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At odds on Iran: US doesn’t share Israeli zeal for military solution

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

Published time: March 11, 2013 11:28
Iran's national flags (Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl)

When Israel invaded Southern Lebanon in 2006 they were ignominiously expelled by Iran-backed Hezbollah. Since then, the Jewish State has gone into 'we-have-to-take-out-Iran' mode, doing everything it can to drag America to war against Iran.

Almost seven years later, Israel’s window of opportunity is closing fast. 

‘My big brother America is gonna beat you up...!’

That’s been Israel’s implicit message to Iran ever since.  When George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice and the NeoCons ran America, bringing the US on board this war-mongering effort against Iran did not seem a daunting task. Especially considering that inside the US, Israel can rely on a little help from its 'friends': the powerful pro-Israel lobby led by AIPAC – American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

But in 2008 Bush was replaced by Barack Obama whose brand of Democrats are not all knee-jerking 'Israel First' fanatics.  Add to that the US Military’s growing resistance to a foreign policy that has been led astray by the Israeli lobby, particularly after successive fiascos in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the growing “Arab Spring” mess.

Even more, large sectors of US and global public opinion are becoming aware of the dangers of America’s Israel addiction; of Israel’s use and abuse of the US as a proxy power fighting its wars, something clearly not in America’s national interest. In his message to the UN General Assembly last September, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu produced a cute bomb-shaped graph to show the world just how close 'big bad Iran' is to having a nuclear bomb which he says they will use to obliterate 'good little Israel'. 

Netanyahu would have certainly loved to see staunch Zionist Mitt Romney make it to the White House in November’s elections but – Alas! – he didn’t, and Obama’s still living there, and even had the nerve of naming non-Zionist moderate Chuck Hagel as head the Pentagon. 

It seems the US is taking an increasingly arm’s length approach to the 'Iran Problem' given the very serious geopolitical perils and overtones that any unilateral US/Israeli/NATO military attack on Iran would spell, which might even lead to direct confrontation with Russia. 

Meanwhile Iran will not back down on its nuclear program, an issue the Obama Administration is taking an oddly calm view on.  Significantly, the US even gave Argentina a subtle nod to negotiate with Iran over the 1994 AMIA terror bombing in Buenos Aires.

Since, theories have arisen that Bush, the US president at the time, coaxed Argentina’s President Kirchner into falsely accusing Iran, solely based on CIA/Mossad “evidence” delivered in October 2006, right after Israel’s fiasco in Lebanon. 

So in light of all this what, exactly, is going on here?  Why are the US and Israel at loggerheads over Iran? 

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, uses a diagram of a bomb to describe Iran's nuclear program while delivering his address to the 67th United Nations General Assembly meeting September 27, 2012 at the United Nations in New York. (AFP Photo/Don Emmert)

America’s Worst Nightmare 

Today the US and Israel have increasingly divergent interests and objectives regarding Iran.  Israel’s are easy to grasp: Iran is Israel’s geopolitical arch-enemy, and one of the few countries that is up to the task of becoming a strong and credible leader in the Muslim World, especially since one of Iran’s key objectives is to do away with Israel's hardline rule in Palestine. 

Mainstream Western media have continually and falsely noted that “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map”, rather than Iran merely wanting an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.  America, however, has a different cause for concern. 

Nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program but rather with the US Dollar. For many decades the US, through its Federal Reserve Bank, has abusively printed huge quantities of unbacked 'Fiat money' to finance its huge deficit, which today has ballooned to over 15 trillion.  All’s well as long as that money circulates and ends up somewhere far away, such as the vaults of the central banks of friendly countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and even of some not so friendly countries like China. Even if it is kept going around and around in the global financial merry-go-rounds of the bonds markets or... the huge global oil market.

“Just keep it flowing and busy in all those markets”, Washington seems to be saying, “...so that we can continue printing more and more of it!”  Of course, none dare call it inflation, technocrats have nice buzz-words for things like, “Quantitative Easing I, II and III”, “TARP Funding” and “too-big-to-fail-megabank bailouts...” But call it what you may, inflation by any other name smells just as rotten... 

Public Enemies

The US knows only too well that, to a great extent, it is a superpower without much power, because if China decided to sell their almost 2 trillion in US-Dollar treasury bills, bonds and other financial instruments, quickly changing them into Euros, it would spell inflationary disaster for America.  Such eventualities however, are unlikely to occur given the complexities of global financial markets; thus, neither China nor any other major US-dollar-holder appears ready to do that – not just now, anyway.

