The Hour of the Warmongers

Some warmongers are cynical, some messianic, some speak with their master's voice and some are sincere in their belief. They only want war, another war.

Any war - and we are being led with alarming speed into another one - begins with its mongers. Their motives and roles are not homogenous, but their course of action is unchanging and known in advance: They are for war, any war (or any other violent action), at any opportunity.

First they inflame the demonization and sow fear and paranoia, with the Holocaust and a second Holocaust always in the background. Then they launch a preaching campaign to convince people there's no choice, something-must-be-done. They beat the drums of war and urge its commencement.

When it finally erupts, the stage of cheering and incitement begins - tighten, pound, expand, deepen, shell and bombard, harder, harder. When the extent of the failure, yet another failure, transpires, they abruptly become the first to demand probing, firing, ousting and drawing conclusions. The warmongers never take responsibility, never resign, never regret, never repent. Until the next war. So it was on the eve of two Lebanon wars. So it was before Operation Cast Lead, and so it is now.

True, their number this time is smaller than usual and the faction objecting to an attack on Iran is still considerable. But in recent days the warmongers' voice has grown stronger, perhaps another proof that war is imminent. On Friday, for example, Channel 2 News, aka the tribal campfire and the only news program broadcast in Israel on Sabbath eve, joined the chorus. This studio's mobilization for an attack on Iran could become the decisive factor. On the menu, as usual, was a dangerous combination of paranoia, belligerence and megalomania, this time reaching unprecedented proportions. A nuclear Iran is a definite Holocaust, they brainwash the viewers.

Even if 1,000 experts are united in the opinion that bombarding Iran can only delay its nuclearization for a while, nothing will deter the warmongers. A short delay? The main thing is to attack. Israel is a power, they say, and it can and must protect itself by itself. One moment Israel is a state-on-the-brink-of-destruction and the next it's a power. Whatever. They don't even try to explain the contradiction.

Next. A nuclear Iran will spur other states in the region to obtain nuclear arms, they say. As though there wasn't another state in the area, not Iran, that began the nuclear race. An Iranian bomb, in contrast to any other nuclear bomb in the world, is meant for use rather than as a deterrence, because the Iranians, you know, are Shi'ite suicide bombers.

And as though all these fallacious assumptions were not enough, they then pull out the trump card: The regime in Iran must be replaced, and bombing the nuclear facilities will advance this. True, Israel's real problem is the Iranian regime, not its bomb. But let's face it, that's one thing Israel cannot change, ever.

This is bad, old Israeli megalomania. After Israel set out to change the regimes of half the Arab states, it now plans to do so in Iran as well. We once wanted to establish a Druze state in Lebanon, then we wanted to enthrone the Christians in one war and wipe out Hezbollah in another. In Gaza we set out to remove Hamas from power - forcibly, naturally. Only that didn't work out so well. Operation Cast Lead, the one intended to topple Hamas' rule in the Gaza Strip, provided the organization with its most important boost. Similarly, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah owes Israel a great debt for the Second Lebanon War, whose only achievement was in establishing his power.

Now, promise the warmongers, "we'll take down" the ayatollahs. You must admit there's a considerable amount of pathological paranoia here. The neighborhood bully, the one who thinks every problem must be solved with force, only with force, also believes in his right and ability to change regimes, as though they were socks. Two days ago in Lebanon, yesterday in Gaza, tomorrow in Iran. But hard luck - most experts say an Israeli bombardment would crush the Iranian opposition, unite the people under the current regime and increase its motivation to gain nuclear arms. And this time, after an Israeli attack, with more legitimacy.

The warmongers know all this. Some of them are cynical, some messianic, some speak with their master's voice and some are sincere in their belief. They only want war, another war.