The Hunting Of The Iran Nukes – OpEd


By Boris Volkhonsky

The natural proxy for a would-be war against Iran is already in place. And now both the U.S. and Israel have told the world three and more times that this is “just the place for the nukes”.

The topsy-turvy world of today’s politics prompts one more and more to recollect the immortal lines written by Lewis Carroll almost one and a half century ago.

Remember the Bellman’s words in “The Hunting of the Snark” –

Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:

That alone should encourage the crew.

Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

What I tell you three times is true.

The “Bellman’s rule” (“what I tell you three times is true”) has long been one of the main principles of U.S. foreign policy. They said more than three times that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destructions. It was wrong, but after it was repeated for a third time, the pretext for invasion was there. They “weep for and deeply sympathise” with the innocent civilians in Syria, and get hordes of militants armed and equipped by their Gulf allies ready to crack down on everybody (be it Christians, Jews, Sunni, Shia, Alawi Muslims, or whoever). In Syria the Assad regime is trying to crack down on insurgents in a much more cruel and inhumane way.

And look at what is being said about the Iranian nuclear program. “Just the place for the nukes! I have said it twice: that alone should encourage the crew.” The crew raised and mobilized by the servile media is really encouraged. Maybe not to the extent of sending another bunch of American soldiers overseas, but well enough for supporting the administration efforts aimed at finding a proxy who would be ready to place the burden of a war on his soldiers.

The natural proxy for a would-be war against Iran is already in place. And now both the U.S. and Israel have told the world three and more times that this is “just the place for the nukes”.

Against such a background, Israeli Haaretz daily on Wednesday published an interview with Israel’s military chief Lt. General Benny Gantz, which contrasts sharply with both American and Israeli official statements. In the interview, General Gantz said that he believes Iran will choose not to build a nuclear bomb. In the General’s belief, international sanctions have begun to show results, and could relieve pressure on the Obama administration and undercut efforts by Israeli political leaders to urge the United States to get as tough as possible on Iran.

This is in striking contrast with Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s repeated statements that they do not think sanctions and diplomacy will persuade Iran to halt a nuclear program, and that time’s running out.

Also, General Gantz said that he believes “the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people” who are still mulling whether to “go the extra mile” and produce nuclear weapons.

Indeed, the military should be more in the know of the real situation on the ground than the politicians. And this raises a question, if the Iranian leadership is not really intending to “cross the finish line” and produce the weapons, why so much fuss has been and is being made by politicians – both in Israel and the U.S.?

The fact is that while it is the military’s business to conduct wars, the politicians’ business is slightly different. And the core of the business is creating as much noise as possible.

For Obama’s administration, it is crucially necessary to get rid of the image being pinned on them by Mitt Romney and other Republicans as “too soft” on villains like the present Iranian leadership. Therefore, all the belligerent rhetoric is mostly meant for local consumption.

As for the Israeli leadership, the more noise is made about the nukes in Iran (which is still an option, not a fact), the more global attention is likely to be diverted away from the nukes in Israel (which is not an option, but an acknowledged fact). Also, constant reminders of the alleged threat coming from Iran might prompt the U.S. to increase its programs of financial, military and other assistance to Israel.

Definitely, the real business in all countries concerned is a game of words and muscles, which will continue to balance on the brink of a war never crossing the “red line”. To convince the unbelievers, they will go on implementing the “Bellman’s rule”. And whenever a renegade emerges who might cast doubt on what has been said thrice, it will only mean the need to draw in more bellmen.

Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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