We have predicted again and again that Washington will goad Israel into throwing the first punch at Iran—thereby allowing US elites to shill the blame for the adventure off on the Jews as they jump in with massive air power to “protect our ally.” Now, it seems, David Wurmser has stated this stratagem openly. Steven Clemons, writing for Salon Sept. 19, portrays a struggle within the administration between pragmatists who have got Bush’s ear at the moment and hardline neocons around Cheney who are still gunning for Iran. He presents lots of inside dish (one wonders where he heard it all), including this extremely ominous gem:
One member of Cheney’s national security staff, David Wurmser, worried out loud that Cheney felt that his wing was “losing the policy argument on Iran” inside the administration — and that they might need to “end run” the president with scenarios that may narrow his choices. The option that Wurmser allegedly discussed was nudging Israel to launch a low-yield cruise missile strike against the Natanz nuclear reactor in Iran, thus “hopefully” prompting a military reaction by Tehran against U.S. forces in Iraq and the Gulf. When queried about Wurmser’s alleged comments, a senior Bush administration official told the New York Times, “The vice president is not necessarily responsible for every single thing that comes out of the mouth of every single member of his staff.”
Clemons presents the actual quotes from Wurmser (without revealing his source), while the Times only refers obliquely to “hawkish statements” by Wurmser. The really sad thing is that Wurmser probably thinks he is really advancing Jewish interests with this scheming. Nothing could be further from the truth. Israel will be serving (in Uri Avnery’s words) as America’s attack dog—while perpetuating the necessary illusion that the tail is wagging the dog.
This is, of course, especially foreboding on the heels of Israel’s air-strikes on Syria. Was Israel “nudged” into that one too?
We recently noted that the current neocon-pragmatist struggle in the White House has roots going back at least to the Poppy Bush administration. But we submit that both antagonists are necessary to the functioning of the anti-Semitic propaganda system. The anti-Semitic propaganda system is blatant and crude in Iran. In US political culture it is more genteel and subtle—and therefore more insidious.