Report: Israelis got included in planning US attack because they threatened to whack Iran

on 29 Comments

Joe Klein resisted service in the Iraq War media brigade of 2002-03, but he seems to be getting recruited in the Iran war frenzy. Here’s a Time column on an attack on Iran being back on the table. Though Klein insists that Obama is skeptical about such a plan, notice the blackmail in the excerpt below:

Other intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command, which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes — aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region. "There really wasn’t a military option a year ago," an Israeli military source told me. "But they’ve gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now." Israel has been brought into the planning process, I’m told, because U.S. officials are frightened by the possibility that the right-wing Netanyahu government might go rogue and try to whack the Iranians on its own.

Israelis have been brought into the planning process? Aren’t they always in there? And how often has the out-of-control militarist Israeli government threatened to go rogue as a way of compelling American compliance? Is this a foreign policy or a genuflection?
The line reinforces my 7-Days-in-May theory that Obama has folded on Israeli expansion/settlements because Netanyahu has threatened to pop off a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu, crazy like a fox.

29 Responses

  1. MRW
    July 15, 2010, 11:46 am

    Apropos Israel’s nuclear arsenal, don’t miss this event organized by Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP); ‘Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal – Espionage, Opacity and Future’.
    Jeff Blankfort – moderator
    Speakers: Grant Smith, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, and John Mearsheimer
    link to

    It’s 90 minutes. Turn it on and let it play in the background.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Zionists are a danger to the US.

  2. Les
    July 15, 2010, 11:48 am

    This explains why Israel was included in the CIA questioning of Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist, according to what Amiri was saying when back in Iran.

  3. Leper Colonialist
    July 15, 2010, 11:50 am

    So, the logic [?] seems to be – the US goes to war with Iran, an act not in the interests of the US, to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran, likewise an act not in our interests?

    Brought into the planning process? LMAO. Actually, it’s more like crying my eyes out. It’s more like we’re allowed to pretend the US gov’t is not entirely at the beck-and-call of warmongering Likudist maniacs.

    This is a lack-of-change I’d be very happy to live without.

    Ya know, until POTUS is willing to call the bluff of Israel – it’s as simple as saying “make your bed, and then be ready to sleep in it”- we’re going to be going to war against someone on Israel’s behalf forthe indefinite future. Let Israel reap the whirlwind of it’s irrational actions, and then say “I told you so.”

  4. MHughes976
    July 15, 2010, 11:51 am

    I’m sceptical about the imminent attack on Iran. The threats have been around for years and the result may have been to convince the Iranians that they are empty threats. If ‘there really was no military option a year ago’ why was there then a steady stream of intimations from chosen journalists and academics that Israel’s patience, or perhaps the patience of the United States, was almost at an end? If these year-old intimations and excited press articles were false propaganda then why should they be regarded as the real truth now?
    I don’t think Netanyahu is crazy like a fox. I don’t see anything in his record that suggests wild risk-taking. He’s a politician. I don’t think Obama is weak or stupid enough to authorise an attack on Iran – even Bush wasn’t. I don’t think that Netanyahu can suppose that even his famous lobby could protect him from all the consequences if he attacks Iran from out of a clear sky.
    Well, I’m not in a privileged position and ‘what I think’ could very well be completely wrong. But I’d suggest that we shouldn’t shudder too violently at every scary propaganda move – that’s a way of submitting to mind-control.

  5. Debonnaire
    July 15, 2010, 12:34 pm

    This is what Fidel was talking about the other day. Old and frail as he is – he’s always been uncannily prescient. The Bibi-Obama body language was telling: Bibi looked like he had him over a barrel and Obama looked glum and scared. The Iranian War is a fait accompli. Could Putin threaten to nuke the Zionist entity if it nuked Iran? Could he call their bluff? He could, but would he? I suppose there’d be a 20% chance he would. China? 5% tops. There’s no other viable scenario that will even forestall War. Obama IS weak and he’s trapped. There’s no way out. The entity and ZOG are calling the shots. Another War on Islam is ON.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2010, 5:14 pm

      “Another War on Islam is ON.”

