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This article appears in the April 30, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Will Netanyahu Trigger
London's World War III?

by Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

April 26—Despite the best efforts of some leading U.S. government officials to both threaten and cajole Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into firmly pledging that Israel will not launch a preventive military strike on Iran, there is no guarantee whatsoever that Israel will submit to that pressure. In fact, for reasons that will be presented below, the likelihood of just such an Israeli attack on Iran is increasing by the day. In the words of American statesman Lyndon LaRouche, "The present Netanyahu government in Israel is more dangerous than Iran. This Israeli government could start World War III."

The fact is that an Israeli "breakaway ally" attack on Iran would bring Israel, itself, one step closer to extinction. There is no legitimate Israeli national security interest served by any such strikes on Iran. Israel's own inflated claims about Iran being one year away from a deployable nuclear weapon are not even taken seriously within the Israeli military establishment, a reality implicitly acknowledged by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in an April 19 interview with Ha'aretz.

"Right now, Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel," Barak admitted. "If Iran becomes nuclear, it will spark an arms race in the Middle East. This region is very sensitive because of the oil flow. The region is important to the entire world. The fact that Iran is not an immediate threat, but could evolve into one, means that we can't let ourselves fall asleep," Barak explained.

U.S. intelligence estimates are that, if Iran is, in fact, pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, it is, under the best case, at least two to five years away from a deployable bomb. At a recent U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, top officials from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff delivered a precise message to that effect, and committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) warned reporters in the audience against mis-reporting those estimates, in favor of scare stories about Iran's imminent atomic bomb breakout. Several days later, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy told reporters in Singapore that U.S. military action against Iran "is not on the table in the near term."

Serious Flaws in Iran's Nuclear Program

Senior U.S. intelligence sources, furthermore, have told EIR that Western security services, including the CIA, have received significant new operational intelligence on Iran, from recent defectors, including Iranian scientists directly involved in its nuclear programs. These sources report on serious flaws in the Iranian nuclear work, and on successful sabotage operations, that have further disrupted the program. As the result of this new flow of intelligence, the long-expected National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear program has been delayed until August, at the earliest.

Why, then, does the cloud of war hang over the Persian Gulf, and the extended Southwest Asia region, at this moment? Diplomats and journalists from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait have confirmed that top officials from all of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are bracing for a war before Autumn.

According to the sources, Saudi Arabia is pressing for early completion of a new hospital complex in Bahrain, in expectation of heavy casualties, in the likely event of an Israeli strike upon Iran, and a harsh Iranian asymmetric retaliation. And, in anticipation of the shutdown of the Strait of Hormuz, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been speeding ahead with the construction of oil pipelines to bypass that choke point. Saudi Arabia has also accelerated work on three oil ports on its Red Sea coast, as another means of bypassing the Hormuz Strait.

While Iranian-linked organizations, like Hamas and Hezbollah, would be expected to conduct attacks on Israeli targets, in retaliation for an Israeli strike on Iran, the more certain reality is that Iran's own, direct asymmetric warfare capabilities, long developed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp's al-Quds Brigade, would be unleashed against Iran's Persian Gulf neighbors, including the oil fields of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states like Bahrain and Kuwait, which have large Shi'ite populations. And, while Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, has confirmed plans to draw down the American troop strength to 50,000 by the end of August, both Iraq and Afghanistan remain prime targets for Iranian retaliation against U.S. military personnel and contractors, should there be an Israeli strike.

In a recent report, prepared for a Swedish defense think tank, retired U.S. Air Force strategic planner, Col. Sam Gardiner, presented a detailed analysis of how an Israeli attack on Iran would almost certainly draw the United States into a war to "finish the job" provoked by the Israeli action—whether or not it was cleared in advance in Washington.

The nightmare triggered by an Israeli hit on Iran would extend far beyond the borders of the Persian Gulf. The most conservative estimates, presented at an April 22 Capitol Hill seminar, sponsored by the Middle East Policy Council, are that any military confrontation in the Gulf would instantly shoot up oil prices to above $200 per barrel. Under the present conditions of global financial collapse and economic breakdown, even a short-lived oil price spike would mean global chaos. A prolonged cutback in oil flows would have devastating consequences for China and other Asia-Pacific nations that are heavily dependent on the Persian Gulf.

Look to London

It is precisely for that reason that some factions within the City of London financial oligarchy are contemplating war. For these circles, facing a loss of their global political power through the imminent final disintegration of their post-Bretton Woods floating-exchange-rate system, a global conflagration, triggered by an Israeli strike on Iran, would unleash a new dark age, like that which overtook Western Europe during the 14th Century.

It is their deluded belief that, under circumstances of a global asymmetric permanent war, their political survival would be assured. The nation-state system, which they detest, would be destroyed by such a perpetual conflict, beginning with the demise of the United States—a demise virtually guaranteed by the continued presence of London's own asset, President Barack Obama, in the Oval Office. Under conditions of an Israeli military strike against Iran, Obama would, in Britain's estimate, order American military support to "finish the job," drawing the United States into yet another British-engineered war in Asia.

LaRouche has warned that the very British oligarchy that owns President Obama, and helped engineer his election, could very well move to assassinate him, particularly once he drew the United States into such a perpetual war in the Persian Gulf.

