime soon Iran could have that kind of very minimal deterrent capability.”

McGovern believes that Israel’s primary goal is to “have Iran bloodied the same way we did to Iraq” so that Iran “would no longer be able to support Hamas and Hezbollah in Gaza, Lebanon, and elsewhere.”

And the reason Nov. 6 is an important date, McGovern wrote in a recent article, is that “a second-term Obama would feel much freer not to commit U.S. forces on Israel’s side” and “might use U.S. leverage to force Israeli concessions on thorny issues relating to Palestine.”

While some view an Israeli strike as unlikely, due especially to strong opposition from the Israeli defense establishment, McGovern sees Netanyahu as having significant leverage over Obama at least until the November elections. “Netanyahu feels, with good reason, that he’s got Obama in a corner for these next three months,” he says. “If he’s right about Obama jumping in with both feet — and I think Obama would do that  even though Israeli generals are advising that it could be a disaster, [then] Netanyahu is willing to try it.”




45 Responses to “Iran’s Nuclear Program Merely a Pretext”

  1. If the president of Mexico made threats to wipe America off the map, and rockets were here and there launched from Tijuana into downtown San Diego, how long do you suppose our government would refrain from ending that threat once and for all? And if that same regime were moving toward the development of a weapons-grade nuclear program, might we consider neutralizing that program?

    At the very least, Israel ought to take out Ahmadinejad, sparing his country from further sanctions–and perhaps impending war. Isolate and punish the individual for his war mongering, not the people and their country for this "elected" leader.
    http://whatdirectdemocracymightbe.wordpress.com/2

  2. “a second-term Obama would feel much freer not to commit U.S. forces on Israel’s side”

    But then again, with a warmonger like Obama, it might do just the opposite.

  3. in your example, would the united states also be annexing all of mexicos territory and exterminating the mexican people the way that israel is doing to the palestinians under the justification of some divine right and racial superiority?..

  4. If we use the example above, I would counter that Israel isn't annexing any of Iran's territory. But to address the spirit of your question, Israel is no more justified in driving out the Palestinians than we were, under manifest destiny, in driving out and exterminating Native Americans. In fact, Israel, by this measure, has been far more civilized than we were.

    Ideally, a natural emigration would have unfolded–of the very same sort that brought the Jewish people to that area more than a millenium ago, and the Native Americans here millenia ago.

    But if Israel were dealing with Arab peoples more inclined to peaceful coexistence than intolerance and war–among their own sectarian and ethnic populations as well–then Israelis might also have proven themselves more civilized, just, and generous with the Palestinians than we have been with our Native Americans.

  5. [...] 'ticking faster' than Obama'sHaaretzPakistan Daily Times -Windsor Star -Antiwar.com (blog)all 1,254 news [...]

  6. Daryl, your analogy is flat-out wrong. Iran has not launched any rockets into anyone, just as Iraq hadn't threatened or done anything to the US or Israel. You can't just go around killing people because they don't like you.
    Ahmadinejad has NOTHING to do with the sanctions – nothing any Iranian leader could have done, other than kowtow completely to US / Israeli demands, would have stopped them, and probably even then they would continue.
    . Israel shouldn't "take out" anyone. They don't have that right; no government does.

  7. "McGovern sees Netanyahu as having significant leverage over Obama at least until the November elections. ”Netanyahu feels, with good reason, that he’s got Obama in a corner for these next three months,” he says. "

    The U.S. presidential election is a factor in all of Bibi's bluster and bluffing but I think his saber-rattling is primarily directed at the local Israeli situation. Hillel Schenker (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/no-to-war-with-iran/) sees this as a magnificent distraction from a troublous domestic situation. Schenker also mentioned that on Sunday "Netanyahu asked for and received more executive powers from his cabinet." Quashing dissent and becoming a latter-day King David is the name of the game for Bibi.

    "And yesterday Netanyahu asked for and received more executive powers from his cabinet…

  8. Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran aren't associated in any way? Iran is just an innocent, misunderstood victim in all this then? The two former groups probably stole those Iranian ordinance…Yes, interesting.

    And Ahmadinejad's open hostility toward Israel, combined with Iran's nuclear program, hasn't brought on sanctions? Sure.

    My view is that Iran has every right to develop a nuclear program; and Israel has every right to take Ahmadinejad at his word about his intentions with Israel.

    I just reject your "rights" argument as to war and threats of war, with respect to governments and national leaders. Better that bombastic leaders go than thousands of their people.

  9. "If the president of Mexico made threats to wipe America off the map…

    I believe this is being done already without the threat. Do you have any idea of how many illegal aliens we have up here from Mexico and places OTM?