      Or as Witty would say, live and let live.

      • Chu
        July 15, 2010, 5:20 pm

        shingo. nice job on the walt blog yesterday on the emergency committee. Nice to see someone jump in and start swingin’.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2010, 5:23 pm

        Thanks Chu,

        Yes the Hasbrat fraternity were caught off guard I suspect.

      • Chu
        July 15, 2010, 5:28 pm

        just logged in to his site after reading all the crap posted yesterday. It sickens me how all of the misdirected commentators, ruin a worthy discussion.
        Will try and help you out next time! Short on time these days…

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2010, 5:37 pm

        Thanks Chu,

        But I hardly needed help, though it would have been nice to have you there. They were just the garden variety Hasbarats recycling decades old material. They quickly lot their shot and descended into obscenities.

        There’s only so much time the day. One can’t bs on every blog.

  6. Avi
    July 15, 2010, 12:52 pm

    The claim that “Israel was brought in” on the planning is questionable.

    Turkey recently placed restrictions on Israeli military flights entering and overflying its airspace. While the restrictions were enacted in the wake of the Israeli commando attack on the flotilla, it was also an opportune time for Turkey as it recently found that Israel had been overflying its airspace, transporting fighter jets to bases in Georgia.

    In the summer 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, the latter bombed airfields in Georgia that Israel had intended on using as staging grounds for an attack on Iran.

    Since Turkey now acknowledges that Israel was transporting jets to Georgia, in all likelihood as recently as this year, then Israel’s plan to attack Iran has been a long time coming and hasn’t changed for several years now.

    • Avi
      July 15, 2010, 1:06 pm

      I should add that Israel, knowing that it cannot hide preparations for an attack on Iran from the US, could very well ask the US to conduct joint mock attack exercises but in essence carry out a real attack, leaving the US vulnerable.

      You may recall that both the US and Israel have conducted several such exercises every year for the last few years. The next exercise, could be the one. Israel will make sure that the exercise is scheduled for early November. Taking advantage of the Congressional elections, Israel would attack Iran, leaving the White House no option but to dutifully stand by it.

      • lysias
        July 15, 2010, 1:15 pm

        The Israeli attack on Egypt that launched the Suez Crisis started on Oct. 29, 1956. The proximity to the U.S. elections, scheduled for Nov. 6, 1956, instead of cowing President Eisenhower, infuriated him. He immediately set the forces in motion to stop the invasion of Egypt. On the very same day, Nov. 6, 1956, Great Britain announced a cease-fire, and the crisis basically ended (except for the process of getting Israel out of the Egyptian territory it had occupied, which took a few months.)

      • Avi
        July 15, 2010, 1:31 pm


        That’s all well and true, but in today’s political climate, The Lobby’s power, the rift between the Democratic party and The Lobby, the so-called Global War on Terror, and Obama’s weakened position on the colonies in the occupied West Bank, leaves very little room for the president of the United States to pressure Israel or publicly condemn it should it decide to attack Iran.

        Since 1956 many things have changed, Israel occupied the West Bank and the Golan, it acquired nuclear weapons, attacked the USS Liberty and has a far more powerful lobby on which it can rely.

      • Les
        July 15, 2010, 1:39 pm

        If there is no US/Israel coordination why were Israel agents present when Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, was being questioned by the CIA and why was Israel’s Dr. Lani Kass in charge of Operation Rex Redux in August 2007 which tested a US pre-emptive nuclear attack against Iran.

        link to

      • Avi
        July 15, 2010, 2:11 pm


        I believe that there is close cooperation between the US and Israel on this issue, but the two have different goals and expectations in mind. While the US is bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel does not share that problem. The US could very well be waiting for an opportunity to strike at Iran, or could be planning on letting the sanctions weaken Iran, logistically. Israel, again, does not share that concern. Should Israel attack, it is guaranteed the protection of Uncle Sam.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 2:16 pm

        “No option” is bullshit. The US still has more nukes than Israel. It’s getting to be time to consider a pre-emptive strike.

