by Stephen Lendman
Irresponsible leaders risk the unthinkable. Media scoundrels cheerlead mindlessly. So do neocon think tanks. Ordinary people are more concerned about mundane trivia than survival.
Nero didn't fiddle while Rome burned. The violin wasn't invented for another 1,500 years. Today's officials go where earlier ones wouldn't dare. They risk regional or global disaster. War on Syria and/or Iran may ignite more than leaders bargain for.
Imagine blowing up the world to control it. Imagine forces able to stop it staying sidelined. Imagine the unimaginable. Imagine it before it's too late to matter.
World War II weapons were toys compared to today's. Before war ended, tens of millions died. Estimates range from 50 - 70 million. No one knows for sure. Preventing war would have saved them. Hoped for never again became perpetual conflicts.
Obama replicates hardline neocon extremism. He did what supporters thought impossible. He surpassed the worst of Bush. Imagine what'll do in a second term.
He's risking the unthinkable. He's lurching toward potential nuclear war. He's mindless about likely consequences.
Only America used nuclear weapons. It's not working to avoid potential catastrophe. It wants advantageous geopolitical positioning and dominance. Mutually assured destruction so far worked. Fail safe days may be ending.
Attacking Syria risks Russian and perhaps Chinese intervention. War on Iran entails that risk and more. Washington's arsenal includes weapons too dangerous to use.
One around for several years is called "the Mother of All Bombs (massive ordinance penetrator, or MOP)." At 30,000 pounds, it's able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding. It's America's most powerful non-nuclear weapon. Use will cause horrific casualties and destruction.
Tactical nuclear weapons may also be used. Called bunker busters, their explosive power ranges from less to more than bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Using them assures retaliation. Prime targets include Israel's nuclear sites, US bases, and America's nuclear armed vessels. Imagine the potential consequences. Armageddon is risked. The unimaginable may become reality.
Plans have been in place for years. Washington and Israel have them. Perhaps coordinated strikes are planned. Russian and Chinese intervention ups the catastrophic odds.
Dangerous signals are increasing. On August 19, Obama promised US military intervention if Syria repositions or uses chemical or other nonconventional weapons. At a White House news conference he said:
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of weapons moving around or being utilized."
"That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."
At the same time, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said US, UK and French special forces are positioned in Israel, Jordan and Turkey. They're on standby to seize Syrian chemical weapons.
Doing so means invasion. DF said they'll "engage Syrian troops attempting to" reposition nonconventional weapons. Allegedly it's to prevent them from falling into insurgent hands or supplying them to Hezbollah.
Obama, Britain's David Cameron, and France's Francois Hollande "wrap(ped) up the details of their combined operation…." They plan direct intervention. Air strikes are involved.
DF said "American reconnaissance teams are already on the ground, marking out landing sites and setting up bridgeheads for the incoming US, British and French special forces."
Direct US intervention began. Stepped up actions will follow. Obama's acting on his own. Congress remains on summer recess until early September. Republicans hold their national convention from August 27 - 30. Democrats have theirs the following week.
All's quiet on the home front. What better time perhaps for more war. National attention will be minimal. Perhaps Obama thinks he can wrap things up and declare victory before most people notice. He hasn't been able to do it for over 18 months.
No end of conflict is imminent. Attacking Syria may involve Hezbollah, Iran, Russia and China. Imagine then what follows. All-out war repercussions can't be predicted. Embroiling the entire region and beyond is possible.
Syria won't use chemical weapons except in self-defense. It won't give Washington pretext to intervene. Its statements left no ambiguity. On August 24, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said:
"We, for our part, have already worked with the Syrian government and have raised this issue. We have been given very strong assurances that everything possible will be done to stop it happening. Guarantees were also given that the chemical weapons will remain in their current place."
"They assured us that very serious control is being exercised over the safety of these weapons, and there is no threat today that something could happen to them or the situation could get out of control."
At the same time, Gatilov expressed concern about Washington perhaps instigating insurgent nonconventional weapons use blamed on Assad. Doing so gives America pretext for war.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France will help enforce no-fly zone authority. Doing so without Security Council approval is lawless. It also involves bombing Syrian air defenses and command and control sites.
Libya 2.0 may be imminent. Imagine the horrific casualty count and devastation. War with Syria assures it. Planners, of course, say nothing. Media scoundrels suppress what everyone needs to know.
Another nonbelligerent nation is on America's target list for total destruction. Imagine public inattention while it's happening.
Attacking Iran may follow or occur simultaneously. On August 24, Haaretz headlined "Heading for an iceberg called Iran," saying:
Netanyahu/Barak want support to attack. Cabinet members are evenly split pro and con. Shimon Peres went public. He's concerned about something too dangerous to risk. Unfortunately he thinks so only if Israel acts unilaterally He calls going solo potentially suicidal. Alone or otherwise is madness.
