Chomsky: Is the U.S. Gearing Up for the Destruction of Iran?
Continued from previous page
The terrorist acts attributed to Hamas and Hezbollah pale in comparison to US-Israeli terrorism in the same region, but they are worth a look nevertheless.
On May 25 Lebanon celebrated its national holiday Liberation Day, commemorating Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon after 22 years, as a result of Hezbollah resistance -- described by Israeli authorities as "Iranian aggression" against Israel in Israeli-occupied Lebanon (Ephraim Sneh). That too is normal imperial usage. Thus President John F. Kennedy condemned the "the assault from the inside" in South Vietnam, "which is manipulated from the North." This criminal assault by the South Vietnamese resistance against Kennedy's bombers, chemical warfare, programs to drive peasants to virtual concentration camps, and other such benign measures was denounced as "internal aggression" by Kennedy's UN Ambassador, liberal hero Adlai Stevenson. North Vietnamese support for their countrymen in the US-occupied South is aggression, intolerable interference with Washington's righteous mission. Kennedy advisors Arthur Schlesinger and Theodore Sorenson, considered doves, also praised Washington's intervention to reverse "aggression" in South Vietnam -- by the indigenous resistance, as they knew, at least if they read US intelligence reports. In 1955 the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had defined several types of "aggression," including "Aggression other than armed, i.e., political warfare, or subversion." For example, an internal uprising against a US-imposed police state, or elections that come out the wrong way. The usage is also common in scholarship and political commentary, and makes sense on the prevailing assumption that We Own the World.
Hamas resists Israel's military occupation and its illegal and violent actions in the occupied territories. It is accused of refusing to recognize Israel (political parties do not recognize states). In contrast, the US and Israel not only do not recognize Palestine, but have been acting relentlessly and decisively for decades to ensure that it can never come into existence in any meaningful form. The governing party in Israel, in its 1999 campaign platform, bars the existence of any Palestinian state -- a step towards accommodation beyond the official positions of the US and Israel a decade earlier, which held that there cannot be "an additional Palestinian state" between Israel and Jordan, the latter a "Palestinian state" by US-Israeli fiat whatever its benighted inhabitants and government might believe.
Hamas is charged with rocketing Israeli settlements on the border, criminal acts no doubt, though a fraction of Israel's violence in Gaza, let alone elsewhere. It is important to bear in mind, in this connection, that the US and Israel know exactly how to terminate the terror that they deplore with such passion. Israel officially concedes that there were no Hamas rockets as long as Israel partially observed a truce with Hamas in 2008. Israel rejected Hamas's offer to renew the truce, preferring to launch the murderous and destructive Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in December 2008, with full US backing, an exploit of murderous aggression without the slightest credible pretext on either legal or moral grounds.
The model for democracy in the Muslim world, despite serious flaws, is Turkey, which has relatively free elections, and has also been subject to harsh criticism in the US. The most extreme case was when the government followed the position of 95% of the population and refused to join in the invasion of Iraq, eliciting harsh condemnation from Washington for its failure to comprehend how a democratic government should behave: under our concept of democracy, the voice of the Master determines policy, not the near-unanimous voice of the population.
The Obama administration was once again incensed when Turkey joined with Brazil in arranging a deal with Iran to restrict its enrichment of uranium. Obama had praised the initiative in a letter to Brazil's president Lula da Silva, apparently on the assumption that it would fail and provide a propaganda weapon against Iran. When it succeeded, the US was furious, and quickly undermined it by ramming through a Security Council resolution with new sanctions against Iran that were so meaningless that China cheerfully joined at once -- recognizing that at most the sanctions would impede Western interests in competing with China for Iran's resources. Once again, Washington acted forthrightly to ensure that others would not interfere with US control of the region.