Nine years later, US President Barack Obama has issued an ultimatum to the leadership in Tehran before ... setting optimal conditions for an "all options on the table" exercise.
Obama has made an offer to Tehran to "negotiate" its nuclear program ~ ahead of long-delayed talks between the "Iran Six" (P5+1 ~ the five permanent members of the UN Security Council ~ the US, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France ~ plus Germany) and Iran scheduled for Istanbul on Saturday.
For starters, it's not an offer; it's a list of demands ~ even before any negotiation takes place. And these "near term" concessions are packaged ~ according to the president's own rhetoric ~ as a "last chance".
In modern times, this used to be known as an ultimatum.
In the post-everything era, it passes for "international diplomacy".
So welcome to the "roll over and die" school of diplomacy ~ as perfected by the Obama administration, with vital input from the Israel lobby in Washington. It's our way of the highway.
Another war for the 1%
"Good" means the list of demands spells out the inevitable failure of the talks ~ which is the core of the Israeli strategy.
The whole Israeli official apparatus for months have been brainwashing Israeli, American and European public opinion for war on Iran by all means necessary ~ manipulating everything from a nonsensical "existential threat" to the coming of a "second Holocaust".
Now the whole Fordow controversy is linked to the Israeli spin of another shady concept ~ known as "sphere of immunity". Tel Aviv insists Fordow will allow Tehran to protect the more sensitive elements of its nuclear program literally inside a mountain ~ immune from the most powerful GBU-28 bunker buster bombs (which Obama, by the way, agreed to sell to Israel).
This is absolutely nonsense. Tel Aviv invented this "sphere of immunity" smokescreen after civilian nuclear activity was already taking place in Fordow, under IAEA supervision.
Yet the tail once again wags the dog.
Polls have shown that a majority of Israelis ~ in a fabulous display of ... altruism? ~ only want a war on Iran if the American Big Brother (ED: Slave/patsy) leads (and faces the direst consequences). And it doesn't matter that the nebula of Israeli intel is itself divided.
Context is key. The wealthiest 500 Israelis are worth roughly $75 billion. That in a country with a gross domestic product of only $205 billion.
The wealthiest 20 Israeli families control almost half of the stock market. Their collective wealth is 25% bigger than Israel's budget for 2011. And guess who these people are?
So it's the cream of the 1% in Israel that want war on Iran ~ as much as quite a few scoops of the cream of the 1% in the US.
The point in this whole nuclear "negotiation" shadow play is to sell to American ~ and world ~ public opinion the notion that Iran once again is stalling; has a lot to hide; and simply cannot be trusted to be engaged in any "serious" negotiations.
US corporate media has already pre-empted the negotiations with the usual rhetorical missiles ~ to the delight of armchair warmongers in the US Congress and vast sectors of the industrial-military complex.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org