The faction in London that is contemplating this madness is long on record in favor of a radical reduction in world population, from the present 6.8 billion people to under 2 billion, in the span of one or two generations. They are followers of the late Lord Bertrand Russell, who called for the launching of preemptive nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union in 1946, and who wrote, in his infamous 1953 book, The Impact of Science on Society, that scientists should develop biological weapons that could cause a Black Death once in every generation, so that "high-minded people" could freely procreate without causing an overall increase in population.

The descendants of Russell, today, are the leading advocates of an Israeli preemptive strike against Iran. And through the historical British control over the Sykes-Picot-dominated region, they have the ability to deploy their Jabotinskyite asset, Benjamin Netanyahu, to spark World War III, on a moment's notice. The bogus idea that Iran is months away from a deployable nuclear bomb is the pretext for such a war. But, it is not the true cause.

The true cause is that a London faction, which sees itself as the heirs of the Venetian bankers who provoked the 14th Century New Dark Age, are contemplating the same thing today.

Bernard Lewis

One of the most important British propagandists for such an Israel-triggered global war is Dr. Bernard Lewis, the British intelligence operative who was deployed to the United States in the mid-1970s to engineer a new Thirty Years War along the entire southern tier of the Soviet Union, using Trilateral Commission head and National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, as his chief asset.

In an Aug. 8, 2006 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Lewis argued that the Cold War-era doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction—MAD—would not work with Iran, because the Iranian leadership were messianic cultists, who believed that an attack on Israel with nuclear weapons would bring about the return of the 12th Imam, and the End Times, in which all true Muslims would ascend to Heaven and all non-believers would burn in Hell.

"In this context," Lewis wrote, "mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead—hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement."

Lewis's wacky argument was revived in an interview published today in the Jerusalem Post, by one of his leading U.S. Pentagon protégés, Harold Rhode. Rhode, just retired from a long career in the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessments, where he was an instrumental player in the Tony Blair/Dick Cheney U.S. invasion of Iraq. Asked, point blank, if the United States could contain an Iran with a proven nuclear weapon capability, Rhode said, "The people running the country are the crazies and they believe that if they can bring about a conflagration that will bring them the mahdi.... Again, I'm not privy to information about what Israel or America knows about how close or how far [Iran is from possessing a nuclear weapon], but there has been one Holocaust. That's enough, and I would hope that the leaders of this country, Israel, understand, and I'm sure they do understand that there should not be another Holocaust. This is their job, they were elected to make this happen."

Blair's Post-Westphalian World

On April 22, 2009, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the architect of the Iraq War, who enjoys a close personal relationship with President Obama, traveled to Chicago to deliver a tenth anniversary address before the Chicago Global Affairs Council. In April 1999, in the midst of the Kosovo War, Blair had spoken at the same venue, and presented a vision of a post-Westphalian world, in which national sovereignty no longer counted, and a doctrine of "humanitarian interventionism" was to replace the previous system of nation-states.

In his 2009 speech, Blair not only reiterated his deep commitment to the end of sovereignty. He issued a declaration of war against what he called "an extreme and misguided form of Islam."

My argument is that the case for the doctrine I advocated ten years ago, remains as strong now as it was then; and that what has really changed is the context in which the doctrine has to be applied.... The struggle faced by the world, including the majority of Muslims, is posed by an extreme and misguided form of Islam. Our job is simple: It is to support and partner those Muslims who believe deeply in Islam but also who believe in peaceful co-existence, in taking on and defeating the extremists who don't. But it can't be done without our active and wholehearted participation.

Blair singled out Iran, declaring "there are elements in the leadership of a major country, namely Iran, that can support and succour its [extremist Islam] practitioners." While supporting "engagement" with Iran, Blair stated, bluntly:

The purpose of such engagement should, however, be clear. It is to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability; but it is more than that, it is to put a stop to the Iranian regime's policy of de-stabilisation and support of terrorism.

Blair went on to press the case for war, warning that,

In the use of hard power, we have to understand one very simple thing: where we are called upon to fight, we have to do it. If we are defeated anywhere, we are at risk of being defeated everywhere.

Blair's clarion call for perpetual war against Islam, starting with the targeting of Iran, has echoes inside the Obama White House, despite the best efforts of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others on the national security team, to avoid another unjustified war. In an article in today's Politico, former national security officials Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett warned,

There is a serious risk that President Barack Obama may eventually be manuevered into ordering military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets.

The reality is, that a cadre of senior National Security Council officials—including Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and Dennis Ross, senior director for the central region (including Iran)—is resisting the adoption of containment as the administration's Iran strategy.... As Ross told us before he returned to government service in the Obama administration, President George W. Bush's successor would probably need to order military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets. Pursuing diplomatic initiatives early in Obama's tenure, Ross said, would be necessary to justify potential military action to domestic and international constituencies.

As far as they go, the Leveretts' warnings are correct. But they leave out the two most critical strategic factors: the London faction's true motives for detonating what could easily careen into a global asymmetric Third World War; and the Obama factor. President Obama is controlled by the very London circles typified by Tony Blair's "humanitarian interventionism" doctrine of permanent war/permanent chaos. What too few people care to admit or state publicly is that, so long as Obama remains in office, and Jabotinskyite Netanyahu remains in power in Israel, the threat of world war and a new 14th-Century Dark Age will hang, like a Sword of Damocles, over the planet.

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