However, there is another much more physical, concrete and strategically complex threat that keeps US leaders awake at night- the oil market. To better understand why America’s joy-ride is fast coming to an end as people’s political awareness grows, let me give you a simple example:  Every time Argentina, South Africa or Japan need to buy a barrel of crude oil, its people must work to earn those 100 dollars oil costs in international markets. 

The US, however, only needs to print US$100. The same goes if they need money to overrun Iraq, Libya or drone-bomb Afghanistan to smithereens: just print the money and keep the oil flowing and the bombs falling. Get the picture?  It’s easy to be a “superpower” that way!

But the picture becomes clearer when you join the dots.  Imagine what would happen if those trillions upon trillions of Petro-Dollars spinning and gurgling globally were to suddenly slip from the control of the three – and only three – New York, London and Dubai-based global oil markets solely trading in Dollars? 

For instance, if a major oil-producing country or group of countries were to create a fourth global oil market trading not in Dollars but in Euros, say Yens, Rubles, Yuans...? Given the volumes of oil that countries like China, India and Japan gobble up, if successful, such a market would displace very sizeable shares of Petro-Dollar volumes, which would mean fast declining mega-sums of Petro-dollars spinning away from global markets and flowing back towards US-centered financial circuits. Can you imagine what hundreds of billions of freed up Petro-Dollars flowing back to the US in a short period of time would mean? 

Reuters/Lee Jae-Won

Weapons of mass destruction

Well, like the proverbial cat playing with a mouse under its paws, since at least 2005 Iran has been openly toying with the idea of opening up a such fourth non-US$ global oil market.  China would probably support them as they get a sizeable share of their oil from Iran, so perhaps would India. If the followers of Hugo Chavez hold on to power, Venezuela too might tag along (now do we understand why the US needs to get a strong grip on Venezuela?). 

Even Russia, which does not really need Iranian oil, might support Iran for its own geopolitical reasons, considering its growing conflicts with the West.  Last year, we even heard strong rumors about Iran selling oil to India payable in gold...  Iran fully understands this issue so they are cautiously biding their time. Remember, their Persian forefathers invented chess... So, wouldn’t the US just love to take out Iran to thwart such a threat?  I mean, it already happened twice in the last decade:

IRAQ: As part of UN sanctions after the first Gulf War, every year Saddam Hussein was allowed to trade one billion dollars of Iraqi oil for medicines and food.  But then, starting in 2000 Saddam started to switch over to the Euro.  Suddenly, the world learned from Bush’s NeoCons that Iraq had arsenals of nasty “weapons of mass destruction”; that Saddam had to be “taken out” otherwise mushroom clouds would explode over London, Washington and New York!  And so, a decade ago in March 2003, the US, UK and NATO promptly ransacked Iraq and had Saddam Hussein murdered. WMD’s?  Ooopss, sorry... didn’t find any!...but: Iraq continues selling its oil in dollars.

LIBYA: In 2010 Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was planning to introduce a new currency to trade North African oil: the “Gold Dinar” in lieu of the dollar.  Suddenly, the world learned from the US, France and Britain that Gaddafi was a formidable monster so...in October 2011 he too was taken out and murdered on live TV to the laughter of Hillary “We-came-we-saw-he-died” Clinton. Now Libya lies in shambles but its new pro-Exxon/BP “authorities” trade their oil solely in dollars...

Turning points

The key question now is which shall prevail in the US in the weeks and months to come: American national interest or Israeli national interest? 

This is really top level Machtpolitik so, just to be sure everything’s in order, the most obedient Western mainstream media are keeping “all options on the table” running all sorts of headlines to remind us how nasty Iran is, its nuke ambitions, poor Little Israel and its security issues (which is why they’re allowed to keep the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, right?), the delicate state of the global financial system and why no one should be allowed to rock the boat and, of course, the never-ending “War on Terror...”, But now we know.

It is all about oil; it is all about the US-Dollar; it is all about a global financial system being kept artificially alive for mega-banker profit; it is about Israel...  The flip-side of that coin gets even worse: It’s not about the interest of the working masses in the US, Europe and worldwide; and it definitely is not about Democracy or Human Rights. 

Adrian Salbuchi for RT

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.