Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dahr Jamail Interviews Ray McGovern, part 2

For Truthout, Dahr Jamail interviewed Ray McGovern during a national convention for the Veterans for Peace in Seattle in August. This is part 2:
In the second installment of this interview series for Truthout, McGovern discusses US policy regarding Iran, a US/Israel "mutual defense treaty" and the security ramifications for Israel.

Dahr Jamail: What is your perspective on the possibility that the US could take the present day situation in Lebanon and use it as a pretext to wage war against Iran?

Ray McGovern: If you are talking about pretexts, there doesn't have to be much reality behind the pretexts. We saw that in Central America. We were told that the Soviets were going to use the Nicaraguans as pawns to come up into Texas, remember? Did Ronald Reagan really believe this?

They don't really have to plant anything - they've got the Iranian missiles there [southern Lebanon] there are stories about Iranian soldiers in there advising them, stories which to my knowledge are not true. But if they want to use this as a pretext to take off after Iran, they are free to do so.

Who would do it? As with the case with respect to Iraq, Iran poses no danger to the US. I repeat, no danger to the US. Iran has not started any wars in that part of the world. They hate us for other reasons. They hate us because they had a democratically elected government in 1953 and we overthrew it because we wanted their oil, pure and simple. They know that, and they are used to it, and they don't want it anymore.

DJ: How does this lead into Iran, if you are the policy-makers in Israel/US?

RM: What we have here is that Israel does feel threatened. Why? Because the Israelis have a nuclear monopoly now in the Middle East, and most people believe they have about 300 nuclear weapons which they can fire from missiles and submarines and whatever else. And Iran and their other neighbors have none.

Now, if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon, would that be a threat to Israel's security? I don't think so. They'd have to be suicidal to mount an attack on Israel because they would be obliterated. What would it give Iran? It would give Iran a certain modicum of what we used to call deterrence. It's a word that's dropped out of the vocabulary of Washington but it worked for 40 years after WWII. It would give them a measure of deterrence. So if the Iranians, say 10 years from now, saw the Israelis about to pounce on Syria and do what they are doing to Lebanon, in this case to Syria, perhaps the Ayatollahs would say, "Now wait a minute, we know of your plans. Don't think that you can do this with impunity."

And this would give the Israelis pause. Up until now, they have had free reign, they have been unencumbered in doing whatever they hell they please in the West Bank, in Gaza, and now in Lebanon, with the support of the US government and military, and they don't want to lose that kind of freedom of action. So they are hell bent on preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. In that sense they see a threat.
bold added by yours truly. Click HERE for full article.


Blogger Zee said...

Very well put, don't even have to read the whole article ...
All along I proclaimed thoughts in the same veins. McGovern is pragmatic, I like that quality.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Yohay Elam said...

Very interesting thoughts.

A few comments:

The US woon't use the last war as a reason to attack Iran. The war is over. Nuclear issues or a terrorist attack on the US could trigger such a war.

Iran could be a danger to the US in terrorist attacks. Iran also inspires anti American sentiment all around the world. Iran is a strong and dangerous country that could be a threat also to the US. It is a threat on Israel either directly, using missiles, or indirectly through Hizbullah and possibly Syria. Iran is a threat to more normal Arab countries (Egypt and Jordan, our peaceful neighburs) and could endanger their regimes. This is also dangerous for Israel.
After the incredibly stupid war in Iraq, the US can't fight Iran.
Iraq didn't support terror, and didn't pose a threat on the US or Israel. The WMD still haven't been found...
But after the failure in Iraq, the US is so weak, that I don't think that a war with Iran is currently on the agenda, although I think that Iran is a real threat.

The term deterrence is very popular in Israel. Returning Israel's deterrence was one of the goals of the war. Hizbullah's attack on July 12th is related with a loss of Israel's deterrence. I agree: An Iranian bomb will change things in the middle east, like RM said.

I wish that the world's focus would get back to the root of the conflict: the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It would do good for the Palestinians who are in catastrophic situation and also for us. (I will comment on the Gaza post later on).

1:53 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Yohay, glad you're still participating in commenting. I sometimes worry that my Israeli readers (and I do have a few) will get annoyed or ticked off at some of my posts when in fact, I honestly intend it as a jumping board for discussion and counter references/arguments etc. My heart is still with the intent of this blog and I have been eyeing a few lebanese bloggers in the hopes that I can persuade them to participate in a 'round table' of sorts. So, I have not given up on that. I am most curious and would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the Palestinian situation as that is something you have a closer view on on the one hand. Looking forward to your contribution,
oh btw..did not mean to ignore your comment on this kids are screaming down stairs so I'll get back to that when my dh gets home..

4:00 PM  

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