    Anyway, Ahmadinejad never threaten to "wipe Israel off the map".

  10. Ryan is 100% correct. That has been debunked several times over, even here on this site. Just search for it.

  11. President Ahmadinejad was a lawfully elected leader, so your use of quotation marks around the word "elected" is spurious. Is Netanyahu an "elected" leader? I consider Ahmadinejad a lot more legitimate leader of a far more legitimate nation that that loud-mouthed little bloodthirsty fool in Tel Aviv with his arsenal of nuclear weapons aimed at Iran constantly threatening to attack a country that hasn't attacked anyone in 200 years. The Zionist regime's political leaders have been doing this for 30 years, so it makes no difference who the political leader of Iran is. But don't worry Daryl, Ahmadinejad will be leaving office soon, so a new president in Iran can become newest "new Hitler".

  12. "If the president of Mexico made threats to wipe America off the map… "

    The proper analogy would be if some British people showed up with a telegram claiming that Germany, with whom Britain happened to be at war, had offered Mexico money and a chance to take back the area of the US lost in the Mexican-American war if they helped attack the US. And that the US was then drawn into a great war with Germany. And hundreds of thousands of Americans died.

    Wouldn't the US be utterly furious at the people who tricked them into a war?

    But oh, wait, that actually happened.

  13. "If the president of Mexico made threats to wipe America off the map, and rockets were here and there launched from Tijuana into downtown San Diego"

    Of course, this is pure casuistry. I don't see rockets being launched from Iran into downtown Tel Aviv.

    The one threatening Iran with bombs every single week is clearly us. Indeed, presidential candidates and other imperialist fags are openly joking about this, making declarations about this, and trying to sound "hard on Iran" (there is probably a male member replacement in all this hardness). I won't get even into Israel's frankly "Nazi-Germany-vs-Poland" attitude, that country is circling the brown drain so much that they should be an international pariah. Chosen people, indeed.

    The one killing people on the streets of Tehran is also our side. When "economic sanctions" were started under the pretext of stopping a nuclear program that keeps getting okayed by the IAEA (even if Amano does the grumbling shill dog-and-pony show), we just left any pretense at morality behind. People who publicly advocated and enabled this kind of warfare should be brought before a war crimes tribunal. It would make for some fresh air and new faces in politics and punditry alike.

  14. The consequences of a any war with Iran is world war 3.

  15. US has done just that in its treatment of the native population of America and its history of slavery and racial apartheid which was in force until very recently! Israel and the US mirror each other.

  16. Hitler once said “ all we to do is to kick in the front door and the whole rotten thing will come crashing down”. So where is Hitler today?

    Note this is best as I can remember it on a fly.

  17. Daryl, Israel's planning to wipe Iran off the map preceded the falsely attributed stated to Ahmadi-Nejad (wiping Israel off the map) by many years. Netanyahoo was the joint author of the Neo-Conservative manifesto in 1996 that later became the US's national security policy in 2002! The unabashed idea was to establish US's unchallenged superiority (by divine right) over the globe. This would satisfy Israel's hegemonic ambitions but getting rid of any challenge to its military superiority in the region. Breaking Iraq, Syria and Iran to reshape the map of the Middle East, was planned as far back as early 90's. The WMD and Iran's nuclear programme were later hatched up as the pretext. Iran's nuclear programme is legal, Iran is a member of the NPT, unlike Israel. And returning to Ahmadi-Nejad, even israel's deputy Prime Minister, Dan Merridor, admitted in the interview with Al-Jazeera that Ahmadi-Nejad never threatened to wipe Israel off the map!!! Google this and watch the video. It is informative for those who have missed out on much literature and talk unravelling this vicious most repeated propaganda. In relation to support for Hamas and Hezbullah, they are militants fighting an illegal occupation and a state of apartheid. Most of the population in the world support them. Iran's financial or military help to Hamas and Hezbullah fades into nothing compared to the billions of dollars aid and the most sophisticated sophisticated weapons (including German nuclear capable submarines) given to israel, let alone the most powerful propaganda and bribery, manipulation and coercion machine the world has ever dreamt of.

  18. Hooray … Ray McGovern is on to it even though others seem to be blind.
    Israeli politicians don't fear Iran's nuclear ambitions whether civil or mititary. They just don't want a strong thriving economy. Lebanon was thriving as a commercial centre, Iraq could have thrived likewise Syria and other neighbours. All destroyed through Israeli subterfuge and influence over Washington.

  19. I would challenge you to your definition of threat. You preemptive warmongers seem to believe that a threat carries with it some kind of an action..