      • Avi
        July 15, 2010, 2:18 pm

        “No option” is bullshit.


    • hayate
      July 16, 2010, 2:15 am

      Avi July 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Interesting about the Turks talking about the israelis ferrying jets to Georgia. Right after israeli had their Georgian proxy attack South Ossetia (and Abkhazia would have been immediately next, had the Russians not routed the Georgians), I speculated that war was for israel’s benefit so they could use Georgian bases to attack Iran from. The Russians can detect those israelis coming and going, through radars in South Ossetia and Abkhazia – they had no trouble tracking israeli/Georgian drones. If the Russians detected a large group of israeli aircraft entering Georgia, it’s obvious it would be the beginning of an attack on Iran and the Russians would warn the Iranians, thereby destroying israel’s ability to attack by surprise, and also seriously undermine the effectiveness of any such attack. Surprise would probably be a necessary requirement for an israeli attack on Iran to succeed. With the Russians out of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, then israel could surprise attack Iran. That attack on Syria (the “reactor”) was a practice run for an attack on Iran via Georgia. The Turks have now all but killed that israeli option now, since the israelis wont be able to use Turkish airspace to get to Georgia. That Turkish resistance to zionism, inc., is not unconnected to the Russian routing of the israeli lead Georgians, btw.

      Now if israel does attack Iran, they will have to get american help to get there, by flying over Iraq.The stories about the Saudis allowing israel to use a Saudi installation, and Saudi airspace, I believe are misdirection tactics to draw attention away from any link up with the americans in Iraq. It’s doubtful the Saudis would be THAT stupid and self destructive as to allow such a thing.

  7. Debonnaire
    July 15, 2010, 1:21 pm

    Two other scenarios came to mind:

    1. Pakistan. There’s a 2% chance the Pakistani military wouldn’t stand for Israel’s threat to nuke Iran and threaten to nuke Israel in return.

    2. The Wildcard: North Korea. Fearing they’d be next (and, why not? They’re #3 in David Frum’s “Empire of Evil”)…they’d nuke South Korea. In effect, sane people of conscience would find themselves rooting for North Korea to make a move to save the world. How’s that for the penultimate Doomsday irony? The odds on this one? 36%.

  8. Sin Nombre
    July 15, 2010, 1:51 pm

    While I bow to no one (or at least very few) in terms of believing in Obama’s spinelessness, I’m with MHughes above in believing Obama is neither quite *that* spineless nor quite that stupid to attack Iran.

    He does so and poof, up in smoke goes any hope whatsoever of the economy even staying in the doldrums since it would more likely tank like crazy with oil prices skyrocketing, and very possibly poof up in smoke go a helluva lot of U.S. troops in Iraq too, not to mention the idea that he was gracefully pulling out of there because it was becoming a calm situation. And God only knows what else would happen in the ME but it would hardly be otherwise calming either, including in all likelyhood a huge Hizbullah offensive, followed by a huge Lebanese incursion by the IDF, followed by the arab world going crazy over same, followed by who knows what.

    More likely by far to me is that Obama feels that he’s tanked enough for Bibi on all these other things that he’s not gonna cross that red line. Maybe indeed even consciously feeling when he was going in the tank on these other things that they were advance payments for not going against Iran.

    (And, similarly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bibi knows Obama won’t go that far and so is using that to say essentially “well then, at least you’ve got to agree to continue to ignore our nukes in your non-prolif’ efforts and ignore the settlements too and etc….”)

    The defense institution plans for all kinds of things all the time, with and without the participation of others; it’s how they justify having that huge five-sided building in significant measure. And I don’t think it’s all that scary a piece of blackmail either for Bibi to threaten Obama with attacking Iran all on Israel’s own: Obama could in any number of ways say “go ahead, and when you start I’ll decide whether to either actively oppose and hinder you in doing that—by, say, not giving you Friend or Foe fly-by rights—or just stand back, not give you any re-fueling help for instance, and also come out publicly against it to the degree I want after you’ve grabbed that tar baby.”

