Why would Israel “go berserk”?

15 Apr

Who has the upper hand in a bar room fight? The biggest and strongest? The martial arts ace? Maybe. But more often than not the person who’ll take things to the limit wins the fight before it’s even started. Are you prepared to smash a beer glass, then grind it into a man’s face? Me neither. Which puts us at a disadvantage in certain situations.

Richard Nixon saw the benefits of projecting psychopathy. As does Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s Security Minister; a man with a long record of doing precisely that …

Both of the above, and much more in similar vein, came prior to October 7, 2023

… who yesterday argued for doing a Nixon:

Before I get into why he would say such a thing, let me repeat what I’ve said many times on this site. Little if anything our systemically corrupt media tell us about occupied Palestine can be trusted. It’s simply too important for our ruling elites to allow truthfulness.

On many matters their ‘quality’ sections serve us tolerably well but this enables a greater lie. They need to show good faith even if that embarrasses those in high office. (Not only does their long term capacity to influence opinion and manufacture consent depend on it. So too, on pain of losing market share, do their business models.) But the trust so gained helps them mislead us, more by omission than commission, on matters critical – above all the vilifying of states and leaders standing in the way of empire designs – to the power they ultimately serve.

Similarly, nothing the Guardian or Washington Post say about Iran can be treated as reliable or impartial. We need not assume conspiracy. Nor should we rule it out, a priori – but most of the time lies by omission, in tandem with self-serving credulity, work just fine:

Journalists who know what’s good for them please editors. Editors who know what’s good for them please proprietors. Proprietors not only crave seats at the high table. They also need advertisers. Or in the case of The Guardian, oligarch sponsors like Gates and Soros, while state media like the BBC are beholden to politicians themselves either in bed with or fearful of incurring the wrath of men like Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere and the Barclay brothers …

… and on matters Palestine, the Israel Lobby. All of which I’ve said before. Too often? Well I do try to reach those who still think that “insightful” Guardian or Economist article  yesterday has taken their understanding to new heights. It hasn’t because it couldn’t. Not on matters like this.

With that small detail cleared up, let’s get back to realities. Israel has lost its war:

  • It allowed October 7 to happen. 1
  • Its six months of genocide have not defeated Hamas.
  • Its six months of genocide have not returned the Israeli hostages. (Granted, thousands of Palestinian hostages remain in Israeli jails but that’s not the point here, is it?)
  • Its six months of genocide have drawn the disgust and loathing not only of every country missing  from this map of the world as implicitly referenced by Western media …

… but of hundreds of millions within  the West. 2

Because it has lost, and is led by a government viscerally – and, given the precarious balance within its cabinet, collectively – incapable of letting in this truth, its only hope is to widen the war to one against Iran. But Iran is a threshold nuclear power. It can make a bomb, in labs too hidden in that vast land to be taken out by aerial attack, very quickly if incentivised to do so – for example by Israel “going berserk”. Moreover, given its size and population, and formidable conventional weaponry, even a non nuclear Iran would likely prevail. Should Israel go nuclear it would inflict carnage on an apocalyptic scale but its own annihilation would be assured. So why seek war with Iran? Because it is desperate, and because it knows Washington cannot allow its defeat no matter how egregious and transparent its transgressions.

America does not want war with Iran. By which I mean the Neocons, who do, have for the time being lost the upper hand. 3 Indeed, a cluster of factors – poor showing of Western weaponry and depletion of materiel in Ukraine, Yemeni power in the Red Sea, Iran’s size, population and advanced defensive capabilities – make it far from clear that even the combined might of Israel, the US and collective West could defeat Iran on its own terrain. That’s before we factor in that Russia and China would be drawn in, and disruption to global trade colossal. And for what? To keep Netanyahu in office and out of jail? To save a vicious apartheid from the consequences of its crimes?

Iran does not want a war either. Again: it would likely prevail, with Israel’s annihilation assured, but even without the WW3 factor, the immense economic gains Iran has made in recent years – after decades of Western sanctions have become counterproductive and/or offset by the rise of BRICS and concomitant weakening of dollar rule – would be massively set back. As discussed in yesterday’s post, the weekend strikes on Israel were a finely calibrated response.

Obviously Israel has a choice as to whether it continues to escalate a conflict it initiated with an extreme act of aggression. This fraudulent apartheid ethnostate is so accustomed to crying victim every minute of every day that it will even pretend to be the victim of its own conscious decisions.

Caitlin Johnstone

But here’s the thing. It’s scary to be confronted by a man – or a woman 4 – with broken glass in hand, and be in no doubt as to their willingness to use it. Given a choice, we’ll back down. But if Israel heeds Mr Ben-Gvir, and goes berserk, Tehran will conclude – as, in circumstances by no means unrelated, have Russia and China – that backing down is no longer an option.


For more on these matters I recommend Judge Napolitano’s half-hour interview with a man I often cite or feature on this site; the former British diplomat Alastair Crooke:

* * *

  1. The ambiguity of “allowed” is useful in this context. Either IDF arrogance made it careless on October 7, or there was a darker conspiracy afoot. Hamas was a US-Israeli creation to weaken Fatah, and Washington weaponised it, as it did ISIS and Al Qaeda, for regime change in Syria. The Middle East offers many examples of conspiracy between unlikely bedfellows. So while I sense complacence rather than conspiracy here, only a fool, know-nothing or out and out ingenue would rule out the latter.
  2. The declining ability of western regimes to manufacture opinion through corporate media is alarming them. This is the context for EU President Ursula von der Leyen’s opening words at Davos. The problem “we” face, she told the assembled billionaires at the WEF, is “disinformation” …
  3. One sign of the Neocons on the back foot was the departure of Victoria Nuland.
  4. The one time I saw a bar room ‘glassing’ it was inflicted by a middle aged woman. She got three years, mind, but I doubt the man on the receiving end got his face back.

One Reply to “Why would Israel “go berserk”?

  1. There seems to be a certain amount of smoke and mirrors operating this morning:

    Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson……


    ….is claiming that:

    “Israel is now claiming that Iran targeted the Dimona nuclear facility. That is going to be Israel’s propaganda spin going forward to justify the reported attack.

    Israel may just have committed suicide. The Netanyahu cabinet is betting that Iran is unable to launch a massive retaliatory missile strike and that its threat to respond if Israel attacks are just hollow talk. Israel is pushing the bullshit that “this is a limited strike.” That is not how Iran views this.

    I have confirmed from a source with access that Israel launched attacks on Isfahan and Tabriz with drones. Iran was prepared. Its air defense systems, according to my source, activated and engaged the Israeli drones and shot them down. Looks like we are witnessing the start of a serious war in the Middle East. This is going to escalate.”

    Though CNN…


    ….appears to be taking the line that this was a limited strike not involving nuclear facilities whilst claiming Iranian officials are downplaying the matter to some degree.

    A theme which al jazeera….



    “A senior Iranian official has told Reuters there is no plan for immediate retaliation, adding that there was no clarity yet on who was behind the incident.

    “The foreign source of the incident has not been confirmed. We have not received any external attack, and the discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack,” the official said on condition of anonymity.”

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