    Until an action against a nation directly takes place, that threat is just that, a threat. You have no right to then invade their property or life because of mere words you don't like.

    My favorite part of your quote however is "punish the individual for his war mongering".. – This basically proves a very true definition of terrorism – "When other countries do to us what we do to them"… The US does no warmongering… Everything we do is "defense" and "good", while everything the other guys do is "warmongering"… Wake up!

  20. I challenge anyone who uses US and Israel in the same sentence to tell me why that should even be? In other words, what makes Israel more important than other countries? Nothing. This myth needs to end.

  21. "Illegal aliens" – I didn't know aliens existed??

  22. I browsed your little direct democracy blog and I must say, based on the morality, 51% and other tabs you have everything as bass ackwards as any neocon I have ever seen…

  23. Can I just say what a aid to search out somebody who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know the right way to carry a problem to mild and make it important. More folks need to read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant believe youre not more well-liked because you definitely have the gift.

  24. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/f

    What Amadinajad really said

    Actually he did threaten to wipe Israel from the map

    poster in Iran
    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/images/120582

    end of conversation

  25. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/f

    What Amadinajad really said

    Actually he did threaten to wipe Israel from the map

    poster in Iran
    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/images/120582

    end of conversation

  26. Baz+ Nazi =Bazi

  27. Again, a threat is just that, nothing more.

    A threat doesn't give someone the right to invade their lands and murder their citizens.

    And WTF does Israel have to do with the US? Nothing!

  28. And actually he did not, what he said was ""this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" just as the Shah's regime in Iran had vanished.

    Notice the word "regime" and not Israel??

    Taken a little out of context don't you think?

  29. I already indicated that I don't support that behavior, any more than I do our treatment of Native Americans

  30. I'm not arguing that the United States is justified in all that is does, any more than Israel is. But I see Iran, a nation financing proxy attacks on Israel–not even a neighboring country of theirs–in a play for hegemonic regional control. And within Arab and Persian communities, I see intolerance and sectarian violence on a level that I do not see in Israel or here.

    I'm not singling out Iran, or Ahmadinejad; nor am I defending Israel's every action–or even its formation. My point was that ANY nation, once formed, ought to eliminate a war mongering leader before imposing crippling sanctions, and well before waging war.

  31. [...] CIA analyst Ray McGovern seems to agree, arguing that “Netanyahu feels, with good reason, that he’s got Obama in a corner for these [...]

  32. The legitimacy of his reelection seems more open to question than you would know: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8098305.stm

    But that wasn't my point. I argue that sanctions and war ought not come before eliminating a hostile, threatening leader himself–whether an Iranian leader, or any other. If you disagree, so be it. I don't defend Israel's annexation of Palestinian lands in the least.

  33. NuttyYahoo is a Zionist warmongering bastard. Iran doesn't have nukes, nor is it a threat to anyone. The U.S. and and its "51st state" are the international menaces.

  34. Hitler was referring to the condition of the USSR just prior to ordering Operation Barbarossa to commence in 1941, pre-empting Stalin's own plan to invade Europe. Unfortunately, the Third Reich was unable to defeat Soviet Communism, which was the real victor of WW2. Good question–where is Hitler today?

  35. With the drum beat for war on Iran intensifying in recent weeks, the question seems to come down to whether or not Israel is bluffing about their implied military strike on Iran before the November presidential elections in the US.

  36. Why is all the negativity being directed towards Zionists?

  37. Sad, but true. I make no excuses for what the US did.

  38. The belligerant Netanyahoo is going to end up making Americans more and more resentful of the current Israeli leadership. He seems like he is trying to manipulate America by going on this rampage before the US election. Isn't this the same guy who boasted of the previous president Bush that he could just make a telephone call and the president would do whatever he asked?

  39. Just read all the above,sir.

  40. Whenever I read a comment posted by someone claiming to be American, desperately defending Israel, I know it’s one of those Hasbra TROLLS giving himself away again. More amusing is the Hasbranik who goes like “I’m a Muslim/Palestinian and I think Israel has the right to defend itself bla bla. The sun must rise from the north before a real Palestinian would say that. Your cover is blown Darly David or whatever your name is.

  41. Hitler died over sixty years ago. Bringing him up in the twenty-first century means you automatically lose the argument.

  42. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  43. How so?

  44. hi, enjoyed reading this!

  45. Amadinajad does not have command authority over the Iranian military. Even if he made a "threat" against a an agressor attack-dog apartheid state like Israel, with 20x his country's military power, it would not signify anything.

    You lies are null and void. End of conversation!