    As MHughes also says I might well be wrong: I think Phil Giraldi has said he thinks we will attack by the end of August, and I thought Bush II was bluffing until very late in the Saddam game since I thought an invasion there was so stupid too. But he at least is reported to have not only refused to attack Iran but told Bibi not to as well, and for the life of me I don’t see Obama being even more stupid than Bush. (If same is even neuro-cognitively possible.)

    Ergo, under the present and reasonably foreseeable circumstances, I’d bet against us doing it to the tune of quite a few bucks. ‘Course, circumstances change so my offer of a bet has some reasonable time limitation on it, but I’d go six months at least I think quite comfortably.

  9. Debonnaire
    July 15, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Let’s say he (Obama) is pretty damn spineless. But, he’s in No Man’s Land in a way W never was. Obama has no one to help him deflect The Lobby. His approval ratings are in freefall. The stimulus has been a bust. THE BP oil calamity has made him look disengaged and incompetent. Israel is out of control. Hillary is on board with The War Party. Biden. Rahm. Axelrod. Now, Senators like Harry Reid are criticizing Obama, distancing themselves from him. The pressure to attack is intensifying greatly. Obama can’t stand up to it. He’s in over his head. He tried to act tough, but he did it in a showy, half-ass way. He doesn’t know what to do. Bill Clinton is telling him he HAS TO ATTACK. General Jones is silent. Petraeus is cowed. Admiral Mullen can feebly protest but he’s not the C-I-C. Obama will cave. The die is cast.

  10. potsherd
    July 15, 2010, 2:22 pm


    The United States will continue to maintain Israel’s military advantage as well as protect it in the diplomatic arena, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Wednesday, adding that the American commitment to Israel’s security was “not negotiable.”

    link to

    Who says Obama isn’t the ultimate wimp.

    • Les
      July 15, 2010, 3:07 pm

      It used to be said that the Arab world would sacrifice everything in a war against Israel right down to the last Egyptian. Now it is safe to say that the US will defend everything Israel does right down to the last Palestinian.

      • potsherd
        July 15, 2010, 3:31 pm

        And when they run out of Palestinians, they’ll start on Americans.

      • Egbert
        July 15, 2010, 4:10 pm

        Palestinians, Americans, whatever. Goys are all the same.

  11. hayate
    July 16, 2010, 1:41 am

    “The line reinforces my 7-Days-in-May theory that Obama has folded on Israeli expansion/settlements because Netanyahu has threatened to pop off a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu, crazy like a fox.”

    Obama “folded” because he never had any intention to go against zionist policy. He is the “telavivian candidate”. Obama has been a totally loyal puppet since at least his college days and has been groomed to lead the usa for zionism, inc. I think this obama/nutlessyahoo “conflict” is a zionist pr show targeting americans so they’ll think they still have an american prez who “stands up for america”. Obama has done zero to actually defy zionism, inc., he’s given them everything they have demanded. I don’t see any concrete signs this will change any time soon.

  12. MHughes976
    July 16, 2010, 8:57 am

    I’ve just had a look at the Real Clear Politics series of opinion polls and would say that to my foreign eye thinks look more evenly balanced than Debonnaire in his eloquent statement would have it. Obama must be seeing some straws in the wind that look better than before, with Reid apparently back from the dead etc.. I would have thought that this would dictate a policy of steadiness and lack of excitement, so that an attack on Iran would be in the lead balloon category as far as he is concerned. I’m sure there’s an Israeli lobby never far away from him but there must be others in his entourage (I cling to this belief) and among his Euro and Anglophone allies that have not taken leave of their senses.

  13. traintosiberia
    July 16, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Joe Klein has earned the trust and confidence of the anti-war party. He has been cited by a number of columnists.

    So he is ripe for recruitment by Isareli firsters . The argument will unfold like this “Even Joe Klein who opposed Iraq war and blamed Israeli influnecs for the war, has come out in support of war aginst Iran”. It is not far removed from the same thinking that was evident in the demands for a Plaestinian Ghandhi/Mandela after years of sabotaging them or going against their advices or both.There the idea was corrupted , here the man itself.

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