Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have launched a vicious attack on US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, an American war hero, saying his recent statements “served Iran.” They objected to his statement on Sunday, on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS , that
“I don’t think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran…”
He also said such a strike “would be destabilizing” and “not prudent.” He added,
“…we are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. And it’s for that reason, I think, that we think the current path we’re on is the most prudent path at this point.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who in the past has called for expulsion of Palestinians from their West Bank home and boasted of derailing the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, accused Dempsey of “serving Iranian interests,” according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (“The Land”), which wrote:
“We made it clear to Donilon that all those statements and briefings only served the Iranians,” a senior Israeli official said. “The Iranians see there’s controversy between the United States and Israel, and that the Americans object to a military act. That reduces the pressure on them.”
Likely officials of the far right wing Likud Party were especially angered by Dempsey’s assessment that the Iranian leadership is made up of “rational actors.” Israel and its media agents in the United States have expended enormous resources in attempting to convince the US public that the Iranian leadership is made up of mad mullahs obsessed with the end of the world who would gleefully light the nuclear match that brought about an apocalypse. (All this completely untrue and mere racist pablum.) To have the top military man in the United States undue the work of millions of dollars worth of propaganda must have been galling indeed.
Netanyahu’s charge that Dempsey is “serving Iran” is completely unacceptable and deserves a stern rebuke from the Obama administration if it is not going to make itself look like a complete set of wusses.
Dempsey served in the Gulf War and deployed twice to Iraq during the Iraq War. “General Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.”
If it is the fact, as the Israeli right wing kept loudly insisting, that Saddam Hussein was a dire threat to Israel, then they might show a little gratitude and respect to a man like Dempsey, who deployed to Iraq to take down that regime and build a new one.
It is not OK that Netanyahu and Barak spoke this way about this man.
Why Barak Obama continually lets Netanyahu humiliate him is completely beyond my understanding. He should call off the March 5 meeting now planned with Netanyahu and let him cool his heels till he apologizes.
Israel receives on the order of $3 billion a year from US taxpayers, roughly on average $1000 a person that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has dragooned us all into paying into Netanyahu’s coffers. It includes civilian aid. This, despite Israel’s status as a middle income country better off than a lot of European states. If we count indirect US support for Israel, including trade concessions, the sum is much greater. And if we count US military costs policing the Middle East to keep it safe for Netanyahu, the price would skyrocket. Israel is the biggest recipient of American foreign aid. It has never been clear to anyone over hear what exactly we get in return for that.
All that fancy military equipment Israel is brandishing at Iran and threatening to use to shanghai American servicemen into military engagement with that country? We paid for it.
It is, of course, Netanyahu who serves the purposes of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His saber rattling has gotten Iranians’ back up and killed what was left of the protest movement. Iranians are very nationalistic and won’t risk a division in their ranks when they are under the gun from an outside power.