Wagging the dog once more

"God did not create this country to be a nation of followers."

-- Mitt Romney, The Citadel, Oct. 7

"The actions I take will be actions recommended and supported by Israeli leaders."

-- Mitt Romney, Las Vegas, Oct. 18

Last week's Republican National Security Debate, sponsored by Let's Have Another War, Inc. (aka CNN/the Heritage Foundation/the American Enterprise Institute), focused little or no attention on China, Russia, the Arab Spring, or the Euro crisis. It did, however, predictably pit Rep. Ron Paul vs. the Seven "Attack Iran" Dwarfs.

Among the questioners in the select audience, pulled at rogues gallery randomness, were Ahmad Chalabi promoter Danielle Pletka, Fred "Iraq has WMDs" Kagan, Paul "Oil Will Pay for the Iraq War" Wolfowitz, and David "Wiretap without a Warrant" Addington. A more representative quartet of discredited neocons could not be found, Donald Rumsfeld apparently ancient artifact shopping outside Baghdad. As an added bonus, Reagan-era fossil Ed "Miranda" Meese was unearthed, reminding many of his immortal maxim, "If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect."

Tweaking Meese logic to foreign affairs, it is clear that, in the case of Iran at least, a nation suspected of working to acquire nuclear weapons must be guilty of said accusation. Never mind that, despite the usual New York Times and Washington Post hysterics to the contrary, the recent International Atomic Energy Agency report contains, according to experts who've actually read it, no new substantive material. The 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that stated Iran is not working on a bomb is still intact.

So why the sudden interest in ratcheting up rhetoric against modern Persia?

For clues, one must travel both backward and forward in time.

In October, a previous entry of the now endless GOP debate scheme took place in the true heart of American-style capitalism -- Las Vegas. Romney made his Oct. 18 remarks quoted above regarding possibly changing Israel's capitol to the foreign policy editor of Yisrael Hayom ("Israel Today"), owned by big time GOP donor Sheldon Alderson, currently Forbes' eighth richest American and owner of the Venetian and Sands casinos, (which, coincidentally, hosted the Vegas debate).

Alderson's Israeli paper, started in 2007 as a free daily (like the Moonie Washington Times) to help elect Benjamin Netanyahu prime minister, is now that country's largest. In Israel, foreigners may contribute in party elections -- and 75 percent of Bibi's 2007 campaign loot came from Alderson and other U.S. donors. Mitt and the other four "not invited -- Ron Paul" frontrunners thus ran to answer the queries of Yisrael Hayom's interviewer.

Fast forward to next January, when Bibi faces two large hurdles. First, his foreign minister Avigdor "Luca" Lieberman is likely to be indicted for myriad reasons including money laundering. Second, Bibi faces a scathing indictment from the state comptroller for the bungled handling of last December's forest fires which killed 44 Israelis. Non-Alderson owned Israeli news editorials now mention the possibility that either of these events may cripple his coalition. This would be a bit embarrassing for the yo-yo U.S. Congress, which in May gave Bibi 29 standing Os in an address before that immensely popular (9 percent current approval rating) body. Why not, ala Barry Levinson's 1990s cult film "Wag the Dog," talk of bombing Iran to change headlines?

Rhetoric aside, who could blame Iran if it tried to acquire a nuke? In the last decade it saw "Axis of Evil" partner Iraq (with no nukes) get invaded, while the other member of this trio of David Frum's imagination, North Korea (with nukes) has received diplomatic treatment instead.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern wasn't invited to the Neocon Redux Lovefest last week, but three of his recently posted online questions should be asked of all candidates, including the usually evasive Barack Obama: 1) Do you think we had the right to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953? 2) Assuming Iran gets a nuclear weapon, do you agree with former Defense Secretary Bob Gates who said, "I really think they (the Iranians) would see it in the first instance as a deterrent," or do you think they would commit suicide by firing it at Israel? 3) How many nukes does Israel have?

The last question, due to Israel's official policy of nuclear ambiguity, is generally verboten in the Land of the Free. Ron Paul, unprompted, claimed 200 or 300 during the debate, and none of the Dwarfs challenged him. (Interestingly, Newt Gingrich's answer to another question implicitly acknowledged Israel as a nuclear power.) The reaction from our Corporate Media: total silence. In "Truman Show" America, 'tis always better to keep the people uninformed of their interests, lest they begin connecting devious dots.

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Mark J. Plawecki is a District Court judge in Dearborn Heights. Confessions of a Condor pledges to continue a fondness for the quaint old U. S. Constitution.

Published: Wed, Nov 30, 2011