Romney and the Neocons Court Nuclear Disaster
by Eric Margolis: Fury
at the American Raj
Japanese vessels prowl menacingly in the sea around the disputed
Senkaku/Diaoyu islands as Beijing and Tokyo exchange threats.
A few wrong
moves could spark a clash between China and Japan that would likely
draw in Tokyos ally, the United States, which, under a 1960
defense treaty, is bound to defend Japan if it is attacked.
Half way around
the globe, powerful US naval forces are cruising the Gulf and Arabian
Sea to intimidate Iran. A clash between US and Iranian naval units
or aircraft in the Gulf seems increasingly likely as heated rhetoric
on both sides increases.
Israels rightist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, keeps
threatening to attack Iran, with or without US assistance.
No one can
accuse him of being a flip-flopper like his ally and admirer, Mitt
ago, in 1992, Netanyahu declared Iran would deploy nuclear weapons
in 3-5 years. In 1995, Israeli officials warned Iran would have
nuclear arms by 2000. In 1998, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
warned that Iran would have intercontinental ballistic missiles
with nuclear warheads by 2003 that could strike the United States.
Netanyahu now insists Iran will have nukes within a year. US intelligence
denies this claim. Even biased UN nuclear inspectors say Iran has
Even so, hysteria
and disinformation about Irans nuclear program continues without
relent, intensifying war fever in America which is in the midst
of election fever.
a secretly taped video emerged of candidate Romney talking to a
$50,000 a plate lunch for pro-Israel supporters in Boca Raton, Florida.
Romney told the audience he could not support a Palestinian state
and would stall this burning issue indefinitely. Romney called Irans
leaders crazy. Publicly, Romney advocated a two-state
solution and creation of a Palestinian state.
Romney asserted at another private fundraiser that 47% of Americans
paid no taxes, were freeloaders, and thus naturally supported President
Barack Obama. Romneys remark sparked outrage, coming from
a multi-millionaire who never seems to have paid more than 15% taxes
thanks to a shady scheme of converting corporate profits into lower-taxed
Too many Americans
pay no taxes, it is true, and too many are on the dole, from 44
million people who use food stamps to Americas industrial
farmers. But Romneys comments were certain to be taken amiss,
and they were.
was floundering, rightwing Republicans were on the war path after
the killing of the US ambassador to Libya which looked to
this old Libya hand like payback for the US-assisted killing of
hawks demanded Obama take action and get tough
with the troublesome Muslim world. Alas for those howling for revenge,
the killers of the ambassador remained for now unidentified.
So what targets
were left for the enraged Republican sofa samurais? Bomb Tripoli
or Cairo? Bomb Mecca, as some far right crazies have long urged?
Former president George W. Bush was a great one for taking
action. The result: the disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq,
the wrecking of Americas once vibrant economy, and over $1
trillion in debt to finance these lost wars.
voters, who will probably decide the November election, are better
educated and more worldly than the core Republican blue collar and
Bible Belt voters. Many were aghast at Romneys calls for more
war, his painful ignorance of foreign affairs, and close identification
with far right policies.
may have achieved very little in his foreign policy, but a President
Romney looks like he might be a disaster a sort of George
W. Bush on steroids. In fact, Romney is surrounded by the same cast
of far right, neoconservative nut cases that misled the foolish
Bush into wars.
Netanyahu is lambasting Obama and getting away with it, backed by
Republicans and neocons. The danger here is that Israels leader
might conclude having tied Obamas hands he can go ahead and
use tactical nuclear weapons to destroy Irans underground
very idea of Israel or Iran attacking one anothers nuclear
plants is madness. The result would be a global radioactive catastrophe,
particularly so for the Gulf states. The world has so far ignored
Israels far right to threaten Iran with war, Romney is being
irresponsible and reckless. He is showing that he is not ready for
the presidency, never mind global leadership. He could end up being
as big a disaster for Israel as for the United States.
has been a profound disappointment to those who hoped he would end
Americas militarized foreign policy and the Bush eras
violation of rights. However, the blundering, ill-educated Romney
now makes Obama look wise and saintly.
him mail] is the author of War
at the Top of the World and the new book, American
Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the
West and the Muslim World. See his
© 2012 Eric Margolis
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