Behind the anti-Iran rhetoric

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Feb 12 06:37:57 MST 2002

Counterpunch, February 11, 2002

Oil, Sharon and the Axis of Evil
The Great Game
By Uri Avnery

Some weeks ago, something curious happened: Israel discovered that Iran is
the Great Satan.

It happened quite suddenly. There was no prior sensational news, no new
discovery. As if by the order of a drill-sergeant, the whole Israeli
phalanx changed direction. All the politicians, all the generals, all the
enlisted media, with the usual complement of professors-for-hire, - all of
them discovered overnight that Iran is the immediate, real and terrible

By wondrous coincidence, at exactly the same moment a ship was captured
that, allegedly, carried Iranian arms to Arafat. And in Washington Shimon
Peres, a man for all seasons and the servant of all masters, accosted every
passing diplomat and told him stories about thousands of Iranian missiles
that have been given to the Hizbullah. Yes, yes, Hizbullah (included by
President Bush in the list of "terrorist organizations") is receiving
horrible arms from Iran (included by President Bush in the "Axis of Evil")
in order to threaten Israel, the darling of the Congress.

Does this sound mad? Not at all. There is method in this madness.

On the face of it, the matter is easy to explain. America is still in a
state of fury after the Twin-Towers outrage. It has won a amazing victory
in Afghanistan, hardly sacrificing a single American soldier. Now it
stands, furious and drunk with victory, and does not know who to attack
next. Iraq? North Korea? Somalia? The Sudan?

President Bush cannot stop now, because such an immense concentration of
might cannot be laid off. The more so, as Bin-Laden has not been killed.
The economic situation has deteriorated, a giant scandal (Enron) is rocki
ng Washington. The American public should not be left to ponder on this.

So here comes the Israeli leadership and shouts from the roof-tops: Iran is
the enemy! Iran must be attacked!

Who has made that decision? When? How? And most importantly - Where?
Clearly not in Jerusalem, but in Washington DC. An important component of
the US administration has given Israel a sign: Start a massive political
offensive in order to pressure the Congress, the media and American public

Who are these people? And what is their interest? A wider explanation is

The most coveted resource on earth is the giant oil-field in the Caspian
Sea region, that competes in scale with the riches of Saudi Arabia. In 2010
it is expected to yield 3.2 billion barrels of crude oil per day, in
addition to 4850 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

The United States is determined (a) to take possession of it, (b) to
eliminate all potential competitors, (c) to safeguard the area politically
and militarily, and (d) to clear a way from the oil-fields to the open sea.

This campaign is being led by a group of oil people, to which the Bush
family belongs. Together with the arms industry, this group got both George
Bush senior and George Bush junior elected. The President is a simple
person, his mental world is shallow and his pronouncements are primitive,
bordering on caricature, like a second-rate Western. That is good for the
masses. But his handlers are very sophisticated people indeed. It's they
who guide the administration.


Louis Proyect
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