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Caitlin Johnstone

Apr 16, 2024

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

In an article titled “Israel vows to retaliate against Iran for missile attacks,” Axios reports that the Israeli defense minister has informed his American counterpart that Israel “has no choice” but to attack Iran for the retaliatory strike it launched in response to Israel’s deadly attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

“Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Sunday that Israel has no choice but to respond to the unprecedented missile and drone attack launched by Iran over the weekend,” reports Axios, citing an anonymous US official and another unnamed source.

The state of Israel has been churning out massive lies on a daily basis for the last six months, but this whopper could wind up being the most consequential.

Obviously Israel has a choice as to whether it continues to escalate a conflict it initiated with an extreme act of aggression. This fraudulent apartheid ethnostate is so accustomed to crying victim every minute of every day that it will even pretend to be the victim of its own conscious decisions. 

As professor Jason Hickel put it on Twitter, “People need to understand that Israel does not need to retaliate. Iran’s action was a telegraphed response to Israel’s bombing of its consulate, which killed 16 people and violated the Vienna Convention. Iran says they now consider the matter closed. Israel must de-escalate.”

Iran’s deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri has made it clear that if Israel launches another attack against Iran, this time Iran’s response will be instantaneous instead of a twelve-day grace period with Tehran giving neighboring countries and the United States a 72-hour advance warning to ensure minimal damage to Israel.

Predictably, the Biden administration is doing its usual phony schtick where it pretends to be a passive witness to all this, with National Security spokesman John Kirby telling the press that the White House plans to just “wait and see what the Israelis decide to do.” 

But as foreign policy analyst Tariq Kenney-Shawa noted of Kirby’s statement, “Israel will be using US-supplied weapons, will have to coordinate with US forces throughout the region, and will depend on the US for missile defense when Iran responds.” So the fact that the US won’t be actively planning the attack with Israel doesn’t mean the US won’t be involved in it on a fundamental level.

If Israel’s escalatory attack happens, it will be because Washington allowed it to. If the US informed Israel that it will instantly lose its pricey US weapons supplies and Pentagon support if it attacks Iran, Israel would discover very quickly that it does in fact have a choice as to whether or not to proceed.

In an article for Foreign Policy titled “Netanyahu Wants War With Iran. Biden Can Prevent It.”, Quincy Institute’s Trita Parsi argues that while Biden’s unconditional support for Israel is often described as a continuation of longstanding US policy, it has actually been a rather dramatic break from the norm.

Presidents like Reagan, both Bushes, and Obama have not hesitated to give Israel’s arm a twist whenever they found it necessary to advance US interests in the region; this new policy of just letting Tel Aviv do whatever it wants while providing unconditional support is actually without precedent in the White House.

Both Israel and the US are pretending to be powerless in this situation, when in reality they’re both anything but. They’re like two muggers getting ready to mug someone and saying “If only there was something we could do to stop this terrible mugging!”

Israel absolutely can choose not to accelerate toward a terrifying war between extremely powerful militaries, and the US absolutely can choose to pump the brakes. The fact that neither of them are doing so is just what it looks like when you live under a globe-spanning empire that is fueled by human blood.

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