Netanyahu, Republicans beating drums of war


— We need to see beyond petty insults. The fact that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) chose to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without coordinating this with the White House was a snub and everyone knows that. Yes, it was an insult!

What is actually more important is that the Republican majority, along with Netanyahu, wish to take the United States into a war with Iran— that is what we must understand.

The United States, along with several other countries, are engaged in very tricky negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. The U.S. and Israel assert that the Iranians wish to build nuclear weapons. No proof has ever been provided to that effect. The Iranians, signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, assert that they aim to build a nuclear program for peaceful energy purposes.

Netanyahu has been egging the U.S. on for years to take military action against Iran. Such action would be both illegal and immoral. There is no foundation for an attack, particularly since the only nuclear power in the Middle East is Israel, a country that is a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a possessor of more than 100 nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu and his allies in the Republican Party believe that Iran must be pushed to the wall. Further sanctions, as President Obama argued, will do nothing but destabilize the negotiations, which is precisely what Netanyahu wishes to accomplish. If the negotiations break down, then there is a good chance that there will be war.

Now, for a moment, let’s consider the implications. Please, step away from this column and get a map of the Middle East. Currently, there is a civil war in Syria. The U.S. is involved. There is a civil war in Iraq. The U.S.A. is involved. There is a civil war in Libya. The U.S. helped to bring that about. There is instability in Bahrain. The U.S. has a fleet stationed there and has done nothing to mediate the crisis. There are more hot spots that can be added to this list. Given all of this, how could the U.S.A. even consider military action against Iran?

You might notice that I keep referencing Prime Minister Netanyahu singularly. That is because there is a split within the Israeli political class that is becoming evident. Recent reports indicate that the Israeli security service— the Mossad— opposes an attack on Iran. So does the U.S. military. Yet, the Republicans in Congress and their friend Netanyahu are prepared to cry wolf, and let slip the dogs of war.

They know, better than us that they will have little price to pay for such irresponsible actions. You and I, instead, will pay the price, particularly when we view the body bags returning home.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the host of The Global African on Telesur-English. He is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer. To contact Bill Fletcher, Jr., visit: