Stephen Lendman | 11.09.2012
Israel's Dr. Strangelove
by Stephen Lendman
Uniting Netanyahu and Lieberman is bad enough. Combined with Uzi Arad's influence makes it combustible. More on him below.
Netanyahu and Lieberman represent the worst of rogue Israeli leadership. Both are out-of-control warmongers. They're also war criminals. They deserve prison, not high office.
They deplore peace. They spurn democratic values. Why Israelis tolerate them they'll have to explain. They should vote them out of office instead.
In January they'll have a chance. Don't bet they'll do the right thing. Elections rarely resolve things. More often in recent decades they make them worse.
Haaretz expressed concern. An October 29 editorial headlined "Moment or Truth," saying:
"A special responsibility lies on the shoulders of several major Likud figures, members of the party's more moderate wing, most of whom have been holding their peace. This is a test for those who are not part of Israel's extreme right."
Uniting Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu "requires all of Israel's political players to regroup and make some clear and binding statements to their voters, right now."
It's time for center and left-leaning parties to unite against this lethal combination. "It's time to act," said Haaretz. "Grumbling isn't enough now. This is a test for those who are not part of Israel's extreme right. This a moment of truth for Israeli politics."
Like America, Israel's been on a slippery slope to tyranny. Netanyahu elevated the risk. Partnered with Lieberman shifts it higher. Arad's influence makes regional or global catastrophe more likely.
In 2007, he and then opposition leader Netanyahu discussed Iran with Dick Cheney. They argued for "sufficient punch" to stop its nuclear program.
They urged "crippling sanctions," especially against oil exports, combined with "a clear and present credible military option that continuing the program would not succeed because inevitably it will bring military action."
Much the same things are said today. Then and now, Arad remains hardline in all respects. He opposes Palestinian self-determination. Gaining it will compromise Greater Israel ambitions, he claims.
Earlier he said, "We want to relieve ourselves of the burden of Palestinian populations, not the territories." Palestinians need "one man, one job," not "one man, one vote."
He advocates relocating many Palestinians to Sinai so Israel can more easily have all valued West Banks areas Arab free. Like other Israeli hardliners, he barely disguises his contempt for Islam.
He also founded the Herzliya Institute for Policy and Strategy. He established and chaired is annual Conference Series on the Balance of Israel's National Security.
It's the most important event on Israel's calendar. It attracts high-level Israeli and US politicians, military officials and diplomats. Key domestic and geopolitical security issues are featured. Views similar to Arad's are discussed.
Previously he was Advisor to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He was Founding Chairman of the Atlantic Forum of Israel. His Mossad career spanned 20 years. It included serving as its intelligence chief.
He was also a staff member with the neoconservative Hudson Institute and a Research Fellow at Tel Aviv University's Center for Strategic Studies.
He now teaches international strategy, Middle East politics and security, and transatlantic affairs at Israel's Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.
He opposed Washington's 2003 Iraq war and Sharon's 2005 Gaza disengagement. He urged prioritizing Iran.
Last June, the Jerusalem Post headlined "Uzi Arad: World at 'moment of truth' on Iran," saying:
On the sidelines of the fifth International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, he said, "The Iranians want to get rid of sanctions against them, and the international community wants Iran to cease its nuclear program."
Events are now on a "collision path. Both sides have advanced. Iran advanced its nuclear program, and the international community has increased sanctions."
Arad formerly was Netanyahu's national security adviser. He's Israel's super-hawk. Some call him the nation's Dr. Strangelove. Stanley Kubrick's film satirically depicted a deranged general's obsession to wage nuclear war.
With or without portfolio, Arad has Netanhayu's ear. Perhaps he has more influence than anyone. He wants Iran's nuclear capability ended in any form.
He believes current sanctions are ineffective. Despite no evidence whatever that Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions, he claims Tehran wants to acquire them.
Last July, Haaretz headlined "Israel's former national security adviser warns against wasting time on Iran," saying:
Earlier it would have been easier to stop Tehran, he believes. Now it's much harder. "It's a crying shame." He calls a nuclear Iran "akin to Auschwitz."
"The Iranian challenge is the supreme challenge." He believes America is coming around to favor resolving it militarily. He believes the road to Tehran runs through Washington.
"It’s clear that only the United States can ensure for the long-term that Iran does not go nuclear. So it is obvious that our central objective must be to achieve an unshakable American-Israeli partnership on the issue."
He believes dealing with Iran requires deterrence. America must take the lead, he says. Unilateral Israeli action won't work. He stopped short of revealing state secrets or Israel's chosen strategy.
At the same time, he wants Iran to halt all nuclear enrichment for starters. He insists its entire nuclear capability must end.
Otherwise he calls attacking the Islamic Republic legitimate. He wants America and NATO partners taking the lead.
Stopping Iran before it's too late is vital, he argues. He, Netanyahu, Lieberman, and other Israeli hardliners obsessively crave regional dominance. Claiming an Iranian nuclear threat is red herring cover to eliminate their main regional rival.
Crippling Iranian oil exports and surgically striking Tehran's nuclear facilities and military capability is his strategy of choice. He rejects the notion that attacking Iran will embroil the entire region.
He's hardline and uncompromising. He believes attacking Iran is far less risky than living with its "nuclear threat." He claims having these weapons would "enhance the clout of a militant, extremist Islamic regime."
Arab states would want their own programs. Proliferation would make the region nightmarish, he believes. Destroying Iran's nuclear program should be prioritized.
All means should be employed, he argues. It's vital to enhance Israel's regional dominance, he claims. It may, in fact, hasten its demise.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
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