Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I don't buy Uri Avnery's "Israel will not attack Iran"

Uri Avnery's article almost convinced me that Israel will not attack Iran.

But not quite, for I believe that anything that could happen could happen.

Or as the Many Worlds theorists would argue, everything that could happen will happen although not in every universe in which an instance of yourself reading this text happens to exist at this very moment.

Consider Hitler, for example, on the brink of a historic victory, ordering his army to halt within a days day's drive of Moscow, resulting in a the most pitiless, bloody, long-drawn-out retreat and defeat in the history of total war.

Folks really do the most unaccountable things.

But let's look at Avnery's arguments.

First, he quotes a German proverb:
Revolutions that are announced in advance do not take place. Same goes for wars.
Sounds reasonable, doesn't it. Except that announcing revolutions, wars and war crimes in advance is, in fact, far from unusual.

The Communist Manifesto, published 69 years before the Russian revolution, comes to mind. Then, there's Mein Kampf, which left little to the imagination concerning Hitler's military objectives. Or to take a more recent example, haven't the NeoCons been calling for the overthrow of every government throughout the Middle-East except Israel's since before 9/11 - and with four down and a dozen or so to go, aren't they still on about it?

So no, there's nothing unusual about announcing one's war aims in advance. Rather, that seems more to be expected than not.

Second, says Avnery:
Since the 1956 Suez adventure, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered an ultimatum that stopped the action, Israel has never undertaken any significant military operation without obtaining American consent in advance.
Absolutely true. But it ignores Israel's remarkable influence in Washington, where by his own account, the US President has to deal with Israel's Prime Minister Netenyahu every day.

Think about that. The President of the sole superpower, a huge nation that is 97% non-Jewish, has to deal every day with the Prime Minister of a country of six million Jews plus several million of what the leadership apparently regards as untermenschen best exterminated by drowning.

Then Avnery asserts:
When the first Israeli plane enters Iranian airspace, the strait will be closed. The Iranian navy has plenty of missile boats, but they will not be needed. Land-based missiles are enough.
That, he seems to believe, is why Israel would not dare attack Iran. But, if you think about it, isn't that what some people might consider an incredibly brilliant reason for Israel to attack Iran?

I mean, if you have loaded up on oil futures, $200-a-barrel-plus oil looks cool.

And the broader financial consequences are truly fascinating:

Basically, instant global depression, bankruptcy of virtually all banks, governments, corporations and mortgage holders, all waiting to be picked up for pennies on the dollar by the crisis engineers. Talk about Disaster Capitalism. Oh God. Ecstasy. A handful of oligarchs will own the whole World.

But, says Avnery:
ISRAEL would be very much involved in the action, if only on the receiving end.
Well, sorree, but Jews have been treated as expendable before. There are no doubt those who with sufficient incentive would regard Jews as expendable now.

None of this is to say that I believe Israel will attack Iran. But when, as Avnery puts it:
Every day, via all channels, [the government of Israel] shouts that it is going, any minute now, to break the bones of Iran,
I'm not inclined to discount altogether the possibility that the Israel may, indeed, be about to attack Iran.


  1. That article is hot right now on WRH.
    I think the people there like your writing style.
    Go..Cat Go... You are getting hot...
    Soon you will see your link on other peoples sites.

  2. PR, Thanks for the compliment.

    But I have to admit Fred is a lot better.

  3. your comment - 'Consider Hitler, for example, on the brink of a historic victory, ordering his army to halt within a day's march of Moscow'

    I no more a fan of that murderous brute Stalin that I am of Hitler's, but lets get our history straight - The german army was stopped before Moscow because the red army stopped it (with some help from mud and oncoming winter) and not because Hitler ordered it to stop. Roderick Russell

  4. I believe I had the key historical fact straight to begin with.

    "... in the first weeks of the invasion the German successes were such that the over-confident Hitler decided to occupy the rich Ukraine in the South even before taking Moscow, the heart of Russia. To do so he ordered [a halt] to the advance of army group "Center" on Moscow and to give its two tank armies to army groups "North" and "South".

    "After spending more than a month on this diversion, in September 6th 1941 Hitler realized that he was running out of time in his race to defeat Russia before winter..." Source

    In fact, he had run out of time, the result being, as I described "the most pitiless, bloody, long-drawn-out retreat and defeat in the history of total war."

  5. But, yes, on August 12, 1941, when Hitler issued Directive 34, diverting Army Group South to the Ukraine thereby delaying the final assault on Moscow by two months, the German Army Group Centre occupied Smolensk, which is 229 miles from Moscow. So the Germans were more than the day's march that I indicated (now corrected), although for armored troops, they were only several days march from Moscow under favorable summer conditions as prevailed at the time the advance was halted.

  6. And the reason 2-month's delay in the assault on Moscow made German defeat inevitable is that it compelled the Germans to fight in temperatures of -20 to -30 C without winter clothing and without suitable lubricants for their tanks and armored vehicles. In addition, it gave Stalin time to assemble vast reinforcements from Siberia and the Far East.