Fourteen ministers comprise Israel's security cabinet. Eight have most say. Currently Netanyahu/Barak favor war. Two others support them - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz. Four others are opposed.
Netanyahu/Barak need one more on their side. How all cabinet members feel is important. Six want war. Another six don't, and two remain undecided. Decisions this grave should be no-brainers. Mindless officials risk possible armageddon Haaretz spelled out as follows:
Though unlikely, if Israel goes it alone, Washington will be "furious. The price of oil soars. Thousands of missiles strike Tel Aviv, Haifa, Dimona and other Israeli cities. The economy collapses."
"Hundreds are killed, thousands wounded. A mass flight of Israelis abroad. Tent cities. In this scenario, a senior figure in the ruling party said this week, Netanyahu will certainly lose the next election. Not even avowed Likudniks will vote Likud."
Does Netanyahu know the risks? "Of course," said a senior unnamed source. "He is not stupid." He just acts that way. "He sees the whole picture and all its parts."
Will that give him pause? "No. He believes that this is his reason d'être in life." That's why he was elected, he thinks. He and Barak are committed. Others are worried for good reason.
Haaretz downplayed potential disaster. At issue is irradiating Israel, causing vast destruction, killing thousands, injuring many more, and putting the entire population and others in neighboring countries at risk.
Nightly anti-war demonstrations target Barak's home. Former adviser Eldad Yaniv participates. He said Yitzhak Rabin made a mistake allowing them weekly where he lived. They affected public opinion.
Yaniv thinks if he and others persist nightly, they'll become "permanent fixture" enough perhaps to prevent war. He and other believe it's too important not to try.
Hawks say waiting ups the dangers. Inflammatory reports lacking credibility and/or designed to enlist public support circulate.
On August 23, Reuters headlined "Iran expands nuclear capacity in underground bunker - sources," saying:
More underground uranium enrichment ability "potentially pav(es) the way for a significant expansion of work the West fears is ultimately aimed at making nuclear bombs."
Doing so "de(fies) international demands to curb its nuclear program."
Unnamed sources lack credibility. Inflammatory reports advance the ball for war. Reuters shares guilt with other media scoundrels.
On August 23, The New York Times ran the same story in more detail with more deception. Writer David Sanger's been waging war on Iran. Instead of truth and full disclosure, he features pro-Western misinformation.
He calls Iran's peaceful nuclear program "a direct threat to the US." He lied but won't admit it. He's at it again stoking fear instead of allaying it.
IAEA head Yukiya Amano will soon report more on Iran. He's a pro-Western tool. Washington got him installed to serve its interests. He'll say what Obama officials want to hear. He'll stoke more baseless Iranian threats.
He'll stop short of saying Iran decided to produce nuclear weapons. Perhaps he's saving this type punchline for a later time. Claiming it doesn't wash. It won't deter him saying anything to debase Tehran unjustifiably.
Nonetheless, he'll likely "renew the debate over Iran's intentions at a time when Israeli officials are stepping up their warnings that the window to conduct a preemptive military strike is closing."
His views may affect US voters in November. In July, Romney said Obama wasted time negotiating. Iran took full advantage, he claimed.
Inflammatory reports make negotiated solutions less likely. Sanger and others like him increase chances for war. They'd feel otherwise if bombs fell on them. They're brain-dead about human costs of war. Proliferating propaganda only matters.
Amano plays the same dirty game. He'll say Iran made substantial enriched uranium progress. They've got enough to produce five or more bombs.
Ordinary people have enough power with their bare hands to inflict harm. Few go around doing it. Headline stories don't suggest they might. Spurious reports mischaracterize Iranian intentions.
Amano's bottom line is how close is Tehran's ability to produce nuclear weapons? Every nation operating commercial reactors can do so if they wish. Only Iran is called threatening. Accusers have other fish to fry.
At issue is regime change. Pretexts are easy to contrive. Repetition stokes fear. Public support for what's unthinkable may follow. Imagine a worst case scenario. Imagine leaders risking it.
Imagine fears becoming reality. At that point it's too late to matter. What better reason to stop potential catastrophe before it happens.
Obama's bully pulpit can prevent it. Instead, he's furthering belligerence, not deterring it. On March 7, House Congressional Resolution (HCR) 107 was introduced. It was referred to committee. No further action was taken.
It "(e)xpress(es) the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, section 4 of the Constitution."
"The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
What greater crime than aggressive war. Obama and other US leaders are guilty. Invoking constitutional power more than ever is urgent to prevent the unthinkable. If saving humanity isn't reason enough, what is?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.